“The intimacy fascinated me”
Low-Fi’s Host of the Month is Rikke Helk, the woman behind the host profile Buus og Helk. Rikke is a familiar face for many in the Low-Fi community, as she has hosted 19 concerts and welcomed more than 250 (!) guests to her home in Copenhagen.
Rikke lives with her husband Anders in their house in the Northwest of Copenhagen. Until this summer, their little rabbit Bettemus also lived in the house – she was a permanent part of the family. During Rikke’s concerts, she used to sit front row and follow along. On a daily basis, Rikke works in a trade union where she works with work injuries and working environment. When she has time off she kayaks, both in Denmark and abroad. She also enjoys reading and spending time with friends.
Nowadays, Rikke also listens to all kinds of music that she wouldn’t have done without hosting concerts in her home through Low-Fi. Rikke explains how it all started: “I went with a friend to an Anne Eltard concert in Vesterbro in Copenhagen in a cosy but small apartment back in 2018. I immediately fell in love with the idea of having concerts in my own home. The intimacy fascinated me – hearing great music while meeting other people I wouldn’t normally meet was an eye-opener for me. However, it took me some time before I had the courage to jump into being a host. One thing was the logistics, but also finding out what kind of music I myself wanted to hear, as well as what music I imagined my friends would come to. I went to 7 concerts in other people’s homes before I did my first concert, and I haven’t regretted becoming a host since then”.
Having dinner together with the artists
Rikke aims to be an open and hospitable host who makes room for artists as well as guests. “I want the artists to feel at home with us. Typically, we eat together with the artist before the concert and this means that we get to know each other a little. During Covid and when things started to open up, it has been important to me that the artists and guests have been able to feel safe coming here. We have quite a few guests who have come here several times and this indicates that they must feel comfortable.”
Rikke adds that she wants her guests to feel at home and welcome. “They should have a good concert experience, but also feel the special atmosphere of being a few guests to great musical experiences”.
The country closing down in the middle of a concert
When asking Rikke if she faced any challenges of being a host, she mentions that selling tickets is the most challenging at the moment. “I spend a lot of time on Facebook, and sometimes I get frustrated that I can’t get the artists more concert guests”.
Another challenge was when Denmark was going into a lockdown in the middle of a concert in Rikke’s home on March 11, 2020. “We sat 30 people in our living room. During the concert someone checked the news and could tell that the country was closed from the following day. Good thing it wasn’t in China, because then we would have had 30 people living there for several months. But it’s a story we often return to. Today we can laugh about it – but not the days after. And then there was the time when we discovered that we were infected with Corona after a concert. I was very sad about that, because imagine if we had infected someone”.
“I want to do as much as possible for the artists”
Rikke uses mainly Facebook to promote her concerts. “Facebook is my best friend, but maybe I will do something with flyers next time. I want to do as much as possible for the artists. But sometimes I get short on ideas on how to best spread the word”.
Since starting arranging concerts at her home, Rikke has become more aware of what kind of music she wants to hear. “This means that I occasionally have to say no to artists. In the beginning, I was eager to do concerts, but it was a little too overwhelming. Now I try to stick to only one concert per month. But it is difficult because there is so much good music that you want to hear. And as my husband says, ‘it’s just moving some chairs, take a glass of red wine and sit in your best chair’”.
Artists are returning to Rikke’s place
Rikke mentions that she had so many good concerts in her home that it is hard for her to choose a favourite concert memory. “They have all been good in their own way. I love that some of the artists have come back so you can follow their development. We have for instance had Moonbee and Magali Michaut several times”.
Not surprisingly, the feedback Rikke has received has all been positive. Rikke explains “I think that the guests have left here with both a good concert experience, but also an experience of being invited into a cozy homely setting”.
Looking ahead, Rikke has started getting her fall concert program in place. On October 8th, you can listen to americana with The Golder Embers. In November, Rikke is visited by the soul singer Frederikke Bohr as well as the Low-Fi All-Star artist Søren Mancher.