If you're thinking of hiring a live band for your event, our handy guide explains everything you'll ever need to know - from the experts that know...
...including advice about what a band would do at your event, how various types of live bands and party bands differ from one to another, what type of music they'll play, how much space they will require and how much it costs to hire a great function band.
Essentially, yes! A live band can be hired to provide live music & entertainment for a variety of events - whether it be your wedding reception, the company or corporate event you may have been taked to organise or indeed for private parties, birthdays and so on. Band's will generally perform a high energy selection of music that's ideal for dancing. A good party band will cover a mix of great music to fill a dancefloor ranging from the 50s and 60's through to current popular acts and bands.
Yes! A popular choice for events such as weddings and company do's is a party band, so a band performing a mix of music is often the way to go; but perhaps you are working with a theme at your event or indeed something that needs to fit a certain decade. This is where a themed band can come into it's own such as:-
It is pretty variable to be honest and there are other factors that can dictate a band's price, such as the number of band members for obvious reasons, sometimes travel cost involved but also more generally the band's popularity and how in demand they are. Good quality bands with either professional or very busy semi-pro players in will charge more than your average 'pub band'. Many of our bands which we carefully vet, include 'session' players that are often called on to either tour and record with famous and original artistes or indeed are music tutors, music teachers i.e. trained professionals. It's that old adage, 'You get what you pay for!'
But, as a guide, most good standard, professional 4-5 piece bands (i.e. 4-5 band members) start at the £1000 mark. We would advise to look between that £1000 to £2000 mark for great quality where you wont be disappointed.
Obviously each event and party is different but the usual process is that your band will arrive to load in equipment, set-up and sound check so they know everything sounds great and is in order for the evening; in advance of guests arriving. A band then tends to reside in a comfortable changing area or dressing room until they are required to start their set. Something worth bearing in mind and a TOP TIP - a band will always need a private, quiet 'base' for changing and more generally somewhere where they can wait.
The above is just a a guide and a usual format but equally if you would prefer 1 long set of 90 minutes straight through, no problem. All good bands can accomodate as standard a 1 x 90 mins. or 2 x 45 mins. sets. Many can offer longer sets of up to 2 x 60 minutes sets but it's always worth checking that with the band or a reputable live band provider like ourselves before you make your booking.
Something else worth bearing in mind is that pretty much all bands we would say, would expect to finish performance by midnight. Equally if you were needing a band to arrive earlier than the 'usual' guide times we mentioned above, always check this out in advance of booking.
The band will need a safe performance area with at least 3 or 4 power sockets in close proximity to the stage / performance area.
Allow ideally 1.5 meters square per person. Allow 2 square meters for a drummer. Remember, space is needed in front and to the sides of the band to accommodate their PA, speakers and lighting stands.
Minimum band stage size requirements
3 piece band: 3 x 3 meters
4 piece band: 4 meters wide by 3 meters deep
5 and 6 piece band: 5 meters wide by 3 meters deep
7 piece and bigger: 5/6 meters wide by 4 meters deep
The more room the band have, the more comfortable they'll be, and the better they'll perform. That said, bands will do their very best to fit within what ever space you have to work with, just don't expect miracles!
They will require food and refreshments (preferably a hot meal as they'll be on the go for approximately 12 hours and will be hungry!). If you can't provide a hot meal, some of the evening buffet will usually be ok. A plate of cold sandwiches isn't really sufficient considering the length of time the band are working for, and their inability to get anything better once at your event. Food is usually provided before or after the bands first set.
You do not need to provide alcohol, though most bands will appreciate a beer or glass of wine. Soft drinks, water, tea and coffee should all be made available at no cost to the band, and you should arrange this with your venue in advance.
A changing room is very much needed as we said prevously above including enough seats for all the band members, and if possible, a mirror.
The band will also require parking, and if you can ensure they have easy access at the front of the venue to park and unload - this means the band can get in and get set up quickly.