...whether it be a company party, awards event, milestone birthday party or even the most special of days - your wedding, can involve a difficult decision. There are many considerations for the allocated organiser. How much will the band cost? Will they appeal to all demographics of the audience? Will they turn up?? With this piece I offer some pointers and highlight certain pitfalls when booking a party band and aim to help you (the event organiser) to find the perfect entertainment for your event.
The first step for many will be to set a budget for entertainment. Here it is possible for the event organiser to underestimate the resources required to recruit good quality performers. Many people assume that because musicians enjoy what they do they will play for expenses and there are indeed individuals who will provide their services for a small fee because they simply love to play. But if you want a professional band for whom event performance is a full-time job the organiser will need to expect to pay for it. Bands that play at weekends for beer are more likely to be the ones to cancel at the last moment whilst the professionals rely on reputation and repeat bookings for their livelihood.
A second point to consider would be venue. Sometimes people forget how loud a live band is acoustically, even before the introduction of a PA system to bring the sound together! Consult with the venue to ensure that they are able to accommodate a live band. Many venues are subject to sound restrictions meaning that the band either have to minimise their volume or worse, may not be able to perform. This can be hugely disappointing for the band, the organisers and the audience.
When choosing the band itself, note that professional and reputable live function party bands will have sound or video files, a previous client list and testimonials for you to view on their website. These will enable the organiser to check whether the band is performing to the appropriate standard for the event and receiving positive reviews. Evidently, the act may be selective about the clips and endorsements they provide to the public! Therefore social media can be a great way to validate the quality of the band and the information provided. Most bands will have their own social medias with comments from people who have seen them live.
- Do they carry their own PA and lighting equipment? If not what do they require? Not all party bands carry these bits and bobs so it is worth asking.
- Does the band’s playlist look like it will cater to the audience at the event being organised? A serious professional live band who regularly perform at corporate parties and more ‘tailored’ events will have a large playlist which they can adjust to suit the needs of the event attendees. It is vital to consider all tastes, cultures and age groups and any party band worth their salt will know how to manage a diverse audience.
- What are the band’s requirements and can the venue facilitate them? Most professional live party bands will make their technical specifications and rider requirements available. The technical document will need to be passed on to the audio visual (AV) company assuming that one is employed for the event. The list of stipulations can range considerably in length so pay close attention! The band’s request for a large bowl of M&Ms with all the brown ones removed could be the least of your problems :-/.
I hope the above is useful if you are considering booking a band for your event. Just remember that most great professional party bands do this day in and day out and have all the things you need to hand (if they are not already detailed on their site ) so will be more than happy to help you.
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