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10 Things to Consider when booking a Band

Booking the right band can make or break your event, party or wedding. The band is one of the most important parts of your event as they are usually the last impression that your guests will remember. Here is some helpful advice to make sure you book the right band!

1. Type of event
The type of event you are hosting will have a significant impact on the type of band you should hire. Different events will have different types of guests who have different musical tastes.

When planning your event, try and get a clear understanding of the type of guests you are expecting. This can help you align their tastes with the type of band you hire. For example: a country band wouldn't be suitable for an 18th Birthday Party

2. Theme of event
If your event is to have a specific theme, take this into consideration when booking your band. It is important that you are clear on the theme of your event so you can make the best possible choice. Should you decide on country and western theme, naturally a country music band will be the best choice for your event and also choosing the right style of country music becomes an important factor.

3. Planning ahead
The best bands will naturally have packed schedules. Therefore, it is important to plan ahead when thinking about hiring a band. Booking in advance will ensure you avoid disappointment and get the band you want.

4. Live band v backing track
It is important for you to decide if you want your band to play live or play with backing music. Advances in technology have made it possible for singers to create the backing track for their songs prior to the event. Although this has its advantages, some of the magic of live music is lost. Live music can add energy and uniqueness to the performance and can also help engage the audience.

5. Event Location
The event location must be considered when hiring your band. Hiring a band that is based close to your venue will help you save some of your precious budget. However, it may be worth your while to pay that little bit extra to get a band from further afield, especially if they are going to be significantly better than the local talent.  

6. Venue
The venue chosen for the event may have an impact on the performance of a band. Ensure your venue is suitable for the type of band you are looking to hire.

Is there easy access for the band to setup?
Your band may charge extra for City centre venues that offer limited parking and difficult setup arrangements. E.g. a hotel function room on the 5th floor with no lift.

Does the venue have a sound limiter?
Some venues have to abide by local government rules and install a sound limiter. A sound limiter is an electrical device that measures the amount of volume or noise in a room. The sound limiter is designed terminate the source of the noise by temporarily cutting the electric supply to the stage if that volume reaches a certain level. This means your band will have to play at a set volume for your event which is sometimes set too low, and can impact the quality of your bands music

7. Budget
It is important that you are clear on your budget before contacting a booking agent. This can help you ensure your precious money is used in the best possible way. Don’t always go for the cheapest band. We all know of the old saying about "getting what you pay for". The cheapest band may be cheap for a reason. The more you pay the greater entertainment quality you are likely to receive for your dollar.

8. Public Liability Insurance and Tested Equipment
As uninteresting as this sounds, these two factors are definitely something you must consider when hiring a band.

Public liability insurance can ensure you are protected from unexpected added costs through potential claims. Hiring a band which carries a PLI certificate is the best way to make sure you are covered.  

Portable Appliance Testing, or Test and Tag, is the way electrical appliances are routinely tested. All entertainers who use electronic equipment are required to have them checked at regular intervals. Test and Tag testing is also required for the acts to meet the requirements of their PLI policy. 

9. Contracts
When hiring a band it is important to have a written contract. The contract can clarify the act’s obligations to you, and can be a written record of your agreement in the event of any disputes. It will ensure that the act turn up in the first place, start at the correct time and finishes at a time that you have agreed with. A written contract is a legally binding document which will stand-up in court and ensure you receive the best protection possible. Ensure your contract also specifies the fee you have agreed on.

10. Volume
The final thing to consider when choosing a band for your event is the volume. Different types of bands will have different volume levels. If you are hosting a drinks reception, you may want the band to play at a relatively low volume for background music. A jazz band may be suitable to play in the background, so that your guests can chat. Whereas at a 21st birthday party, a louder volume is probably best to ensure your guests are dancing and having a good time!

If you would like further advice regarding your particular entertainment arrangements, please contact us.