Updated: Mar 8
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Live music can really set an event apart from others, especially if the music is carefully selected for the audience and the tempo that you want. The right band or DJ can help create an event something that people will talk about for years to come. Live music can be the soundtrack of an event, or it can take center stage. But how do you find the right act? How do you know that your guests will be entertained from the moment they arrive?
We have provided several key factors to consider before making the final decision and booking a band or DJ for your event.
THE EVENT ITSELF
Different types of events need different musical styles. If you are hiring for a themed event, you need to choose appropriate music that creates the right atmosphere. If you want several musical styles for the event, you can hire more than one musician. Maybe you need a band for dancing in the evening but something more sedate as background during the day? If so, some larger bands are happy to break into smaller acts to provide different music for the day then join back together for a more upbeat performance in the evening.
Whatever you choose—a pianist, string quartet, or rock band—make sure to think about the appropriate musical style(s) before booking the musical talent.
Age is certainly something that makes a difference when it comes to musical taste because an audience should be able to relate to the music. If your audience is a specific age group, then booking an act is easier, but if you are expecting a mixture of ages, you will need to find something that has a broad appeal across the expected age range of your guests.
Another factor to consider is how many people you expect to attend, as this will have a direct effect on the sort of band or DJ you want. As a general rule, bigger crowds need bigger bands which will require a larger sound set up. Make sure that the venue can accommodate the needs of both the audience and the musicians. You need to avoid overcrowding and also make sure that you do not swamp a small crowd in a massive venue.
Once you have narrowed down the number of bands or DJs that fit your criteria, you can start talking about cost. Think about talent price in relationship to the quality you require. The larger or better known a band or musician is, the more they are going to charge.
If you have a limited budget, simply try talking to a band and seeing if they are willing to negotiate. Sometimes bands will reduce their fee to fill a gap in their schedule or last-minute cancellation. For instance, an up-and-coming band may be prepared to charge less in return for some extra promotion from you. So always keep your options open when negotiating the final fee.
REVIEWS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
If you are using the internet to discover potential acts, be sure to read the reviews from audience members at a band’s past performance. Online reviews tend to be honest and are essential if you are entirely unfamiliar with the band and their work. Industry colleagues and friends can also give valuable feedback on bands and musicians they have personally enjoyed at past events.
You should never hire a band or individual you have never seen or heard. Most musicians love showing off their musical prowess and will be happy to send you links to their music and videos of their previous performances. You will want to ensure that they have enough music in their repertoire to fill your time requirements without repetition.
Whenever possible, the best way to find out if a band is suitable for your event is to go and see them live. The way they look and interact with an audience is as important as their music.
TALK TO YOUR AV TEAM
AV professionals know the industry. They understand how to work with different types of musicians, and often have experience with prominent local bands. Most importantly, your AV team is likely to know who is easy (and not-so-easy) to work with. They also know if you are likely, with their referral, to be able to negotiate a little on fees.
If you want to find the perfect music for your next event, contact us! We can set you on the right course, so you choose a band that makes your event one to remember.