Live music adds such a "wow factor" during your event or wedding that's hard to replicate with a DJ. The right band will create a true party atmosphere that'll get your guests out of their seats all night long. But hiring a band is significantly more difficult than finding a DJ — how do you know if the band is the right fit? What details do you need to know?
Q: How should you get started with finding a band?
You might have attended an event (corporate party or friend or relative's wedding) where a talented band is performing and your friend or relative gives them good reviews; or you can conduct a keyword search online for "event management services" for a full scale planning service which includes entertainment talents or you can search for "bands in your location". Of course in any bands' websites, you will only see the good reviews.
Q: How you be absolutely sure that they are getting a band that is the "right" fit for you?
Most of Best Events' clients are sent pictures, live videos, and testimonials form recent clients and venue owners. However, it is important to have a budget set aside so that we can propose the entertainers that fall within your budget. For example, if your budget is RM5,000 (this does not include sound equipment), don't expect Sheila Majid to perform at your event.
Q. What questions should you ask when meeting with a band?
You should discuss whether they want the performance after dinner, during dinner, before dinner, or all of the above. This will have a lot to do with the type of band and the style of music that an agent will recommend.
As for the prices: it’s an issue that every client should discuss. But remember that prices range anywhere from RM2,000 (for a 2-3 piece band) to even RM50,000 (eg Alley Cats) based on the client’s needs. Some people are happy with a small band that plays for an hour during the cocktail reception, and others want a large (and even famous) group that performs all ￼￼￼night. Prices will also differ depending on the time of year. The first quarter of the year is the slowest season for weddings, and thus, the prices for bands are usually at their lowest.
Q: What should you know about hiring a band vs. hiring a DJ?
First and foremost, a live band is visually and sonically more impacting than a DJ, especially when there are a substantial number of guests present.
As for the breaks, a band usually gets three 15-minute breaks, unless the client wants continuous music all night (which would require an additional payment).
An experienced band should not have any limitations regarding musical style and repertoire (unless, of course, the client imposes these limitations and specifically asks for a “Motown” or “jazz” band). And should the client have a unique or “obscure” song request, remember that a talented band will always be able to learn and perform the song as long as the band is provide the sheet music and CD in advance.
Finally, the size and instrumentation for your average wedding band includes bass, drums, guitar, keyboards and a male and female vocalist, but for additional impact, instrumentation can include a full horn section, percussionists, and even back-up singers and dancers (at an additional cost to the customer).
Q: Is there anything else that you must know to ensure that hiring a band goes smoothly?
So much depends on where the event is being held. If it's held at a residence, a client must have a large room or backyard for the band to set up. They should be prepared to spend a little extra money for the band to bring a generator for power, they should know that neighbors are likely to complain about the noise after 10 p.m., and they should be prepared to designate a quiet and well-lit “holding room” or “green room” with refreshments for the band. As for parking, the band can usually find spots on nearby residential streets.
If the event is held in a hotel, a lot of the issues mentioned above are easier to control — there are typically no space, noise, or parking restrictions. Thus, the finer details that a client must consider when hiring a band really depends on where the event is being held.
Reference: Bobby Borg
About the Author
Author & Editor
Based in Malaysia, Best Events specializes in Conferences, Seminars, Murder Mystery Dinners, Gala Dinners and Team Building events.
We believe in continuous learning for both individuals and as business owners. We strive to deliver the highest standards in our production value ensuring that our customers leave our events with the best memories and overall growth.