10 Top Tips for Booking a Wedding and Party Band: What You Need To Know

With the average wedding taking 200 hours to plan and the average party taking 50, how much time will you put into choosing and booking your band? Your band are an important part of your entertainment and with 1000’s to choose from, how do you know which is the best band for you? Each band offers a wide variety of services and genres and finding the right band for your event can be a daunting task.

’10 Top Tips for Booking a Wedding and Party Band’ is written by Em Peasgood, a professional bandleader and musician with 12 years of experience in the business. She is also one in only a small handful of female bandleaders in the UK. Em has band-led all genre band Abnormally Funky for 7 years and performed at 1000’s of venues, weddings, parties and corporate events.

To expand each tip, please click on the more information text at the bottom of each tip.

1. Shop Around

  • Decide what kind of band would best suit your event
  • Prepare questions to ask bands in advance, this will help narrow down your search
  • Start with google search and band booking agencies
  • Most bands will have a website with demos, set list and references
  • You can email or phone and band to discuss your requirements
  • Ensure your bandleader is a good communicator
  • Start your search earlier rather than later

2. Booking Through An Agency or Direct?

  • Agencies provide security and safeguard you against mishaps
  • Agencies also add from 15% – 50% commission onto your quote
  • If you find a good bandleader, booking direct should not be a problem

3. What Kind Of Band Will Suit Your Event?

  • Always prioritise bands that have played at weddings and parties before. A pub band might be cheaper, but may not understand your requirements
  • Choose a band with a varied set list to suit all your guests

4. Are The Band Suitable For Your Venue?

  • Venues often have specific requirements.
  • Does your band have current PAT Test Certificate (Electrical Safety)?
  • Does your band have current Public Liability Insurance?
  • Are your band familiar with Sound Limiters?
  • Is the performance space big enough for the band?

5. Professional or Part-Time Musicians?

  • Always check a bands credentials and experience
  • Don’t be tempted by cheaper quotes from part time or amateur bands
  • Professionalism doesn’t come cheap

6. Should You See The Band Live Before Booking?

  • Wedding and Party bands only perform at private events
  • It is not always possible to see a band live, despite various recommendations in wedding magazines and online
  • Ask your band if they have a live DVD . You can view ours here.
  • Read your bands references. Some bands will be able to provide you with contact details for previous clients and venues

7. References

  • Always read your bands references and check they are up to date
  • If you have any concerns, ask your bandleader for the contact details of previous clients

8. Getting Quotes

  • Band quotes vary greatly dependent on whether your band are professional or amateur, event date, location and playing times
  • Try to plan a rough time sheet for when you would like your band to play from and to so your band provide you with an accurate quote
  • Ask the band what is included in your quote and if VAT is to be added
  • If you have a strict budget, you can ask for a discount but bear in mind a good band will always receive a full paid booking elsewhere

9. The Three C’s: Confirming, Contracts and Communication

  • A professional band will always confirm your booking with a deposit and contract
  • Ensure your bandleader is a good communicator and keeps in touch with you
  • Be wary of a band that don’t offer a contract, ask for money to be paid into personal accounts or request cash payment on the night

10. Do Your Band Have Requirements?

  • Bands often require soft drinks and a meal
  • Confirm any band requirements with your bandleader before signing a contract

Written by Abnormally Funky and Em Peasgood 2011

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