How to Book a Band for your Next Event
When planning an event, everyone wants the experience to be unforgettable, posted all over social media, and talked about for days. Booking a band for your next big event can help take your party to the next level- but not without a little preparation!
There are several factors to consider during the booking stage. In order to minimize stress and guarantee a successful event, it’s important to go into the booking process prepared.
The first is figuring out your budget. Be prepared with an ideal price and a maximum price. This will help keep you in-check while exploring options.
When booking a band, it’s also important to be aware of any hidden fees. In addition to the rate for playing the actual event, many bands also include their expenses for travel, venue parking, and meals. All rates, charges, and potential fees should be discussed with the band prior to booking in order to avoid unexpected costs.
Write out the anticipated schedule of the event in its entirety. Note when the band will be expected to play and how long the duration of their performance is expected to be. Band “sets” usually last about one hour, so don’t forget to say how many sets you’re interested in having them play. If it’s a long event, the band should also be given time to eat, drink, and take breaks between sets.
Know Your Target Audience
When scouting for the perfect band to play your next event, be mindful of your target audience. Music and band selection should be appropriate for both the event and demographic. If you want your guests up and dancing, contact cover or tribute bands. If you’re hosting a fundraiser for a local non-profit organization, a jazz or string quartet might be more appropriate. Discuss the age range and event purpose with the band ahead of time, and inform them of any special requests.
Don’t be afraid to shop around and explore your options. Contact bands to ask questions and check availability. Ask to see and hear a performance in order to get a better idea of what they’re like in-person. Once you’ve had your questions answered, select the band that best meets your criteria.
Coordinating the plan with the venue is crucial. The venue should be given a copy of the expected event schedule and procedure. Be sure to inform them that you will be booking a live band, and ensure venue licensing and relevant codes are up-to-date and allow for live music. Be aware of any limitations the band should account for.
Things to Discuss with the Venue
It’s very important to ask about any sound limitations, such as whether or not you will have access to a PA system. The PA system is the sound amplification set-up at the venue, which ensures the music is audible to all guests. The PA system should include a microphone, amplifier, and loudspeakers. It’s also a good idea to ask about the number of electrical outlets. That way the band will know if adapters or extension cords will be necessary.
Having a sound and lighting technician for your event will also be helpful. This person will be in charge of making sure microphones and instruments are functioning properly with the amplifier and managing all volume control and lighting preferences. Find out the charge for these services, and whether they’re included in the venue’s overall cost or if they require an additional fee.
Lastly, many pianists and traveling musicians using large instruments require instruments to be provided for them at the venue. If this is the case, your best bet is to discuss this with the venue. Find out if the use of on-site instruments can be arranged, keeping in mind the availability and cost.
Once you’ve picked a band and gone over expectations and guidelines, a written contract outlining the agreement and expectations of both parties should be written and signed. Contracts should include the following information: date of event, time of event, number of sets, payment amount, payment terms, and venue location. The contract needs to include any penalties for artist’s absence. Arrange penalties and fees to cover illness and failure to play, making note of replacement plan and solution. While bands typically provide contracts, it’s important that both parties sign them. A copy should be saved for your records and reference.
Day of Event
On the day of the event, assign a contact person to handle the music and music-related coordination tasks. This person will be in charge of coordinating the band and ensuring plans go according to schedule, and the band should be given the contact’s name and phone number in advance.
The point of contact will inform bands of where to park at the venue, which entrance and unloading dock to use, and should also oversee the equipment unloading and set-up process. The contact person will also be ensuring that the band is taken care of. Every entertainer will have their own set of demands, but at the very least, the contact person should be prepared with coffee, water, every contact number, extension cords, and ear plugs for the artist or band members. Water should be provided both on-stage and off.
It’s important that payment procedures are arranged and agreed upon prior to the event. Will the rate be fixed, hourly, or a portion of ticket sales? Some bands require a deposit before the event, while others expect the payment in full at the end of the event. Payment dates, methods and terms should have been listed and detailed in the contract to prevent confusion.
While paying the band immediately after the event may seem logical, it’s generally not recommended. Events are typically hectic and chaotic. With a million tasks on your mind, remembering to pay the band should not be one of them. Agreeing upon an alternative option will also help maintain professionalism and prevent any awkwardness, should a dispute occur.
Planning an event can be stressful, but with enough preparation and organization, your hard work will pay off! Paying attention to factors like budget, space, venue, and demographic will allow you to hire a band that meets your needs without breaking your budget or sacrificing your standards. What are some of your tricks for successful event coordination? Leave a comment and tell us your tips for booking a band!