Hiring a live band for any gathering is an excellent way to kick the party up a notch. However, although it feels like it should be straightforward, hiring musicians can be complicated if you don’t understand some of the unspoken rules that come with it.
These are five things everyone should know before booking a live band.
1 The Number of Hours Varies
There’s no set number of hours a band will play for. Although it would be awesome if you could know what to expect from everyone as a blanket statement, some bands don’t want to play for more than two hours, including a fifteen-minute break, while others are happy to play four to five hours with a couple of breaks tossed in.
So when you’re talking to bands about your event, make it clear how long your event is, and ask how long they’re comfortable paying for. If your event needs a lot more play-time, consider hiring another band to follow them or someone to DJ after they’re done.
2 Book As Early As Possible
Try to book your band as early as possible. Regardless of whether you think they’ll be available a month out from the party or not, could you not put it off this long? The latest you should try to contact bands for hire is three months before the event.
3 Don’t Lie About The Event
Many know there’s a ‘wedding tax’ that comes with many services offered to weddings. To avoid this, some couples will lie about the event they’re throwing and try to trick bands or other hired help for the occasion into doing the work for less than they usually would.
The problem with this is the band may refuse to play at all, and you may lose your deposit for lying about the event. It’s better, to be honest, and pay the total amount than to find yourself with no entertainment at a party that needs it.
4 Some Will Discount to Play for Tips
Some bands will agree to discount their pay for tips. If this is the case for your event, let guests know that a band will be attending with tipping options. Offer the band a small sign near the stage that can have their PayPal or Venmo so that if guests don’t have cash, these musicians can still be paid fairly.
If they don’t want to play for tips, don’t try to guilt them into it. Performers deserve to get paid how they want to, and if that doesn’t fit with your event, you may want to try looking for a different musical act.
5 You Can’t Ask To Pay in Exposure
Please avoid trying to pay performers in exposure. Although this can sound awesome if you have over a hundred thousand followers, it’s not paying the performers’ bills or their time to perform. The service they’re providing is work and skill that they’ve honed over years of practice; they deserve to be paid for this work.