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How to book a live band

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If you are thinking of hiring a live band for the next event you are planning, there are a number of things that you need to take into consideration.  Live music always adds atmosphere to any kind of gathering and can turn any ordinary event into an event people will remember for a very long time.  Work events tend to be quite “samey” – everyone attends for a while, chats with colleagues and friends and then goes home.  If you have ever been to a concert, the atmosphere can be electric.  There is an air of excitement and people will get up and dance, cheer and applaud. It can be a little intimidating to know how to go about booking a band, but once you have done it, you most certainly will not regret it.

First of all, you need to research bands on the internet unless you have friends or colleagues who can recommend a particular band. All good websites will have photos of bands/musicians, videos. music samples, song lists, recent client reviews and price ranges, which you can peruse at your lesiure. They will also be able to recommend bands to suit your particular requirements. One of our favourite sites is Music for London – they are very professional and have an amazing selection of musicians for any type of event.


How much do bands cost? Usually there is a band for every budget. Jazz bands or acoustic bands may cost between £450-£2000 depending on the number of musicians, whilst the most popular bands could be £5000 and upwards. On average, most dance bands for special events and weddings will cost between £1500-£4000. These rates are simply a guideline so that you know roughly what to expect. The actual price of a band for any specific event will depend on a number of factors such as the size and popularity of the band, the season and date of the event, the location of the event and travel distance for the band and the equipment and logistical requirements of the performance.

Will a band provide their own instruments and sound equipment? Any band worth it’s salt will provide their own instruments and equipment. Only if the event is very large will additional sound equipment be needed, but either the band or the venue will be able to assist with sourcing this.


What about lighting? Some bands will bring their own basic lighting to illuminate the performance area, but usually a venue will have a production team who can set up specialist lighting to achieve different effects. Small bands usually do not need lighting at all.

What is a reasonable period for the band to play? The fee is usually for up to four hours of event time, to include sets played and breaks taken. Larger bands do not charge by the hour, but smaller acts and soloists may do so. Party bands usually bring their own sound equipment and you can select a pre-set playlist during the breaks cia iPod or MP3 player, which either you or the band can provide. If you provide the band with your event itinerary, they can plan their breaks to fit in with you, for example during dinner service, speeches or toasts. The actual time spent performing will vary between 3 – 3.5 hrs during a 4 hour timeline with a typical set lasting for around 45-60 mins and breaks lasting for 15-20 mins each. Each band will work closely with you to fit the flow of your event and adjust their performances and breaks to suit. It is possible to get a continuous performance with no breaks if necessary and usually a band will offer overtime options too for an additional fee if you want them for longer.


What does the band’s fee include? Typically it would include the following:

– 4 hours from start to finish including sets and breaks
– all instruments and sound and lighting equipment
– equipment set up prior to the event and de-rigged at the end
– travel expenses

It is usual for the client to pay for meals and non-alcoholic beverages during the event together with any parking costs if applicable. Band contracts will specify all technical and logistocal requirements, but most of these should be provided by the venue.


When should I book a band? If you want a specific band, it is most likely that they wil get booked up well in advance. Also if your event is on a Saturday it could be even harder to get them, so planning ahead is vital. The further in advance you can book, the more choice you will have, so try and make it a priority once you have chosen the venue.

How do I book a band? The agency or band will need all the relevant information regarding your event so that they can draw up the contract. Once signed, it is usual to pay a 50% deposit there and then. The agent or band will also sign the contract and return a copy to you and you can then relax. The band is booked!

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