So you decided your corporate event, wedding or party needs a live band for entertainment. Now you’re wondering, how do I choose the right band? Here are some things to take into consideration when deciding:

What’s the goal of your event? Do you just want to have a good time? Are you trying to raise money? Are you tied to a specific event theme? If you want your guests to dance all night, make sure you book a fun, variety band (and don’t forget a dance floor!) If you’re doing a more elegant fundraiser, maybe a classy big band or jazz ensemble will be a good choice. Either way, be sure the style of band helps you reach your event goal.

Budget: The saying “you get what you pay for” applies to live music as well. The quality of a $2000 band will definitely be different from a $7500 band. Set yourself a realistic budget range (most bands are doing this for a living!) and find a band that fits that budget. Sure you might be able to get a bar band for $1500, but is that going to please a couple who spent $200 to attend your fundraiser? Also, band prices adjust based on the day & time of your event. Like many things, they will be more expensive on a Saturday night than a Tuesday afternoon.

Space/Location Where are you having your event? How big is your stage? It may be obvious, but a 12-piece band is going to need a bigger stage than a 4-piece. Also consider what other needs you have for the stage (podium, flowers, awards, etc.) that can be set in front of the band’s equipment. Plus, if the band is providing the sound system, they’ll need to know the location and room to determine how much time it will take to set up. Does the loading dock open up to a ballroom on the other end of the hotel? That could add up to 2 hours of time for the band.  Is your event outside?  Be sure you’re having the band play under some sort of protect covering.  You don’t want the band (or their electrical equipment!) being rained on!

Song List Always be sure to review the band’s song list. That will really give you a sense of what the band is capable of. Is it all one style of music, or do they play songs from many genres? Does it include the songs you know your audience wants to hear? If you have a certain song request that you just have to hear played, be sure to ask if they know it, or if they’ll be willing to learn it for your event. Many professional bands will learn 1-2 songs for your event if you book them.

Years Together Also, ask how long the band has been performing together. Are they a brand new band or have they been playing for 10 years? Sometimes a new band is great for your event, other times you’ll want to be sure you have experienced musicians that have played together for a long time.

Be sure to ask yourself these questions when looking for a live band and the process should be easy (& hopefully fun!)  Want help & want multiple options from one place when looking for live music?  Consider calling a talent agency who can assist you with the process.