Line Up Options
Bands come in 2 forms: changeable lineups with extra instrumentalists and vocalists like AKA or fixed line ups. The fixed line up means that the band you see is the band you get, regardless of what styles or genres you want, the same
band does everything. These bands come with fairly fixed prices and are very inflexible.
With a band like AKA, we can offer a range of line ups from acoustic duo through to a 9 piece band. This means that we can change the line up of the band depending on your budget, the size of band you would like and the kinds of music that you want to listen to.
Repertoire and Adaptability
Band leaders will work with you in advance of the gig to make sure that you have discussed the type of music that you would like for your day. If however that styles no longer fits, or the party of guests isn’t enjoying it, you will want a band to be able to react to this and change the set list to make sure everyone is having a good time.
If you have prearranged an entire set list with the band, don’t take offence if they adjust it to fit the audience. There is nothing worse than having a band playing to an empty dance floor and your guests standing by the bar!
You should expect good communication between you and the band throughout the booking process and in the months leading up to the event. You should have a contract with the band that you book which will state what time they will turn up and what time music should finish as well as any other information that is crucial such as a first dance or whether a DJ service is also provided.
About 6 weeks before the date the band should contact you to confirm timings and make sure that everything that has been pre-arranged is still set and no times, locations etc have changed.
Depending on the running of your event, most bands play 2 hours of live music either split as 2 x 1 hour sets or 3 x40 minute sets. Moast bands will start a live set around 9pm unless you have made other arrangements. Things to be aware of when organising times with the band are the licensing hours of your venue. A lot of venues have different times and some venues have different licensing hours on different days. 1am finish Wednesday through Saturday but 11:30pm Sunday to Tuesday for example.
Most venues will require your band to have Public Liability insurance. This covers the band, you and your guests as well as the venue should something happen on the night that results in damage or injury to any party. The standard cover amount is £10m and you should absolutely make sure that your entertainment has this.
PAT Tested Equipment
This is a certificate that is issued to the band that shows that all the electronic gear that will be used has been tested for it’s electrical safety. Venues will require this along with a PLI certificate.
Your band should provide all their own equipment. Whether they have rented it for their use on the day or it is theirs personally. they should provide everything that they will need for their performance and be familiar with it.
Prices & Budget
If you are hiring a band you are hiring 4 professionals to work for you for an entire evening. This is a case of where you will get what you pay for. Don’t expect to be able to hire a pro 5 piece band for £500.
Almost all bands will create bespoke quotes for their clients. This will depend on the line up that you would like, the distance they are having to travel to get to the venue and the amount of time that you are asking them to be on site.
To put this into perspective, the average time AKA spends at weddings is roughly 7 hours. This doesn’t take into account travel time to and from the venue as well as rehearsals before the date and admin time to make sure your event runs smoothly.
All bands will have a rider. The rider is a list of things that band will require whilst at the venue. Normally this will include an area to change and prepare for the performance; a hot meal and drinks for each and member (for stays over 4 hours); secure car parking or at least an area to unload without penalty.
With regards to the meals for the band, you will get the best performance out of the band when they are fed and watered well so they are full of energy. It also shows the band that they are being thought of and they be more engaging throughout the evening.
Booking Through Agencies
You will always pay a premium when booking through an agency. This can vary from 10% through to 25% so will add a fair bit to your cost. How the agency band works is this:
Band quotes agency – the agency adds their commission to this price – the client pays the total.
So if the band is being paid £1000, commission at 20% from the agency is then added, the client pays £1200.
There are benefits to booking through an agency however. If something happens to the band before the date, the agency will have another waiting to fill the gap in this unlikely eventuality.
However if you are booking direct with the band, make sure that you have a contract with them, pay a deposit to secure the date and have all of their contact details.
Questions To Ask The Band
What the band will want to know