How to book a band

Not everyone knows how to book a band although most people know how to book a holiday. The two are more or less the same and it’s fun and exciting doing both.

You can choose to book a band in 2 ways:

Using a reputable entertainment booking agent:

People may recommend a good agency or you may find one through the usual search engines. Their website should feature great bands and have a lot of choice for live music across many styles such as jazz, party, soul, classical, wedding music and more. The artists page should have pictures, information, song lists and music samples to help you determine if they are right for your event. A price guide should also be shown although it is only a guide an won’t display exact pricing for your location – they can break this down for you once you’ve contacted them.

Make sure the booking agent can confirm availability and the total price including parking, travel expenses and timings to suit your event. Once this has been agreed, they should confirm your selection with you by contract and include the final fees and details for your event. We would recommend finding another agent if they don’t provide contracts.

Booking a band direct:

Most bands work with reputable agents but also accept bookings directly. You can book with them in the same way although many bands don’t actually provide contracts for each event and may only offer you confirmation of the booking. Usually, this will be enough although it’s worth checking to see what protection this gives you if the band changes their mind or if they are unable to perform for any reason. Can they supply back up musicians [deputies] or even an alternative option?

It usually won’t be an issue but if you are booking your wedding music then you definitely want to make sure you have total peace of mind when confirming your booking so it’s best to check what would happen in any eventuality.

There will usually be a deposit required to secure a booking of about 20%. This is due at the time of confirmation. The balance will be payable any time within a few weeks prior to performance and the artists or agent will be in touch to discuss all the details, timings, talk about the music and the balance payment. Make sure that you have a contact number for the artist as the event approaches.

Everyone wants your celebration to be fantastic. It’s much easier for the band or agent to contact you a few weeks prior rather than lots of calls / emails from the moment you make your booking. That way they concentrate on each event as it comes up in their diary and confirm all the final details shortly before the event itself.

When you book a live band, it is always best to check the cancellation policy, too. Not everything in life always goes according to plan so do check the terms of the booking. Usually, the balance payment won’t be payable if you cancel at least 3 months prior to your event. Any cancellations within that timeframe may result in the loss of a booking for the band and will usually expect to be paid. A deposit rarely gets refunded.

Recommendations say a lot to people and bands often get asked by previous customers to perform for their future events so they need you to support them by providing feedback. The agency also like to know they have provided a good service, too. If you’ve been happy with everything – let them know – they’re there to help.

Happy hunting.

1311 Events


About hirelivemusic

Working for a busy UK Entertainment Agency takes up most of my time. I like this.

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