How to hire a function band

How do I choose the right Rock & Pop band, how much does a live band cost and our complete guide to booking function bands for your event.

Party Band Guide

We all know what a difference great live music makes to an event and the atmosphere it creates can transform a party from a good night to a fantastic night that will be remembered for a long time to come. So, where to start…

What kind of music will suit your event?
The song list between bands varies enormously. Many will play a good selection of tried and trusted covers that the band knows will get people on the dance floor. They have built up their repertoire based on their experience of events and most will add new songs that they believe will be classic hits for years to come. We recommend choosing a band that plays the music that everyone will really enjoy on the night. Here are a few differences between the different types of Rock & Pop bands music.

Wedding Rock & Pop bands:
These bands will usually have a songlist of great covers from the last 50 years including hits from artists like The Beatles, Bryan Adams, George Michael, Kylie and Amy Winehouse. An example of a wedding rock & pop band with a songlist suitable for all age groups:

CIA Rock & Pop Band

Indie Rock & Pop bands:
These bands will usually have a songlist of cool Indie / Rock songs from artists like Oasis, Wheatus, Sterephonics, Kings of Leon, Kaiser Chiefs and The Killers. An example of an Indie Rock & Pop band suitable for guests wanting a rockier sound from more contemporary music:
The Indie Allstars:

Indie Allstars Band

Modern Rock & Pop bands:
Some bands perform from a really up to date playlist of current chart hits that are excellent for 21st birthday celebrations, corporate promotions and other events for a young audience.

epop band

Will the band take requests?
Most bands will be happy to learn 1 or 2 songs for a special event like a wedding if they have plenty of time to rehearse it. We recommend giving a band 2 to 3 months notice so they can make sure it sounds right in good time.

How much does a live band cost?
Prices for a live band vary enormously and Book Live has negotiated the best fees for all of the bands we represent. However, there are different categories of pricing for Rock & Pop bands:

£750-£1000: This price range includes live bands who want to fill their diaries – after all – they would rather be working than not. All equipment is included although it doesn’t include travel fees. Examples include:

The Cake Band
Northamptonshire based band. Quite possibly the best value soul / party band in the country. Experienced musicians fronted by male and female vocals.

For The Record
Midlands based band performing classic dance floor hits for weddings, parties and functions. Male and female vocals included in the 5 piece band.

£1000-£2000: This price range covers most Rock & Pop bands in the UK. These fees have historically been the usual cost to hire a live band for the night including all equipment. Again these fees don’t include travel expenses. Examples include:

The New Beat Connection
Norfolk based band. Hire The New Beat Connection. Superb live 4-7 piece band playing party and modern music with a great repertoire.

The Space Boys
Surrey based band. Excellent 4 piece party band playing from a great repertoire of classic and cool music. Very popular band that deliver every time and add a personal touch to every event.

£2000+: These bands consider themselves to be Premier bands suitable for every occasion. There equipment will usually be of the highest quality and the price reflects their experience, client list and performance. Examples include:

Music Mash
London based band. Music Mash is a fresh, contemporary and distinctive event band that delivers an incredible performance with a playlist of both classic and modern music.

The Highlights
London based band. The Highlights are a unique blend of the UK’s finest session musicians. With years of unparalleled experience The Highlights are guaranteed to take any corporate event or private party to the next level.

What is included in the price?
All Rock & Pop bands have their own sound equipment and most have lighting which will add a little sparkle to the performance area and dance floor. The fee covers a typical performance for 2 or 3 x sets plus CDs/iPod played when they are not performing. It also covers all their insurances, PAT certification [safety checks] for their equipment, an arrival of approximately 6pm and a finish of around midnight. Expect to pay extra for an early set up / a late finish, significant travel expenses plus any additional sets or musicians. All enquiries made with Book Live will include the total cost for the performance as long as we know all the information about your event.

What does a live band need to perform?
Most live bands have a requirement list for performances – this is called a ryder. A typical ryder is:

  • Access to a power supply. They will usually need 2 or 3 x tandard sockets and they will bring suitable cables / connectors to power their equipment
  • A suitable performance area. A 4 piece band will need approx 4 x 3metres, a 6-8 piece live band will need approx 6 x 4metres
  • Around 60-90 minutes to set up. Bands don’t want to disturb your event but they would also rather nopt sit around for hours ahead of a performance so they usually arrive at a suitable time to set up around 2 hours ahead of the party.
  • Hot food for each band member and soft drinks. We know you will get the best out of the band if you look after them whilst they are with you.

Can I go and see the band before I book?
Some bands do have public performances but most don’t as these gigs are usually in pubs and clubs and most of the bands we represent prefer not to do these. We’ve included as many live videos of the bands on their pages so you can see them as well as listen to their audio samples. Remember, too, if a band does have a public performance, they may get booked for your date by the time you get to see them. We are unable to arrange for any prospective client to go and see a band at someone else’s wedding or private party.

How does payment work?
A deposit is due at the point of booking. Book Live can accept payments by Visa, Switch, Mastercard, Cheque or Bank Transfer.

Balance payments should be settled directly with the band leader either 2 weeks in advace or in cash on the night so they can pay all the band members promptly.

Why should I hire a band with Book Live?
Book Live is one of the UK’s most respected entertainment agents supplying superb live bands and singers for weddings, parties and corporate events. We have worked with customers at the highest level (read more) and we offer a completely impartial service. Most agencies have a house band that they are trying to sell and the rest of their portfolio may not get a look-in. We have pre-vetted all of our artists and offer a Peace of mind guarantee:

  • All of our artist have been selected for their professionalism, musicianship and performance, so we know that every event will be special for all the right reasons. The Book Live team regularly go and see our acts perform so we know what clients can expect before they book.
  • Public Liability Insurance and PAT certification can be provided on request for any performances.
  • All bookings are secured by contract with both the client and the artist for complete peace of mind.
  • We provide a 24/7 emergency number should you need to talk with us.
  • Our artists all have regular deputy musicians so an event will never be compromised. In addition, Book Live can provide replacements for our singers in the unlikely event that something unexpected happens [subject to availability].

What else do I need to know?
We hope we have covered all bases. If you have a question then please get in touch and we will do our best to answer it.

Additional articles from the Book Live blog:
Cheap Entertainment or Expensive Mistake?
Wedding Entertainment Agency
10 things to know about hiring a live band
How much does it cost to hire a band?


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