How to Hire the Best Band for Your Party or Event
Hiring a live band for a wedding reception or special event may seem like a walk in the park, but without understanding a few problems that can easily arise during the process, it’s easy to end up with an inferior party band or wedding band. Being aware of these potential problems makes it much more likely that you’ll end up with the entertainment you want and deserve.
The search begins by opening up a browser on your computer and searching for a band using terminology such as “party bands for special events,” or “live wedding bands.” Once the results appear you’ll want to look at each listing to see what pops out at you as being a possibility. You may not notice it at first, but there will be two types of listings you’ll be looking at. When you click on a listing you’ll either be taken to a website for a specific band or to a website provided by a booking agent that lists many bands.
Your best bet is usually to go with the booking agent website, because as a general rule they’ll provide you with the best party bands and dance bands. Honorable booking agents are not looking to pull a fast one on you by offering a low quality band. They want to give you the best dance band possible at the best possible price because they know if they can make you happy this time, you’ll be back the next time you want to book entertainment again. Selling you a lousy band is not the best way to get you to book from them again in the future, and they know this.
On the other hand, talking directly with a band member of a specific band can sometimes cause all kinds of headaches. They, like the booking agent, want you to book a band from them, but since they only have one band that they can offer, they may feel the need to exaggerate the quality of their group to prevent you from shopping elsewhere. And when all you have is the word of the band leader, or perhaps a highly-enhanced promo video of the band, you may not have enough information to make an informed choice.
Another important thing to understand concerns the band’s promotional video. Some bands will put a lot of money into producing a high quality video that makes them look a whole lot better than they actually are. The audio on the video may sound amazing due to lots of studio tweaking and pitch corrections, while they may sound awful in a live setting. The best way to avoid hiring a band with inferior talent is to attend a live performance. If it’s possible to see them perform live, that should answer all of your questions about the quality of the band.
Attending a live performance is the best way to locate a band for your event. However, even this can be a bit misleading in some situations. As an example, you may attend a live performance for band A and think they’re great. You may want to hire them after seeing their performance. You may end up with a decent group this way, but you may also miss out on a band that’s far superior to band A. You should also go see band B or band C perform live as well, because it’s very possible that one of them may be two notches above band A in quality.
If you’re hiring a band that’s out of state, and you have to fly them in, it may not be possible to see them perform live. In this case you can ask the band’s agent to send you some raw video of a live performance. Some may not be able to do this, but many will. Obviously, if the band has a promotional video, they had to shoot that video at a live performance somewhere. Ask for samples from that video before the audio was tweaked, or ask to see a video that contains several songs that were recorded at a live performance. If they can’t do that for you, it may be wise to search for a band elsewhere.
Another thing to be aware of is the fact that competing booking agents may “badmouth” each other. Don’t always believe what you hear. You may hear something like “Our band is the best in the USA, much better than the other band you’re considering.” This may be true, but it could also be a blatant lie. Don’t take anyone’s word for it. If you’re looking for the best band, make every effort to see them perform live. If that’s not possible, the next best thing is to see video of a live performance. And if that doesn’t work either, you can always try to get several references from each band and then call those references and talk with those previous clients about the quality of the band.
Hiring a good band requires some work on your part. If you have family or friends that have hired a band before, ask them about the quality of that band. These types of references can be very valuable. However, if you are starting from scratch and have never hired live music entertainment before, and don’t know anyone else that has, be sure to ask the agents or band members you’re dealing with lots of tough questions. Don’t hire a music band until you feel comfortable in your choice.