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Booking a Live Band for Special Events - 10 Key Considerations

Updated: Jul 31, 2023

Whether you are planning a corporate event or a wedding, you will want to leave a lasting impression on your attendees. One surefire way to elevate your event and create an unforgettable experience is by booking a live band. Whether it's a sophisticated charity gala, an extravagant wedding, or a lavish corporate awards show, the right live band can set the tone, engage the audience, and make your event a truly memorable affair.

In this blog, Exclusiv will walk you through ten essential considerations to keep in mind when booking a live band for your corporate event. Whether you're a seasoned event planner or a first-time organizer, these tips will help you navigate the world of booking live musicians and turning your corporate event into an extraordinary celebration.

1. Genre and Style: Begin by identifying the preferred music genre and style that aligns with the event's theme and audience. Bear in mind that your guests may not share the same tastes as you, so an eclectic selection of musical styles, artists and genres is often a good idea.

2. Size and Line-up: Of course this decision may be influenced by your budget but be aware that you will get a wildly different sound and experience between booking a 3-piece band and a 10-piece showband. Each additional instrument or vocal adds to the flexibility of the styles/genres that can be played and therefore the variation in sound that you have within the 2-3 hours of live music performance. Imagine having just Drums, Bass and a Guitar/Male Vocal - that already rules out a lot of pop music, or at least they won't sound much like the originals. Add keyboards and you have a whole new world of music to explore. Add a Female Vocal and you open up another wealth of songs and a break from the one voice all night long. Add a Saxophone and maybe a Trumpet and you can tackle all those Funk and Soul classics with real authenticity! How about some percussion, a trombone to fill out the horn section and another vocal for some blissful, rich harmonies? The energy and visual spectacle that each additional member brings to the room can't be underestimated. But don't forget your budget!

3. Experience and Reputation: High profile events in particular can be quite demanding in terms of the organisation, communication, technical requirements, timings, musicianship and audience engagement required to perform at the highest level. Talk to the band leader/musical director. A good one will know what questions you need answering before you even ask them and will be able to guide you with regard to your schedule and music provision for the event. Also check for client reviews, testimonials and social media to gain insights into the band's past performances.

4. Sample Performances: Request sample performances or attend some live shows to gauge their musical prowess, stage presence, and audience engagement before booking a live band. This first-hand experience will ensure their music resonates with your event's attendees. Also bear in mind that the showcase videos on many band websites will often have been pre-recorded, overdubbed and mimed to on a set. We're not big fans of that here at Exclusiv where we feel you need to see and hear something more representative of what you will be getting when you book us.

5. Song Selection and Customization: Inquire if the band offers personalized song selections to align with your event's mood but be aware of asking too much of them. They will likely have other shows to prepare for in the same week, so one or two bespoke selections is usually fair and manageable. If you need to ask for more than that, you may want to consider if you are booking the right type of band - (see #1).

6. Logistics and Setup: Consider the logistics of setting up the band's equipment, stage space and any lighting required both for the stage and the dancefloor. How long do they need to setup the PA and equipment? Can they conduct a proper sound check to ensure any technical issues are ironed out before they go live? This might require up to 2 hours for a large band and perhaps more if a large PA is needed. Speaking of which...

7. PA Provision: Some bands may carry their own PA systems but how good are they? Will it fill your dancefloor or room? Or will they need to hire a larger rig with a dedicated sound engineer? This will have a significant impact on the price. Warning: Many smaller bands only carry a small/vocal PA which can be detremental to the sound and therefore the whole experience for all of your guests. Exclusiv carry our own Bose PA system which is extremely high quality and powerful enough to fill up to 300 capacity venues, marquees or similar. Providing your venue's room dimensions and guest numbers is a useful guide.

8. Look After Your Band: They may be there to work but don't underestimate how much difference a little bit of consideration can make to everyone's experience. Do they have anywhere to change or hang out while guests may be dining for a few hours? How long will they be on site and do they need to be fed and watered - this is always a good idea as there will often also be a lot of travel involved and no time for them to disappear to get anything off-site. A well-fed, comfortable band is a happy band and one with sufficient energy to perform at the highest level for you!

9. Flexibility and Timing: Discuss the band's flexibility in terms of performance duration and breaks. Exclusiv understands the importance of maintaining a smooth flow and have the experience to customize their sets to suit your schedule, even ad-hoc on the night, as these things often don't run to time.

10. Contracts and Pricing: Ensure that all agreements, contracts, and legalities are clear and well-documented before booking a live band. Be confident that the pricing is clear and includes any contingencies such as if the event runs over time.

Booking a live band for a corporate event can add that touch of elegance or high energy impact that no other element can match. By considering these ten key factors and choosing Exclusiv as your event band, you can rest assured that your prestige function will be an extraordinary and unforgettable affair.


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