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When you are planning a big event – conference, milestone birthday, wedding, Bar or Bat Mitzvah, a “theme”party, etc., having the right band is a key to setting the tone you want for the occasion. How much guidance a hired band needs will depend on the experience level of the band itself and the type of event you’re planning.
A wedding has a different tone and atmosphere than a birthday party, and the music must conform to the mood and atmosphere of the event and its surroundings. Don’t book a band without first interviewing the band and/or its agent. Ask what sort of music they can play and what types of events have they performed in the past? A good band will provide you with a CD or video of them in action so you can get a feel for their music before you hire them. Don’t forget to get a list of the bands performances and clients and, if possible, contact former clients to get some feedback on the band’s performance. Don’t forget to ask about price and agree on the perks and extras—number of breaks, food and drink, and agree on the music repertoire they will be playing, especially if they are not a well known band. You don’t want any surprises from your entertainment.
Most events will require different kinds of music from the arrival of the guests, the “highlight” or the special event, if any, of the evening, and something special and memorable to close the occasion. Working out these particulars with the band in advance is essential to the success of your event.
Make sure you specify the setup time, determine if the band needs a dressing room, and go over the contractual details, insurance coverage and liability, and determining if the band members will need food and drink during intermissions, are all issues that you will need confirm when you are doing your own negotiating
Often, the best way of assuring a reliable and professional performance is to use the services of an established Event Management company. Event planners have contacts with many kinds of bands and know the procedures for hiring and directing a band for any kind of event. This leaves you free from worrying about guiding the band so you can concentrate on the other important details of your special event and ensuring the enjoyment of your guests.