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by Brad Lazarus
Watch this video and find out what you should expect to have included in live band fees.
00:17 – Don’t add to your ‘To-Do’ list
00:23 – The types of fees are best
00:37 – The PA sound system
00:54 – Guest numbers and size of venue and how that effects the PA
01:07 – Stage lighting and dance floor lighting
01:56 – Is staging included?
02:13 – The playing time ‘norm’
02:23 – Why the bands flexibility is key
02:46 – Why time parameters are your friend
03:14 – A good meal is very welcome when you’ve been traveling all day!
Hi! Brad Lazarus here with a live band hiring tip for this week, and I’m going to run through some of the things that you should be looking out for as you start to bring in quotes for the various bands you’ve been looking at. So let’s get going.
Don’t Add to Your ‘To Do’ List
When you book a band, you really want to be ticking things off your list of things to do. My suggestion to you would be to look for quotes as inclusive as possible because the last thing that you need to be doing is booking a band, ticking it off your list, and adding another five or six things to do.
PA Sound System
In terms of what you should be looking out for, really the first thing is the PA system. Be clear on the number of guests that you’ve got coming to your event and anything under about 200 guests, most band PAs should be included and anything over that, they need to be thinking about hiring in a larger PA. So just be clear on the numbers and the size of the room that the PA the band is supplying is able to cope with.
Stage Lighting and Dance Floor Lighting
Stage lighting and basic dance floor lighting, I would suggest you want to be included. You don’t want to become an expert in production and lighting and have to go and source that for yourself. So definitely have that included. Now, here’s actually Jimmy Cannon of the Jazz Cannons giving you just an example of a setup that the band use for guest numbers of up to about 200 in a marquee which holds about 150 to 200 guests.
Jimmy Cannon: Hello, I’m Jimmy Cannon and I’m a singer and the band leader for the Jazz Cannons. We are here at Winter Castle actually. We are in the grounds and in the marquee. So we’ve got our desk and our microphones and all our instruments up here on stage. And this is the perfect size actually for the seven piece.
Staging Isn’t Normally Included in Most Band Fees
It’s not really normal for a band to include staging in their fees. So, you know, my suggestion to you would be to have a chat with the venue or your marquee company and see if they can supply something for you.
Two Hours Playing Time is Normal but Check to be Totally Sure
The next thing to consider is how long the band will play for, what is included in that fee. Normally, up to two hours is the norm. Just be sure; some bands only play for two 45-minute sets. Also, just be sure on the flexibility of that playing time. Is it two one-hour sets, three 40-minute sets? Are they able to change on the night relatively easily?
Be Clear on Time Parameters
The biggest tip here is just to be clear on time parameters. You’re likely going to be booking a band quite a few months if not a year upfront of the event date itself. So things change, your schedule will change, you just want to make sure that you’ve got some basic time parameters. Let’s say for sake of argument, you want the band to be set up by 6:30 p.m. or later to play for their allotted time which may be two one-hour sets or three 40-minute sets to finish at midnight. Just be sure and then you’ll go about your business organizing the rest of the event knowing that those time parameters are in place and you can work within them.
A Good Meal is Very Welcome When You’ve Been Traveling All Day!
Be sure that the band require a meal. My suggestion to you would be to treat the band as well as you can and offer them a hot meal. They’ve often been traveling for long periods of time, then they set up, and then they have a little bit of downtime where they can get together as a band, have something nice to eat, and then they’re all fresh and ready for the performance, and I guarantee you’ll get a lot more out of them if you give them that hot meal and a place for them to bathe themselves at the venue.
Now, I hope those tips have been useful for you as you go about gathering those quotes. If you wanted to check out either of those two bands in the video, that’s the Jazz Cannons or the Milestones, just check out the links below and you can link through to the bands’ websites and watch a little bit more of them and if you wanted to make an inquiry, please do so. So all the best and we’ll see you next time. Thanks.