There are only a few occasions in life when one needs to hire a band to provide music for an event, but just how does one go about this task? Excluding the obvious – hiring a band who performed at a function you attended and who you really thought would be ideal for yours – where do you start looking, what does one need to look for and how to choose wisely?
The interesting thing is, its not just about the music. You can book amazing sounding bands that look dazzling online, but delivering on the day has nothing to do with the website.
Lets use the example of a caterer. You would not simply hire a company to produce all the food for your guests without discussing the fine details at length with its representative, understanding what goes on behind the scenes for what they will prepare, making sure that expectations are understood on both sides and feeling comfortable that you are working with a solid partner who will make sure your guests have a great experience. Otherwise you might as well order online for delivery.
The same goes for a function band and its bandleader. It’s not just about listening to the music or watching the videos.You need to be talking to the bandleader to find out more substance, because it is he (or she) who makes the difference between simply having an attractive shopfront and delivering great musical entertainment. It is the bandleader who gets the best out of his musicians, who makes logistics work behind the scenes, reading the room, ensuring continuity during the sets and in band breaks, and generally knowing what works in entertaining a crowd as well as dealing with any situation that may arise.
A good bandleader should take their responsibilities of performing at your big day seriously. If they and the musicians do this as a hobby then are you really booking the best?
A real professional will know about venues, timings, logistics, how to work with other wedding suppliers, band access, logistics –in short, someone who cares as much about the smooth running of the event as you do. Whether its a Swing Band for weddings, a wedding planner, a photographer or a caterer, it’s the same as with any business – you need to have confidence in the management.
If you’re booking through an agency, ask to speak to the bandleader first. You might get a totally different impression than what the sales agent is telling you. After all, they list hundreds of bands, they can’t possibly know them all and they are on commission…..
I’m always available to talk through events and I work really hard to cover every single detail beforehand to achieve your vision. On the day I’m totally hands on and I make sure things work, a bit like a musical event planner. Of course I hope you book my band, but whoever you choose…before you sign on the dotted line, make sure you choose the right bandleader who meets your expectations. Same as you want to book the right chef.
Because you only get one chance to get it right.