Frankly, you shouldn’t. This used to be standard practice, but things changed in recent years. For one, venues came to see viewing as an insurance liability and barred the practice. And second, most bands realized it wasn’t really cool to invite strangers to someone’s private event.
However, you'll find many bands offer legit viewing opportunities such as club performances and showcases.
Unfortunately, the above cannot accommodate everyone at every time. Bands are routinely booked sight-unseen based on their videos, reputations, reviews, and referrals. But this doesn’t work for everyone, and we recommend you take advantage of viewing opportunities whenever possible.
If you are going to book a band sight-unseen, be smart about it! Ask yourself questions like:
* Have I heard about this band or company before now?
* Can I find information on this band or company on sites outside of their own web pages, such as WeddingWire, The Knot, Google, Better Business Bureau, etc.?
Like everything else in life, if it feels right, it probably is. Conversely, if you aren’t feeling comfortable, go with your gut and continue your search.
Nowadays, most bands or companies require a 50% payment at the time of booking. It sounds like a lot, right? Bear in mind that the moment you book the band, they immediately remove themselves from the market. They are "off the books" so to speak, turning down all new inquiries into your date. A 50% payment is the commitment required to ensure the above.
It is common for that first payment to be taken by credit card, while the final payment is usually required in the form of a check given the band will require they take this payment directly.
This varies greatly. You should confirm that obvious items are inclusive in the cost, such as:
- Sound Equipment
- Sound Engineer
- Lighting To Illuminate The Band
- Advance Consultation
- The Option To Learn Several New Songs
- DJ Services
- Labor/Load In/ Load Out
Most bands will quote for your specific location and date, for a 4-hour dinner/dance performance.
Typical additional services at additional cost include:
- Cocktail Services
- Ceremony Services
- PA/ Musical Equipment in Separate Locations (when dinner
and dancing are taking place in two different rooms)
- Extra Performance Time
- Event Lighting (such as Uplighting, Pinspots, and Monograms)
- Unusual Labor (when band equipment cannot be rolled over a flat service from their truck to the performance area, or in venues with stairs and no elevator)
This too, varies significantly from band to band, company to company. In general, most reputable groups administer breaks in a way that is A) time-tested & successful and B) does not adversely affect the flow of your event
The New England band industry has long been based around “2 breaks in 4 hours”, where the band will take a 20-25 minute break during the service of your main course (DJing elegant background music during this time), and a 2nd 10-12 minute break about 90 minutes prior to the end of the reception (Djing high energy dance music to keep guests dancing).
However, we've seen a trend in recent years where some bands found that simply taking one break during the service of dinner was best for the party, and the band. Just ask to find out!
In New England, reputable groups will run anywhere from 6K-11K, depending on the date, location, and group. Comparing one band to another is kind of like comparing apples to oranges as all bands are not created equal. Several items that determine cost include:
* Band Size
* Supply And Demand