10 Things To Consider When Booking A Function Band

10 Things To Consider When Booking A Function Band

From wedding receptions and birthday parties to after dinner shows and corporate celebrations, nothing beats a bit of live music to entertain your guests. Choosing the right function band for events is one of the most important decisions event organisers will have to make. The live music has to be appropriate for the audience or event type. You’ll also need to consider, amongst other things, the setting and the size of the performance area which will have an impact on the type of band you can book. 

We have put together this handy little guide of 10 things to consider when booking a function band. This covers the basics of - what is a function band? Music style, equipment and a useful set of questions to ask your function band when you are ready to book. 


10 Things To Consider When Booking A Function Band

1. What is a Function band? 
Function bands are groups of musicians who perform at private events such as weddings, corporate functions, birthday celebrations etc. They predominantly play cover songs often ranging in styles and usually have repertoires of songs spanning several decades. Scarlett Entertainment has a really varied roster of artists and booking a function band through us guarantees you’ll not only receive the best but you will have lots of choice too.


2. What Are Your Expectations?
Before booking a function band for an events you will have several things to consider and top of the list should always be what do you want from the live performance? You’re in charge of hosting an event or party and you should have an idea of what your audience will want. Will you be wanting something wild and lively that gets everyone on the dance floor or laid back and sophisticated to blend in to the background?


3. Type of event
What kind of event are you hosting? This is a very important thing to consider before you even begin to look at function bands. If you’re hosting an intimate dinner party for senior CEOs in a glamorous country estate, it is very unlikely that you would want to book a 12-piece urban pop covers band. The function band you chose really needs to suit the venue setting as much as it does the demographics in order to have the best impact. As mentioned below, it is equally important to know your audience.


4. Know Your Audience
When you book a function band for events you should seriously consider your audience. It is critical to factor in musical tastes and if this not possible look at the demographics of the attendees. Access age groups, social backgrounds or even business sector. Many of Scarlett Entertainment’s party bands have dynamic repertoires filled with hit songs and multiple genres from throughout the years right through to modern chart toppers. These can be tailored to specific audiences or age groups.


5. Musical style
Function bands are there to provide live music and entertain audiences of all types. Often they will have varied repertoires spanning multiple genres and decades of music. What if you want your live music to be something specific like swing and jazz  or 1950s rock n’ roll? Well, we have plenty of function bands that specialise in one style or another. The added bonus of booking one of these bands is that they usually come dressed in the theme of that musical style, if it has one. Alternatively, many of the bands we have are extremely versatile and can tailor a performance to your needs, which leads us nicely on to the next point.


6. Customisability
Do you want the band to be dressed in a certain way or play a certain style of music? This is often achievable by picking the right act. You may require the band to perform in a setting or scenario that they haven't previously encountered, such as on a boat, outside with no stage or at a themed event. Some are happy to take on the challenge, others will be more hesitant and it's all about finding that perfect balance. As previously mentioned, function bands are here to entertain and will more than likely go the extra mile to satisfy the client. From wearing branded t-shirts to  performing short 10 minutes sets throughout an all-day event, the possibilities of customisability are almost endless.


7. Venue
When booking a function band it is extremely important to know the size of the performance area. If you’re looking at booking a four-piece band they will generally consist of a drummer, bass player, guitarist and a singer. With their instruments they will take up a floor space roughly 4 x 2 metres, and that is a bit of a squeeze. On top of that you’ll need space for the speaker system and mixing desk. Should you want it, will there be enough room for people to dance? A priority is to make sure the band you book will be able to fit in your venue’s performance area. The last thing you want is a horn section immediately next to a table of guests at a gala dinner or an acoustic duo at the far end of a huge conference centre where their sound will be completely lost.


Secondly, and another top priority, is the venue able to host live music? You may find you require an Entertainment License for live music to take place. If in doubt and you’re hosting an event in the UK, check this gov.uk link for more information and if you are not sure, contact the venue and local councils. Anywhere outside of the UK, you will have to refer to other sources. You can, of course, ask our Entertainment Coordinators about this as they have plenty of expertise in this field.


8. Equipment
The majority of professional artists will provide all the equipment they need for an event. This includes musical instruments, PA systems, microphones and all relevant cables. Some can even provide lighting and a few extras. However, in some cases you may be required to source some forms of equipment. Either staging, a PA system and engineer, some lighting and if you book a function band from abroad they may require the use of instruments that cannot be transported by plane. We can help you with all of that. We have access to many audio equipment suppliers and our team are more than happy to discuss the band’s requirements.


9. Budget
Your available budget is going to have a great impact on the type of function band you can book for your event. Whether that budget is in the tens of thousands or less, the same principles are true for all. The bigger the band (members, as well as status) the more it is going to cost and consequently deliver you with a louder sound and bigger show. Seasons, days of the week and event type also have an impact on costs. A four piece band booked for a wedding on a Saturday in the middle of summer is likely to cost more than a weekday private party in the middle of winter.


Do not throw your arms up in despair if you’re working on a small budget and you still want a big sound. The beauty of having so many function bands on our roster means we have a wide variety of options for all event types and all budgets. More and more groups are offering DJ live or musicians with backtrack options. This means you have fewer musicians, therefor a lower cost, but still get the big sound of a full live band.


10. Recommendations and video samples
We can, of course, recommend you with what we feel will be the perfect band for your event, wedding or party and we will let you see what they look like and what they sound like. On paper, bands, as with anything else, can come across like the perfect choice for your event but the best thing to do is check them out for yourself. We can show you promotional videos, live videos, photos, audio samples even see some of their previous clients to compare to yourself and your event. 

Questions to ask Your Function Band

Once you have narrowed down the list of options and certain you have made the right choice, we will go ahead and book the band for your event. There is an important checklist to consider and a few questions to ask your function band to ensure the smooth running of your event, which will also help you work out our own timings.


What time will they arrive?
How are they getting there and do they need somewhere to park?
How much equipment are they bringing? Do you need to hire anything extra?
Is your performance area adequate for their set up and performance?
How long will they take to set up and pack down?
Will they require a soundcheck prior to the event starting?
Do they need a dressing room or backstage area? 
Will they need any food and drink?
How long will they be playing for? (incl. what time will they start and will they take any breaks? If so, when?)
Will they tailor their setlist to suit your taste and include songs that you want to hear?
What will they wear? (Do you want them smart, casual or event themed?)


We sincerely hope this list of the 10 things to consider when booking a function band has provided you with important and relevant information. Choosing a function band for events should not be a snap decision but it also need not be a stressful experience either. We are here to provide suggestions and guidance. We have so many cover bands to choose from and an even greater choice of live music that you can be sure we will find the right one for you. 


Get in touch
If you’re looking to hire a function band from Scarlett Entertainment, get in touch with us by filling out our online enquiry form or calling directly us on (+44) 1626 572072.
Explore more
Out of the loop and want to find out what some of the hottest covers songs are right now so you can have them at your event? Then checkout this blog which will reveal all.
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__By Tom Drakett

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