At Warble Entertainment we get asked a lot of questions about booking bands and what you should be looking for or thinking about with regards finding the most suitable one for your event. And, how do you know that they are going to be any good? After all, many function bands do not perform public events and so can be hard to see live. So, to point everyone in the right direction we have come up with the following 5 things to check and be aware of before you hire a band for your event.
1. Do you like the band?
It may sound really, really obvious but 99.99% of the time your choice of band will be based on whether you actually like them or not. Yep, very obvious. But, what is it you like? Do you like the photos? The audio? Does the band have a great video that shows them in action? Or, is it a mixture of everything? Either way, these constituent parts add up to the same thing… the band’s marketing. How a band markets themselves actually says a lot about them (apart from the fact that they look and sound good). If they have taken the time to have professional photos taken, recorded audio in a good quality studio, and, daft as it may sound even bothered to spell check their write-up, then the band have invested in their product… themselves! And, if they are prepared to do this to a high level then it means they are serious about what they do and want to portray the right image. It is common belief that if somebody has invested in themselves then they are more than likely to be invested in by others.
It is one of the first things that artist sign up at Warble will look for when vetting bands – how serious are they about what they do and have they taken the time to sound good, look good and pay attention to the finer details. After all, these are the guys that will be representing Warble at weddings and corporate events and so we have to consider these things carefully because if a band can’t take pride in themselves how can we rely on them to take pride in your event?
2. What do previous customers say?
The next thing to look out for is what previous customers say about a band. Chances are if they have lots and lots of great feedback then it means they have lots of experience! There will be bands with slightly less feedback and by comparison that usually means that they obviously have less experience. And, if you think about it, if you are looking to book a band for your wedding or to WOW your boss and colleagues at a corporate party, which amount of experience would you prefer? And, this is quite often where different pricing comes into play. However, we’re not saying that less feedback is necessarily a reason to not hire a band because everybody has to start somewhere. Plus, it means you may get a great band for a great price! But, how can you be sure of this? Check out point 3 below to find out 🙂
Meanwhile, here’s an example of a band with AWESOME amounts of GREAT feedback… The Indie Killers…. Check out their website and see just how much feedback they have…!
3. Industry approved?
So, you like the look and sound of the band but they don’t have a vast amount of previous feedback because they are relatively new. How do you know they are going to be any good? One way of checking is to speak to somebody in the industry… i.e. Warble Entertainment!! Of course, we’re going to say that aren’t we… but, why would we say that a band is good if they aren’t? It certainly wouldn’t do our reputation any good that’s for sure.
The Warble artist sign up team have procedures in place that will check how serious a band is about what they do – from hearing how a band sound and seeing how finely tuned their marketing is, to checking if they have breakdown recovery for vehicles and what equipment they use. 99 times out of a 100 bands that apply to Warble do not get accepted because they fail at one of the vetting hurdles. This means that the 1% who do get accepted will be a fantastic addition at any event and we are fully confident in recommending them to do a brilliant job.
So, for a band who may not appear to have as much great feedback as a more experienced one, you can still rest assured that if they are on the Warble roster they have passed the vetting process and we have every confidence that they will not let you down, they will not let themselves down, and, they will not let Warble Entertainment down.
One example of a band who we started to work with who were relatively new but passed all the criteria were The MP3’s… And, they are now one of Warble’s most successful function bands!
4. Do they have the right songlist for your event?
Another very important thing when you are looking to hire a band for an event is to check the songs that they perform. Although a band may be dubbed a ‘cover band’ or a ‘wedding band’ there are still varying types. For example, some bands concentrate on mainly modern and more contemporary material, whereas others perform a mix from the 1950/60s right through to present day. For example, if you compare the repertoire list by The Popsmiths, which is very up to date and modern, against a band like Encore who have a cross-section of music covering every decade of popular music, you should be able to see a marked difference. This isn’t to say that one band is better than the other, it just means one may be more suited to a specific event. And why is this important? Because a band playing predominately modern songs probably won’t go down well at an event where the guests are all over 60 years of age.
5. Are the logisitics covered and are there any extra ‘freebies’?
And, that brings us to the final point… logistics, practicalities and sweeteners. A professional band will have experience at performing everywhere from stately homes to hotels so they should have everything in place to make sure that playing at your event is easy and stress-free. This means that they should be fully self-contained as far as equipment goes (PA, Lighting where relevant, Backline Equipment such as Guitars, Drums, Microphones, etc.) and they should have all the relevant paperwork and documents in place to ensure they are legally allowed to perform at your venue. The 2 main things they should have are PAT certificates, which will cover their electrical equipment and ensure that safety checks have been made, and, Public Liability Insurance to cover the band from an insurance point of view. Occasionally, a band will also be asked to provide a Risk Assessment, which assists with additional health and safety concerns for a venue.
When a band is accepted onto the Warble roster it means that we have checked that they have the above.
It is also worth seeing what extras the band may be able to offer or have included in their package to make the deal more enticing. Because it is a competitive industry, and lots of bands are more than aware of this, many have augmented their product by adding options such as free DJ music when they are not performing, first dance requests or requests in general, additional lighting, the use of microphones for speeches, or even acoustic performances earlier in the day during drinks receptions or meals. So, if any of these are going to be of genuine added value to you and would help you make a decision when choosing be sure to ask what a band is able to offer.
We hope these 5 pointers have been of some use and will help you find the perfect band for your event. But, if you have any further questions or concerns please do not hesitate to call one of our Entertainment Coordinators on 0845 643 9384 who will be only too happy to help.