Are you planning an event or looking for how to ramp up your next party? Whether it's a wedding, corporate event, private party, or any other occasion, booking live music can take you and your guests into another dimension. Nevertheless, booking a band can be complicated & stressful, so you might not know where to start.
Luckily at Moontower we have nearly 20 years of experience in the party band game so we know all the ins & outs. Throughout this article we'll provide tips & tricks on how to find the right band for your party or event, including advice on last-minute bookings, quick turnarounds, and recommendations of award-winning live music bands that will get your body movin' on the dance floor.
1. Start Your Search Early
When it comes to booking a wedding band, timing is everything. It's so important to make sure that the band you choose is available on your wedding day, so you will want to find and start communicating with the band you choose far in advance of your wedding day.
Something to note: bands have multiple members and their gigs usually take multiple hours so they are usually only available to perform one event per day. This means that their schedules can fill up very fast, so booking in advance is highly recommended especially if the band is popular in your area.
Wedding planners will recommend 6-12 months out for Saturday weddings. Although, January, February, July, and August are generally less busy and band’s tend to have more availability. During these months you might be safe booking up to 3 months in advance.
If you have your heart set on a particular band or musician, it's a good idea to check their availability as soon as possible.
Popular bands may be booked up to a year or more in advance, so start your search early and cast a wide net. Another time to book in advance would be if you're getting married on a popular wedding date such as a day in peak wedding season or a specific holiday.
2. Research Different Bands in Your Area
Finding the perfect band can be a challenge, but be confident and do your own research! It could be as simple as a quick google search into ‘Party Bands Near Me’ or ‘Bands for Hire’. You could go out to local bars and venues and watch live bands perform, most of the time they are open to also playing private events so just ask.
If you’re in Austin and need to find a band you're in luck – the city is home to a vibrant live music scene with a diverse range of bands and musicians to choose from. One of the best ways to find live music and bands is to get out there and see who's playing. Being one of the live music capitals of the world, you can find an amazing show to see on any given night.
Here are some local venues to check out:
When you can't find what you want at local music venues, try asking friends or family for advice. Having a local’s input into where you spend your time and money is highly recommended when it comes to live music and entertainment. If you find a band that you like, be sure to check out reviews from other people who have hired the band or musician before. This can give you a good idea of what to expect when it comes to the actual event.
Always remember researching and selecting the right wedding band takes time, especially if you're looking for a band with a particular style or genre. So give yourself plenty of time to research and listen to different bands before making a decision because it's not something you want to rush.
3. Determine Your Budget
Budget is important to consider when booking your wedding band. If you're working with a tight budget, you may want to consider booking a smaller band. Smaller 2-3 person ensembles start at around $1,000 so plan your budget accordingly.
If you have a larger budget and are set on a particular band, it's a good idea to book them as early as possible to secure their availability. The typical price you can expect to pay for a normal sized party band (5-10 person ensemble) starts at $5,000 but can easily exceed prices of $10,000 or more. It’s important to create a flushed out plan, including all wedding expenses in addition to entertainment. This can help rationalize what type of wedding band you want at your event.
4. Communicate With The Band and Venue
Communication is KEY. Make sure you communicate your expectations with the band or musician you're considering. Discuss things like the length of the performance, the type of music you want them to play, and any specific requests you have. Make sure that the band knows if there are any key moments where specific songs would need to be played, like the first dance or cutting the cake. You can make this easy by providing them with an itinerary, including timestamps on when what songs will need to be played or at what key moments.
It is also important to communicate your song preferences.
In order to create the vibe you want for your event, ask yourself questions like; What kind of atmosphere do you want to create? Do you want to create something upbeat with danceable music like Bruno Mars or would you want something more relaxed and mellow? Considering the age range and music preferences of your guests can have a huge impact. If you're hosting a corporate event with a mature audience, jazz trios or R&B duos might be a better fit than a loud rock band or rap duo. Think about the overall tone of your event and what kind of music compliments it best!
5. Contact a Booking Agent
An easy way to deal with the pressure of booking a band is to contact a local booking agency like Moontower Entertainment. They would be able to handle the entire process of finding, booking, and organizing a band for your event (even including set-up and sound in most cases!).
The advantage of going with an agency like moontower is that you have access to the hundreds of local austin musicians on their roster and their award winning in-house band which have loads of experience playing at corporate events and weddings. This means that it's almost a 100% guarantee that they will be able to find a sound that matches the vibe you want to create.
Moontower Entertainment specializes in matching your specific needs and vision to the right live music entertainment. Feel free to check us out and explore our award-winning party bands, like Matchmaker Band, which has a decade of experience performing Motown, funk, and soul hits by artists like Stevie Wonder and Beyoncé. PDA Band is an 8-piece, high-energy group that covers everything from classic boy band hits to Top 40 and more. Love & Happiness is a dynamic, versatile band that performs jazz, R&B classics, hip-hop, and modern Top 40 hits, making them a perfect choice for corporate events, weddings, and special occasions. Finally, our live band karaoke experience with Moontower Radio allows you to become a rockstar with talented Austin vocalists and musicians, creating an unforgettable party experience that your friends and guests will talk about for years to come.
6. Be Kind and Flexible
The most important thing you can do when booking live music is to be kind and flexible with the bands. Respect and appreciation is key when working with musicians. If issues arise during the planning process, stay flexible and work with the band to find a solution. They love what they do and are very grateful that you make it possible.