Skip to Content

Blog Archives

How much does it cost to hire a band for a party?

how much does band cost

Our most frequently asked question is how much does your band cost? – obvious of course but if you’ve never hired a band before for you wedding or party then this this blog will help you make the right decision at a price that suits you. How much does it cost to hire a band for a party.

The Pop of Ages band have been performing professionally at weddings, parties and corporate events all over the UK since 2000 and offer band line ups from a compact trio to a full 6 piece band with brass section and all options in between. This flexibility allows us to provide great live entertainment at a cost that fits nicely into most budgets.

Number of band members

This is an obvious one and can be one of the major pricing factors. If there are less people to pay, that will of course be passed on to you. 4-piece function bands are the most popular, expect to pay between £800-1200 for a professional band with a varied repertoire. Not only will they present and conduct themselves in a professional manner they will know how to fill your dancefloor and entertain your guests. Duos and trios are also popular, most will use some kind of backing to ‘fatten’ things up on stage typically drums and perhaps keyboards or bass guitar. This option will not only be cheaper at around £400-750 but will take up less space at your chosen venue and still provide a full live sound. If you’re looking for a larger band, you may consider a function band with a brass section, this quite often means a 6+ piece band and can increase the price so it’s really down to budget. As a good rule of thumb expect to pay between £200-250 per musician, this is cheaper per head than most DJs charge plus you are making your party that extra bit special by having live music (rather than some guy playing MP3s from a laptop with a few flashing lights!)

Seasonal prices / Last minute bookings

Friday’s and Saturdays in the summer are the busiest time for every wedding and party band and so there isn’t usually room for a discount. If you’re getting married in February and March or perhaps October and November some bands may quote slightly lower than they would in the summer months. Similarly, if you’re organising a last minute wedding and need a band in say, 4 weeks time, then you can expect bands without a booking to go in lower. Weekday or Sundays bookings can also save you money.

Travel Expense / Time Travelling

We are used to traveling and realise it’s not always easy to find a band in the same town, although diesel prices have fallen recently the cost of fuel is unfortunately passed on to the client. Most band will charge around 50p a mile outside of their local area.

Another thing to consider is that a couple of hours traveling there and back again can mean 4 extra hours work for 4 to 5 people. As with all professions musicians will take this into consideration before quoting therefore if possible try to find a band based in your local area as this will save you money.

Arrival Time / Finish time

With travel time taken into account, a band can often expect to work 12 hour days. This is based on a 5:30pm-6pm arrival time and so any earlier will often mean an increase in price. Quotes are almost always based on a midnight finish and so you can also expect to pay more for the band to stay until 1am. Remember you are not just paying for two hours of music.

Length of Set / Performance time

Bands generally perform 2 sets of around an hour. That’s just an average, some only do 2 x 45 minutes and some might do 3 x 45minutes. Some bands start their prices slightly lower for 2 x 45 minutes and then add on a supplement for longer sets. All good bands will also provide as part of the package a quality sound system (PA) lighting for the band and dancefloor plus recorded music in between the live sets. Pop of Ages can also supply professional ‘Black-Tie’ DJs to compliment the live music and play any requests.

Top tips

If you want your party to be a success only hire professionals, people who’s livelihood depends on providing a great service (don’t risk hiring that pub band you saw for a few hundred quid or a mate of a mate who plays a bit of guitar and drums – it will only end in tears!)

Try and keep local – this will save on expenses.

Communicate with the band leader – tell him or her what you expect and be clear about what you want.

Trust the band too – experienced bands really know what they are doing and are only interested in entertaining you and your guests – most bands get repeat gigs by recommendation so its in their interest to do a great job.

Look after your musicians – a little hospitality on the day will pay dividends, tea or coffee, a bite to eat and most importantly arranging a private dressing room for the band will keep them happy, energised and willing to go that extra mile for you (at no cost!)

If you would like a quote for your event or have any questions please get in touch

Corporate Function Band

Corporate Function Band Pop of Ages are a great choice for companies looking to hire a professional band for staff parties or for any special company event.

Recently we were delighted to be booked again to perform in Bournemouth for oil and gas company ‘Perenco’ at their annual staff corporate event. The company parties took place over two successive weekends on the 14th & 21st February at the Marriott Highcliff Hotel.

This is the fourth year in a row they have booked us, it’s always a lively affair with great food, awards, presentations and of course live music and dancing.

To kick off the evening’s entertainment, Kirstie and Mat our piano and sax jazz duo provided some cool tunes during the champagne drinks reception in the bar and then later moved into the ballroom to continue during the meal.

Once the guys had finished the cocktail music a well earned break was in order. The client kindly provided the band with a nice dressing room and a hot meal of lasagne and chips along with plenty of coffee and soft drinks – the fuel of champions!

They had chosen to hire our 5 piece line up for their evening party and at 10pm we kicked off our first 1 hour set playing a selection of stonking tunes from our setlist

At around 11pm, after a very lively set, both the band and guests took a much needed break. We tend to play most of our songs as non-stop medleys in group of 3 or 4 songs joined together, this is the best way to ensure the dancefloor is full all of the time.

After our break we hit the stage again for our second and final set, we played some old school classic party favourites as well as some of the biggest chart hits of recent times including ‘Get Lucky’, ‘Blurred Lines’, ‘Happy’ and of course ‘Uptown Funk’.

Mat Sibley our superb sax player – we are also able to add trumpet making a 6 piece band with brass section, sounds and looks superb!

A bit more about us…

Pop of Ages provide a reliable, personal and bespoke service that simply cannot be offered by large corporate entertainment agencies. We promise to work hard to ensure your corporate event, party or celebration is exactly how you want it, and, of course, to provide the very best in high quality live music entertainment.

Our standard entertainment package includes a professional sound system (PA) suitable for up to 200 guests, LED lighting for the band, Disco lighting for the dance floor area and pre-recorded music on either CD or iPod during our breaks. You are also welcome to provide your own music for us to play through our PA if you wish.

For large scale events We can also supply sound systems for up to 2000 people, state or art concert style lighting systems, LED dancefloors, mobile festival staging and professional and recommended ‘black tie’ Disco’s and DJs.

If you would like to more information about hiring us for your corporate event or party please get in touch…

Hire the band for your Staff Christmas Party

works christmas party
It’s now the time of year when you might start thinking about the office Christmas party!

After choosing a date and booking the venue, you’ll no doubt be looking to hire some entertainment that will thrill your staff, fill your dance floor and be a talking point long after the festivities are over.

Pop of Ages have 15 years of experience performing at Christmas parties and Staff Xmas parties. You want your office Christmas party to be a memorable one and booking an experienced and lively party band is most definitely a fool-proof plan!

We’ll provide a great evening of music and entertainment so you and your staff can let your hair down and enjoy the party you have all worked hard to deserve.

We perform classic covers from the 60’s to the present day and have the advantage of fantastic male and female lead vocals, our extensive and varied setlist caters for all ages and musical tastes. We include hits from pop, rock, motown, soul, funk, disco, country, blues, reggae, swing, R & B, electro, synthpop and even ska!

We  are available for dates throughout December and January and can offer fantastic options with band line ups of 3,4,5 or 6 members to suit most budgets as well as a jazz duo or solo pianist and best of all – live music and DJ packages with high-end production for large scale corporate events.

We are available to hire throughout the UK with our best rates being in the South West and surrounding areas.

Why not visit our FAQs page to find out more about what we do and please feel free to get in touch for a quote and to check our availability.

wedding band cheltenham

 

Ever wondered what’s it like to be in a band?

These photos are from a typical gig – travelling to the venue, unloading, set up, crew, sound checks, changing room and finally the performance and the travel home…enjoy!

driving to the venue

Here is band manager and guitarist Dave driving our trusty VW Transporter on the way to our gig for Bunn Leisure guests at Selsey.Being a Friday we had to leave pretty early to avoid the worst of the traffic.

arriving and ready to set up

We arrived safe and sound at the mighty Embassy Club in West Sussex one of our favourite venues. Greeted by the very lovely Sara who had the coffee on hand. It really makes a difference to the band when we receive a kind and friendly welcome as you can see by Marc’s happy face!

Entertainment Manager Marc

Soundcheck

We have set up our equipment now and Dave is getting serious about his sound…

Sound engineers

It’s always great to work with a professional sound and light crew – Jamie and Tom are top blokes and this is just the monitor desk!

Kirstie and Marc4 piece band

Here is our changing room – OK so it’s a caravan but it’s very important for us to have somewhere private and secure to relax and get changed into our stage clothes before we start.

Backstage

Here we are backstage behind the curtain waiting for the go, Marc and Kirstie making a few last second checks then its ‘Showtime!’

Dave tuning

Dave says ” I don’t understand this, it was in tune when I bought it”

Sound tech

Here is Tom the sound monitor engineer literally seconds away from the start now…

Andy drummer

Great pic here of Andy counting us in for the first song …1,2,3,4 and we’re off!

on stage

Lead male vocals Marc, with Kirstie on keys and Andy on drums.

live on stage

Four piece band live on stage…Dave on guitar is looking happy, which is good thing!

Kirstie vocals

Our fab female lead vocalist Kirstie doing her thang – she’s the band Musical Director and is a bit good on the keyboards too!

Dave and Andy

View from the side of the stage – Dave on guitar and harmony vocals, Andy on drums

on stage finale

Final live pic of the band, second set towards the end of the night…it was a fab gig and the audience danced all night long.
Journey Home
The bit you never see…

We left our home at 2.30pm and its now 1am with a 2 hour drive home ahead of us.

Most gigs are a 12 hour day, really hard work but great fun. We love our job!

If you would like to find out more about Pop of Ages can do for your event please get in touch…

40th Birthday party packs London Hotel with live music from function band Pop of Ages

Pop of Ages band London for an amazing 40th Birthday party celebration!

Pop of Ages six piece band with brass section had been engaged in conjunction with Disco/DJ and superior lighting from Studio 50.com to play at The Haymarket Hotel in London.

The band had performed for the clients’ a couple of years ago at Botley Mansion, and we would like to thank both Alex and Sarah for looking after us on the night. Everyone seemed to have a fabulous time, and we witnessed a packed dancefloor throughout the night, which always makes us happy and proud.

We recently received a lovely thank you letter which we would like to share with you;

Dear Dave,Alex and I would like to extend a huge thank you to you and the band for another stellar performance at Alex’s 40th birthday at the Haymarket Hotel in London last weekend.We didn’t think that it was possible to top the wedding, but you proved us wrong. The dance floor was full from the first note and, if the aching limbs the following day were anything to go by, most of our guests danced all night!We are currently trying to come up with the next excuse to throw a party and, when we do, Pop of Ages will be our first phone call.With thanks and kind regards Sarah and Alex Preston.

Here are snaps of our set up and some ‘stills’ taken from Daisy Jenks’ fabulous video of the event:

soundcheck

– Pop of Ages fine tuning during soundcheck

Alex-and-Sarah-Haymarket

– Alex celebrates on the dancefloor with his wife Sarah

Dave-and-Marc

– Marc on vocals and band leader/guitarist Dave doing their thang, drummer Andy is hidden from view, sorry! But you can see the band here.

Kirstie-Mat-Steve-Haymarket

– Kirstie on Keys, Mat – Sax and Steve – Trumpet during Stevie Wonder’s classic Sir Duke.

Alex

– The main man Alex Shaking his Tailfeather!

If you would like Pop of Ages to perform for your special occasion in London or elsewhere around the south of England, browse our website to see the live music services we offer, or just give us a ring and we’ll go from there!

For more information ring Dave or Kirstie Smith on 01793 870595

Hire a band – top money saving tips

Want to save money when hiring a band? Want some Top Tips on how to get a great deal on live music? Booking a professional function band is often one of the last things organised for an event or special occasion and if you know how it’s easy to ‘bag a bargain’!

With 20 years experience as a musician and band manager, Dave Smith from professional Wedding and Party Band ‘Pop of Ages’ answers your questions on how to hire a quality band for your event without spending a fortune.

Q: “A friend of ours said he played in a band, we like him and their quote was cheap so we booked them for our wedding. On the day it was awful, they were late and took ages to set up. Once they started they were too loud, played songs nobody knew, no-one danced and a lot of our guests left. They wore jeans and scruffy T-shirts, one band member got drunk and upset some of my family. They totally spoilt our day and we wished we had never booked them. How did we get it so wrong?”

A: Unfortunately I’ve heard this story many times. There are literally thousands of musicians out there – amateur, part-time and ‘weekend warriors’ all desperate to gig! They will be cheap, sometimes even cheaper than a Disco but you have to ask who are they really playing for and whose interests do they have at heart?

My advice is simple – only ever hire a professional & experienced band whose livelihood & reputation depend on providing a top class service every time in the same way as you would with any other supplier. Yes, you will pay more than an amateur or semi-pro band, but choose carefully and it will not cost as much as you think. Whatever price you pay, I can assure you that their quality, experience and professionalism will be worth every penny.

Q: “So how much should we expect to pay for a good band?”
A: Most wedding or party bands will have between 3-6 performers, expect to pay around £250 per musician. Much cheaper and you should be asking yourself why!.

Some bands are much bigger of course with up to 12 or more members. Bands will normally charge a fee per person so the larger the band the more money you’ll spend. There will likely be a few extras too, typically travel costs and providing food and drink for the band, so make sure when you contact the band leader to ask them to include the total cost of everything in the quote and if you are concerned, ask for a breakdown of the overall cost.

Q: “Some bands & agencies have quoted us way over our budget and we just can’t afford that much. We really want to book a live band so what should we do?”

A) There are probably as many Entertainment Agencies as bands nowadays and there is a reason for this – it’s easy money! Anyone can start a business as a salesman with no formal qualifications or regulation. Some unscrupulous agents are only interested in getting their booking fee rather than finding the best band for you. They will charge 15-25% + VAT on top of the bands fee, they will not be there on the day to sort out any problems and their contracts offer no real protection for the client (as many claim).

My advice if you want to save money is to avoid them, do your own research and book the band direct. There are of course some good agents and if you feel happier using one then contact Pop of Ages and we will put you in touch with the most trustworthy and professional agencies in the UK who we choose to represent us.

Q: “So a professional 4 piece band is going to cost me around £1000 – why is it so much money for just a couple of hours of live music?”

A) When you consider who you are hiring and what is actually involved its very good value.

It’s not uncommon for each band member to commit to 12 hours of time for 2 hours of performance. To play at your event the musicians will have to load up their equipment early in the day, travel several miles to get to your venue, unload heavy equipment, set it all up at the venue, test the sound levels, wait around during dinner or speeches until they are required to perform then break down all the equipment, load it in the van, drive several miles back to their base, unload all of the equipment and finally arrive home in the early hours of the morning. A professional musician will understandably need to be paid for all of the time that this entails.

Even before your event begins the band leader would have spent many hours work for your booking to ensure all requirements are fully met, and throughout your event the band leader is constantly on-call to liaise with the client, venue and any other third parties to ensure it all runs smoothly.

There are also fundamental business costs incurred when running a professional band so a certain amount of the price paid will go towards this, and all professional musicians’ earnings are of course subject to tax and NI deductions whereas an amateur musician’s income is not.

As you can see, the actual performance is just a very small part of all the work needed to make your function an enjoyable and hassle-free event. When you consider all of the above and the hours involved for the services of highly qualified & experienced professionals at around £20 per hour each, it is still relatively cheap compared with any other skilled job or service, and is therefore excellent value for money!

Q: “We’ve found some bands we both like but the price varies dramatically, how do we know that we are getting value for money?”

A) How much you ultimately pay is of course up to you, the cheapest band may be cheap for a reason, and the most expensive band will not necessarily be the best for you.

By using my general rule of about £250 per head you shouldn’t go far wrong – any 4 piece band charging £1500 or more (unless they are a ‘named’ act or have huge travel costs) are charging too much, even if this includes any agency fees. However no two bands will ever be the same so you cannot compare like for like on price.

Do your own research, speak to the band manager directly and then decide if the band you really want are worth that bit extra, or ask if they are prepared to negotiate. Some bands are prepared to slightly drop their price to secure a booking rather than not work at all!

Q: “Any other tips that can save me money but still have a great band?”
A) Yes, if possible try and hire a band that is located close to the venue, you will save money on musicians’ time and travel costs.

Many bands do not earn enough money to be VAT registered so avoid additional VAT charges where possible, or ask the Band Leader to confirm his VAT registration no. if a VAT charge is added to your quote.

If you’ve not already set a date then hiring any supplier either midweek or out of peak season could be around 20% cheaper than a Friday or Saturday, many bands included!

Unless you plan on celebrating past midnight don’t bother with the expense of hiring a Disco & DJ. All good bands will offer disco music in between sets free of charge. Click here for more detailed information & advice on DJs or music between sets.

title_goes_here