NACE August Meeting – Live Music – Bands

Strickland Bonner wanted to debunk the top 10 band myths –
and what makes him such an expert you might be wondering? Well, Strickland has
over 18 years leading and performing with Black Tie and has over 1000 events in
a mix of weddings, corporate events, and mitzvahs. Strickland is now the
president of the Philly Event Group and sister company Washington Talent.  Let’s take a look at his list and see how
many of you thought of these items when you were considering music for your
special event…

Top 10 Band Myths

10 – They take too many breaks

All professional bands will be able to provide you with a contract and breaks must be noted in said contract. Breaks can be scheduled during dinner or before the event even starts. Reading your contract and working with your planner and the band to determine the timeline and best time for band breaks will ensure a cohesive event. Strickland mentions that a lot of his bands will now stagger their breaks so there are always a few musicians playing some background music and your guests are never left wondering where the band went.

9 – They play the songs they like, not what the crowd likes

Bands have a large repertoire of songs that they know and play. From all of their gigs throughout
the year they see trends early and are constantly learning new music. Have a crowd favorite – ask them when you are in the decision making process. Make
sure you look at their song list and let them know there will be certain songs your crowd loves to dance to!

8 – Bands won’t learn special songs for the event

Almost every band will in fact learn songs for your wedding. 1-3 are expected – any more then 5 is considered to be excessive. Request a song list from the band so that you may see what they already offer and whether it suits the mood of your event and will provide the desired ambiance before you sign them.

7 – Bands don’t take requests

Of course they do. They may have set lists before they get to the gig and they may not play it right away but if they know the song and can work that in they certainly willdo that – they want you to have a fantastic time!

6 – Bands are too expensive

Yes, bands cost more than DJ’s – but you have multiple professionals working on your event. And bands start at less than you might think. When we plan your wedding we are not going to suggest bands that are not in your budget – we are going to listen to you and then present you with a list of great bands that would be perfect for your event.

5 – They don’t work within the schedule

Elevee events take the time to work with all of your vendors and chat about your hopes and needs when we create your event timeline. We share that with all of the vendors at least one week in advance and we make sure the schedule works for every single person. Last minute changes always come up and we communicate those changes as need be. The band won’t stop mid song and we don’t want them to. We want them to wind down the crowd – not stop abruptly and give anyone any inkling that there might be something off-schedule.

4 – Bands take up too much space

The event staff or catering director at your site is an expert in knowing their space. Before you start your search for a band your planner should see the site and talk to the on-site consultant to learn the space and how large a band can be accommodated. Most band contracts will note the space and electrical requirements which can always be double checked with your event site

3 – Band members drink alcohol on the job

None of your vendors should be drinking during your event. These are people that you have paid for their specific services. Professional event bands do not drink on the job; a lot of bar bands do. No other career expects drinks as perks. This can be added to the contract and I always suggest that it is. Your catering director and your planner should also be made aware of your wishes.

2 – Bands don’t play current music

Bands know tons of songs, a lot of crowd pleasers to be sure but they are also watching and listing to the groups every time they play – and professional event bands play a lot! They see the trends long before you would guess and they want to be as up to date as you want them to be

1 – They are too loud

This goes back to space again and also your room arrangement- maybe grand mom should not be right next to the band or the amplifier. When planning your event we work with the band and the site to pick the best location and we also work with you to understand the best locations for friends vs. older loved ones.  I also like to make sure I am present when the band does their sound check. And yes, I have asked a band to tune it down (but only as the mother of the bride directed me to do so!) and they quickly complied.

Live music does have a life of its own – it has a personality and can be energetic and infectious. The right entertainment is just one piece, albeit an important piece of the overall vibe of your event. Make sure when planning your event you chat with your planner about what your overall hopes for. Here at elevee events we are able to help you choose between a dj and a live music and make recommendations as to the best of the best that can elevate your event!


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