At Gigstarter, we see hundreds of bookings for bands every month. Still, what are you supposed to look for when booking a band? After talking with multiple bands from our platform, we made an overview of important tips and pieces of advice that apply to you as a booker. Use this to make your event more of a success!
Three important things to keep in mind when booking a band:
- The costs of a band
- The equipment that the band needs
- Musical genres that fit your event
1. The costs of a band: how much am I supposed to pay?
The costs for bands can differ greatly. On the profiles of the bands on Gigstarter, you’ll find a price indication. However, this isn’t a set price that the band asks for every show; the price depends on a few more factors. The length of the show, for example. A band usually plays in sets, and in between these sets they occasionally take breaks. The price of the band will depend on the amount of sets they play at your event. Besides that, a big cost for a band is their use of equipment (more on this in point 2). Most of the times the band also wants their travel expenses to be reimbursed.
You can book bands in all shapes and sizes on Gigstarter. This also has an influence on the costs and the required equipment. When a band has a smaller formation, it’s usually easier to set up the technical part for the performance. Check out the overview of all bands on Gigstarter to get an idea on the price range, the difference formations and shows bands can do.
2. The required equipment for bands
Good sound- and light quality ensures the band sounds the way they’re supposed to. The equipment for a band contains a backline (usually a drumkit and amplifiers). Most of the times, backlines are present at most venues. Bands also need a PA-system, which is the sound system. Bands use this system to amplify their sound. Besides all this, a band needs their own instruments as well.
A few practical questions you need to ask yourself about your venue of the event: Is there a stage present, and what are the measurements of that stage (a full ensemble won’t fit in the corner of a café)? Are there enough plugs around and, if the gig’s outdoors, is there a dry place to perform?
The bigger the formation of the band, the more equipment they need for their gigs. Always talk to the band about their required backline, PA and instruments. Also, think about who’s going to be responsible for the sound during the gig. Do you need to hire a musical engineer, or does the band bring someone themselves? The band will know what the total costs are going to be, but you can always discuss this and negotiate.
3. Musical genres that fit your event
Every band has its own style, so think ahead on what specific genre you would like to see (and hear) at your event. Check out the database on Gigstarter to see bands that match your preferred genre of music. You can also search for specific bands or artists as well. It can also be fun to book more artists for your event; for instance, you could book a jazz band for dinner and close the night with a smashing cover band.
Visit the band and decide for yourself
Visit a band at one of their gigs. This happens all the time and gives you as a booker a great view on how the band performs and interacts with the crowd. However, do keep in mind that you can only visit bands in cafés or other public areas. It’s also possible to visit the band in the studio or at their rehearsal space. This provides the opportunity to get a more personal connection with band. Get in touch with them to see what the options are.