Now, we all know that when you try and save money on entertainment, there is a fine line between fitting within your budget and skimping on quality. You don’t want to have to pay for unnecessary extras or work through multiple middle-men, but at the same time you don’t want your important evening to have this unexpected twist:
Here are a few tips to help you eliminate unnecessary costs:
1. Cut Out the Downtime:
Though musicians often charge the bulk of their fee just for reserving and playing the event, there comes a point where they will charge per hour. If there is a large amount of time between when the band needs to set up and when they are going to play, there is a good chance a fee is involved. Try to plan your evening so that the band or sound techs can set up their gear as close to the time of their performance as possible. If you haven’t picked a venue yet, consider getting a place where the stage/dance area is not right next to the ceremony area.
2. Don’t Overestimate the Dance
We’ve seen it time and time again; people think “my wedding party LOVES to dance, so lets plan on 5 hours of dancing.” No matter how crazy you think your guests are, most people poop out before 3 hours is up. 2-3 hours is a good amount of time to plan on dancing. After that, not only will the guests be tired and the band be exhausted, but the price will be more as well. If a band hears 4 or more hours, they start thinking of ways to make all the ensuing fatigue worth it (this means means a lighter pocket book for you).
3. Eliminate Multiple Middle-Men
Now, being a full-service booking agency, you may find it ironic that we are telling you this. I will devulge some information that booking agencies probably would rather you not know. Some event planners and booking agencies do not work directly with the bands you would like to book. Some quote higher prices so that they can cover their fees on top of the fees of the booking agencies they are about to contact in order to get you your entertainment. We’ve seen it happen when there are 3 or even 4 tiers of middle-men involved in the music for an event. The event planner contacts an event entertainment firm, who contacts a booking agent, who contacts another booking agent, who has direct access with the band. By the time the quote gets back to you, it can be more than twice what you could pay.
The only reason I’m not getting in trouble for telling you this is thus: we at Utah Live Bands, are musicians. We play in and work directly with our most popular groups. Rest assured that if you book through us, you are already ahead of the game.
4. Make Travel Arrangements for the Band
If you are booking a band that is out of state or wanting a band to travel with you to a destination location, etc. Offer to take care of travel arrangements (airline tickets, hotels, etc.). This may seem silly; you may be thinking “no, no, no, you misunderstood- I want to SAVE money.” The fact is, a band will always err on the side of quoting too much than quoting too little. They need to be sure they’re covering their costs. Because they are estimating and are not making travel plans right then, they will quote you a little higher than what they think it will cost for them to travel. Take our advice: make travel arrangements for the band. It will always save you (sometimes QUITE a bit!).
These are just a few tips to eliminating unnecessary costs. So before you higher a cheap hobby band to save money or get a disgruntled Adam Sandler for an entertainer, remember that you can save money without cutting quality. Your event will look a little more like this:
-This article was written by Stephen Tobian, General Manager at Utah Live Bands
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