Planning an event–be it a wedding, corporate event, or party–usually involves checklists, receipts, and a very good timeline in order to ensure everything gets done right when it’s supposed to. Waiting until the last minute to book a band is a dangerous gamble, as would waiting to book the venue, catering, decor, or photographer. A big question for event planners, particularly first-timers, is “When do I book my band?”

In determining how far in advance to book your band or live entertainment, there are several variables to consider, including the following:

1. How large is your event?

A general rule of thumb is that the larger the event, the sooner you should book your band. For a large corporate party, you’ll want to start researching a year in advance, and have your group booked prior to 8 months or so ahead of time. This will also give you enough time to secure any rental equipment needed for sound/lighting, as well as prep your band, announcers, and other performers for the large audience.

For mid-sized events like weddings, you’ll want to give your band at least 6 months notice. (Note that out there in the big world, people book venues and entertainment a year in advance for weddings. Utah folk seem to be slightly more last-minute {or at least be saturated with enough venues to meet demand}, so 6 months will put you far ahead of the game).

Finally, for small, intimate gatherings, 2-4 months may be sufficient.

The assumption behind these timelines described is that larger events tend to hire high energy, larger (5+ piece) groups, while small events tend to go for more subtle entertainment. The more musicians who need to coordinate schedules, the further in advance you should plan.

2. How popular is the group you’re looking for?

This second variable is important to consider, especially if you’ve got your eye on a dazzling 10-piece group like the Groove Merchants. Depending on how quickly a particular group’s calendar fills up, you want to be one of the first in line to reserve your event date within the month. So, for popular groups: plan a year ahead. For mid-scale groups: 6-8 months. And for small combos (think: build-a-band): 3-4 months.

If you don’t know how popular a particular band may be, please give us a call at 801-473-1502. We’re more than happy to go over our calendars with you and help you find a band that suits your needs, or simply answer any inquiries you might have.

3. Is your event scheduled during a holiday season?

Finally, if your event occurs anywhere from mid-November to early January, you’ll want to add an extra 3-4 months onto your timeline to give allowance for the fact that musicians are just plain busier during the holidays. If you wait until the week before to book a New Year’s Eve gig, for instance, you might come away empty-handed.

But what if….?

You decided to book a band instead of the neighborhood DJ, and it was a last-minute switch? Your band cancelled on you a few days before the event? Never fear. Here at Utah Live Bands, we’ve been able to arrange top-notch entertainment with very short notice. It never hurts to simply ask. Contact us today even if you’re just a few days away from your big event, and we’ll do our best to arrange a band for you if we can.

Keep these tips handy as you plan your next event! We look forward to working with you. Happy planning! 

Thinking about hiring a band? Look through a few of the bands we frequently book, contact us for free quotes, or browse galleries of past events.