Live Music at Your Event – How to make the most of it.

Photo by Ken Buist
Photo by Ken Buist

Planning any event involves a lot of thought, whether it be your wedding, your company’s big Christmas do or any corporate function. You’re responsible for a lot of people having a great time, and there are a few things to bear in mind that should hopefully help keep a full dance-floor all night, the drinks flowing and all your guests smiling.

Don’t Put The Band On Too Early

I know there’s that worry of ‘but what will we do once the meal has finished’, and so a lot of people like to try and put their band on as soon as possible, however it actually works a lot better to leave this for a little while. If you’re planning your wedding, you’ve probably got evening guests arriving who everyone will want to chat to for a while, and with any event, if you’ve just eaten a huge meal you’re going to want to relax and have a few drinks for a while before throwing any kind of shapes on the dance floor!

Most bands will provide recorded music for example, to play while they are not performing, which will be a nice warm up to the live music later on. This means the guests can chat away, have a few drinks and then be completely ready to rock the dance floor a bit later on. Otherwise, it seems a shame to have your band waste half of their first set while people get themselves ready to dance – a high impact start is always much more effective, and guarantees a full dance floor for the rest of the night!

Plan your band’s break around any other attractions

If you have a buffet coming out at some point during the evening, then plan your band to have their break at this point. Same goes for anything else like fireworks, lantern lighting or anything else that may distract your guests from the dance floor. This seems obvious but it’s amazing how many people forget – and there’s no point in having your band play while people tuck into their hog roast.

Schedule your evening so the band’s break is not too long

This is another great reason why the band shouldn’t start too early. I wouldn’t recommend having a break much longer than 45 minutes, and that’s if there’s a buffet or some other sort of attraction. If there’s nothing else going on, then maybe more like 30 minutes should be the longest break considered. The reason for this is again all about the dynamics of the evening. With weddings especially, it will have been a long day already and you don’t want people to leave half way through the evening! The way to keep people having fun is to keep the dynamics up – so a short break for the band and then straight back into an up-tempo and high impact second set!

So for example – a perfect schedule for your wedding reception would be something along the lines of:

7.30p.m Evening guests arrive (and your meal should have hopefully finished by then too) and iPod/laptop music on while guests chat.

8.45-9.45pm Band Set 1

9.45pm-10.30pm Buffet Break (with taped music on)

10.30pm-11.30pm Band Set 2

11.30pm-12am taped music perhaps to finish

Keep in mind that generally things do tend to run late

I know this is something that nobody wants to happen, but 90% of weddings and other events do tend to run later than planned. This is because you just never know how long the meal and speeches will take. So… my advice is to just go with it, and try not to stress if things do run over. Your band will hopefully be as flexible as they can be, and will try to fit their sets in as best as possible. This is another good reason why its worth planning that first band set for a little later than you think – that way you have a spare hour or so for things to run late.

The top wedding bands I work with contactable via the Freak Music site are:

MIB are an all round, high energy party band.

21st Century riot are a bit more indie, if that’s what you prefer.

Funkadelics are Donna Summer, the Bee Gees and Lady Gaga rolled in to one.

Undercover Superstars are a singing waiter/fireman/guest/chef or anything else you’d care to suggest…

So… I hope this is all helpful! Best of luck planning your event and I hope it goes fantastically!


Love & Hugs





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