Encore Blog
Encore > Blog > Hiring Musicians > 9 Great Live Music Ideas for your New Year’s Eve Party

9 Great Live Music Ideas for your New Year’s Eve Party


So often New Year’s Eve ends up as an anticlimax.

You sit around watching Jools Holland, waiting for Big Ben to do its thing. Then when the countdown finally arrives you mumble your way through the lyrics to Auld Lang Syne before slipping away back to bed, mildly disconcerted by the fact that somehow another year has passed.     

But that doesn’t need to be the case! If you’re planning on organising your own NYE event, the best way to make sure your guests are partying either side of Big Ben’s bongs is to hire some incredible musicians.

Here are our top picks to make sure you roll into 2019 in style!

The Traditional Scottish Hogmanay

In Scotland they party so hard on New Year’s Eve they have their own name for it – Hogmanay. Whether you’re a badge-wearing Scot or you don’t have a drop of Scotch blood in your body, the energy and excitement of a traditional Scottish Hogmanay is a great way to see in the New Year.

Here are some musical options for you to consider for your Hogmanay:

Ceilidh band

  • Estimated cost: £1500 for a 3-piece ceilidh band & caller

Ceilidh bands will perform traditional British dance music while teaching your guests the steps. This is a perfect option if you have a large venue and your guests have a large age range.  

Read our guide to ceilidh bands here.


  • Estimated cost: £400

Nothing says Scotland like the sound of the bagpipes. Get your new year off to a spine-tingling start by hiring in a bagpiper to play Auld Lang Syne as the clock strikes twelve.   

Read our guide to booking a bagpiper here.

Encore bagpiper Matthew McRae

The Jools Holland Hootenanny

For the last 20 years, switching on Jools Holland’s TV show has been the go-to entertainment for NYE. This is fine if you’re having a quiet one in, but if you’re hosting an event there’s nothing that kills a party than people sitting around watching TV.

Here are some ideas for how you can host your very own hootenanny:   

Covers band

  • Estimated cost: £2,000 for a 5-piece band

You might not be able to afford Jools’ line-up of A-list bands, but by hiring a cover band you can get the same experience at a fraction of the cost. Cover bands will usually provide a range of classics from the 60s up to the present day.

Read our guide to booking a function band here.

Tribute band  

  • Estimated cost: £2,000 for a 5-piece band

If you’ve got a particular favourite artist in mind, a tribute act might be the perfect choice for you. Swing into 2019 with Adele, or party with Queen. The tribute acts you’ll find on Encore are almost indistinguishable from the original artists!

Encore covers band Halfway to New York

Alternative New Year

Looking for something a bit different or organising a themed party? Surprise your guests with a unique musical act that will have them talking about your party for (new) years to come!

Vintage-themed band

  • Estimated cost: £2,000 for a 5-piece band

Vintage-themed parties are definitely in vogue at the moment – and it’s easy to see why: the party atmosphere of the 20s is difficult to beat. Hire in a swing band to produce an authentic American jazz bar sound or a postmodern jukebox-style band to perform modern songs in a vintage style.    

Encore Postmodern jukebox-style band Nouveau Lounge 

Mariachi band

  • Estimated cost: £1200 for a 3-piece band

Add some Mexican spice to your event with the energy of a mariachi band. These roaming, guitar-strumming geezers will happily cover your favourite new year songs while throwing in some traditional numbers to add a Latin flavour to your event. 

Read our guide to mariachi bands here.

Mumford & Sons band

  • Estimated cost: £1600 for a 4-piece band

If country and western is more your thing, you’ll want to be hiring in a barnstorming Mumford & Sons-style band. While Marcus Mumford and the gang might not be available for your event, on Encore we have plenty of bands ready to provide similarly high-energy, thigh-slapping sets for your party.    

Read our guide to Mumford & Sons-style bands here.

The intimate soirée

If your venue is on the smaller side, you’ll want to consider getting a solo musician to provide the party atmosphere.


  • Estimated cost: £400 for 1-hour set

Nothing instantly changes the atmosphere of an event like a classy background pianist. A pianist is a perfect choice if you’re hosting a more formal event or a dinner party where you’d like some live music to set the mood.

Read our guide to booking a pianist here.

Singing guitarist

  • Estimated cost: £400 for 1-hour set

Ever been at a party when someone has picked up a guitar and instantly created an impromptu jam session? By booking a singing guitarist, you guarantee that your event will have the magic of intimate music making. They’ll also be able to lead your guests in singing Auld Lang Syne (and maybe even teach them the lyrics!).

Read our guide to booking a singer here.

If you’re ready to book why not make an enquiry here now on Encore!


Jonny Venvell

Jonny is Encore's Head of Artist Relations.

He's responsible for supporting and helping musicians on the platform and writes most of the musician-facing articles on the blog. He can usually be found singing in choirs, drumming in bands, or nodding meaningfully to particularly good chords in London's jazz bars.

Looking for musicians?

Encore is the fastest and easiest way to find the perfect musician or band for any occasion.

  • 1 Tell us about your event
  • 2 Relevant musicians are instantly alerted
  • 3 Available performers respond with tailored quotes
Search musicians