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How much do musicians cost? Ultimate Price Guide 2020

Wilderminds - band on Encore

One of the questions we’re asked most often is about the cost of hiring live musicians. Most people hiring live music have never done it before, so it can be daunting to wade through prices and quotes online when you have no idea what things should cost.

In this guide, we’ll be shining a light on the prices you should expect to pay for over 30 different types of live music. We’ll break the guide into six sections:

  1. Under £350
  2. £350 to £750
  3. £750 to £1,500
  4. £1,500 to £2,500
  5. £2,500 to £10,000
  6. £10,000 to £100,000

Since starting Encore in 2014, our musicians have sent over 100,000 quotes to customers for all sorts of events, so we’ve got an excellent database of prices for different types of music.

For each type of live music, we’ll give you three prices:

Starting Price: this is the lowest price you can expect to pay for a professional performing at least one 45-minute performance. If you’re quoted a price below this, you may be dealing with amateur or student musicians, which can be risky.

Average Price: this is the average price for 2x 45-min sets. This data is based on over 100,000 quotes.

High-end Price: this is the highest quote you should expect to receive for a particular type of musician or band. If somebody gives you a quote above this price, be sure to ask for a breakdown of the fee.

Travel expenses

It’s also worth bearing in mind that these prices do not include travel expenses. The Musicians Union suggests that musicians should charge 45p per mile travelled, so if you’re hiring a soloist who is travelling a 100mi round trip, expect to pay roughly £45 in travel expenses.


Musicians under £350

With a budget of £350, you’re able to afford most types of solo instrumentalist or singer:


Emma Rushworth Violin
Emma Rushworth is one of Encore’s top-rated violinists

Solo Violinist

How much does it cost hire a violinist?

Costs for a solo violinist range from £180 to £400, with an average price of £230.

  • Starting Price: £180
  • Average Price: £230
  • High-end Price: £400

Hiring a solo violinist is a popular choice for wedding ceremonies and receptions, dinners and drinks receptions, and corporate events.

To learn more about hiring a violinist, read our Violinist Booking Guide.

To browse over 400+ available solo violinists in the UK, head to our Hire a Violinist page.

Browse all Violinists →


Cellist Lidia Alonso
Lidia Alonso is a professional cellist, available for hire on Encore

Solo Cellist

How much does it cost to hire a solo cellist?

Costs for a solo cellist range from £180 to £400, with an average price of £230.

  • Starting Price: £180
  • Average Price: £230
  • High-end Price: £400

Hiring a solo cellist is a particularly popular choice for wedding ceremonies, especially after Harry and Meghan hired Skeku Kanneh-Mason to perform at their royal wedding.

For advice and tips on hiring a cellist for your wedding, you may enjoy this this article: Wedding Cellist: Hiring Advice and Inspiration.

To browse over 180+ available cellists in the UK, head to our Hire a Cellist page.

Browse all Cellists →



Bryan Edery - Pianist for Hire
Bryan Edery, a fantastic Encore pianist

Solo Pianist

How much does it cost to hire a solo pianist?

Costs for a solo pianist range from £180 to £450, with an average price of £260. The cost will be lower if your venue already has a piano, as this means the pianist doesn’t need to bring their own portable stage piano.

  • Starting Price: £180
  • Average Price: £260
  • High-end Price: £450

Hiring a pianist is a great choice for drinks receptions, wedding ceremonies and receptions, and laid-back events in bars and restaurants.

Thinking about hiring a pianist for your event, but not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered. Check out our comprehensive Pianist Booking Guide.

To compare over 450 available pianists in the UK, take a look at our Hire a Pianist page.

Browse all Pianists →


Matthew McRae Bagpiper
Sensational Encore bagpiper, Matthew McRae, available to book on Encore

Bagpiper

How much does it cost to hire a bagpiper?

Costs for a bagpiper range from £150 to £250, with the average price being around £200. Bear in mind that bagpipers are particularly popular on New Year’s Eve (Hogmanay), Burns Night, and St Andrews Day, so prices tend to be higher during these peak times.

  • Starting Price: £150
  • Average Price: £200
  • High-end Price: £250

Bagpipers are common at Scottish weddings, where the piper will often perform while the bride is arriving, or as the couple leave the church.

If you’d like some advice on hiring a bagpiper, we’ve written a helpful guide for you with lots of handy tips. Check it out here: Bagpiper Booking Guide

Encore is home to the largest selection of highly-rated bagpipers in the UK. To find an available piper for your event, head to our Hire a Bagpiper page.

Browse all Bagpipers →



Georgia Thursting, Christmas Singing Guitarist
Georgia Thursting, an outstanding singing guitarist available to hire through Encore

Singing Guitarist

How much does it cost to hire a singing guitarist?

  • Starting Price: £180
  • Average Price: £280
  • High-end Price: £400

It’s worth noting that these prices are based on fairly standard performances at private events and weddings, usually of two 45-minute sets.

A singing guitarist performing in a pub on a Friday or Saturday night may charge slightly less, and a singing guitarist performing for your wedding ceremony, drinks reception and evening party will naturally charge more than £400 to be hired out for the entire day.

Singing Guitarists are extremely popular due to their versatile nature. They can provide a laid-back and low-key soundtrack to your drinks reception, or they can get all of your guests dancing on the tables and belting their lungs out to “Angels” by Robbie Williams towards the end of the night.

Singing Guitarists are popular all-year round, and particularly popular on weekends during wedding season and throughout December when being booked for Christmas parties and New Years Eve events.

Take a look at our Singing Guitarist Booking Guide if you still have some unanswered questions!

Compare prices for over 150 singing guitarists in the UK here: Hire a Singing Guitarist

Browse all Singing Guitarists →


Cat Delphi Singing pianist
Cat Delphi is a brilliant singing pianist available to book on Encore

Singing Pianist

How much does it cost to hire a singing pianist?

  • Starting Price: £200
  • Average Price: £300
  • High-end Price: £450

The prices for singing pianists are very similar to the prices of singing guitarists, with a slight increase to account for the pianist usually providing their own stage piano and amplification.

Some singing pianists can also offer a ‘grand piano shell’, where they can transform a regular keyboard into a small grand piano by attaching a classy perspex shell to the instrument. Most pianists will charge more for this, so if you’re interested in this option, expect to pay an additional £50 to £150 depending on the quality and size of the shell.

Compare costs of singing pianists all over the UK here: Hire a Singing Pianist

Compare Singing Pianist prices →



Girl on Sax
Girl on Sax plays a mix of party anthems and pop classics in her energetic sets

Solo Saxophonist

How much does it cost to hire a solo saxophonist?

  • Starting Price: £200
  • Average Price: £350
  • High-end Price: £500

Booking a solo saxophonist is a great choice for those looking to get a big sound on a small budget (i.e., ideal if you were set on a band, but the budget won’t stretch). Most saxophonists will perform along with full-sounding backing tracks, and are able to help create a variety of musical moods, depending on the occasion. They can play just about any style, but are usually most comfortable playing soul, Motown, jazz, and pop tunes.

If you’re set on hiring a saxophonist, but are looking for a little more information, take a look at our in depth Saxophonist Booking Guide.

Browse prices, videos and reviews of over 200 UK-based saxophonists here: Hire a Saxophonist

Compare Saxophonist prices →


Aelfwyn Shipton electric violinist
Beyond the amazing sounds she produces, electric violinist Aelfwyn Shipton is a sight to behold in her light-up costumes!

Solo Electric Violinist

How much does it cost to hire an electric violinist?

  • Starting Price: £250
  • Average Price: £360
  • High-end Price: £500

Although less popular than your standard violinist, electric violinists can be an exciting alternative if you’re still looking for a violinist, but with a bit more energy. They’ll often have their own PA system (or be able to plug into the venue’s), and will normally play along with backing tracks.

They go down a hit at corporate events, birthday parties, and at special events like brand activations.

Find an electric violinist for your event on our Hire an Electric Violinist page.

Compare Electric Violinist prices →


Tom Butterworth solo guitarist
Tom Butterworth is a solo guitarist, available for weddings, parties, and corporate events

Solo Guitarist

How much does it cost to hire a solo guitarist?

  • Starting Price: £170
  • Average Price: £240
  • High-end Price: £400

Solo guitarists usually cover a range of genres and styles. They’ll play anything from classical, to pop, to jazz—providing a really nice blend of tunes to add to the vibe of whatever event you might be planning.

If you’re still after some advice on booking a solo guitarist, we’ve written a handy guide for just this reason. Take a look at it here: Guitarist Booking Guide

Compare the prices and reviews of over 600 amazing guitarists in the UK here: Hire a Guitarist

Compare Guitarist prices →


Samuel Bristow organist
Organist Samuel Bristow at the helm of a church organ

Organist

How much does it cost to hire an organist?

  • Starting Price: £160
  • Average Price: £200
  • High-end Price: £300

Keep in mind, Organists may ask for a double fee if the service is being recorded.

If you’re having a wedding in a church with an organ, it’s a logical next step to start looking for a great organist to play it. We have plenty of excellent organists on Encore, with verified reviews so you can be safe in the knowledge that you are in good hands. Plus, organists typically charge less than many other solo options—a great idea if you’re looking to get some bang for your buck.

If you’re looking to have an organist play at your wedding, or even for a special event you might be holding in a church, we have over 125 talented organists available to hire in the UK. You can see them all here: Hire an Organist

Compare Organist prices →


Lucy Nolan - Encore Harpist
Lucy Nolan, a Derbyshire-based Encore harpist

Harpist

How much does it cost to hire a harpist?

  • Starting Price: £220
  • Average Price: £310
  • High-end Price: £450

Harpists generally have higher starting costs than other solo musicians. This is due to a variety of factors, such as the inflation of porterage and travel costs that are associated with transported such a large instrument!

When it comes to a classy sound though, the harp is hard to beat, and works perfectly as a background music accompanying any kind of up-scale event.

If you’re interested but would like a bit more detail about harpists, their repertoire, and how to book, you can find that here in our comprehensive harp booking guide: Harpist Booking Guide 

With over 135 harpists, Encore is home to the largest selection of harpists in the UK. Find the perfect harpist for your event here: Hire a Harpist

Compare Harpist prices →


Stephen Guy Daltry accordionist
Stephen Guy Daltry, an excellent accordionist available to hire on Encore

Accordionist

How much does it cost to hire an accordionist?

  • Starting Price: £200
  • Average Price: £300
  • High-end Price: £500

Accordionists, much like pianists (who have a similar price range), can play a wide range of music and styles. This is due to the fact they can play the melody and chords of a song at the same time; in essence, being a band in one instrument.

The big difference between the piano and accordion, aside from the sound, is the mobile nature of the accordion. It makes it perfect for outdoor events, alfresco dining, or interactive events.

Searching for a great accordion player to perform at your event? You can Hire an Accordion player here.

Compare Accordionist prices →

 


Gail Windrass solo singer
Choir leader and solo singer, Gail Windrass

Solo Singer

How much does it cost to hire a solo singer?

  • Starting Price: £250
  • Average Price: £350
  • High-end Price: £700

Prices for singers vary quite widely, with more in-demand singers commanding higher starting prices. This doesn’t mean however that you won’t find fantastic professional singers for reasonable prices! Just keep an eye out for Encore verified reviews, a polished showreel, and some representative live videos to make sure you are getting the right singer for your event.

If you’re looking for a singer to perform for your event, why not have a look at our guide to booking a singer before making the leap? It’ll give you all the info you’ll need to find someone great: Singer Booking Guide

Encore is home to over 1500 incredible singers based all across the UK. To find the perfect singer for your event, browse our Hire a Singer page.

Compare Singer prices →


Musicians costing £350 to £750

With a budget of £350 to £750, you can afford a small band or a small classical ensemble, as well as a range of good DJs.


DJ Vik Toreus
Vik Toreus, an events DJ available on Encore

DJ

How much does it cost to hire a DJ?

  • Starting Price: £250
  • Average Price: £400
  • High-end Price: £800

DJs are among some of the most versatile when it comes to suiting an event—however, due to the need for high quality equipment, longer performance times, and travel costs, their prices do tend to be slightly higher than most solo performers.

Though DJs will play just about any event, whether a corporate event, a formal, or a dance party, we’ve written an extensive guide on the ins-and-outs of finding an amazing wedding DJ: Wedding DJ Booking Guide

Finding a great DJ is easy with Encore—view over 140 professional DJs right here: Hire a DJ.

Compare DJ prices →


Giardino Strings duo
String quartets often do duo bookings too! This is the case with Giardino Strings, available from a soloist to a 10+ piece string ensembles

String Duo

How much does it cost to hire a string duo?

  • Starting Price: £300
  • Average Price: £400
  • High-end Price: £700

The most common type of string duo is violin and cello. Other line-ups include two violinists, or two cellists—it just depends on what kind of sound you’re looking for!

On Encore, we have lots of choice when it comes to finding a string duo local to you! Compare and look at the profiles of over 150 talented string duos here: Hire a String Duo.

Looking for a more unique classical duo? Compare the prices of over 140 Classical Duos here.

Compare String Duo prices →


Grazia Strings as a trio
Grazia Strings are a customisable string ensemble, pictured here as a trio

String Trio (Violin, Viola and Cello)

How much does it cost to hire a string trio?

  • Starting Price: £480
  • Average Price: £600
  • High-end Price: £900

See the prices of over 120 wonderful UK-based string trios here: Hire a String Trio.

Compare String Trio prices →


Maria and James performing as a jazz duo
Maria & James are a versatile jazz duo, playing flute and guitar, as well as singing

Jazz Duo

How much does it cost to hire a jazz duo?

  • Starting Price: £360
  • Average Price: £440
  • High-end Price: £800

Hire a Jazz Duo today

Compare Jazz Duo prices →


Decatur Jazz Trio performing
Decatur Street Jazz—a professional jazz trio available for hire on Encore

Jazz Trio

How much does it cost to hire a jazz trio?

  • Starting Price: £540
  • Average Price: £660
  • High-end Price: £1200

Hire a Jazz Trio through Encore.

Compare Jazz Trio prices →


Triple Scotch Ceilidh Band performing
Triple Scotch Ceilidh Band—a small ceilidh band available to book

Small Ceilidh Band

How much does it cost to hire a small ceilidh band?

3 people:

  • Starting Price: £450
  • Average Price: £600
  • High-end Price: £1200

4 people:

  • Starting Price: £600
  • Average Price: £800
  • High-end Price: £1600

Browse over 100 ceilidh bands on our dedicated page: Hire a Ceilidh Band

Compare Ceilidh Band prices →


Bethany Jane and Bro performing outdoors
Bethany Jane & Bro performing outdoors as a pop duo

Pop Duo

How much does it cost to hire a pop duo?

  • Starting Price: £340
  • Average Price: £460
  • High-end Price: £800

Browse Pop Duos in the UK here: Hire a Pop Duo

Compare Pop Duo prices →


Giulia and the Lizards pop trio
Giulia and the Lizards are a seasoned pop trio—available for hire on Encore

Pop Trio

How much does it cost to hire a pop trio?

  • Starting Price: £510
  • Average Price: £700
  • High-end Price: £1300

Browse Pop Trios in the UK here: Hire a Pop Trio

Compare Pop Trio prices →


Sunny Steel Band performing outdoors
Sunny Steel Band are a professional steel drum band, always bringing the sunny vibes!

Steel Drummers

How much does it cost to hire steel drummers?

  • Starting Price: £200 per person
  • Average Price: £260 per person
  • High-end Price: £350 per person

Browse Steel Bands now: Hire a Steel Band

Compare Steel Band prices →


The Hummingbirds performing in costume
The Hummingbirds are a close vocal harmony trio, specialising in swing music (and the fashion of the day!)

Small vocal ensemble

How much does it cost to hire a vocal ensemble?

  • Starting Price: £150 per person
  • Average Price: £210 per person
  • High-end Price: £350 per person

Compare outstanding vocal ensembles here: Hire a Vocal Ensemble

Compare Vocal Ensembles →


Musicians costing £750 to £1,500

With a budget of £750 to £1500, the range of options available extends to Pop Bands, larger Jazz Bands and even Barbershop Quartets!


Girls That Mix DJ live ensemble
Girls That Mix are a unique DJ live trio (saxophone, DJ, and bongos)—available to book on Encore

DJ Live

How much does it cost to hire DJ Live?

DJ + 1 musician

  • Starting Price: £600
  • Average Price: £800
  • High-end Price: £1200

DJ + 2 musicians

  • Starting Price: £900
  • Average Price: £1200
  • High-end Price: £1800

DJ + 3 musicians

  • Starting Price: £1200
  • Average Price: £1600
  • High-end Price: £2400

Compare DJ Live acts →


Nouveau Lounge performing as a sextet
Nouveau Lounge are one of Encore’s most popular jazz bands—they have a customisable line-up, pictured here as a sextet

Jazz Quartet, Quintet or Sextet

Jazz bands come in many shapes and sizes: read more below to learn how much it costs to hire a jazz band.

How much does it cost to hire a Jazz Quartet? (4 people)

  • Starting Price: £720
  • Average Price: £1100
  • High-end Price: £2000

How much does it cost to hire a Jazz Quintet? (5 people)

  • Starting Price: £900
  • Average Price: £1400
  • High-end Price: £2500

How much does it cost to hire a Jazz Sextet? (6 people)

  • Starting Price: £1050
  • Average Price: £1700
  • High-end Price: £3000

Compare Jazz Bands →


The Covered mid-performance
The Covered—a large 6–9 piece pop band available to book with Encore

Pop Band (4-6 musicians)

How much does it cost to hire a pop band? Read below to find out typical costs for pop bands with between 4 and 6 musicians.

4-piece line-up:

  • Starting Price: £800
  • Average Price: £1400
  • High-end Price: £3000

5-piece line-up:

  • Starting Price: £1000
  • Average Price: £1650
  • High-end Price: £3750

6-piece line-up:

  • Starting Price: £1200
  • Average Price: £2000
  • High-end Price: £4500

Compare Pop Bands →


Wedding couple dances to ceilidh band
A wedding couple dances along to ceilidh music

Medium Ceilidh Band

How much does it cost to hire a medium-sized ceilidh band?

5 musicians:

  • Starting Price: £750
  • Average Price: £1000
  • High-end Price: £2000

6 musicians:

  • Starting Price: £900
  • Average Price: £1200
  • High-end Price: £2400

7 musicians:

  • Starting Price: £1050
  • Average Price: £1400
  • High-end Price: £2800

Compare Ceilidh Bands →


Hummingbird String Quartet

String Quartet

How much does it cost to hire a string quartet?

  • Starting Price: £640
  • Average Price: £820
  • High-end Price: £1600

Compare String Quartets →


Electric String Quartet

How much does it cost to hire an electric string quartet?

  • Starting Price: £1000
  • Average Price: £1600
  • High-end Price: £3000

Compare Electric String Quartets →


Barbershop Quartet

How much does it cost to hire a barbershop quartet?

  • Starting Price: £640
  • Average Price: £800
  • High-end Price: £1400

Compare Barbershop Quartets →


Musicians costing £1,500 to £2,500

With a budget beyond £1500, a number of high-end acts and larger-sized ensembles make fantastic candidates for any event type.


High-end Function Band

Function bands are a firm favourite for many Encore customers. But how much does it cost to hire a high-end function band?

4 people

  • Starting Price: £1200
  • Average Price: £1600
  • High-end Price: £2600

5 people

  • Starting Price: £1500
  • Average Price: £2000
  • High-end Price: £3200

6 people

  • Starting Price: £1800
  • Average Price: £2400
  • High-end Price: £4000

7 people

  • Starting Price: £2100
  • Average Price: £2800
  • High-end Price: £4500

Compare Function Band prices →


Wedding Band

4 people

  • Starting Price: £1200
  • Average Price: £1600
  • High-end Price: £2600

5 people

  • Starting Price: £1500
  • Average Price: £2000
  • High-end Price: £3200

6 people

  • Starting Price: £1800
  • Average Price: £2400
  • High-end Price: £4000

7 people

  • Starting Price: £2100
  • Average Price: £2800
  • High-end Price: £4500

Compare Wedding Band prices →


String Octet

How much does it cost to hire a string octet?

  • Starting Price: £1300
  • Average Price: £1850
  • High-end Price: £3200

Compare String Octets →


Jazz Band (7 to 11 musicians)

How much does it cost to hire a larger jazz band?

  • Starting Price: £1300
  • Average Price: £1850
  • High-end Price: £3200

Compare Jazz Band prices →


London Contemporary Voices - available on Encore
London Contemporary Voices – available on Encore

Small Choir

How much does it cost to hire a small choir?

To hire a small professional choir, you should expect to spend between £150 and £300 per singer, depending on the skill level of the choir and the length of time they are performing for.

8 singers

  • Starting Price: £1200
  • Average Price: £1450
  • High-end Price: £2400

12 singers

  • Starting Price: £1800
  • Average Price: £2150
  • High-end Price: £3600

16 singers

  • Starting Price: £2400
  • Average Price: £2900
  • High-end Price: £4800

The prices for choirs vary a lot depending on the skill level of the choir, and the type of event they are performing at:

Skill Level

The starting prices above are for choirs of professional or semi-professional singers who have been singing together for several years and who have usually been trained at a conservatoire or music college. These choirs will be audition-only, meaning the standard is very high and the singing is of a high quality.

If you choose to hire an amateur or student choir, then you may well receive lower quotes. However, you are increasing the risk of a bad or unprepared performance due to the lack of experience and training that these choirs have. If your event is important, we highly recommend hiring a professional or semi-professional choir.

Event Type

The prices above are for a performance at a private event or a wedding. If you are hiring a choir to sing at a funeral, however, then the price is likely to be lower due to the shorter length of the performance and the time of day that the choir will be performing (evenings and weekends tend to cost more due to the higher demand).

To compare prices and customer reviews for the best choirs in the UK, head to our Hire a Choir page.

Compare Choir prices →


Large Ceilidh Band

How much does it cost to hire a large ceilidh band?

8 people:

  • Starting Price: £1200
  • Average Price: £1600
  • High-end Price: £3200

9 people:

  • Starting Price: £1350
  • Average Price: £1800
  • High-end Price: £3600

10 people:

  • Starting Price: £1500
  • Average Price: £2000
  • High-end Price: £4000

To compare prices and customer reviews for our top UK ceilidh bands, head to our dedicated page: Hire a Ceilidh Band.

Compare Ceilidh Bands →


Musicians costing  £2,500 to £10,000

Larger budgets above £2500 bring some spectacular groups and bands into consideration. Read more below about the range of acts available at this price.


Large Swing Band (20 members)

How much does it cost to hire a large swing band?

  • Starting Price: £5000
  • Average Price: £7000
  • High-end Price: £12000

Compare Swing Bands →


Show Band

How much does it cost to hire a show band or show choir?

8 members

  • Starting Price: £2000
  • Average Price: £2800
  • High-end Price: £5000

10 members

  • Starting Price: £2500
  • Average Price: £3500
  • High-end Price: £6000

12 members

  • Starting Price: £3000
  • Average Price: £4200
  • High-end Price: £7000

Compare Show Bands →


Large Choir

How much does it cost to hire a choir?

20 singers

  • Starting Price: £3000
  • Average Price: £3600
  • High-end Price: £6000

32 singers

  • Starting Price: £4800
  • Average Price: £5760
  • High-end Price: £9600

60 singers

  • Starting Price: £9000
  • Average Price: £10,800
  • High-end Price: £18,000

Compare Choirs →


String Orchestra or Chamber Orchestra

How much does it cost to hire an orchestra?

24-piece String Orchestra

  • Starting Price: £3600
  • Average Price: £4800
  • High-end Price: £10,000

40-piece Chamber Orchestra

  • Starting Price: £6000
  • Average Price: £8000
  • High-end Price: £16,000

Compare Orchestras →


Musicians costing £10,000 to £100,000

London Musical Theatre Orchestra
The London Musical Theatre Orchestra can provide symphonic renditions of popular broadway numbers.

Full Symphony Orchestra

How much does it cost to hire a symphony orchestra?

100 players

  • Starting Price: £16,000
  • Average Price: £22,000
  • High-end Price: £40,000

Encore offers a bespoke orchestral booking service, where a member of our team will help you find and book the perfect orchestra to suit your musical, logistical and financial requirements.

To book your free consultation call, simply fill out the form below to send us a short email outlining your event and ideas. One of our team will then get back to you within 24 hours.

Bespoke Orchestral Booking Service – Consultation Form

James McAulay

Encore Co-Founder & CEO. Cellist, pianist, singer and aspiring guitarist.

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