Are you curious about hiring a function band for a wedding or private event but don’t know where to start? We’ve compiled answers to the questions we hear most often, complete with tips and inside knowledge from some of our top bands.
If you want a memorable party, a live band is a must. Imagine the excitement of dancing the night away while watching amazing performers rock out on stage!
Let’s dive right in!
- The Basics
- Equipment & Setup
Function bands come in a wide range of styles. Some specialise in the music of specific artists—like Beatles tribute bands—while some will play music from the 50s to current hits.
Not sure what style you want? Start by checking out the videos in this blog and if you’re hungry for more, go to Encore’s function band page and listen to different bands’ audio/video clips and get ideas of which styles you like. You can even filter by location to find bands near you!
Band sizes start at three people and go up from there. Most groups can be flexible about the size in order to suit your budget.
Encore band, Halfway to New York
PAT stands for portable appliance testing, and it ensures that electrical equipment is safe to use. PAT certificates should generally be no more than 12 months old, in order to comply with your venue’s insurance policy. You can find out more about PAT on this article: Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) explained.
PLI stands for Public Liability Insurance, also known as third party insurance. PLI covers damage to another person or their property during your event – for example, if one of your guests tripped over the band’s amp, PLI would insure this.
All professional bands should have PLI, and your venue is likely to require it. Encore bands with PLI will have a badge on their profile so you can verify it easily.
A six-piece band would need at least 5 x 3 meters. Remember that it’s not just the people – the band will also have to fit the PA, monitors, lighting, guitar amps, drums, and keyboards.
- A power supply to hook up all the amplification equipment. They may also need chairs without arms.
- The band will appreciate a meal as there is generally no time for them to leave the venue to eat.
- Parking, as the band will have a lot of kit to transport. If there is no parking near the door, they must be able to unload near the door and then move the car.
- Keyboard: most bands will prefer to use their own.
- PA system: most function bands will bring their own amps, although sometimes they use the venue’s PA system.
Yes, as long as the weather is warm enough and adequate shelter (a gazebo or marquee that completely covers the group) and a power source is provided. Be sure to tell the musicians if they are expected to play outside!
Encore band, ERA
Bands usually play either two x 1-hour or three x 40-minute sets with a 15 – 30 minute break between sets. Make sure not to schedule your band during the dinner!
Your band will also need roughly an hour for setup and soundcheck.
Our top function bands say these five tunes are guaranteed to put some sparkle into your event:
- Justin Timberlake – Can’t Stop the Feeling
- Guns ‘n Roses – Sweet Child o’ Mine
- Bruno Mars – Uptown Funk
- Stevie Wonder – Superstition
- Walk the Moon – Shut up and Dance
Absolutely! Bands will know a huge amount of tunes, and if they don’t know your song, they can learn it. This may add an additional fee to your booking but is well worth the extra expense to hear your favourite song played just for you.
It’s worth remembering that a band will know which songs keep the dance floor packed and which songs will change the vibe, so give them your favourite tunes and let them keep the party buzzing.
Encore band, MK & the Misters
We advise booking as soon as possible, especially if you have special musical requests, but we handle last-minute bookings all the time at Encore and can easily find a function band at short notice.
Each band will set their own rates, but a fee of around £200-£500/person for two hours of playing is a roughly standard amount. So for a 4-person band, expect to pay £800 – £2000 and for an 8-person band, between £1600 – £4000.
We allow you to ask for tailored quotes for your event so you can specify your budget as you request a band.
Encore band, Sound Express band
You may have to factor in travel costs if the band is not local. Most musicians have a set radius from their home (generally 15-20 miles) and charge extra for any travel outside that area. Encore has function bands all over the country, so we can usually find someone close to your location.
The standard rate is 47p/mile per person so if the band needs to travel 50 miles each way, that’s an additional £47/person for 100 miles of travel. This amount is included as a rough guide – each band will set their own fees.
The easiest way to handle contracts and payment is to book through Encore. Once you have confirmed a booking with your chosen band, contracts and payments will be handled automatically by Encore Pay, our secure payments system and you’ll have peace of mind with our robust cancellation policy.
Hopefully, this guide answers all of your questions! If you have more questions about function bands, email us at [email protected] and we’d be more than happy to help.
Cover image courtesy of The UpTones