7 Questions to Ask the Band Before You Hire Them for Your Event

February 22, 2023 Jessica Stewart

Whatever type of event you’re planning, choosing the right entertainment is mission-critical. Many corporate events, team meetings, and social celebrations call for the excitement of a live band. However, before you get the band to sign your event contract, run through this list of questions to be sure they’re going to be the best fit for your New York event. 

1. What Other Gigs Do You Normally Play?

This line of questioning will allow you to learn more about whether or not the band plays similar events as yours. They’ll tell you, too, with what frequency they play, too. The more you learn about the band’s experience in playing for events, the better you’ll feel about booking them. If they don’t have a lot of gigs on their schedule or don’t have direct experience playing for the type of event you’re hosting, it might be worth finding other entertainment.

2. Does Your Band Have Sample Music to Share?

Ask if the band has digital files or a CD they can share with you of past performances and music performed. You will want to hear for yourself the caliber of expertise. And if they don’t have readily available sample performances to share, even if they’re just casual video uploads on YouTube, it might be a red flag. Great bands always have some footage of their performances.

3. What Do Your Rates Include?

Asking about rates may seem obvious. But there are certain details you’ll want to ascertain with this line of band questioning. In addition to learning about the band’s rates, flat or hourly, you can inquire about any additional fees that might apply to your event. For example, they might charge extra if they have to haul their equipment upstairs. There might also be added costs associated with mileage or refreshments. Now’s your chance to also ask about deposits, cancellations, refunds, and contingency plans should band members become ill, or the band needs to cancel.

4. What Type of Music Do You Play Most?

Use this question to really get into the music. Your event will have certain musical requirements. Will there be a dance floor? Is it a formal gala or dinner? Does your event theme call for a certain genre of music? Every detail matters, and now’s your opportunity to really get to know your chosen band performer, including the types and styles of music they play the most. 

5. How Much Space Do You Need?

This question is more about logistics. But you’ll need to know how much space the band requires for all their equipment. Some bands have sizable drum kits or pianos. And they’ll know the dimensions needed. You can compare with your event’s chosen venue layout and make sure there’s enough room for everyone and everything. Ask, too, about any required space for breaks away from the stage and guests. Ideally, you’ll find a band performer who’s already played at your venue.

6. What’s Your Setup and Tear-Down Procedure?

You’ll additionally need to know what the band’s process is for setting up and tearing down their equipment. Some bands may require early access to the venue, as much as three hours. Other bands may have rehearsal requirements prior to the event for sound checks, etc. It’s best to have all of these preliminary steps done before event guests arrive.

7. Do You Have Special Requests?

Talk with your band performers about any additional special requests they might have. Maybe it’s lighting or power sources. Some may need additional help with moving equipment. This is the segment of the band interview where you get into the details about snacks and beverages, too. Anything unreasonable should present itself during this line of questioning so you know what to expect and how to proceed.

Before hiring the live band, make sure you take the proper vetting steps and ask all the appropriate questions. For more insights about event planning tips for your New York events business, make sure you get to The Event Planner Expo 2023 this October! You can get in the room with top pros and industry influencers. And there might be remaining availability for an exhibitor booth on the tradeshow floor! Ask us today!

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