Top 5 Tips for Finding the Best Live Entertainment for Events in Yorkshire
Finding the right live music for your event can be time-consuming, but it’s important to remember that the perfect act will help transform your function, and create exactly the right atmosphere you are looking for. Live music has always been a fantastic addition to events, and the right band can turn your party into something your guests will be talking about for years to come.
Yorkshire is well known for being a beautiful place, and, fortunately for its residents, it is full of wonderfully talented singers, duos and bands. At the international level, Radio X has put together a list of the biggest and best bands from Yorkshire, that features everyone from The Arctic Monkeys and Kaiser Chiefs, to Def Leppard and The Cult.
While this incredible tradition of home-grown talent is justifiably something to be proud of, for the vast majority of us, getting Alex Turner or Ian Astbury to come and sing at our birthday party sadly isn’t an option.
As such, you’ll have to look to the myriad of professional musicians for hire for events. Whether you are looking for singers in West Yorkshire for corporate events, vocalists in East Yorkshire for weddings, or musicians for birthday parties, public shows or for any other type of function, here are some top tips for finding the perfect entertainment for your event…
1. Decide on a budget
As with most things when planning an event, there is little point in doing your research until you have decided what you can and cannot afford, and this will inform the sorts of acts that you consider booking.
It’s important to be realistic when you’re putting a figure on what you want to spend. While the initial cost of hiring a professional musician may be a surprise to some, remember that you are contracting a working professional, just like when you hire a tradesmen or any other service.
As such, it is important to remember that the money you’re spending here isn’t just for the time spent performing. You have to factor in all the other aspects of hiring a professional – their years of training, taxes, insurance, equipment etc. If hiring a musician initially sounds expensive, it’s important to remember everything that really goes into making that performance.
While there is always the temptation to hire cheaper amateurs, it’s important to realise that a lot of the difference in the fee that you’re paying will be going towards solving and avoiding problems you (hopefully) won’t even know exist. Professional musicians will have the experience and training to tailor their sets to the crowd they are playing in front of, will have back-up equipment in the event of any accidents and will be able to give you advice, to make sure that you get the most out of their set.
If your budget is smaller, consider hiring professional solo musicians, who are often able to put on an amazing show, at a reasonable price.
2. Think about your theme
Possibly the most important thing to consider when picking your live music is your event theme (or, perhaps. lack of!). If you are struggling to picture what the right entertainment for your event looks like, then it might help to remember that, while there are no hard and fast rules when booking a band, there are some “classic combinations” that will almost always work well.
For instance, if you’re planning a formal event and would like some wonderful black-tie entertainment to match, then jazz is a brilliant choice. Jazz acts can take many forms, from the classic choice of a cocktail pianist subtly adding to the atmosphere of a drinks reception, to a jazz big band and swing singer, for featured performances. For brides and grooms-to-be, traditional pop/rock wedding bands are an excellent choice, as they specialise in performing at weddings, being able to perform a wide variety of material that is suitable for all your guests. If you’re looking for a less formal celebration, then party bands, acoustic duos and tribute bands will all be an excellent way to go.
If you’re looking for something a bit different, there are also a whole host of new fashions coming to the forefront – vintage bands are taking modern tunes and putting a 1930s spin on them, guaranteeing a packed out dance floor and a unique event. Mumford-style folk bands are also proving very popular at “wed-fest” events – these are Glastonbury-style weddings that are usually held outdoors in big tents or teepees, with lots of food, drink and dancing.
Whatever your choice, trying to reflect your event’s theme in your live music entertainment is a great idea.
3. Consider your venue
Unfortunately, not every venue is suitable for every act. While you might have read the BBC reporting on the closure of live music venues, that’s causing a lot issues for up and coming bands, a lot of the problems that professional event musicians encounter stem from them being booked to perform at venues that aren’t really suitable for them. Some key things to ask your venue if you’re planning to have live music are:
• Get them to show you the space they usually have bands play in.
• Ask them if they have any sound limiters or volume restrictions
• Ask them how they usually go about making provision for live music
Pass all of this information on to any prospective act that you contact, and use it to inform your decision. For example, if your venue is particularly small, then a large 11-piece soul band are probably not going to be the right choice! Similarly, if your venue has severe sound restrictions, you may be best booking a solo singer with backing tracks, or an acoustic band that can manage their volume levels effectively.
4. Do your research
Now comes the fun part! You can begin to get creative, and start browsing through the various acts available to you. Finding your prospective band’s website and making a enquiry is always an excellent option, but there are also a whole host of entertainment agencies out there, with hundreds of different bands on their books. While they will charge you a commission for their service, you will have ready access to an entire roster of entertainment and advice.
If you’re looking to keep costs down, then an entertainment directory service might be just what you’re looking for. Acts will pay to have a listing on their site, meaning you can negotiate with them directly about the booking.
Many party bands will have a select group of live public dates, and it’s always a good idea to go and watch your prospective act in advance of your booking, where possible.
Thoroughly explore each avenue for sourcing live entertainment, before moving on to the next stage…
5. Make multiple enquiries and ask questions
It’s important to remember that you’re not obligated to book every band that you contact! Shop around, and get a few quotes from different acts that you like the look of. Some bands will provide a unique quote that is based on your requirements, whereas others will provide an existing package that has been tailored for different types of events.
If you have any questions about your entertainment, remember it is perfectly okay to ask your band for advice. As working professionals, they will often have seen or been involved in hundreds, if not thousands of events in their career, and will usually be able to offer practical advice on everything, from equipment to use for your conference speech, to the first dance at your wedding.