May 3, 2011

Vendor Search Tips: The Band

Okay, so the next vendor on deck is the band. I would think this information translates  to hiring a DJ as well, but as we only looked at bands, I claim no expertise there. 

I don’t have a snazzy form like yesterday, since we hired the only band we met with (Yay for an easy search!), so I just put my questions in bullet form.

  •    What are the options for band size and number of vocalists? Our band can be as small as 6 pieces or as big as 11, with up to 9 vocalists
  •   Will it be same band members as you are seeing in a showcase? You want to make sure that singer with the Frank Sinatra voice you loved during the showcase isn’t already booked for something else that day!
  •    What is their overall approach to playing weddings? For example, some do a “through the-decades” approach to music.
  •   How many hours of playing time are in the contract, and what is the overtime rate?
  •   What do they wear?
  •   Will they learn songs, and if so, how many? Are there fees associated with that?
  •   Do they have all the equipment you need or will we need to provide something?
  •   Do they require extra electrical power?
  •   Stage size requirements? Gotta make sure you have room in the venue!
  •   Will bandleader emcee?
  •   Will they follow a do not play list?
  •   Can they avoid crowd requests?
  •   How many years in the business, and how many weddings in the past year? References?
  •   How many breaks will they need, and how long is a break?
  •   How do they keep music going during breaks? For example, recorded stuff, staggered break times.
  •   What is the backup plan in case of any emergency on the day of the wedding?
  •   Can they provide proof of liability insurance? Your venue will ask for this
  •   How much set up time is needed? You want them to be playing as the first guest walks in, so you’ll have to plan the day’s schedule accordingly.
  •   Will they need vendor meals? I’d count on this.
  •   Discuss ceremony and cocktail hour options. In my experiences they threw in the cocktail music for free, and the ceremony was a minimal additional charge. 
More after the jump

We included:
  • Event details:
    • Date of event
    • Address
    • Arrival time, set up time, start and end time
    • Number of hours band will perform. Put it in contract that they can stay later if needed, and the OT rate.
  • Deposit amount, date(s) balance is due.
  • Frequency and length of breaks, and what they will provide for music during breaks.
  • Fee, detailing what it includes, and a list of the equipment they are supplying.
  • Cancellation policy
  • Band’s attire
  • Number and names of performers, vocalists, and what they play.
  • If you  have a do not play list or crowd request rules, put those in the contract.
  • Statement that they have valid insurance.

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