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Why does entertainment cost so much?

A couple of years ago, I was at a business event. I got talking to another businessman who complained about the expense of his daughter’s wedding. Now, this is probably a complaint many fathers of the bride have had over the years, but as a music expert, he of course mentioned the quotes for harpists he was receiving.

“She is charging ME over £100 an hour, and she’s only young”. I took a deep breath before responding. And of course I had to respond. Harpists like many professional musicians will have practiced for years before getting into music college, where she had to devote herself to progressing in an extremely competitive market: with a business head on her as well as honing her music and performance skills. She would have had to learn hours of music to perform for different clients.

On the day, she would have to drive a large vehicle to transport the harp to the venue. The vehicle would have a high costing insurance cover, and the harp would be a major investment – probably over £35K which also has to be insured. The harpist would arrive very early because she has to set up and re-tune the harp before performing. She will have organised all of her music and will have had at least one meeting with the bride to ensure the musical programme was what the bride wanted, and she might have had to arrange and learn additional music.

At the end of her performance, she will have had to pack and transport  her harp carefully to the car. Occasionally someone from the venue helps, but usually not, then lift into the car and drive home.

All of a sudden that £100 an hour seems more reasonable. When you are working with professional musicians, this is what they bring to the event. They have worked for years – usually from childhood, to develop their skills. Of course you can always go onto the internet and find a harpist who will do it for £50 on the day, but there is NO GUARANTEE THAT THEY CAN ACTUALLY PLAY!!!

Here at Viva Live Music, we are really careful which musicians and entertainers we work with and we know they are worth every penny because they bring their expertise, experience and professionalism to any event. So instead of asking why entertainment is so expensive (and compared with other parts of a wedding it isn’t), recognise that they good entertainers are bringing huge value to any event!

Do contact us if you would like to discuss your event.

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