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What happens when your band can’t perform?

It is not unheard of for an event planner, bride or wedding planner to contact us, saying the band isn’t able to play anymore at their event. In most cases, the band is one of the features of the event and of course for weddings, it forms the evening entertainment.  This can be a stressful time, but there are things you can do, in order to find an alternative.

It always upsets me when I hear this happening. Particularly if it is an event you are arranging yourself, it is an added stress. However, there is often a reason why a band isn’t appearing. We hear of bridal couples booking a band that the “Usher’s brother” plays in. There is no agreement written and the fee agreed is way under the normal fee. Of course the other band members aren’t happy and when another booking comes in at an appropriate fee, the wedding is forgotten. This might seem harsh, but people who don’t know the bridal couple feel no obligation to perform when they are turning down other work. To avoid this happening I would recommend:

  1. You have a full written agreement.
  2. You pay a deposit up front.
  3. Ensure you have the full agreement of the entire band, and pay an appropriate fee for their time. Of course there might be a discount, but remember that the band might not agree to the fee if it is too low even if you perceive it to be “Mates Rates”.
  4. Keep in contact with the band, involving them in the planning process.
  5. If for any reason they have to pull out, ask if they can recommend anyone else.
  6. Ask other suppliers: they might have a band they know.

Soul Dance Cover Band

Last year we had a panic phone call from a wedding planner on the day of a wedding. There had been some localised flooding. and the band (and some of the other suppliers) weren’t able to get to the venue. By chance, a couple of our musicians who lived very locally were free and were able to get to the venue to provide entertainment. Being aware of local companies like Viva Live Music in case there are emergencies, are very useful. A venue should know about local suppliers even if they aren’t being used in an event.

The moral of this story is that it is easy to be lured into working with friends, but if you do, ensure you have a signed agreement and pay them accordingly. Sometimes people are reluctant to charge for a service – particularly for a wedding, and it gets difficult when they realise they are turning down other work, or that they feel their service isn’t valued by their friend. “Mates Rates” do work when there is some exchange, but need to be managed carefully.

In the end, it is less risky when booking a band, to go to a reputable music company like Viva Live Music. We provide the contracts, double check everything during the whole preparation and planning process and if, on the unlikely situation that a band is no longer available, we will do all of the organising to find a replacement. Peace of mind is surely a better option than worry.

This is what one of our clients said last week:

“I just wanted to drop you an email to thank you for arranging the band for our party last Saturday.  The guys were amazing and absolutely made the party.  We had a wonderful time and everyone loved the music and dancing.”

To book one of our bands contact us or call +44 (0) 8000938464


Thank you so much.

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