Bands are available for weddings, receptions, parties, fundraisers, corporate events, holiday parties, school activities and so much more. Music can be geared toward any size of crowd and any age group. Solo musical acts as well as full ensembles play pop, classical, country, rock, contemporary, jazz, Latin, folk, reggae, hip-hop and every other genre. Some bands just play instruments, while others play instruments and sing. Some even provide emcee services. Several factors affect the costs of booking a band.
Musicians with a well-respected name or huge following tend to charge higher rates. If you want Beyonce, you’re going to have to pay for her time.
Some bands charge flat rates for their services, and others charge a per-musician hourly fee to ensure that each artist in the group is compensated for their time. Some gigs require more or less musicians (a solo act, a trio, etc.) than others, and prices vary accordingly. Rates also vary from geographic region to region. Here are some pricing examples:
Weddings and corporate events
Larger events such as weddings and corporate events require bands to perform for longer periods time and spend more time preparing for the gig. Rates depend on the number of people in the band, how long the performance will be, what the venue is like and the number of guests at the event. Here are some cost examples:
- J-Mann Music
- Solo musician for one or two hours: $150–$200
- Trio of musicians for three hours: $1,200–$2,000
- Full wedding package at an upscale venue: $2,500–$3,500, which includes one or two musicians playing during the ceremony, two musicians during the cocktail hour and three musicians at the reception for dancing. Eight hours onsite.
- The Ocdamia Strings
- Four hours of wedding dinner and reception music: $3,500, which includes six musicians and two vocalists, lighting, PA system and an MC to accommodate up to 300 guests; instruments include saxophone, keyboard, drums, bass, regular guitar.
Many bands or music entertainment companies provide discounts when a customer books them for multiple events at one time. A package deal helps clients save money and gives the performers guaranteed future business. Here are some package offerings from The Ocdamia Strings:
- Three wedding party events booked at the same time: $1,300, which is a $300 discount over original pricing (shown below)
- Solo violinist for two hours during welcome event for wedding party: $400
- Solo saxophonist for three hours at a groomsmen’s party: $400
- Violin and piano for 90 minutes during wedding ceremony: $600
- $1,600 original total
In addition to the time spent performing at an event, the cost for live music includes practice hours, time spent learning special-request songs, travel time and expenses, and preparation and transport of gear to the event. It’s not realistic to hope for a professional string quartet to perform for $200. That would be only $50 per person for hours and hours of work, in addition to the two hours they play at the party.
Some bands charge a travel fee beyond certain distances, and others roll travel fees into their total costs. The travel fee covers the actual cost of transportation (vehicle, gas, tolls) as well as the time in transit during which they’re not able to do other work. A travel fee may be charged as a flat rate or based on mileage. The Ocdamia Strings charge $1 per mile beyond a 20-mile radius around Anaheim.