Hiring a classic rock band can turn up the volume on an event. Professional bands can be hired at various price levels, from garage bands just starting to out to highly professional local outfits with managers and popular national acts that charge tens of thousands of dollars for their services. Cost factors include the group’s cost structure (pricing based on the duration of the event, size of the band or the size of the event), the size of the band, any gear that’s needed and travel expenses.
Many classic rock bands charge based on the length of the event. For all-day affairs where the band needs to play multiple sets, costs will be higher than for one 45-minute set. Some bands set pricing based on the size of the expected audience at an event or on the number of musicians in the band. Special song requests might cost extra because the band will need to learn them.
Size of the band
Generally speaking, a four- or five-piece band costs less than a band with multiple backup singers. However, a larger band may have the flexibility to play a wider repertoire of songs.
Sound and lighting gear
Almost all bands have their own musical instruments and amplifiers, but not all of them have a public address (PA) system, microphones, lighting and other typical gear needed for a musical performance. Clients may need to provide this equipment. Some event venues include sound gear in their rental fees or can add on this equipment to a contract. Otherwise, many companies specialize in renting music gear.
Transporting all of a band’s equipment and personnel can be expensive. Some bands charge travel fees, depending on how far away they are from an event.
It’s easy to see and hear a band’s work in advance of hiring them, thanks to sites like YouTube, Bandcamp and SoundCloud. Many up-and-coming bands or those just starting out don’t have management and tend to be less expensive. Some very good bands are happy to play for a low fee just for the fun or the experience. Just remember that, in these cases, you may end up making sacrifices in the area of professionalism. Hiring a DJ might be more appropriate and cheaper for some events. Avoid bands with booking agents who, as middlemen, run up the price.