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Choosing an orchestra: how to choose a band for your event?

Photo de Coffee Tone lors d'un événement privé

When you start looking for a band, it is not always easy to make a choice because, as with many things today, the offer is very vast and varied. So how to find your way around and make a good selection?

Choosing the right band for your event

First of all, it is essential to take into account the type of event and to look for an orchestra with the style, standing and quality appropriate to it.

There are many types of events for which a band can perform:

- Public concerts: festivals, programming of theaters, national holidays, religious festivals and events organized by municipalities, town halls or associations.
- Private events: corporate events, private parties, trade fairs, conventions, gala, inauguration, weddings, anniversaries and many other occasions for which orchestras can be solicited.

The purpose of this article is to help the Internet user to choose, we will only talk about private events because for the first case, most of the time, it is professionals who are looking for groups or they are directly solicited by the artists.

When hiring a band for a private event, most of the time, we "offer" musical artists to guests, clients or family.
We often seek above all to create an atmosphere, a space where the music will carry the moment towards something pleasant.
Naturally, we have to orient ourselves towards a music that will best accompany the event we are organizing.

Also, one will probably not choose the same type of music group for the national holiday of July 14th avenue des Champs Elysées as for the 50th birthday of his cousin at the Tarare village hall. The scale of the event will thus guide us on the type of orchestra according to its notoriety, its professionalism, its recognized talent.

The choice of the style of music will therefore be decisive.

Group of compositions or covers?

In the event business, the cover band (or cover band as it is called) is largely dominant because simply, most people like to hear tunes that speak to them. Especially at events where listening to the band is part of the party, the conditions are not in the form of a concert, it's easier to get your bearings, to hum and sway to music that you already know or that you have somewhere in your ear.
A "L-O-V-E" from Nat King Cole has a much better chance of being pleasantly received than a wedding cocktail than a "Roots bloody roots" from Sepultura. Like a Soul Funk band will have a better chance of success for a dance party than a Flamenco band. But why not!
For example, if you want to create a pleasant and relaxed atmosphere at a reception, a jazz band for a cocktail party will be particularly suitable.

Whatever the evening organized, the choice remains according to one's personal tastes and desires, but one should not neglect one's guests. Reconciling one's personal tastes and the tastes of the greatest number, according to age groups, cultural or social backgrounds seems to be a wise choice in the choice of one's music orchestra.

Notoriety and talent of a music group.

When your name is Beyoncé or Stevie Wonder, no problem, notoriety is not in question. You can have the opportunity to see them in concert, but it's more complicated to treat yourself to their performance for your birthday.
So when you're looking for a band for your event on the internet, you don't necessarily know how to go about it.

Connoisseurs or neophytes?

Sometimes, even as a music lover, it is not easy to choose an orchestra because although our musical tastes are more assertive and our ears are a little sharper, most of us don't use bands every week. So how do you find people who are talented, professional and reliable at the same time?

As in any environment, we find everything!
Some will be extremely talented musicians but will not be punctual or technically incompetent. Others will be very rigorous but not very communicative or simply not very friendly. Still others will be professionals of the referencing on the net with more important financial means but the artistic will leave to be desired. The reciprocal exists and many other cases also.

Even if it is always difficult to appreciate the quality of a group before having tested it, being aware of all this can lead us to make a better choice.

A few tips for choosing your band:

- The quality of the music of course! For some people "not having a musical ear", this is not at all obvious. In these cases, trust your heart, feel what the musicians are giving off. Musical ear or not, music is above all about feeling.
Whether you trust your intuition or not, also consider the following factors:
- Word of mouth! Some things are as old as the world and not for nothing! Because it remains a means of communication in which we keep a great trust.
- The quality of the site, the quality of the videos, the sound and the professionalism of the musicians. This is often a guarantee of reliability.
- The quality and accuracy of exchanges by email or telephone. It also often testifies to the professionalism and rigour of your interlocutor.
- Look at the details! A good band will pay attention to everything, give importance to everything. The music of course, but also the punctuality, the quality of the sound equipment, the adjustment of the sound, the clothes and style of dress, the human exchange, the precision of the conditions of the performance, etc.

How many musicians should I hire for my private party?

Although the number of musicians may vary depending on the group and the type of event, one trend is clear: small bands are better suited to small events and large bands to large events.
A large band will always be more impressive for a large reception.
There is also a question of the desired atmosphere. If you're looking for an orchestra that can get the audience dancing and excited, the larger the band, the easier it will be to create a festive evening.
On the other hand, a very muffled or acoustic atmosphere will be possible with a trio for example. But that doesn't mean that a music group with 7 musicians can't play very quiet music too.

Here are some examples of possible situations:

- For a prestigious company party, a group with a large number of people will be much more appropriate. From 5, 6, seven or more musicians. A duo or a trio will necessarily have less sound impact and a less rich palette of sounds for an important event.
- For a wedding party, if you want to launch a dance party before the relay of the DJ, if possible start with 5 musicians or more according to your means but avoid going below 4 musicians.
- For a wedding cocktail and wine of honor, a formation of 4 to 6 musicians is very adapted. But if your budget is more modest, a duo or trio formation can sometimes be appropriate.

All these examples keep a very relative value because according to our desires and the way we conceive a reception, this can completely change.
For most people, there is also a budget issue that comes into play.

How much does a band cost? Which band for which budget?

The price depends on many parameters:

- The experience, quality and notoriety of the group.
- The number of musicians.
- Number of possible stage managers and technicians.
- The duration of the service.
- The type of service.
- The geographical distance of the orchestra (mileage costs, possible car rental, accommodation).
- Optional provision of sound equipment, lights, etc.

For all these reasons, it is difficult to give precise price ranges for a band.

Without this being an absolute truth, you can imagine finding :
- Small bands (solo, duo, trio) in the range of €400 to €2000. For the small budgets, address rather to amateur music groups.
- Bands between 4 and 6 musicians in a range of 1500 € to 6000 €.
And according to the notoriety, the experience and the talent of the group, groups which propose prices well beyond.
These prices are an order of magnitude of the artistic performance alone without the additional costs (transportation, sound system, lights, meals, accommodation, stage manager, etc.)