Reserving live bands
for your function
Many of our clients have never
booked live entertainment before and therefore we get
a lot of questions. The following information is designed
to give you an idea of how the process works, what to
expect and to help you understand our philosophy and
approach. Our job is two fold: to find you the best
entertainment possible and take the fear and confusion
out of the process.
Coordinating the Details -
A willow representative will be with you every step
of the way, before, during and after your event.
Our bands have performed for many
of Boston's biggest events and our proven track record
makes us a first call among function industry professionals,
meeting planners, destination management companies.
Additionally, our groups have performed at virtually
every venue in the Northeast and easily adapt to any
location, crowd, or scenario.
Coordinating the Details
Every client is sent a reception planner-worksheet
and information package to fill out roughly 2-3 months
prior to the wedding. The reception planner provides
us with vital information regarding the timeline of
your wedding, formalities, specialty dances, toasts,
specific songs, etc. It is especially important that
any material the band will need to learn for your event
be submitted no later than one month before the date.
After you have completed your worksheet, Willow will
schedule a pre-event consultation with the bandleader
or musical director. This can be done in person or over
the phone. Each BW band has a person who coordinates
the pre-planning AND does on-site management to make
sure things go exactly as you wish.
Sound personnel and musicians will generally arrive
at the event site 2 to 3 hours prior to the agreed upon
"performance time." Set-up times can always
be adjusted to meet your specific needs.
Sets & Breaks
The standard booking time for bands is 4hr blocks. Bands
usually play 3 sets during a 4 hour period and take
two 20 minute breaks. Most bands provide music on CDs
Tuxedo (formal gowns for female members) is the traditional
dress for private events. Other modern options include
Jacket & Tie, Business Casual, and Hip Casual.
The Cocktail Reception
If you choose to utilize the musicians from the Band,
options often may include solo keyboard (a piano will
be played if available), keys and sax, or keys, sax,
guitar and bass. The entire band may also be available
(depending on the location of cocktail reception) and
will generally keep the volume to a minimum.
Ceremony Music (for weddings)
Some musicians from the band can be hired to perform
at your wedding ceremony. Available options (in solo
or group) from the band might include: piano, trumpet,
or sax, etc.
Sound, Electrical, Staging,
and Load-in requirements
Many of our featured bands come with an on-sight
pro-audio engineer and a state of the art PA sound system
customized for your event location/venue. Our groups
have close working relationships with many of the top
venues throughout the Northeast and will handle all
electrical, staging, and load-in concerns directly with
the venue, leaving you with one less thing you have
to worry about. For functions taking place at private
residences or specialty sites, it is recommended that
the person acting as "on-site production manager"
contact the band well in advance so that we may provide
detailed information regarding band requirements.
Sound, Size & Volumes
Will they be too loud?
The keys to proper band volume are experience, professionalism,
and equipment. Have you ever wondered why some 4-piece
rock bands sound much louder than many 10-piece orchestras?
Bands play through what is called a PA system (Public
Address System) where all instruments are amplified
and wired through a mixing board. A sound engineer controls
each individual instrument level. Mixing boards have
master volume controls such that once a band is properly
“plugged-in,” the sound levels can be manipulated
much in the same way as you would control the stereo
system in your car. Good musicians properly “pace”
the evening and know when to play quietly and when to
pump up the volume.
I am worried my venue does
not have enough space . . . will a band fit?
This depends on the instruments used in the
band. Drum sets, percussion kits and keyboards take
up the most stage space. Horn players and vocalists
need only the small amount of space it takes to stand.
Due to the limited space at many venues,
most bands have learned to adjust and fit into very
small spaces. More then likely Willow
Entertainment has worked at the venue
you are using and is aware of its limitations.
What size band do I need?
Most wedding dance bands consist of 3-8 members
(swing bands can have up to 20 pieces). As many private
functions have guests ranging in age, personalities,
and tastes, bands that can play a wide variety of styles
are more than likely to suit every one’s needs.
With this in mind, bands with more members can usually
cover more bases and play more styles.
Do bands charge for travel?
All bands have different policies and rates
concerning travel. Events requiring extensive travel
may require overnight accommodations for the band members
Chooseing The Right Band For Your
Reviewing Videos, CDs, Bios
and Song lists
Willow Entertainment provides our clients with
audio samples, video samples, pictures, song lists,
and client testimonials. The point of demos is to portray
the broadest range of styles to give the listener an
idea of how flexible a particular band can be. When
listening, it is essential to listen for the group’s
overall musicality. Remember, they are trying to appeal
to a varying array of people. Just because you don’t
like a specific song or two, don’t immediately
rule them out.
How long should I wait to
book a band?
On average, most bands book about 6 to 12 months
in advance for popular dates. Top bands may book as
many as 2 years in advance. The earlier you start looking
for a band, the more choices you will have available.
Since band availability can literally change from day
to day, it is seldom advantageous to take more than
a month to book a band
What is required to book band?
A signed contract and
deposit is needed to secure a band. Deposit amounts
are normally one third to one half of the total cost
of the group. Out of fairness to all clients, temporary
holds may not be placed on specific bands. The only
way to take a group off the market is by delivery of
a signed contract along with a deposit to Willow Entertainment.