‘How To’ Series – Fashionably late or does time wait for no band?

It’s easy to assume that all you need for a successful event is to book the right things;  The band, the food, the cocktails, the venue….the list goes on.  However, presenting something fantastic at the wrong time, can dramatically effect your guests experience. Here’s a few tips we’ve picked up along the road regarding how to get the maximum potential out of your band and DJ.

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Choose your vibe

Cocktail Music

Do you want a background act?  A quartet, a solo guitarist or a relaxed lounge band is perfect for this.  They go down best when a crowd doesn’t feel obliged to pay fixed attention to them.  Serve your band, just like cocktails and canapés at any point where there’s no fixed plans for your guests.  It’s a great way to create a relaxed environment for easy flowing conversation in those otherwise awkward moments.

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Dance Floor Fillers!

If you are booking a band or a DJ to get your crowd up, dancing and cutting loose you need the band to be the centre of attention.

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The biggest competition for a band is the BUFFET.  As soon as a buffet is out, people gather, frenzied around the vast selection of hog roast, cheese wheels and miniature burgers.  Once the mounded plates are gathered, guests return to their tables and then sink into the well known food coma.   In this time, most people have the band playing and nobody was dancing or paying the well deserved attention that you, as the organiser, had hoped.   Here’s the tip!  If you must have a buffet then start bringing the buffet out towards the end of the the bands first set, that way they can eat and digest in the bands break.   If you have it in your budget always provide a jug of booze and a jug of water  along with the buffet, encouraging people to steer away from sleeping at the table after completing the ‘all you can eat’ buffet challenge.

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Keeping the Magic

Now, this isn’t always an option, but I think it’s important.  When booking a band, think about the practicalities of their needs.  A band will need to load in lots of equipment, set it up and sound check.    Previously we’ve been asked to do this through a wedding breakfast, sound checking over speeches and special conversations.   By the time the band gets on stage, all the magic and surprise is lost and you’ve spent a large amount of time without background music.    Get your band to soundcheck either before your guests arrive or arrange for your guests to be outside of the room enjoying the relaxed cocktail hour/garden games.  That way when they first see the band it’s a definitive sign of the party progressing, which will cause excitement in your guests.

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The bigger picture

The majority of events we play at are weddings,  which are, for most guests, exhaustingly long.   If you have picked a venue which requires a 5 hour drive for a 12pm ceremony, followed by a party that ends at 12 midnight it’s no surprise guests start to lag.  Make sure you plan the music and the event so it allows your guests to relax, embrace their second wind and dance their socks off exactly when they need to.   Keep an iPod going with an upbeat and neutral playlist during all those quiet moments.

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Most of all remember, if you’ve planned it well enough before then you really can relax on the day…and I think that’s the least you deserve.