Archive for September 12th, 2007

Hiring A Band? Always Try For “Close Musical Encounters Of The Third Kind”

Wednesday, September 12th, 2007

The World Wide Web has totally changed the experience of picking bands for your next big event. With the instant availability of video and audio downloads, photos, song lists, and references on-line, it’s hardly ever necessary anymore to hire a group sight unseen (or “sound unheard” – if such a term exists.) Party planners in Detroit getting ready for that big summer convention in Vegas are only a few mouse clicks away from promo material on dozens of groups who are potentially perfect for them. Add to this the fact that the information is yours for the asking 24/7, and you could conclude that it is now feasible to sort through, negotiate with, and even contract a band – without ever once leaving your home PC. Indeed, it happens every day.

But it shouldn’t.

Internet sites are great for helping you cull out the groups which won’t meet your needs, but ultimately, there is still nothing better – before you make your final decision – than seeing and hearing a band yourself. That’s why – if the party’s success is on your shoulders – you should make every effort to check them out in person.


Because a demo doesn’t tell you how long a band takes between numbers, or how loudly they play during the dinner hour. Only with your own eyes can you see if they seem sullen or bored, or if they’re happy to be with you. The wrong musicians can ruin a party that has been months in the planning and has cost tens of thousands of dollars. If nothing else, having seen your band can reassure you that they are truly a good fit for your event.

So – if it is humanly and financially possible – check them out, personally.

Further, try to see them under conditions similar to those you anticipate at your party. If yours is going to be a lively crowd, avoid conducting your inspection during the cocktail hour of another event. Instead, come at a time when your guys can cut loose a bit. If your partiers are “a little bit Country and a little bit Rock ‘n Roll,” you may even want to show up on two separate occasions.

Is it more trouble for you? Obviously. Will it be worth it in the end? Most Assuredly!

I love the World Wide Web. It has made it possible for me to share these thoughts with you. But it hasn’t changed the fact that there are still three main ways to hire a band: 1.) You can get them “blind” through an intermediary. 2.) You can rely on their promo. Or 3.) You can see for yourself if they’re right for you.

Avoid UFOs (Unexpectedly Flaky Organists) – have a close encounter of the third kind. (You will be so glad.)