Archive for July 27th, 2009

Band Breaks – The Party Killer!

Monday, July 27th, 2009

Nobody minds when the band takes a break as the guests sit down to dinner. In fact, most folks probably don’t even notice that they’ve left the stage (other than the fact that it has suddenly become easier to have conversations without shouting.)

But anytime after 10PM, if the music stops – so does the party. Your guests look at their watches, pass meaningful nods to one another, then head for the door.

Some bands I know are perfectly aware of this, yet take long intermissions anyway. Most do so – I believe – hoping to get off early. (If half the people leave as a result of the 10 o’clock break, and half of those remaining depart at the 11PM intermission, the hostess will often let the band go early.)

This would be fine, if band members who had been hired from 8:00 until midnight refunded 25% of their pay. But the same musicians who will charge you for a full hour when your party goes 15 minutes past its contracted time, somehow never give back a cent when the night dies early (thanks to their intermissions.)

How can you prevent the party you’ve spent months planning from dying a premature death?

1. Ask your bandleader to consider – instead of giving all his players an intermission at the same time – to rotate out his musicians, so that some are always left on stage.

2. Prepare a CD of prerecorded musical favorites to play during the band breaks.

3. When hiring your band, ask if you can give them an extra long break during dinner (when you don’t need them), in exchange for a double-length set from 10:00 to 12:00. If they won’t cooperate, somebody else surely will.

Although many bands fail to understand this, it is in their direct interest for your event to be such a smashing success that it goes full-time. When the music makes your party-goers forget about checking their watches, everybody wins: the hostess, the guests, and that suddenly in-demand band, as well.