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    vintage red arrowsFor most people, booking a live wedding band is a first and one-time-only experience. Over our many years of listening to our clients, we have noticed that the same questions come up time and again, so we have put together an explanation of the costs involved in booking live acts for you here, in the hope that we can clarify the booking procedure and dispel some of the misconceptions.

    When we provide our initial quotes, a client will often react with

    How much?? £750 an hour?? That’s extortionate!!”.

    Most live bands have a pub and public gig price. This is vastly different from their non-speculative performances.  Many artists have a local following, and to maintain their fan base they perform at local events so their followers get to see them more, in addition to enabling them to reach new customers. Potential clients can’t be invited to a wedding gig, so bands use these public dates as a showcase.

    It is also important to point out the difference here between the professional, full time artists and the local Friday and Saturday night pub bands.  Many weekend artists are happy to supplement their income with working the pub scene,  but for professional acts their model is something different entirely.


    The differences between professional acts for us come in many forms. Whilst there are many reliable and professional part time artists, it really does become a case of  ‘you get what you pay for’. Our acts are professional on and off the stage. All of our artists are contracted for your peace of mind. They will arrive on time and play when and what is arranged and contracted between you, via us. You won’t necessarily get this with a semi-professional pub band, and your wedding is too important an occasion to take a chance on a lack of professionalism because of a cheap deal.

    Music and bands don’t charge as an hourly rate, so it can seem difficult to understand when a band gives a figure of £1500 for 2 hours of performance for a 4 piece band. However, when we examine this more closely,  we can begin to see why:

    £1500 ÷ 4 band members =

    £375 per musician

    BUT….we can break this down into:

    The bands’ expenses
    Travel expenses (maintenance of a jointly run van, petrol, tax and insurance)
    Expenses of travelling to and from the van location for the onward journey.

    Lunch : If the venue is far away, there may be a need for the band members to pay for their lunch and/or evening meal.

    Maintenance of equipment

    Departure and travel time

    Several hours’ driving distance for many bands in order to get to a venue to perform would not be considered unusual. For example (Please bear in mind these are example timings):

    3pm departure (allowing time for potential traffic delays)

    7pm arrival time

    8pm set up and sound check

    8:30 to 9:30, first set performance

    10:30 to 11:30, second set performance

    Encores, and CD music after the performance for a potential 45 mins extra

    00:15am to 01:00 am loading out of equipment back into the van

    01:00 to ? (it is not uncommon for a band to travel 3 hours to a performance, so they often tend to get home very late at night/early in the morning)


    If we base our interpretation of the price on an hourly rate model, we can see that the total time a band is actually working is 12 hours, earning an individual band member £31.00 per hour. As well as this, there are other costs that one has for running a business, such as tax and National Insurance,  Public Liability Insurance cover, marketing materials, purchasing of equipment, renting of rehearsal space, and clothing in order to do their job.

    With all of the above in mind, we hope that we have provided a clear explanation into the hidden costs in the hire of a live band, and that what may have seemed initially to be a clear case of extreme overpricing, will hopefully now appear more considered and reasonable.

    Browse our nationwide bands for hire