Category Archives: Corporate Events

Tips For Hiring Live Music & Bands For Holiday Parties

When You Hire a Musicians for Holiday or Christmas Work Parties,
There Are a Few Things to Take Into Consideration.

  1. Be Proactive – You should book holiday parties for December and New Year’s Eve at least four months out or you may find yourself booking a Garage Band
  2. Pricing & Budgeting – December costs for bands average at least 5,000 and more for December Holiday Parties and New Year’s Eve.
  3. Basic Costs Associated With Running A Business – Remember, these musicians are running a business and have to allocate part of the revenue towards paying for certain aspects of running the business. The basic costs of being a professional musician include all the costs generally associated with running any small business.
  4. Health/Dental Insurance and Other Benefits – Again, like most businesses, musicians need these necessities and will likely pay out of pocket in order to remain healthy enough to perform.
  5. Experience and Reputation of the Musician(s) or Band – Brand Building has its costs as well. However, you tend to get what you pay for with a more well known and experienced professional musician or live band.
  6. Overall Time Spent for Your Event – The actual number of hours they will work for you vs. the hours they are performing. Many have to put together a play list and practice several times beforehand to be ready for the holiday or Christmas party. Having an unorganized performer is not enjoyable for anyone including the performer themselves.
  7. There are Other Costs Taken Off the Top of What They Charge – Self-employment tax, Federal tax, State tax, and preparer fees
  8. Licensing for Bands and Performers – Most cites require a band to have a County and City License
  9. Insurance, Insurance, Insurance – Instrument, equipment, and business level auto insurance and Liability Insurance are all insurances that a musician must pay for. it is not something that a performer will risk not having if they are a professional. Things go wrong, something can break, venues can be dangerous, instruments can be stolen. All of which requires funds in one way or another.
  10. Advertising & Promotion Costs – Marketing and Communications costs are something all businesses endure. Things such as simply printing brochures or business cards has a price. This doesnt include other print advertising or web site promotion costs. If no one had some sort of advertising, they would never have a business to begin with.
  11. Education Costs – Business and/or education loan payments etc. Most professional have these. don’t forget that someone has to pay for those as well. Nothing these days is free unfortunately…
  12. Drive Time & Distance to Venue – If you want your musicians to drive more than 20 miles from their home (think city center), you should also pay them 80 cents a mile; round trip. Many of them drive big vehicles loaded down with gear that just don’t get good mileage and/or they are too full of stuff to leave room for car/van pooling.
  13. Consider The Musician and Bands Needs – Many musicians, and self-employed people, have to pay for their own health, dental, disability, and life insurance. These costs alone may represent 20 to 30 percent of his or her gross earnings.

More Things to Consider When Budgeting Expenses Associated With Hiring A Band For A Holiday Party

Journeymen level musicians have attained a level of education, expertise and practice equivalent to that of a medical doctor, attorney or other publicly recognized professional. Just as you probably wouldn’t choose to let a dentist that works for the State’s minimum wage to work on your teeth, you shouldn’t hire a musician at minimum wage and expect a professional performance.

You need to consider the actual number of hours of your musician’s day your performance(s) will consume. A general rule is to accept that you’ve hired a musician’s to work for you from the time they leave their home until they return home So when you require your musicians to set up before dinner and then come back to play later, add up the time it will take them to travel back and forth from their homes or figure the total time between set up and performance.

Also consider the time your musicians spend waiting to perform for you when the unexpected happens.

  • Your dinner is running behind because the caterer can’t get all the plates out on time.
  • Your keynote speaker is running over their allotted time.
  • The speakers or silent auctions are taking much longer than expected.


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