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How much was your band?

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#1 little leisa

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Posted 20 March 2005 - 06:29 PM

John & I found a 2 man band to play at our wedding. They play great covers from Crowded House to U2 and have wonderful personalities as well.

We are still considering a DJ (the cost will play a major part) so before we pursue a quote; we just wanted to get a feel for what the average cost for a small is band?


#2 mum2boys



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Posted 20 March 2005 - 06:40 PM

My h2b and I also decided to go with a band for our wedding, that was until we got some quotes...

The cheapest we came across was $850 for 5 hours and we had to supply them with 2 drinks a hour each (4 ppl in band) and their meal... So it all added up.. We have now decided to go for a dj, He is $320 for 5 hours and he pays for all his own drinks and has something to eat before he comes...

Good luck...!!! biggrin.gif

#3 Vicki


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Posted 20 March 2005 - 06:43 PM

depends what you get, my ex husband was in a duo and their min fee was $450 when he was in a trio they didnt go out under $600 (this is brisbane though)

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#4 garry



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Posted 20 March 2005 - 07:49 PM

Leisa, you have ridiculed my advice & questioned my motives elsewhere in this forum - but just to prove I don't hold grudges and am only here to help, here is a cut & paste from a previous reply I gave in another topic:

As the former manager of two large Melbourne entertainment-oriented hotels where I employed many bands over the years, I can tell you that very, very few bands had an available list of more than about 80 to 100 songs "worked up". We didn't just use bands for functions, we had them in our main lounge bar 2 or sometimes 3 nights per week, so I would have received well over a thousand demo CDs, song lists and bios, both from agencies and directly from bands themselves (or their managers) over that 10 year period. Four or five would hit my desk every week. Of course these are full-on live bands I am talking about, where every instrument is played live, so every member has to learn the right chords etc for every song. However, I do understand/appreciate that many reception type bands have all the backing music on mini-disc or memory sticks - so it is much easier for them to have a somewhat larger repertoire - say 300 songs.

By the way, please don't anyone think for even one moment that I am somehow biased against live music - I was in bands in my teens and I have been a guest singer with several well-known bands/performers here in Melbourne - Phil Para, Brian Mannix, Surf Gods, Tom Spalding etc. Even Dale Ryder, who was lead singer of Boom Crash Opera (who had 4 or 5 big Top 40 hits in the late 80s/early 90s) and still sings around the Melbourne pub circuit with his "Dale Ryder Band" used a DJ buddy of mine for his wedding reception several years ago at "Le Chateau" rather than have a live band.

Of the approx 1,000 functions that we hosted/organised over the years, perhaps 150 were wedding receptions, and of those perhaps 30 would have had "live" music. Looking at it from a purely customer point of view, here are a couple of the negatives I personally observed regarding live bands versus a GOOD disco package (and I do emphasise GOOD - some of the el cheapo disco companies really are dreadful).

Some people think that both bands and DJs play the same amount of time - but that is just not correct. Firstly, ANY DJ, even an el cheapo one, is physically standing in position behind the disco system playing your background music, individual track by individual track, right from the very first minute of your reception as your guests walk in & find their places, and then right thru the entree & main course etc. A live band does not do that, they would be sitting at a table throughout that two hour period enjoying your food and drinks. At best, they might run a compilation CD thru their PA for you - but not always - and many times that music is not only something you haven't picked, it may also not even be really suitable, plus of course there are gaps between each track on whatever CD they play. These things do not happen with a DJ.

As I have mentioned in other posts there is a BONUS in using a GOOD DJ, which is that he can also MC for you - introduce the bridal party as they make their entrance, organise & compere the cake-cutting, run the speeches, introducing each speaker etc, then later running the bouquet toss, the garter & the farewell circle. Most of the el cheapo DJs are not experienced or confident enough to do any of that - and this type of full-on MCing is also something live bands do not do.

And many bands are not there right from the start of your reception anyway. Although their equipment will be set up well before the start of your reception, some bands don't actually arrive until just before the dancing is due to start - usually just in time to have the free "crew meal" as the Muso's Union calls it that you are obliged BY LAW to provide for all of them if they are there for a period of 3 hours. That doesn't mean PERFORMING for 3 hours - their breaks count towards that 3 hours time as well.

Most functions are of a 5 hour duration and usually the food & formalities take up the first one hour 45 minutes to about two hours, followed by speeches - say 15 minutes. Then allowing the last half hour for bouquet toss, garter and farewell circle, therefore the maximum amount of time you get to dance is about two & a quarter to two and a half hours. In that time a band will probably do either two 45 minute sets or three 30 minute sets, with breaks in between - and during those breaks they will once again just play a CD thru their PA - usually at a much lower volume and again, often just a CD they have chosen at random. So naturally people don't usually dance during these band breaks.

But a DJ does not take breaks. What this means is that with a DJ you WILL get from 45 minutes to an hour more dancing time (as well as him playing the first two hours of background music during the entree & main course). His music is continuous with songs actually overlapping slightly (like they do on the radio) right from the time your formalities finish until it is time for bouquet, garter & farewell circle. But bands actually end each song, pause for a moment, often making some comment, then they start the next one - so people actually stop dancing & stand there for a moment or two at the end of every song - this does not happen with a DJ.

When it comes to music choice a GOOD disco company will have given you charts/lists of THOUSANDS of songs to choose from of all different eras, types and styles - this is important when you have three generations of guests to please, while bands who have their backing music on mp3 or memory sticks will by comparison only have at the very best perhaps 300 songs for you to choose from, and they are usually much more restricted in the variety of types & styles & eras of music they can do, depending on how many singers are in the band and what their vocal range is. Also, bands generally only learn songs most of their members like, so you are generally limited by the collective members personal tastes in music. Finally, 99% of reception bands are doing "cover" versions of songs a GOOD DJ would have ALL the ORIGINAL CDs of anyway and surely, the original CD by the original artist always sounds better than a "cover"- plus a GOOD DJ would also have THOUSANDS more songs on CD with him that the band DOESN'T "cover".

Then there is lighting - bands have their lighting directed onto THEM - not onto the dance-floor & surrounding areas. But a good disco package is exactly the opposite - the lighting is focused on the dance-floor, not the DJ. In my experience good disco lighting actually makes a lot more people dance by the atmosphere it creates with all its colours and movement. It enables your venue to turn off or dim right down their normal room lighting, which also assists in getting people up to dance, since many guests, particularly males, are self-conscious about how they look when they dance.

For great fun and a great vibe at a night out with friends at your local pub, a live band is definitely the go, BUT for a wedding reception, with it's particular special requirements and very tight time schedule, in my humble opinion as a function venue manager who has had the opportunity to observe both forms of entertainment many, many times, a DJ/disco package is probably a better option.

#5 little leisa

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Posted 20 March 2005 - 07:57 PM

Enlighten me!

How have I "ridiculed" your advice? blink.gif

#6 little leisa

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Posted 20 March 2005 - 08:14 PM

And thank you for posting your advice reply. I'm considering ignoring it given your opening attack on me but don't want to be accused of "ridiculing" you so will try to get through it tonight.

if I don't though it's no offence or as a ridicule to you I just need to get some sleep is all.

*cowers down with arms up in the air*

#7 Guest_Bubbly_Bride007_Guest

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Posted 20 March 2005 - 08:58 PM

Hey Leisa sweety...

Garry has a few valid points but I completely understand why you would not want to listen to him..

Garry we are trying to create harmony in these forums so if you don't have anything nice to say don't say anything at all...

Leisa sweety I have found 2 band I love!!! But they are so damn expensive! The first one is $3000 for a 5 hour reception and the second is $2500 for a 5 hour reception... I have not seen any decent bands under these prices... maybe I am just a picky!!! I am still tossing up between a band or a dj... Like Garry said bands take breaks and don't play as long.... where as a dj plays all night for half the cost...

Jen tongue.gif

#8 MelanieLouise79


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Posted 21 March 2005 - 05:36 PM

Ya know I was reading through this thread all keen to put in my 2 cents until I had to scroll through the enormous screed from gary.... I'm sure he has some fantastic advice but in this entertainment thread I seem to be sifting through an entire screen full of his advice and it kinda puts me off reading the rest of the posts, not sure if anyone else is hearing me on this....

Anyways, despite all that leisa I'll share with you the prices I've been receiving.... friends of ours are in a very popular band and they have quoted $850 for 4 of them to play for 3 hours on and off, to also be fed on top of that and to have booze supplied.... I have major issues with this as we are not even paying for our guests booze and a set from 8-11pm shouldnt need a meal break..... anyways, they usually charge around $1500 for a wedding to give you a rough idea of pricings...

We have decided to DJ the wedding instead of having a band at this stage because we're on a budget and bands just add up too much

#9 Tiane


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Posted 22 March 2005 - 08:30 AM

We're having a fantastic 4pc jazz band to play for our wedding. They actually played recently at SusieQ's wedding and she said that they were fantastic and really brought a great atmosphere to the occasion.

We've actually booked thru the singer directly and so are cutting out any agent fees. The price for the night is $1000, plus we are supplying each of them with a main meal and soft drinks... which probably amounts to an extra $150.

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#10 Lovebeingamummy



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Posted 22 March 2005 - 08:45 AM

He Leisa,

We are paying $1100.00 for a 2 pce band. (Guy & Girl) They are fantastic, when we saw them play - Kiwi ended up singing into the microphone...
We decided then and there not to shop around cos we loved them. They oozed personality and had such a fun time performing we thought these are the 2 we want!!

They sing long sets and take short breaks and they are playing from 6 until midnight.

They charge an extra $250 to play at the ceremony (which we were goikng to do but our chapel is to small sad.gif )
We became Mr & Mrs Kiwi ~ 14 May 2005 ~
Our beautiful Jack born on the ~ 21st February 2006 ~
Josh due ~ May 13 2007 ~

#11 koopa26


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Posted 22 March 2005 - 10:18 AM

Hey Leisa,

We had a 2 pce band (Guy & a girl) play at our wedding for 4 hrs & they cost us $770. We had a choice whether or not to supply meal/drinks for them, but we forgot to tick the box. But on the night, the Reception Centre supplied them with a meal & they didn't charge us, which was great! They were a fanstastic band & had everyone all night.
We are in Geelong (Vic) though, so probably not as expensive as other places.

#12 Spin28



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Posted 22 March 2005 - 10:46 AM


We are having a four piece jazz band for $1500, they are playing for five hours (including background music during dinner). This was a special rate as my dad is a muso and they are friends.

While Gary may have some valid points not all of what he's saying is true. If you have any of the concerns that he brought up, dicuss it with the band you may find that they will fit in with you.

As a musician myself I have always wanted a good live band, I think it just adds to the atmosphere a lot more.

#13 garry



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Posted 22 March 2005 - 05:48 PM

Spin28, what you wrote, "While Garry may have some valid points not all of what he's saying is true" is quite interesting. It's a very easy sweeping statement to make - but it's not backed up in any way whatsoever. Would you be kind enough to tell me please even ONE specific thing I said that wasn't true? I'm betting you can't. Everything I have stated is based on not just seeing a mere one or two bands perform, but on seeing DOZENS of bands perform at Wedding Receptions in my hotels over a 10 year period - and by the way, also seeing HUNDREDS of DJs perform over the same period. I have only written what I saw - this is not some theory on my part it is just simply what happened right in front of me time & time again.

I still say you should be able to get a GOOD DJ/disco package for $500 to $600 - and that is a full 5 hours music, & it can also include MCing, and in the very restricted amount of time you have to dance at a Wedding Reception, the fact that a DJ does not take breaks makes a HUGE difference. Add to that the fact that you would be keeping in your own pocket to take with you on your honeymoon anything from $300 to over $2000 (based not on my knowledge, but based solely on the band prices previous members have already posted in this topic).

#14 Mrs Meyer

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Posted 22 March 2005 - 06:07 PM

Hi leisa,

My brother in law has a 5 piece band. I know they charge around $800 but thats starting after 8pm.

We had a friend play music for us at our wedding. We picked out our music and paid him $100 as well as a meal. Not bad smile.gif smile.gif

Hope you have had some luck. smile.gif smile.gif


#15 little leisa

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Posted 22 March 2005 - 06:47 PM

Wow everyone thank you so much for your helpful comments - I've printed this page out - we're going to use these quotes to measure up to what we'll go with (with our band).

The prices are quite similar to what we're expecting too - I'll be sure to keep the extra costs in mind.

The band are from the Central Coast but will travel to Sydney for the function - I wonder if this will play a big part.

Yep definitely weighing up the pro's and con's (which yes garry you have kindly pointed out)

But to be honest, I'm with Melanie on this: your posts are overkill. You repeat yourself about your experience in the hospitality industry etc. etc. when you know full well you've told us about that 9 times already (please don't insult our intelligence).

It feels like a "sell" and I'm sorry to offend you but that's not the kind of advice I'm looking for huh.gif

Please don't continue to argue with me or any of the other girls in this thread and I'm sure I speak for everyone else here when I say this entertainment forum entirely.

We draw off each other our "wedding planning" experiences, and (your) experience just seems to be forced down our throats (so to speak).

I still stand by my invitation to help you with the plans for your neices wedding.

So again, are you making a speech at the reception?

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