Timbre and rhythm release the canned heat in your heels, adds emotions to the atmosphere and banishes awkward silences. 

Especially when performed live. 

Your astute client recognises that and demands a live band for their event, but what’s next? 

The ensemble you saw at the last event sure looked like a handful to deal with and boy, all that fuss! While hiring a live band is certainly not a piece of cake, we’ve laid out some pointers for you to get round what might seem like a catch-22. 

Chances are that your event won’t be held in your bedroom, so you’d need the music amplified to all corners of the event space. This is the added dollar that’s frequently been cursed at, but oh-so-necessary. Although it may cost just $300 for a basic pair of front-of-house speakers (good for 200 pax and below) the figure can amount up to an excruciatingly painful number ($1200-$1800) for an electric band (complete with drums and guitar amplifiers). The requirements depend on the space and the size of the band. Watch out for our article Sound it out: what equipment does a band need? to know more about sound requirements for a band. 

Here’s thinking of your pockets again. How many members in the band might depend on how deep your pockets are. Musicians charge per head, and thankfully, many bands do come with the option of tailoring the size according to your budget. If we are penny pinching this time, consider a soloist (singer who plays an instrument) or a singer with just one musician.

A soloist like Amanda Tee might do the job
Just the two of us: Jacob and Ruby completes the atmosphere

If you’re expecting the live band to ‘illuminate’ the event, well, then, illuminate them. Stage or no stage, musicians play on, but don’t forget the lights. The magic that a live band can make comes complete when there is music and action that is visually existent. Speak to us if you need some basic lighting that can be packaged with the sound system. With $200-$300 more, lights can be added for a functional purpose and also to bring up the atmosphere. 

Skye and band at Cycle & Carriage’s event.

Nobody likes reporting early but dang, we’ve all got to do it. This is to pave the way for perfection (or as near as we can get to it) in sound and for the event. A soundcheck can be the last of the pre-event protocol (after stage, lights and other rehearsals are done) it can safely be scheduled within an hour before the start of the event. Some musicians work in the day and are likely to charge if the soundcheck takes place way ahead of their set times. Be sure to check for extra charges!

“Can you hear me or not?”
Leon from Too Much Drama doing a soundcheck. 

We’ve seen event virtuosos control time – to the minute, and no kidding. However, there are many elements beyond our jurisdiction and we might end up facing delays. As much as talents love to accommodate, there are conditions laid out in fine print to prevent abuse of such circumstances. Have a friendly chat with our musicians or coordinator to come to a fuss-free solution if the performance time is majorly delayed or if an extension is needed. 

Well you can’t have just about any piece of music you want, because it’s limited to the musicians’ repertoire and the instruments involved. We know you won’t put a silly request like asking Joanna Dong to sing Canon in D, but it is ok to choose from their repertoire, and it is also ok to have a look at the list of songs possible before the event.

Some of the singers can do Korean or Thai songs, just like Skye.

You probably know by now, that if you don’t dictate a colour, they will usually come in black. If there’s a theme for the event, the band is happy to fit into it with whatever they can dig out from their wardrobe. If what they have isn’t satisfactory, feel free to don them in something fun. Nothing ridiculous, and it has to fit!

These guys are specialists in sound, and their importance shouldn’t be undermined. You’ve heard this singer sound perfect before, but what really helps her to achieve that impeccable sound is really with the aid of that fella there at the mixing board.

Our coordinators are able to assist with simple tuning (free of charge) for acoustic bands, but bigger bands will require the work of a professional. Sound engineers cost an extra $150-$200 but if we think that one is needed, it will be factored into the package of the sound system rental. 

Guests love to make song requests, and some are also (over) eager to display their talent. It would be good to consider if your event (or your client) permits such incidences if it happens, because the band is always happy to accede to such requests!

Enthusiasts take the stage towards the end!

Nothing is for free here, nope, not in Singapore. Having live music for your event means you’d need a licence for that to happen, and fortunately it is covered by some venues such as hotels and big event spaces. However if you’re having MINT perform at a retail store (they did for Tiffany & Co.) or a public space, you’d need to apply for one, and you can do so here. 

THANK YOU for taking the time to read this. Feel free to reach out if you have any enquiries, or subscribe if you like more tips sent to you.

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