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Tips from a band

Published: 19 Aug 14, 01:31pm  |  Author: DG Music

Booking a band for your special event is a big decision which can take up a big slice of your budget so you want to get it right.

It's not just a case of choosing the kind of music you like, although obviously that's the main goal.

There are all sorts of logisitcs to think about when booking musicians so we've asked one of our top bands, The Supernovas, to share their advice on what to expect when booking a party band.

Why should you book a band?

Party time! Booking a band adds instant excitement to your event, whether it’s a wedding, birthday party or village fete. It’s a fantastic way to get your guests up and dancing, but it’s also great for anyone who just wants to watch and listen.

Logistics of booking a band

* When hiring a band, make sure you have enough room for them to play. Set aside a stage area which is a minimum of 4 metres wide by 3 metres deep. If your event is outdoors or in a marquee, you should check the ground is flat, level and secure. If it is soft or on a slope it can be difficult to set up speakers and lighting stands safely.

* Bands are fairly self-contained and usually bring all their own equipment, including lights and a sound system. Our technical requirements are very simple – just a power supply (a single household power socket is fine) and a stage area to play in.

* Parking and access is important so check how many vehicles your band will arrive in. We bring everything we need in two cars so only need a couple of parking spaces. We can carry our equipment up stairs if necessary, but the nearer we can get to the stage area to unload it, the easier it’ll be for us.

* We love playing at outdoor events but please make sure the stage area is covered in case it rains (and don’t forget that we’ll also need a power socket, too)

* If your venue uses a noise limiter, your band needs to know as some will not be able to play there. As a rule of thumb, if the venue is happy for you to book a band with a drummer, we’ll be happy to play there! However, we like to know in advance as sometimes we’ll need to bring extra equipment, such as towels to put on the drum kit to make it quieter.

* Musicians play better if we’ve had a good meal! For all evening bookings, you’ll need to provide us with a hot meal to make sure we have the energy to keep you entertained for the whole night. Sandwiches and crisps aren’t usually enough to keep our energy levels up.

A typical event from start to finish

Before the event

If you have any questions or requests for the band, it’s best to contact your agent, in our case DG Music. They can often answer your question straight away – but if not, they’re always very quick at passing on messages to us. We’ll then call you a couple of weeks before the event to say hello and chat through the details for your booking. It is also a good opportunity for you to ask any questions.

On the day

Our standard arrival time is 6pm. If we’re playing in the same room you’re eating your meal in, we’d normally wait for you to finish your food and speeches – then we’ll nip in and set up while the staff are “turning around” the room. If we’re playing in a different room, we can start setting up straight away. Either way, we’ll make sure we don’t disturb you while we’re doing this.

It takes us about an hour to load in and set up our equipment and after that, we’ll be ready to start whenever you are! We’ll normally play for a total of two hours which can be split into 2 × 1 hour sets or 3 × 40 minute sets – whichever you think will suit your event best.

We don’t play the same songs every time we play, we like to choose them as we go along to keep the mood right and keep the dance floor full! You’re welcome to choose some of your favourite songs and if there are any songs you really don’t want us to play, you can let us your band about those, too!

Watch this clip of The Supernovas in action.

Some bands, including us, are happy to learn one new song for you free of charge – people often ask us to learn a new song for their first dance.

People sometimes ask us if we’ll take song requests from their guests on the night. Yes – if we know the song, we’ll be happy to play it. And if we don’t know it, we’ll see if we can add the request to the DJ playlist we put on during the breaks.

During the breaks

Many bands will play a selection of music from a laptop via their sound system whenever the band isn’t playing. If you book The Supernovas, one of the band will stay by the laptop all night to take requests from your guests and choose songs to match to keep the dance floor busy. You can also bring your own playlist with you to connect any iPod / iPad / phone / laptop to the sound system system.


This is our least favourite part of the day – when it’s all over! Our standard price includes a midnight finish. If you need the music to finish earlier than midnight, we’ll be happy to work around that and if you’re a real party animal you’ll find a “late finish” option on our artist page. Once the music has finished and we’ve turned off our sound system, it takes us around 30 minutes to pack down our equipment and leave. This doesn’t normally cause any problems, as the staff at the venue will usually be tidying up long after we’ve gone!


How long have you been in the Supernovas?

We’ve been playing together since 2009. Our first gig was a last-minute favour for a friend who’d been let down by their wedding band. We enjoyed it so much that we decided to make it our full-time occupation!

What attracted you to the life of a musician?

We all grew up playing music from a very young age. I’m not sure any of us made the conscious decision to become a musician – it just sort of happened, like it was the natural thing to do! Our musical backgrounds were originally quite different. Joel started playing cover songs as a busker in the Channel Islands, Joe was a drummer in a steel band and Martha spent her youth playing in orchestras and jazz groups.

Who are your music icons?

Joel: It’s all about the songs. I still have no idea how The Beatles wrote so many great tunes. More recently, the Arctic Monkeys are a favourite of mine and Guy Garvey from Elbow is a fantastic lyric-writer too. I’m also into some more leftfield stuff like Jeff Buckley, Nirvana, and Elliott Smith.
Martha: Such a tricky question! I’ve always been a long-time Radiohead fan, but more recently I’ve been listening to quite a bit of Alt-J, The Punch Brothers, Them Crooked Vultures, Grizzly Bear and Sufjan Stevens.
Joe: I like all kinds of music, although I’m not really into heavy metal or country. One of my all-time favourites is the Eliza Doolittle song “Pack Up”. Such a great tune!

Tell us about your most memorable performance…

There have been a few! We’ve had the pleasure of playing next to the snow leopard enclosure at Twycross Zoo! It’s the people who really make the occasion though and the performances we remember most are usually the ones with the liveliest crowds.

What is your favourite song / piece of music to perform and why?

In all honesty, our favourite songs are always those that we see you enjoying! We each have our own personal favourites, but the more funky numbers always seem to get the audience dancing – Stevie Wonder’s ‘Superstition’ and Michael Jackson’s ‘Billy Jean’ are great examples. We’re very lucky to have such a big repertoire of songs to choose from, too. This keeps it interesting for us as well as the audience, as no two gigs are ever quite the same.

Who would you most like to perform for?


Where would you most like to perform?

One of the great things about our job is the variety of places we get to play. One day we’re playing at a stately home, the next we’re in a marquee in the middle of the countryside. In all honesty it’s more about the people we play to than the places we play at. The place where we’d most like to perform would be the place with the best audience!

What three words sum you up as a band?

Erm… Just great music!

Click here to see our range of bands.

About DG Music

DG Music is a professional Music Agency providing bands and musicians for private events and public performances.

The business has been operating since 2004 and is proud of the professional and friendly service it provides.

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