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Event Inspiration/Articles/Tips/The GigMasters Guide to Hiring a Cover Band

The GigMasters Guide to Hiring a Cover Band

Chelsea Pellegrino


After speaking with some of our top booked and highest rated performers, we have compiled some steps to follow when hiring a Cover Band for your next event. Cover Bands add dynamic and energizing entertainment to all types of events, from wedding receptions, to outdoor festivals, to bar and restaurant performances, and even fundraisers. For those who are new to the looking/booking process, here are some tips to help you through the searching, negotiating, planning, and hiring of a quality group.

1. Keep three things in mind when starting your search: Talent, experience, and professionalism - the right Cover Band for your event will impress you from the start.  Check out the group’s live audio and video samples, and their song list.  They should boast a variety of song choices, and, more importantly, the songs you want to hear.  If you have the opportunity to check out the band perform at a public event, by all means, go!  Even great audio and video samples are lacking the energy and ambiance of a live performance. Also, a great Cover Band’s reputation precedes them.  Speak to event planners at venues where the group has performed, or past clients, for reviews.  A professional Cover Band is enthusiastic about performing, and is willing to take the time to sit down and fully discuss your event details and entertainment needs.

2. Ask important questions up front: Find out more about the band members.  How long has the group been performing together?  Have there been any recent replacements to the group?  Do they have both a male and female vocalist? We found out that 75% of bands offer different group combinations to their clients depending on their needs, so its important to make sure that the musicians you want are the musicians you get.

3. Ask more questions later: Does the band take song requests before or during their performance?  Do they allow party guests to use their microphones for personal announcements?  Let them know more about your event and the guests attending, and see if their song choices or live performance changes based on the audience.  Clearing up these details before your event will help their performance go smoothly.

4. Understand the group’s space, lighting, and electrical needs: Most Cover Bands maintain their own performance equipment, but you will be responsible for the space available for them to perform.  Our performers have told us that a stage or performance area no less than 12 feet by 20 feet is required.  These space requirements may change, depending on the group. Please also note that an electrical power source must be made available within 10 feet of the performance area.  So keep this in mind, especially if your event is outdoors.

5. As always, be courteous to the entertainers you hire, especially if they are traveling to your event destination.  Be sure to discuss travel or lodging expenses, and provide a parking space or proper/timely transportation to your event.  Depending on the type of event you are throwing, you should also offer food and beverage during their breaks, or after their performance has taken place.

Good luck in your search, and have fun!