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What is a Party Band?

A party band is a group of musicians who specialise in playing live music for parties, including corporate parties, birthdays, anniversaries and similar celebrations. Usually playing current and classic pop and chart tracks, a party band is generally made up of a lead singer, guitarist, bass guitarist and drummer. Larger party bands may include a keys player, backing singers, or a brass section.

A complete entertainment package, party bands will provide everything they need for their performance, including sound and lighting equipment, with no need for you to hire any additional services.

Their sets are specifically tailored to parties and may include DJ options, or ‘bandeoke’, where you and your guests take over the lead vocals, accompanied by the live band.

Professional party bands are used to performing internationally and all over the UK and will often travel large distances.

What music will a Party Band play?

You name it and party bands play it! But you may prefer to choose your band based on the repertoire in which they specialise. Most party bands play a huge range of rock, indie and chart music from early Beatles and Motown to current floor fillers, with some bands preferring guitar-based rock, or dance, funk and soul. A standard set list may include songs from artists such as:

  • Amy Winehouse
  • Andy Williams
  • Arctic Monkeys
  • Aretha Franklin
  • Beyoncé
  • Bruno Mars
  • Calvin Harris
  • Chaka Kahn
  • Coldplay
  • Daft Punk
  • David Bowie
  • Ed Sheeran
  • Ellie Goulding
  • Jackie Wilson
  • James Brown
  • Jess Glynne
  • Justin Timberlake
  • Kings of Leon
  • Michael Bublé
  • Michael Jackson
  • Prince
  • Neil Diamond
  • Oasis
  • Stevie Wonder
  • Taylor Swift
  • The Beatles
  • The Killers
  • The Rolling Stones

The repertoire for each of our party bands is featured on their profile pages. Usually artists will tailor their set list to your specific party requirements, and this can be discussed with your Alive Network Entertainment Coordinator.

Popular types of Party Band

1. Guitar bands

Usually consisting of 3–5 members, these bands unsurprisingly specialise in a repertoire based around guitar music – think rock/indie/pop. Guitar bands will cover artists from The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and The Jam, through to The Strokes, Oasis and The Killers.

2. Pop/Funk/Soul bands

Mainly led by female singers and consisting of anything from 4–12 members, pop, funk and soul bands feature a more prominent use of synths and/or a brass section. Repertoire is more dance focussed, including soul and Motown artists like Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder, as well as modern chart and RnB artists such as Jess Glynne, Rihanna and Beyoncé.

Is a Party Band suitable for my event?

A party band is the perfect centrepiece to your big celebration. Bands usually feature towards the end of the night, when guests are up for dancing and the celebrations can be turned up a notch! Sets are lively and energetic, and best performed after any food has been served to enable guests to dance comfortably.

Many bands offer ‘bandaoke’ (check out Vinyl Beats) or ‘rockaoke’ sets (take a look at The Dukes) where guests can take on the lead vocals in a karaoke style, with a live band accompaniment. This is a great way to bring guests into the action, as well as being a real crowd pleaser!

Almost all bands also provide a DJ service if you want to keep the party going after their final set has come to a close.

If your celebration is an all-day affair, party bands can offer daytime-friendly acoustic sets, providing a backdrop for a champagne tent, drinks reception, awards or garden parties.

Booking one band for the whole day’s celebration can be a real timesaver – and great for the budget too. Both logistics and price are minimised, compared with the option of hiring several separate performers.

Space considerations at your event

A typical 5-piece band will need a space of roughly 5m width × 3m depth to perform comfortably. For approximate requirements, see ‘How much space will a party band need?’, below.

Volume considerations - How loud is a party band?

The volume of your band will be dictated by the line-up, instruments and room acoustics at your venue. Live party bands tend to be hired for a big, energetic evening performance, and their volume often reflects this – usually in the region of 95 dB – 110 dB. For any daytime entertainment, eg for drinks receptions or garden parties, the sound will obviously be quieter if you opt for a smaller, pared down or acoustic version of the band.

If your party venue has volume restrictions or has a sound limiter fitted, many bands can play with an electronic drum kit to lessen the overall volume. You can find our sound limiter friendly bands here.

How much does a Party Band cost?

The cost of party bands varies, depending on the number of musicians, and the options each band offers.

In 2017, the average price of a 5-piece party band is around £1,300.

This table shows the range of fees for different types of party bands:

Line-up of band Cost Range
3-piece bands £670 - £960
4-piece bands £980 - £1,550
5-piece bands £1,050 - £1,380
Larger line-ups £1,500 - £7,500+

If your budget is tight, booking a band local to your venue is a great way to reduce cost, as any travel fees will be minimal. The home town of all Alive Network party bands are included on their profile pages, and your Entertainment Coordinator can recommend the best bands near your venue. However, you don’t need to limit your search to just local bands – your perfect band maybe willing to travel at nominal cost!

Who are the top 10 Party Bands in the UK right now?

Our list features the current premier UK party bands, based on performance quality, reputation, innovation and quality:

How long will a Party Band play for?

Party bands usually perform two 60-minute or three 40-minute sets.

FIf you’ve booked your party band for an evening, they might arrive at 6pm, set up and perform the all-important sound check by 7.30pm to 8pm, get changed and ready to start the first performance by around 9pm. After a 30 minute break, the second set would then start around 10.30pm, and finish at 11.30pm, before the usual midnight curfew. Many party bands offer longer performances or DJ sets at an additional cost, including finishing times of 1am and 2am.

You can find the booking options on each party band’s profile page. Of course, times supplied above are just an example – the band will always liaise with you and will tailor performances to suit your celebration.

How much space will a Party Band need?

The table below demonstrates how much space party bands of different sizes might require:

Size of Party Band Performance Space Required
   3-piece band 3 x 3 metres
    4-piece band 4 x 3 metres
     5 and 6-piece band 5 x 3 metres
       7-piece band and bigger 5/6 x 4 metres

This is a good rough guide, but measurements might vary depending on the number of musicians and the type of instruments in your chosen party band. Your Entertainment Coordinator can discuss the options with you.

How long will it take for a Party Band to set up?

Depending how close to the performance space a party band can park, unloading, setting up and performing their sound check will take around 60 – 90 minutes. Some city-centre hotels require bands to load in via a supplier’s entrance, using a shared staff elevator, which can increase set up times.

Following their performance, it takes a party band around 45 – 60 minutes to pack down and load out.

What equipment will a Party Band need?

Most party bands need:

  • a dedicated, suitably-sized, safe, dry, flat performance area or stage
  • if performing outside – by prior agreement – they will need cover from the elements (either direct sunlight, strong wind or rain!)
  • parking provision with easy access to the venue
  • a secure, lockable changing room
  • adequate lighting for set up, especially if playing in a marquee, for example
  • a minimum of four 13 amp power sockets, depending on the line-up
  • refreshments – soft drinks and a hot meal, for example, depending on how long you’ve booked them for

Party bands provide their own PA sound system, microphones, backline amplifiers, and stage lighting, with some offering additional production packages, including staging and lighting effects.

If you are planning a large party with over 200 guests, especially if it is an outdoor event, you may need a larger PA system. Your dedicated Entertainment Coordinator will be happy to discuss the requirements for specific party bands.

In a band? Want to join a party band agency?

For information on joining Alive Network please visit our 'How to join' pages here.

What you will need in order to apply?

  • High quality audio tracks and promo photos
  • Reliable, good quality equipment & your own transport
  • A setlist of music suited to private events
  • Smart formal stage clothes, suited to private events
  • A PA system & stage lighting suited to audiences of up to 200 people
  • Reliable, professional band mates

For information on the following, see our Frequently Asked Questions:

If you have any other queries, simply visit our FAQ page.

Alternatively, our dedicated expert entertainment coordinators are on-hand to help. Simply call 0845 108 5500 or email enquiries@alivenetwork.com.