What is a Rat Pack Tribute?
A Rat Pack tribute act will perform the music of The Rat Pack – a group of celebrated American crooners including Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Junior and Dean Martin. Rat Pack bands and soloists are hugely popular, bringing to life the iconic sound and roguish glamour of 1950’s and 1960’s Las Vegas.
Rat Pack bands and swing singers also perform music from the Great American Songbook, along with classics from Tony Bennett, Bobby Darin, Nat King Cole, Andy Williams, Harry Connick Junior, and Michael Bublé. Most will also play popular modern tunes in a swing style, such as CeeLo Green and Amy Winehouse.
Rat Pack soloists can sing over high quality backing tracks, or with a live band. The majority of live bands feature piano, drums and bass guitar, and usually at least one trumpet or saxophone. Large, authentic-sounding ‘big band’ line ups are also available for bigger performances.
You can customise your chosen band’s instrumentation specifically for your event, getting the perfect sound at the right price. A Rat Pack singer with a 4- to 5-piece band is a popular choice if a bigger band is not possible, but our Entertainment Coordinators can help you with further advice if you’re yet to make a decision.
With performances designed for exclusive private events, our Rat Pack tribute acts offer a complete entertainment package, with most providing all the equipment needed, including sound and lighting equipment.
What music will a Rat Pack tribute act play?
Rat Pack artists usually pull their repertoire directly from The Rat Pack’s song list. They often incorporate other classical American popular tunes from the 1940s-60s, and can even perform modern popular songs in a swing style. You can expect hits from artists like:
- Frank Sinatra
- Sammy Davis Junior
- Dean Martin
- Tony Bennett
- Nat King Cole
- Bobby Darin
- Andy Williams
- Matt Monro
- Louis Armstrong
- Nina Simone
- Otis Redding
- Ella Fitzgerald
- Bing Crosby
- Michael Bublé
- Harry Connick Junior
- Sam Smith
- Robbie Williams
- Ben E King
- Neil Diamond
- John Legend
- Stevie Wonder
- Bill Withers
- Ellie Goulding
- CeeLo Green
- Lady Gaga
The set list for each band and solo singer can be found on their profile pages.
Popular types of Rat Pack artists
1. Rat Pack Bands
A Rat Pack band can comprise of any number of artists up to a 10-piece big band, usually with rhythm and brass sections and all male vocalists. They cover Rat Pack favourites including Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Junior, and Dean Martin, as well as American classics and modern pop in a swing style.
2. Rat Pack Solo Artists
Rat Pack singers are charismatic performers that croon over high-quality backing tracks, making them a relatively inexpensive choice. They also offer the option to perform with a live band. Covering Sinatra to Bublé, these artists are a good all-round option.
3. Crossover Rat Pack and Jazz Artists
Crossover artists tend to be female-led Jazz bands, playing mainly relaxed ‘lounge’ Jazz but also performing Rat Pack and swing classics. Glamorous and retro, these artists are popular at modern vintage and homespun-style weddings and events.
Where in the UK do Alive artists perform?
Rat Pack artists can provide entertainment for many different events at locations across the UK and internationally – for weddings, corporate events, private parties, venues, and festivals. Alive Network’s Rat Pack artists regularly perform in:
Is a Rat Pack act suitable for my event?
Rat Pack artists are a flexible choice, performing as the headline artists for your evening entertainment, but equally suitable for daytime occasions. events like:
A Rat Pack act can headline your event as the main evening entertainment, getting all your guests on the dancefloor with their swinging songs, and setting a sophisticated and stylish mood. They can also appear with dancers in showy productions, if your event requires it.
Artists can also provide a very special soundtrack for a wedding ceremony and for that all-important first dance, as well as create an irresistibly smooth vibe for your drinks reception or wedding breakfast.
Rat Pack artists can provide walk-on music for corporate awards events.
Volume considerations at your event
The volume of a Rat Pack act can range from relatively quiet chilled background music, where your guests can happily chat, to high-tempo, lively sets guaranteed to get your feet tapping! Larger performances can often be in the region of 95dB – 110dB (decibels) – this is a big, full sound and comparable to the volume of a power mower. If your chosen act also features brass instruments, this can increase volume, with peaks around 120dB. It’s an electrifying, timeless sound with a volume to match.
Brass elements can be quite loud, but only if the whole band requires it to be! If you choose a 4-piece band with a trumpet, they can play with a silencer or can curtail their blowing to reduce the volume, in accordance with the performance required.
If your chosen venue has had to impose strict volume restrictions or has a sound limiter installed, have a chat with our Entertainment Coordinators before you lose heart or discount a band. Many Rat Pack bands will use brushes instead of harsh drum sticks, for a softer tone. It’s a good compromise and will help in decreasing the overall volume of the act.
For more information about volume, see our blog post on sound limiters here.
Space considerations at your event
It’s essential to consider the amount of performance space available at your venue, when planning entertainment for your event.
Your entertainer will give their best performance is they have lots of room to perform comfortable. For example, a typical 4-piece band will need an area of around 4 metres wide by 3 metres deep. For approximate requirements, see ‘How much space will a Rat Pack act need?’, below.
How much does a Rat Pack artist cost?
Costs for Rat Pack acts can vary depending on their size, quality and experience. A solo singer can be as little as £300, while top-ranking, big band Rat Pack ensembles that specialise in corporate events can vary in price between £1,000 – £7,000+.
In 2017, the average price of a 4–5-piece Rat Pack act is around £1,200.
Here’s a rough breakdown of the cost range of different Rat Pack tribute bands and swing singers:
|Number of musicians / Type of Act
|Rat Pack Solo Artists (with backing tracks)
||£300 - £800
|Rat Pack Singers with Live Musicians:
|Rat Pack Duos
||£300 - £1,000
||£650 - £1,300
||£1,000 - £1,900
|7-piece bands +
||£2,000 - £3,000
|Rat Pack Singers with Big bands & jazz orchestras
||£1,150 - £7,250+
If cost is a major consideration, there are ways to keep this in check. For example, you could book smaller bands or book solo artists instead of large-scale bands. Also, finding acts that are closer to your venue, will reduce their travel time and costs. The home town location of all Alive Network artists is shown on each acts’ profile page, and your Entertainment Coordinator can also recommend the best Rat Pack tribute band local to your event.
Who are the top 10 best Rat Pack artists in the UK right now?
Below are the artists that we believe are currently the smoothest Rat Pack swingers in the UK, based on a blend of popularity, performance quality and innovation:
How long will a Rat Pack act play for?
A standard performance will include two 60-minute sets, but you can choose to have three 40-minute sets if you prefer. Solo artists will often work to two 45-minute sets, but can also offer two 60-minute arrangements.
If your event is an evening party following a meal, you may wish to give your guests a break to relax and have a few drinks before the headline entertainment begins, after which they’ll feel more like dancing. With the band arriving at 6pm, for example, setting up and performing their all-important sound-check, then getting ready for the show, evening entertainment often begins around 8.30–9pm, with a 30–45-minute break between sets. The final performance can then run until the usual midnight curfew. Some artists also offer the option for later finishes, at an additional charge. The artists’ first performance will usually be a mid-tempo set, however, most Rat Pack acts offer flexibility to fit with your requirements.
Rat Pack artists can provide background music from an MP3 player or laptop between their performances.
How much space will a Rat Pack act need?
The area required for a Rat Pack act varies and will increase the more members are in the ensemble. Ideally, allow 1.5 square metres per person. Allow 2 square metres for a drummer or pianist. Space is needed in front and to the sides to accommodate their PA, speakers and lighting stands, if the act is using them. If you’re booking an artist with accompanying dancers, additional room will be needed – you can discuss this with your dedicated Entertainment Coordinator.
This guide shows how much minimum space artists of different sizes need:
|Size of Rat Pack Artist
||Performance Space Required
| Solo artist
||3 x 2 metres
| Rat Pack duos and trios
||3 x 3 metres
| 4-piece band
||4 x 3 metres
| 5 and 6-piece band
||5 x 3 metres
| 7-piece and bigger:
||5/6 x 4 metres
How long will it take for a Rat Pack artist to set up?
Your chosen Rat Pack act will arrive at a pre-arranged time to suit you, and set up their equipment in the performance area. Unloading, setting-up and performing the crucial sound check is usually around 60 – 90 minutes, depending on the size of the ensemble, and how close they can park to the performance space. Some hotels ask acts to load in using a shared supplier’s entrance, which can make set up times longer.
If you opt for a solo Rat Pack singer performing over backing tracks, less time is needed to set up.
If your event is a wedding or includes a sit-down meal, the set-up and sound check would typically take place after the meal as the room is being cleared, and while guests have left the room to stretch their legs and get drinks. Artists can set-up before your guests arrive, if preferred, - just add an earlier arrival time to your enquiry/booking.
Generally, artists will play background music from a laptop or iPod when they’re getting changed and ready for the performance.
After the performance, a Rat Pack band takes around 45 – 60 minutes to pack down and load out. A soloist usually takes less time than this.
What equipment will a Rat Pack act need?
To ensure your event is as smooth as possible, most Rat Pack artists require:
- a minimum of four 13 amp power sockets, depending on the line-up
- parking provision, preferably with easy access to the venue
- a suitably-sized, safe, dry, flat performance area. If performing outside, they will need cover – either from the rain or the sun!
- a secure, lockable changing room
- refreshments such as soft drinks and sometimes food, depending on how long you have booked them for.
- Larger bands may have additional requirements in terms of chairs and tables but this can be discussed with you Entertainment Coordinator at the time of booking.
Most of Alive Network’s Rat Pack acts are self-contained units, providing their own PA system, microphones, stage lighting, backline amplifiers and instruments, suitable for average-sized private events. If you’re planning a large event with over 200 people, you may need to hire separate PA and lighting systems. Our Entertainment Coordinators can provide details on specific artists.
For a more comprehensive Rat Pack band booking guide please read ‘Booking a Rat Pack band – Everything you’ll ever need to know’.
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 email@example.com.