Do you need to feed your wedding band? I thought this might be an interesting topic to write an article about, as it’s a question that is always coming up. All our bands ask for a few basic things when performing. You’ll find that most bands ask for something, some more extravagant than others. We always ask for a meal, soft drinks and a room we can keep out of the way in.
I am very aware that a lot of musicians have a terrible reputation for being ‘divas’ and difficult to deal with, and I hate to think that asking for food for the band would support this reputation. I promise it is not meant in that way at all! If you know me and my band and have worked with me before, you’ll know we’re far from being divas! However, providing a few basics is actually essential for whatever type of band you book.
Why Feed Your Wedding Band?
If I gave you a basic rundown of the day in the life of a musician, you’d be quite surprised I think. Fair enough, most of the time when you book a band they’ll be performing for around two or three hours, and that’s all you see of them. However, an ‘average’ gig day for us is pretty hardcore.
Musicians tend to travel all over the country (and the world) for their bookings, so let’s say an average time to leave is around lunch time. After loading in all our (heavy!) gear, we jump in the van and head off to the venue. We live off pasties from garages and sugar-filled drinks to keep us awake most of the time. When we arrive at our destination, usually around 5pm, we unload our equipment, making sure we are set up and sound-checked before any guests arrive. We then hang around until usually about 10pm when it’s time to play, and then go on stage and perform a hi-impact, in-your-face party set for a few hours. Then, when it gets to 1am and you and your guests are all heading to bed, it’s time to pack down our gear, more heavy lifting, and then brave the journey home through the night, hopefully getting into bed just before the sun comes up.
Rest and Refuel
So, hopefully this helps you understand why giving your band a good meal is really important. Gigging is exhausting! I love what I do and would never change a thing, and I’m sure most other musicians would tell you the same. However, it’s really important as a musician to look after yourself and try to eat properly, otherwise we spend a hell of a lot of time living off of Ginsters pies (I swear it’s musicians who keep them in business!) and having to perform when you haven’t eaten anything but food from a service station all day is very difficult.
Similarly, providing a room for your band to change in is also really important. The band need somewhere to relax before the show. As I write this, I am in our dressing room at a gig waiting to go onstage in an hour or so. I kid you not, all four of the guys are snoozing away as I write! Providing a dressing room is incredibly important, especially in busy times when your band may have been working most days that week. It’s also important when you bear in mind that the band will need to store their clothes and other belongings somewhere, and the last thing we want to do is litter your wedding! It’s best to give the band somewhere they can hide away and keep their suitcases and spare clothes tidy.
The Band Doesn’t Need a ‘Wedding Meal’
I understand that wedding meals are expensive, and in most cases you’ll probably be paying over £50 per head. We wouldn’t dream of expecting you to provide us with the same meal as your guests. Simply including the band on the buffet or getting the venue to provide some sandwiches and chips would be fantastic and much appreciated. Other clients put a tab on at a local restaurant or pub, or even bring a selection of shop bought sarnies! Whatever you can provide, your band will be grateful for.
Anyway, I hope this helps people understand why bands ask for certain things to be provided when you book them. The most important thing is it’s all about them doing the best show possible for you, and their provisions they’ve asked for are rarely their ‘diva-ish’ demands, and actually essential practicalities to make your event go down as a night to remember.
Guest post by Sera Golding of MIB Music
Image from Flickr by Alpha (CC BY-SA License)