As someone who produces decently sized live music events, I'm often reminded when playing local and private gigs that many folks responsible for booking or hosting music don't have much experience with it. This is especially the case when playing weddings, which tend to be some of the best paying gigs for working musicians that aren't touring regularly.
Music enhances everything. There's perfect music for most every occasion. It's what helps set the mood and ambiance, so I love and appreciate everyone else's appreciation for it.
The challenge is when it's only an afterthought come event planning time. When you decide to incorporate live entertainment into your event, there are several things to consider that will aide you in making the overall success of the performance much more likely. I've compiled a quick check list below that I use for every wedding or special event our band gets booked for.
Access to Power - whether you're hiring a band or a DJ, the first thing to think about is where your access to power is within the site design
Stage / Setup Location - first of all, please consider bringing in a stage for the performer, as it will most always enhance the atmosphere and professionalism of event. It's not the end of the world if the budget doesn't allow for a stage, but please remember that a live band is typically going to need a minimum of a 10' x 10' space for proper setup regardless of bringing in a stage (this is referring to smaller / local bands, when working with national touring acts you're going to have very specific requirements for production).
Sound / Production - often referred to as a PA, you need to discuss with the entertainment whether they are expected to provide sound or if you as the client are providing. Usually local / regional acts are comfortable with providing, however you'll want to discuss if there are any needs to have general announcements or talking points take place from the band's gear. Need a wireless mic? Better ask in advance!
Timeline + Run of Show - it's best to have some framework of a run of show together to share with the entertainment. Do you need the band / entertainer to make any specific announcements? Provide them with details.
There are of course many more details that can and do go into the entertainment portion of your event, but I would say these will at least make sure your back yard bbq shindig can play off without a hitch!
If you have any topics you'd like to discuss further, comment below or send me a message with suggestions. I'd love to hear from you!