If you are planning a Saint Patrick's Day soiree, it's clear that it cannot be complete without some rousing music from a live Irish band! It is truly the centerpiece of any party, club or bar event to celebrate the Irish saint, and without it simply drinking some green beverage and putting on a silly hat is most likely going to fall as flat all that beer is the next morning. Now there are lots of bands, but where can you find them and how is it best to go about choosing the right one?
Finding a band is pretty easy if you keep a few things in mind. It won’t serve you well to start looking for music a month in advance, or less. We see it all the time, right on up to the week of St Paddy’s day, where people will have the brilliant idea that it’s time to hire music. Yes, while there are many bands in each city, it is a finite amount of groups and is certainly far less than the number of events, clubs and parties where they will be in demand. You should be looking 6 months to a year in advance if you’d like to have many good options left! And it does not apply to only March 17th but rather the whole weekend around the date as well. If the 17th falls on a Sunday, you can bet your pot ‘o gold the 15th and 16th will be fully booked as well. And by fully booked, that means many bands will play 3 events per day (and turn down many more). Bottom line? Plan ahead! You were not the only one who thought of having a party to celebrate St Patty.
Finding the best band is easy enough with some lead time, simply go to our page to sample the bands in your area. A GigRoster.com Search For Irish Music will show you every group that is available around the location you have. When doing your search, don’t forget to select the area where your party is going to be or you’ll get just about every band in the USA and Canada! You’ll want to narrow it down to the choices that are local to where you’ll want them to perform. Also make sure to take a look at sizes they offer and the styles they play. Yes there are Irish party bands, electric bands, traditional Celtic styles, some acoustic, some amplified, and everything in between! If you want a full on high volume party, a harp and pennywhistle just might not be the best choice, and for a light luncheon maybe a rocking bar band wouldn't quite set the mood. See their videos, listen to sound clips, and whatever other details you need to be comfortable that they’ll make the party happen with the kind of feel you want to create!
How much is all that going to cost?
Well, that’s the $64,000 question, although luckily the cost should be considerably less than that. It’s good to have a budget in mind when shopping that will work for your event. Often a rule of thumb is $10-15 for entertainment per person who will attend. Anything less and and it might not really hit the right note in bringing quality talent for your audience: it makes no sense to spend $50.00 or more on food and drink if there is not something to make the night a real party! When you’ve selected a band or two simply reach out on the site by email, filling out the information form (or, old school, dialing us up on the phone) to check on price and availability for your choices. We can pretty quickly let you know if they are available and the amount they will ask, depending on your location, amount of time you want them there, size of group, etc. In most cases they will put a hold on the date for a few days so you can decide to move ahead.
Pro Tip: Do make sure you have the information on where and how long you’d like to hire them before you inquire. Most bands will simply ignore availability requests that are unclear about the specifics. They can’t give you a price if they don’t know what you want them to do! This is even more true on busy dates, such as for an Irish Band on St. Paddy’s Day. A number of variables go into the quote, but they won’t even consider you a serious client if you don’t know when or where the event will be.
Another option for hiring the band is to simply make an "Offer To Book" to the band if you have a specific budget you’d like to stay in. This can be done at the Offer Page. where you’ll be asked to make a confirmed offer for the band or group. Please keep in mind it must be a reasonable offer, as it is always up to the performers to accept. They are under no obligation, even if it is the only offer they have. The Offer Page is a great way to make a solid offer to a group you’d like to hire and stay on budget for your event. They may come down in their price if it works for the night - maybe the timing is good - perhaps they are finishing a private show 10 blocks away and an hour before you want them. Give it a try if that’s how you like to buy! At the end of the day, you want the band and they want to perform for you, and this gets the ball rolling before too much time passes and you run out of time to book the perfect band for your event.
With some advance planning and a wee bit of luck (maybe some help from your friendly local leprechaun) you’ll have an event to remember and maybe a tradition for years to come! (And yes, you can find Leprechauns on GigRoster.com. too)
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