Brides and Grooms - you’re paying too much for your wedding band!!

You can save yourself 10-20% on your wedding band.
Brides and Grooms - you’re paying too much for your wedding band!!

Picture this, it’s 1985 and the internet is pretty much just a bulletin board system on a BBC Micro. When you need a service, you look in the Yellow Pages. It was a simpler time. We didn’t have access to reviews. We couldn’t see what a business was doing on any given day. We had to trust word of mouth or the integrity of the business owner to do what they say they can do.

When it came to bands - there weren’t many! Music was expensive. Music gear was expensive. Music gear was also massive and harder to transport.

Agents were the people to go to when you needed a band for an event. You’d ask them to provide something, you’d say what you want, and they’d send (hopefully) something appropriate. All they had was a price-list and maybe a promo shot.

Can you imagine an agent sending out a VHS Cassette of bands so the client could see? Maybe the progressive ones!

It was a different time. Unless you knew the band, or had a connection to the band, ‘their agent’ was the gateway.

The agents worked for their acts. They wanted the commission and they would work for it. The busier their acts, the more commission they earn.

In 2024, it’s much easier to get direct access to any professional business, including bands. And that can save you hundreds of pounds.

Any band taking themselves seriously will have their own website, a good quality trailer and a contact method. They’ll also likely have a social media presence. Thus, they’ll easily be findable on the internet. A quick search of Facebook will likely put you your local bands in front of you.

Band Agency sites
DOMINATE the Google rankings. Do a search for “Function Band in [your area]” and you’ll get a long list dominated by Agency sites. Don’t be fooled into thinking this is the only way to book a band.

Here’s a valuable lesson on Google ranking for a second - sites get organic page high search presence based on popularity :
the number of people that visit it regularly.

It’s a bit of clever smoke and mirrors. Did you know that the bands MUST administer their all of their business through the website?
• When a band signs up for an agency, they must set it all up through their website.
  • When an enquiry comes in - go to the website to communicate. And the back and forth conversations REQUIRE going to the website. Every. Time.
  • Bands are encouraged to update their availability diaries… ON the website.
  • Bands are constantly encouraged, and sometime forced, to update their profiles with new pictures, videos and reviews.

  • The result - the website/business
    looks more popular. Google doesn’t know whether the traffic is customers or page management!! It’s good business practice actually. But are agencies really the best way to book a band? They insert themselves in between the client and the band with promises of good customer service and guaranteeing quality - some will even tell you they can get the band ‘cheaper’ than going direct…. Work THAT one out! - but this really isn’t the case. Professional people will deal properly with their clients.

    The cost to you, the client - circa 20%.

    So if a band quotes £2000 for their product, the client will pay £2400. That’s 400 quid more!! That’s EPIC! I certainly know that my bands, in the past, have lost out on work because of the agency fee. And we can’t cut our fees because it would mean paying the musicians less.

    It’s a very difficult industry to survive in, but if a band is truly a professional act, they’ll be findable on Google!

    Here’s a search for Function Band Southampton - our hometown.

    The first results are the ones you truly want - the Sponsored results. This means that the band is paying Google for advertising. And good for them - they’re doing it right. Paying to advertise their product. It doesn’t always mean that they’ll be local - bands will travel the country after all.

    The Indianas and The Function Band are, for sure, professional acts. If I can afford their fee - they’ll be my first choice. They sound and look great.

    Screenshot 2024-03-31 at 10.31.37
    Then the agencies start…
    Screenshot 2024-03-31 at 10.32.34
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    It would be nice to see some organic bands show up there but, if you read the sites in the case above, they’re actually agency run!!

    So all of the bands in my Google search are basically agencies. I had to scroll down for a few more seconds to find a band representing themselves, after looking at the sponsored ads.

    Remember - Booking the band directly will cost you what the band charges. Let’s say £1500.

    Booking the band through an Agency - 10-20% more expensive. Total £1800 @ 20%.

    Also be aware for the sites that say “we don’t charge you commission”. That just means that the commission is being taken from the band, not the client.

    And at a time when cost of living is beating the crap out of us,
    especially musicians, that money is vital to us - and let’s not forget that you’re probably not wanting to spend unnecessarily either!! Bands lose out on work when the agency puts their fee on top. The clients say they can’t afford it. The agent asks us to drop the fee to secure the gig - which is good for them, but not so much for the band!

    So PLEASE - scroll past anything that looks like an agency and check out which bands are operating professionally in your area first. Especially the ones paying for ads. They’re paying to earn your business, and they deserve a look first. They are a local business like any - and deserve supporting.

    So what should you look for on their band’s website?

    • A good quality trailer. A video produced professionally that looks good and sounds great. If it’s a low quality video in a pub, with low quality sound, click off and head to the next band in the search.

  • Exciting images.
  • Good commentary of who the band are, what they do and what they provide.
  • Look for a promise of good communication and good customer service. If is there, and it’s well written, you can more than likely rely on it. If their communication is poor during the setup phase, you can always pull out and continue looking, but it’s unlikely to happen these days.
  • A well presented website. Seriously, if they take their product seriously, they’ll have a good looking, modern, site. If it looks like a Geocities site from 1997, best click away!!
  • Reviews.

  • Agencies won’t thank me for this!! But hopefully I’ll have saved you a good few hundred quid!! I’d argue it wouldn’t take any more of your time, you’d just be on Google a little longer than one of the agency lists!

    Prestige Sound recommends a couple of great wedding bands that we’ve worked with. We have them represented on the Wedding Audio Page our site, and we encourage you to speak to them about your event. We don’t ask for commission from you or the band - this is us giving you value and the bands much needed support.

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    If you need speakers and microphones for your speeches, please speak to us about supplying for your wedding. And for a couple of hundred extra £££’s, we’ll stay on in the evening to make sure your chosen band sounds amazing.

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