How to Hire Bands and Musicians for a Birthday Party (Updated February 2020)

28 JULY 2016
Blog post by Myles Eastwood

If you're hosting a birthday party or drinks reception in a bar or restaurant then you've probably given some thought to the evening's entertainment. FixTheMusic offers some guidance in this area.

Virtually all bars play canned music during opening hours. It helps to create ambience, keeps guests who are waiting for others entertained and in many cases ends up becoming the night's DJ -- once turned up and enough drinks have been consumed!

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So how to take the humble birthday party or surprise birthday party to a new level? High quality live music is of course the answer, and it doesn't have to be expensive. Put simply, hiring musicians or a band can make the birthday party even more memorable and special. Here are some useful tips:

1) get permission from the bar or restaurant manager

There may be other events in the same venue or other music in adjacent rooms, and the manager will need to coordinate all of these factors. A party band playing upstairs, for example, may well interfere with a dinner party downstairs and it's better to find out about these things before you book your musicians!

2) satisfy the venue's requirements

They may require any musicians you book to have public liability insurance and PAT-certified equipment. Most of our acts on FixTheMusic come with this but you can check either way on their profile header. In return, the venue should provide a safe power supply (also PAT-certified), easy access to the performance space and advice on things like parking (if there is none on site).

3) negotiate terms with your bar manager

Bar managers will be well aware that decent live music encourages people to stay at the venue longer and spend more money on drinks and nibbles. If you're not footing the bill at the bar, or your live music will be heard by other members of the public at the establishment, you're in a strong position to negotiate a discount on the price of the room. Don't be afraid to ask for this or an equivalent deal, as then you can put more money into hiring the best musicians in the area. FixTheMusic specialises in locally-sourced produce!

4) book solo acts or acoustic duos

There are so many reasons why acoustic acts work best for bar events. They can play at any volume, slipping into background music or coming forward to put on a show. They can cover all musical bases. They will usually charge much less than a party band, and they can also fit into a smaller performance area. They often make an event feel more intimate. They can set up quickly and de-rig in no time at all! The list goes on...

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We’ve found a particularly popular option on FixTheMusic is to hire a saxophonist for a 30th birthday party. They can usually roam freely around the bar between your guests. An acoustic guitarist-singer or pianist (most of whom can provide their own digital piano if need be) are other possibilities. And for those wanting to pull out all the stops, some of our clients have hired a live band for surprise birthday parties at bars or restaurants!

5) visit the bar in person

This sounds obvious, but visualising where guests will come in, where drinks are served and where live music should go is much easier once you've seen the room yourself. It also helps when filling in the FixTheMusic enquiry form because you can include details relevant to the musician (e.g. where the PA is stored), whilst the recommended acts we send to you can be better pictured in the room itself.

It's all in the planning — and we love to make planning a breeze for our users!

Have a look at some of our most popular UK party bands performing live...

So how do I hire a party band for my birthday party?

If you’re looking to hire a party band, submit an enquiry on FixTheMusic to receive offers directly from our hand-picked bands and musicians. FixTheMusic is free to use – we just help you to discover amazing live music and provide a simple and secure platform for booking.

Browse Party Bands

Whether it's a band for an 18th birthday party, 40th birthday party or 50th birthday party, we have a carefully curated selection of bands and musicians who will be perfect for your special day.

What do you think about the birthday party music ideas in this blog post? If you're planning a birthday party, have you thought about hiring a band to provide live music? Tell us in the comments section below!