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How Much Does a Live Band Cost?

Hiring a mobile disco for your event, wedding reception, birthday, or anniversary party used to be all the rage. Nothing gets the party started or the good times flowing like having your own personal DJ blasting out the tunes. 

But, as the world rapidly changes, people get bored and what was once exciting and cool becomes dull and samey. Maybe you need to change it up and think of something a bit more unique.

Did you ever think about hiring a band instead?

And if so, how much does a live band cost? Let’s get real here; you are probably not hiring The Rolling Stones or Arctic Monkeys. But you probably could if you had wheelbarrows full of cash to splurge. There is a load of things you need to consider when determining the cost of hiring a live band

So, let’s take a look if hiring a live band is viable and what you need to know before you do.

How Much Does a Live Band Cost?


Is Hiring a Live Band Expensive?

It depends on who you hire, but in relative terms, the cost is not much different from hiring a DJ. At the low end of the pay scale, you might get lucky and only need to pay $500 for a live band to perform at your event or party. But you’re probably going to pay more than that. 

At the high end, it could cost up to $10,000 or even more than that. However, the average price to hire a live band falls somewhere between $1,500 and $2,500 based on a 5-hour long set (with breaks).

What Things Affect the Price of Hiring a Band?

When I get asked. “How much does hiring a live band cost?” I always say that it depends on a few factors. Sure, you might get lucky and know someone who has a band and will give you friend prices, but that’s an exception to the rule. Let’s explore the things that affect the price of hiring a live band for an event or party.

1 Location

This is a strange one because there are some conflicting ideals when you bring location into the hiring of a live band discussion. For example, if you live in a city where there are lots of live bands for hire, it will probably be a buyer’s market. As a result, bands have to be competitive with their prices. 

Alternatively, if you live in a major city like New York or Los Angeles, the cost of living is much higher, and that might negate the competitive nature of band prices.

It’s not uncommon for bands in New York or Chicago to charge from $1,500 to even $25k for a 5-hour set. The location might have a massive effect on price. For argument’s sake, if you lived in a small Midwestern town, the price of hiring a band will be much lower. In many cases, bands in these areas are happy to get gigs of all types, so you might get something closer to $500.

2 Is the Band Popular?

The more popular the band, the higher the price – that’s just common sense. They will be in higher demand, so they will charge more. If we are talking about hiring a famous band or musician, the prices will be sky-high. 

For example, hiring someone like Paul McCartney can cost around $1.2 million. Likewise, Coldplay can be hired for your party with a minimum asking price of around $3.5 million.

The truth is that you are probably not going to hire the biggest bands and acts ever for your party. It simply costs an exorbitant amount. However, someone like Jason Mraz can cost around $100k per show, which is a bit more affordable for a famous musician. 

3 Type of Music

You might not realize it, but the type of music the band plays is one of the major factors in the cost of hiring a band. If you want to know how much a live band costs, the type of music they play is where you can make the most savings. 

If you hire a small local band that plays Rock Music and does covers, you might get closer to the $500 price tag. But, if you wanted to hire a Jazz or Acoustic band, it can cost anywhere from $700 to $1,500. 

Can I Book Bands by the Hour?

by the Hour

Most bands you can hire for parties and events charge per hour, but most will only play for a minimum of 3 or even 5 hours. True, you might be able to hire a band for just one hour, but they will charge their most expensive hourly rates. The more hours you book, the more favorable the prices, just like in many other industries. 

How Much Does a Live Band Cost? – Extra Costs

One thing you need to think about is the extra costs of hiring a band that was not in the quoted price. It’s standard that you will need to pay the band expenses on top of their performance fee. This could be in the form of travel or food expenses. Some bands might be traveling 50 miles or more to your gig. So, you will be expected to foot the gas prices. 

If they are traveling even longer distances, you might have to pay for hotel rooms for band members for one night, So it’s important to discuss this beforehand. That way, you are not taken by surprise.

Some bands might not have full PA systems and only come with their instruments. You need to ensure that your venue has the audio equipment to handle a live band. If not, there might be some additional charges to ensure you have the prerequisite amps and speakers. These changes can add up, so always keep an eye on your expenditures.

Getting Band Quotes

Getting Band Quotes

If you are asking me for prices to hire a live band, it’s obvious that you are trying to keep the prices at a manageable level. The best way to ensure you are not overpaying is by getting a quote from at least three, if not more, bands. Then, you can gauge the competitive nature of the prices. You should always get quotes beforehand so you can find the best deal. 

Want Music Ideas For Your Next Party, Wedding, Or Other Event?

Whether you’re hiring a live band or not, music can make or break your good time. Check out our thoughts on the Best Pump Up Songs, the Best Songs About Winning, Celebration, Victory and Success, the Best Songs About Falling In Love, the Best Throwback Songs, the Best Birthday Songs, and the Top Songs Everyone Knows And Loves Singing To for more enjoyable song selections.

Also, you’ll need to pump up those jams. So, have a look at our reviews of the Best Party Speakers, the Best Subwoofers for Music, the Best PA Subwoofers, the Best Powered Subwoofers for DJs, the Best Floor Standing Speakers, and the Best Receiver-Amplifier For Outdoor Speakers you can buy in 2023.

How Much Does a Live Band Cost? – Final Thoughts

Hiring a live band for a party or function will take the vibes to the next level. Having a disco DJ is so 1990s, and everyone loves the personal touch of a live band. Asking how much a live band costs can be rather vague until you start breaking down the type of band you want to hire. If you are on a tight budget, look for local bands.

The main factor in pricing is the popularity of said band or musician, the location you are at, and even the type of band and music they play. You can pay as little as a few hundred bucks to millions of dollars. So, it’s on you to decide what meets your needs and, more importantly, your budget.

Until next, enjoy the show, and let the music play.

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About Joseph L. Hollen

Joseph is a session musician, writer, and filmmaker from south Florida. He has recorded a number of albums and made numerous short films, as well as contributing music to shorts and commercials. 

He doesn't get as much time to practice and play as he used to, but still manages (just about!) to fulfill all his session requests. According to Joseph, it just gets harder as you get older; you rely on what you learned decades ago and can play without thinking. Thankfully that's what most producers still want from him.

He is a devout gear heat and has been collecting musical instruments all his life. As his wife, Jill, keeps on saying, "You're very good at buying nice instruments, but terrible at selling them!".

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