Alternative Wedding Bands for hire in the UK
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All of the below are a little bit unusual and alternative when compared to the standard boring old wedding band...

Why hire an alternative and unusual wedding band?

By the time most of us get married, we've already been to numerous weddings of friends and family. Most couples choose a regular covers band that plays the same old songs.

Although there's nothing wrong with that – we at FixTheMusic supply amazing wedding cover bands to thousands of weddings each year in the UK and Europe –  there are only so many times you can hear Uptown Funk...

So if you're looking to hire something a little cool – a unique wedding band that provides some unusual entertainment that gets your guests talking for the years following your big day – then take a look through the examples above, or get in touch to start receiving bespoke offers from cool wedding bands in the UK.

What makes the bands cool and unique?

At FixTheMusic, we keep our fingers firmly to the pulse of current trends with regard to wedding bands in the UK and internationally.

One thing we've seen over the past few years is an increase in demand for wedding bands offering something a bit different to what you might normally expect.

What hasn't changed is that couples want to book a wedding band that can get their guests onto the dance floor and enjoying themselves. And to do that, a wedding band needs to have outstanding musicianship, charisma and the ability to work a crowd. Cool wedding bands, music and entertainment is the name of the game.

According to the ONS, the average age for marriage in the UK in 2018 was 32 for women and 34 for men.

So brides and grooms getting married in 2020, 2021 and 2022 were children of the 1990s. And this is reflected in their musical preferences for their big day.

Although the bands above to play many of the classic songs that are common at weddings, they also play music that is a bit more unusual – e.g. hip hop, UK garage and RnB songs.

Some of the bands we work with also do weird and wonderful things with the music. For example, we work with some of the UK's best wedding mashup bands. These bands mix together numerous songs and play medleys, creating clever segues between songs and providing a real flow to their performance.

The mashup music element will keep your guests on their toes – you can expect some songs thrown together that you might think would never work!

The alternative wedding bands we work with are also fun wedding bands – perfect for when your wedding wants something a bit different for the music: quirky and with more of an edge than the regular function bands we've all seen a million times before...

The bands are also likely to be interactive: some include a sax player who can roam amongst guests on the dancefloor, or even the singers and other band members on the dancefloor.

How long will the unique bands peform for on the night?

Most of our alternative bands provide the ususal sets – 2 x 60 minutes or 3 x 40 minutes of live music. In between and after these live sets, most bands will provide a laptop DJ service, until 12 midnight. This means your whole evening of music is covered by the band.

Will the band have a male or female singer, or both?

We work with hundreds of bands and there's a pretty even split between female and male lead vocalists. We find many couples have a strong preference for one over the other – and some even prefer to have bands that include both male and female vocals. This really opens up the range of songs that the band can perform, as it means they're able to cover many different styles of artist.

Frequently asked questions about hiring a wedding band

FixTheMusic provides bands for thousands of weddings and private events each year. We've put together some FAQs about hiring a wedding band, a few of which are listed below:

How early should I book the band?

You should aim to book your band as soon as possible. Most of our best wedding bands have bookings at least two years in advance.

If your wedding is on a Saturday in May, June, July, August or September, you should really be looking to book at least a year in advance of your date. This is because most weddings fall on a Saturday during summer so our bands receive the most enquiries for these days.

That said, there are more and more weddings taking place on Sundays and mid-week (especially on Thursdays and Fridays) so it’s best not to wait too long before locking down your band.

Can I see the band perform live before I book?

Usually it’s not possible to see the band live. Most professional bands perform at private events only, such as weddings and corporate events. It’s not usually possible for the bands to allow potential clients into these venues to watch them perform.

It is occasionally possible so there’s no harm in asking. And sometimes wedding bands will do the odd gig at a pub or festival that’s open to the public.

How long do most wedding bands perform for?

Most bands play 2 x 45 minute or 2 x 1 hour live sets at weddings.

What happens between and after their live sets?

Most bands provide a “laptop DJ” service. This isn’t the same as providing the service of a professional DJ who reads the room and adapts to the feel on the night. Instead, they will have a playlist (usually on something like Spotify or iTunes) that they play out of their PA system.

Can I choose the music they play in between and after their live sets?

Yes, usually you can send the band a list of requests before the wedding and the band will download them onto their laptop or device, ready to play on the night.

Alternatively, you can compile a playlist and bring your own device to plug into the band’s PA system.

What songs will the band play?

Most bands have a repertoire of songs that they perform regularly at weddings. This will be a tried-and-tested playlist that they know works well at weddings: it appeals to guests of all ages and keeps people on the dance floor.

Will the band learn my first dance song?

Yes! Most bands will be delighted to learn your first dance song and perform it live for you on your wedding night.

If it doesn’t fit the band’s style (e.g. if your first dance song is a jazz song, but you’ve booked an indie-rock band), then they might suggest you use the recorded version of the song and the band will play this out of their PA system.

Can I give a list of songs to the band to play at my wedding?

Most bands will usually learn one song for your wedding that isn’t already in their setlist.

Some bands will offer to learn 2 or 3 new songs, but in our experience they are rarely able to learn more than this. It can be very time consuming for the band to learn and rehearse new songs, and especially so for singers to learn all the new lyrics.

Can I indicate my song preferences to the band?

Yes. Most bands will be happy for you to indicate which songs from their set list you dislike and don’t want them to play, and songs that you like and absolutely want them to play on the night. The band will usually then build their setlist around these preferences.

What time will the band arrive?

Most bands aim to arrive at around 5pm to be ready to play by 7pm. During this time they will set up their equipment and carry out a sound check, essential to making sure the volume of the band is appropriate to your venue and that any sound / noise limiters are taken into account.

Can the band turn up earlier than that?

Yes, most bands will be happy to turn up earlier than 5pm, but you should expect to pay them for the extra time.

A lot of wedding couples worry about the band setting up while guests are at the venue. Bands with lots of experience of weddings should be able to set up discreetly and without making too much noise and mess. The noisiest part is when they have to carry out the sound check, but this should only last about 15 - 30 minutes.

What time will the band finish?

Most bands expect to finish by midnight. This suits most weddings as the majority of UK venues require live music to stop by this time.

Can the band stay later than midnight?

Usually, yes. But bands will normally charge a slightly higher fee for this later finish.

Can I use the band’s PA system after midnight?

Usually, yes. Though this will also attract a slightly higher fee, as it means that at least one band member has to wait until the end of the party to pack up the PA system and head home.

Some band members might be a couple of hours’ drive away from your venue, so finishing at 1am means they won’t arrive him until 3am or 4am.

Will the band bring their own equipment?

Yes. Professional wedding bands will bring their own equipment. This includes a PA system, mixing desk, some basic lighting for the dance floor and their own instruments.

If you are planning a particularly large wedding with hundreds of guests, you might consider hiring in a larger PA system and more lighting.

Does the band need a stage?

No. Most bands are happy to perform without a stage, though it can look special if you can offer them a stage to perform on.

If I do provide a stage, how much space will the band need?

This will depend on the size of the band of course, but to give you a rough idea, a 4-piece band would usually need at least 5m x 4m. This is to provide room for not only the band members themselves, but also their instruments (keyboards and drum kits take up quite a bit of space) and other things like speakers and a mixing desk.

Can I or my guests play with the band?

If you ask the band in advance, most will be happy to allow you or one of your guests to sing or play along with them for one or two songs. We always advise checking this with your band first.

Do I need to hire a DJ as well as a band?

Most bands will provide pre-recorded playlists between and after their live sets, so your entire evening will be covered. However, if you want a professional DJ who will adapt his music choices on the night and interact with guests, then it’s better to hire a DJ as well.

If I do hire a separate DJ, can the band and DJ share equipment?

Bands and DJs will often share the same PA system, as it can look cluttered to have two sets of speakers around the dance floor.

However, you’ll need to discuss this with both the DJ and band before the event to check the equipment suits everyone’s requirements and that everyone is happy to share.

One problem can arise when the DJ is booked to provide music into the small hours, but the band is to finish at 11pm. In this case, it would make more sense for the band to use the DJ’s equipment to save the band having to wait until the DJ had finished his set.

Do I need to provide anything for the band?

Professional wedding bands will bring all their own technical equipment and instruments. However, most will expect to be provided with a hot meal each and soft drinks.

The musicians will probably have left their homes around lunchtime to arrive at your venue in good time to set up and soundcheck. It can be a long day for them and they will be much more energetic on stage if they’ve had a good meal and refreshments before performing for you.

The bands won’t expect to be given the same meal as you provide for your guests. Most wedding venues have an option you can purchase in advance for your suppliers or you can give the musicians access to your buffet if you’re having one.

Will the band members be the same as the ones I’ve seen in their videos?

Not always. Most professional bands will have a core group that plays at the majority of weddings they are booked for.

However, they will also have a group of deputies (or “deps” as they are known in the industry) that they call upon frequently to cover for band members. This is a standard and essential practice in the music industry. Most musicians work as freelancers, meaning they might work for different function bands or tour with famous pop groups for example. Being able to draw upon a deputy musician to cover a band member who is unavailable (or ill) means the rest of the band can still work.

What will the band wear?

You should get a good idea of what the band wears from their videos online. Most will opt for a smart shirt, but if you have a particular theme or any requests, let them know well in advance. For example, if you’re having an 80s style wedding, you might want to check if the band could wear appropriate clothing to match!

Will the band need parking spaces?

Most bands will arrive by car as it’s the easiest way for them to bring their equipment and instruments. Having 1 or 2 parking spaces available for them to use that are close to the venue will be appreciated by the musicians. In certain cities such as London, you might also need to cover the costs of parking.

My venue has a sound limiter. Is that a problem?

Some wedding venues have what’s known as a sound or noise limiter installed. This is particularly the case with venues in built-up areas in cities or towns or where the owners have to be careful not to damage the building (e.g. a National Trust or English Heritage property).

Most professional wedding bands are experienced at adapting their performance to the sound limit in place. You should make your band aware of this in good time before your event, as it might mean they need to bring an electric drum kit. Some bands might even refuse to play at venues with sound limiters in place.

What is Public Liability Insurance?

Most wedding venues in the UK require bands performing there to hold valid Public Liability Insurance (PLI). PLI provides protection from the financial consequences of legal action and compensation claims if anyone is injured or any property is damaged during the wedding.

Your wedding venue will often ask the band to provide a certificate to show they hold up-to-date public liability insurance in advance of the wedding.

Membership of organisations such as the Musicians Union usually comes with PLI included.

Does the band need PAT certified equipment?

PAT stands for portable appliance testing. Most wedding venues will require your band to produce evidence that their equipment has been PAT-certified. This means that it has been tested to ensure it is safe to use.

If your band can’t produce valid PLI and PAT certificates, you might question whether they are a professional band, as all full-time bands will have these documents ready to send to venues.

Why do the same bands have different names on different websites?

Many bands appear on the same websites and booking platforms. Some prefer to use different names on each website in order to track where the enquiry has come from.

Can the band play outside?

If you’re getting married in the UK, it’s a good idea to make the most of the summer months and have as much of your wedding outside if possible. That said, the British weather isn’t the most reliable – so whilst many bands will be happy to play outside in principle, they will always require access to a shelter from the elements, whether that’s strong sunlight or rain. Musicians’ instruments can be worth thousands of pounds and a small amount of water damage can have a devastating impact on the instrument.

Do I need a contract with my wedding band?

The most secure way to book a band is to do so via FixTheMusic. All bookings are governed by the agreement on our website, which is based on the UK Musicians Union standard contract and amended by the particular details that you agree with your band by email (date, venue etc.). The contract provides protection to both parties.

About FixTheMusic

FixTheMusic is a one-stop shop for booking amazing professional musicians anywhere in the world. And it's completely free for event planners to use.

Founded in 2015 by two brothers who share a passion for great live music, FixTheMusic is a new way to find and book hand-picked bands and musicians for weddings, private parties, corporate events and charity events.

As professional musicians, we realised how difficult it can be for event planners to find and book musicians for their event. So we decided to make it easy.

With FixTheMusic, all you need to do is tell us what you’re looking for and our system does the heavy lifting to get you offers from our carefully curated selection of amazing musicians.

We make it simple and secure for you to connect directly with the best musicians across the globe so you can book live music for any event within minutes.

We're regularly featured on forums and blogs so take a look at FixTheMusic in the press.

FixTheMusic is trusted by the world's most prestigious brands, universities and charities

FixTheMusic's corporate and government clients include Google, Facebook, Samsung, Singapore Grand Prix, U.S. Department of State, The Crown Estate, Playstation, Pepsi, CHANEL, Bacardi, Sky Arts, L'Oréal, House of Fraser, The Ritz, Aldi, the British Army, Ministry of Defence, Virgin Sport, WPP, W Series, KPMG, Deloitte, The Economist, G4S, Lavazza, University of Cambridge, University of Oxford, English Heritage, The Courtauld Institute of Art, The King's Fund and numerous luxury hotels and wedding planners around the world 🌍

FixTheMusic is proud to have provided live music for numerous charity fundraising events, including for WWF UK, The Zoological Society of London, The Royal British Legion, Shelter, The Genesis Research Trust and The Pituitary Foundation.

Local professional musicians and bands throughout the world

Beyond the UK, FixTheMusic has already helped clients find amazing local musicians and book UK-based bands for destination weddings and events as far afield as Cyprus, France, Malta, Monaco, Ibiza, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, Croatia, Sweden, Norway, Finland, the Netherlands, Iceland, Finland, Poland, Dubai, Oman, Egypt, Morocco, Israel, Singapore and China.

We have become specialists in providing outstanding wedding bands for weddings in France, Italy, Greece (and the Greek islands, especially Santorini), Spain, Portugal and Croatia.

We have ambitious plans to grow internationally over the coming years — we want FixTheMusic to be the first port of call for discovering and booking outstanding local musicians throughout the world; to become Airbnb for live music.

We're proud that we have received consistent 5-star reviews on Facebook and Google.

As well as offering only a carefully curated selection of hand-picked bands and musicians, we strive to provide world-class customer service so you can book with complete confidence. See what our clients say in our verified reviews.

FixTheMusic was a finalist in the Parmee Prize for Entrepreneurs at Pembroke College, Cambridge.

We are an official supplier with Rock My Wedding. They choose only the very best wedding suppliers and we're proud that they invited us to join their hand-picked selection of outstanding suppliers.

We have become the first port-of-call for British couples looking to hire the finest wedding bands UK has to offer.

Having provided the musical entertainment for thousands of weddings and events worldwide, we were often asked by clients if we provided other entertainers aside from bands.

We now offer the full range of entertainment options for weddings and corporate events, from fire dancers and magicians to acrobats and stilt walkers, including other professionals such as wedding photographers.

You can read more about FixTheMusic and their team of Ed, Adam and Zazie here.