So how does it work?
Amplified roaming bands
In NOMAD’s case, the lead singer uses a wireless mic of course. Backing vocals are provided by the other band members via headsets. Instruments-wise, guitar and bass are plugged into wireless battery packs and the drums are provided by a very nifty wheeled cajon.
The quality of amplified sound is impressive with deep bass and crisp highs – make no mistake, this is not sit-down entertainment, they will get you on your feet.
The band call their show a unique form of ‘dining entertainment’ and certainly they interact with the audience in a way that wasn’t technologically possible 10 years ago.
Acoustic roaming bands
There are also the UK's best acoustic roaming bands or wandering bands featured on FixTheMusic – this option is very popular for smaller weddings or where your wedding venue has a strict sound limiter. A roaming wedding band will often perform a wide mix of pop covers – from the 60s to today's current hits, often with a slightly folk edge to the repertoire.
If you fancy transforming your birthday party, wedding reception or corporate event to a modern mediaeval banquet, then make an enquiry on FixTheMusic where we’ll be promoting a variety of wandering groups over the next few months.
The bands are also known as "wandering bands" – as they tend to wander in between and mingle with guests whilst playing their music and singing. Although almost every wandering band in the UK is based in London, most are happy to travel to other parts of the UK.
Most of the acoustic bands consist of a singer or two (usually male vocals, but often female too), acoustic guitar, cajon or other percussion and double bass. Occasionally the bands might also add a saxophone to the line-up.
Roaming brass bands
Another popular option is to book a roaming brass band – these modern brass groups are inspired by the roving New Orleans-style band but updated with a modern and often unusual twist. The bands usually feature trumpets, trombones and sousaphones, and occasionally a singer or even rapper to perform alongside them. These acoustic brass groups tend to be much louder than the acoustic guitar-based wandering bands, so are perfect for large public events (such as charity parades or marches).
Roaming jazz bands
Another popular type of band in this style is the roaming jazz band. Although similar to the other acoustic roving bands mentioned here, a roaming jazz band specialises in performing jazz and swing music. These groups are perfect for street parties.
They usually feature instruments such as the clarinet, banjo, trumpet, trombone, and may also include a singer or vocalist. The genre of music they play is typically Dixieland jazz (or hot jazz / traditional jazz) that originated in New Orleans.
They are especially popular at city weddings – and often hired to wander outside alongside guests after the wedding ceremony has taken place.
Lastly, the bands are often described as a busking-style band. Indeed, part of the tradition of the roaming acoustic band does stem from busking musicians – traditionally, musicians performing live on the street would be acoustic of course as they would have no access to power or amplification.
Roaming bands are one of the best forms of modern entertainment on the musical scene at the moment. They are highly interactive and perfect for engaging with audience members and guests.
Our roaming and wandering bands are particularly popular at corporate events and product launches in the UK. They stand out from the usual function band and immediately draw attention from guests.
Wandering Three recently performed at Tobacco Dock in London to over 3,500 guests at a tech conference. The hosts loved them and they received multiple enquiries for weddings and other private events following this event. They also recently strolled up and down Regent Street, London as part of their 200th anniversary celebrations in December 2019, performing for the public in various shops and on the street.
How much does a roaming band / wandering band cost to hire?
This is a very popular question. The answer will depend on a few factors – such as how far they have to travel from their location to get to your venue, how long you want the musicians to perform for, and how many musicians and singers are in the band. The prices usually start at around £1,300 for a 3-piece acoustic roving band.
The most prestigious of the roving bands charge much more than this, and also if you book an amplified roaming band, then this will also be more expensive as the band will need to cover the equipment costs and the extra set-up and soundcheck time required.
Each roaming band will provide you with a bespoke quote for your wedding or event when you enquire on FixTheMusic.
Roaming bands are a brilliant choice, especially for afternoon entertainment at your wedding. They epitomise summer and are perfect for wandering through your guests at drinks receptions.
Can the roaming bands perform outside?
Yes! This is what they do best. If the weather is good, our roaming bands will be more than happy to play outside. Bear in mind, if the sun is too strong or if it starts to rain, the band may request to be under cover. Their instruments (especially older violins) are very susceptible to changes in the weather and can be damaged otherwise.
Can the roaming bands take requests on the day?
Yes! Our roaming bands are perfect for interacting with guests at your wedding – and they will be more than happy to take requests from revellers on the day. They might not know every song thrown at them, but will do their best to play as many as possible.
How long do the roaming bands perform for?
They normally perform 2 x 45 minute sets with a short break in between.
With restrictions on social gatherings slowly being eased in the UK, a small acoustic roaming band might be the perfect musical group to celebrate the end of lockdown.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic / coronavirus on the live music industry has been catastrophic, with almost every event since March 2020 being either cancelled or re-scheduled. It might soon be possible to host small gatherings with a limited number of guests in outdoor settings. For most bands, this will still prove problematic – as they require access to electricity and amplification.
If you are allowed to hold a small outdoor party or BBQ in a garden or public space (a "social distanced party"), then a solo acoustic singer or 2- or 3-piece roaming acoustic band could be the perfect solution to providing some safe and relaxing musical entertainment.
With many people still self-isolating at home, it might still be possible to have musicians turn up at your loved ones' doorstep – and provide musical entertainment from a safe distance. Many of our acts are providing this service already and are comfortable doing so in safe and COVID-secure ways.
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