Pros and Cons of Having Live Music

Rachel Holdens     |     May, 14

Multiple surveys have found that music can be one of the most important parts of any event. For example, revealed that when it comes to the wedding reception, after the food, guests pay the most attention to the music. Participants also noted that bad music or a bad DJ is one of the most obnoxious pet peeves when attending a wedding. 

No matter what the event, weighing the pros and cons of having last music is a key aspect of the planning process.


Engaging the Crowd. There’s really nothing like a live band to get the crowd excited and engaged. It will give your event more of an upscale feel with a good band leader typically able to play host or master of ceremonies, interacting with your guests on the dance floor and paying attention to the atmosphere of the room to select the best music to play. You and your guests get to enjoy a performance, and anything can happen to boost the level of excitement from a moving solo to a powerful horn section.

More Energy. Comparing a live band to a DJ is kind of like comparing going to a nightclub versus a concert. The energy is different, with a live artist always more exciting than listening to the band on an album. The electricity that comes with a live performance just isn’t the same as a DJ or putting together your own well-thought-out playlist. 

The Sound. The sound quality is typically much better for socializing and/or dancing when you have a live band.

The Turnout. Depending on the purpose of the event, theme, and other factors, the reputation of a live band that’s hired can influence its success. Well-known performers significantly increase the odds of a good turnout, one of the most important factors to consider when weighing pros and cons.

The Cons

The Cost. If cost is a big concern, live bands are generally the most expensive to hire, with DJs typically coming at a lower price, and choosing to have no music or your own playlist obviously means the most savings. The more members in the band, the more expensive it’s likely to be, although hiring a well-known DJ can be just as costly. Band prices tend to vary by the amount of time they’ll be playing, the number of musicians, time of year and the day of the week. It is possible, however, to find a better value by using an app to book music talent rather than going through a talent agent, helping to negate some of the expenses.

If You Want Specific Songs, a DJ or Playlist May Be Better. For those that really want to have a long list of specific songs played at their event, hiring a DJ is usually the better bet as they can probably find and play every track. Bands usually have a specific sound, whether it’s hair metal, country or old-school jazz, and they’re unlikely to be able to deviate much from that which means your event won’t have a variety of music genres. That means if you decide to go with a live band, it’s essential to make sure their style suits the event.

The Space. You’ll probably need more space if you hire a live band. The more band members the more space you’ll need, and you’ll also need to check with the venue to find out if there are restrictions as to the number of musicians and pieces of equipment that can be brought in.