FAQ

frequently asked questions

Choosing & Reserving a Band

#1: When you select a band for your event, make sure you’re not doing it under duress.
We often advise our clients not to move forward until they’re comfortable, but to try and get comfortable as soon as possible!

#2: Make sure the band you’d like to book—isn’t booked.
Recently, we were forced to inform a bride that we had no bands available for her wedding date. Dismayed, she replied that all the books she consulted suggested beginning the booking process six months prior to her date.

While this can be true in some instances, roughly six months is hardly the industry standard anymore—and generally, it isn’t nearly enough time. So when someone asks us “how far advance should we book our band,” the best advice we can give is always: “As soon as you are able.”

Other things to keep in mind: Peak season generally falls between April and October. So if you’re planning an event outside of those months you may have more flexibility with your timeline. And of course, there are always great bands that fall through the cracks for prime dates. We recently asked our Facebook fans how far in advance they booked their band and answers ranged from 7 to 23 months.

Contact us today to request availability.

The average cost of our bands is $5,000-$10,000 per event. And a lot of people compare one band to another based solely on cost. But it’s important to keep in mind—not all bands or companies are created equal. While budget is important, we recommend you ask as many questions as you can about a band or company’s tenure, approach, style, ethics and policies.

What determines a band’s cost is made up of several primary factors:

Band size. Larger groups (8-10 pieces) tend to be more costly than smaller groups (4-6 pieces).

Tenure. New bands are usually priced more aggressively than bands who possess longer tenures.

Location. Our bands price themselves relative to your venue’s distance from Boston, MA. Locations approaching or exceeding 3 hours from Boston may require overnight accommodations.

Event Date. The calendar year is separated into prime months and off season months, each with varying costs. And within peak months (April to October), there are Fridays and some Sundays that yield lower call/inquiry volume. Many bands tend to discount for such dates.

Supply and Demand. This has more to do with a band’s cost than any other factor. The most requested ensembles, those who book 1-2 years in advance, will be the most costly.

Contact us today to request availability.

We accept bookings on a first come, first serve basis. We are unable to offer “rights of first refusals” or “soft holds”, a policy put in place to protect your interests. If we held bands for others, we wouldn’t be able to make them available to you!

At the point you are ready to move forward with one of our bands, we:

1.) Determine if the artist is still open for your date. If so, we take them off the books, immediately, so no one else can book them.

2.) We email paperwork to you outlining the details of the event (date, time, venue, etc.). Many of these details can be fine-tuned at a later time as well. We ask that you look over the paperwork and sign & return with a 50% payment within 5 days (payments can be made by personal check, Visa or Mastercard). The remaining balance is payable to the artist on, or before your event date, by bank check, money order, or cash (the remaining balance cannot be paid by credit card).


3.) We will also include a worksheet that you should complete and forward to the band about 2 months before your event. The band liaison’s name, number & address is on the form so you can contact them directly regarding all musical questions.

And always know—we’re here to help and answer questions at every stage of the process.

We are often asked about our cancellation policy. If you are forced to cancel for any reason, we are able to refund all but $250 of the deposit at the point at which we are able to re-book the band for your date. Otherwise, the deposit is retained by the band as damages.

Contact us today to request availability.

We understand that choosing a band is very much a matter of taste. Our goal is to pair you and your family with a band that matches your personality, preferences and budget.

Often times people have been referred to bands or saw a particular group at a recent event. We’ve even taken calls from brides-to-be who were recommended a band while they sat at the salon. Whether you’ve received a referral or not, you should follow through with the steps below:

Request Availability, as it isn’t worth reviewing bands on-line who may not be available for your date!

Review Band Videos. Band videos help you gauge what you are drawn to, as well as what turns you off. Taste in music is very subjective and different people are drawn to very different things.

Read Reviews from Recent Events. Websites like weddingwire.com also offer instant and easy access to verified band reviews and info on many types of event professionals.

Read Our Blog. Blogs can also be a helpful way to gain insight into the types of events at which bands have been performing. They also offer a peek into real events, where you might gain inspiration for ideas related to your own celebration.

Attend Live Showcases. We offer monthly events where you can sit down, have dinner and a drink, all while watching some of our most requested bands perform a range of their material.

View Song-lists, Biographies and Other Available Materials.. The more material you can review, the better informed you’ll be.

Talk to Your Other Vendors. These are the professionals who work along side ensembles every weekend. They may be able to offer valuable insight.

Contact us today to request availability.

Hiring a band for your special event isn’t just about music and instruments. It’s an investment that will generate life-long, priceless memories.

Our basic band pricing reflects a standard 4-hour, dinner/dance reception performance which begins at the conclusion of your cocktail reception. We provide quotes specific to your location and event date. There is no tax associated with our costs.

Our bands provide all the necessary equipment to perform a dinner/dance reception, including:

  • Musical Equipment
  • State of The Art Sound System and Engineer
  • State of The Art Lighting to illuminate the performance area
  • MC Services
  • DJ Services
  • 2 Customized Songs of your choice

Our artists utilize DJ equipment during their breaks and can DJ pre-recorded music at any point throughout the evening. Each band also acts as the MC, directing your evening’s flow of events based on a timeline you have devised. The band will also learn 2 new songs, just for your event.

With any of our groups, you receive the backing and support of New England’s most respected entertainment company, with over 30 years and 20,000 events to our credit. We are a second generation family business that is highly-regarded by New England’s top venues, Event Planners, and thousands of clients.

Additional Services

While our paperwork and costs contain no hidden fees, there are a handful of additional services our bands can provide, such as:

  • Cocktail Music. Our most commonly used cocktail reception instrument is electric piano, though depending on your needs, we can often utilize additional musicians as well (a duo or trio). Cocktail musicians perform background jazz and other music from the Great American Song book at their discretion.
  • On-Site Ceremony Music. Our most commonly used ceremony instrument is also electric piano, but we can also utilize additional musicians from the band to fit your musical selections. Ceremony musicians will learn special songs for your ceremony.
  • Additional PA system & wireless microphone(s) for on-site Ceremonies. IF you need a wireless microphone for your vows/ readers, or a lapel microphone for the officiant, the band can provide this service.
  • Overtime. This refers to extending the full band performance beyond 4 hours. This is a service you can decide upon during your event. However, we suggest you contract Overtime ahead of time if possible, which allows the band to structure their performance accordingly.
  • After Party DJ, to keep your party going well into the night.
  • Architectural Uplighting, Pinspots & Concert Lighting

These services can be added at any time, and do not have to be decided upon when you book a band. One of our consultants will be happy to provide pricing on the above listed services.

Band Breaks

We allow our bands a maximum of 2 breaks in a standard 4 hour performance. The first break will occur as your guests are served their main course and will not exceed 20-22 minutes. The band will provide pleasant pre-recorded background music during this time. Should they take a second break, it will occur approximately 1 and ½ hour before the end of the night and will not exceed 12- 15 minutes. The band will DJ high energy dance music over the PA at this time to keep the momentum going. We are routinely told by our clients that the band breaks felt “seamless”. Below are typical excerpts from our “Performance Review” questionnaire’s, which couples complete the week after their event:

We didn’t even know when you were on break! You coordinated so beautifully with your DJ – which was honestly one our biggest concerns! Kudos!
– Michal and Arash, Seaport Hotel at World Trade Center

I never felt that we were without entertainment during the breaks. The song choices were great and gave a chance to play some songs that weren’t on the band’s song list.
– Margaux and Chris, Ocean Edge

 I don’t even remember the band taking a break (which I guess is a good thing). I was having so much fun.
– Malka and Joe, Willowdale Estate

We offer monthly events where you can sit down, have dinner and a drink, all while watching some of our most requested bands perform a range of their material. These showcases are free and simply require an RSVP to attend. Our showcases take place in a low pressure, casual environment that we’ve created in response to our clients’ needs. Our bands perform exclusively at private events, so these showcase are the only option for live viewing.

While people often ask if they can attend a private event to view a band, we have a policy that bars this practice. Most venues in which our bands perform have a very strict non-viewing policy as well. They perceive this as an insurance liability. But most important, we aren’t comfortable inviting strangers to our clients’ private affairs.

Unfortunately, showcases cannot accommodate everyone at all times. And while you should ideally be able to see bands you’re interested in, if you limit yourself to reviewing only those with upcoming viewing opportunities, your options become limited. The majority of our bookings are taken sight-unseen based on band videos, reviews, referrals and our reputation.

Contact us today to request availability.

Bands

A band is more than just a lead singer; they are they sum of all their parts. The best bands in New England, those who boast 15+ year track records, have all had at least one change to a lead singer throughout their career. These bands, who remain in-demand despite changes have done so by improving their line-up, continuing to grow, and constantly raising the bar. In the end, a band leader that draws on the collective talents of the band creates the most amazing celebrations.

Nonetheless, we are all attracted to bands based on their faces, and lead singers are without a doubt the face and voice of any band. Because of this, one of the most frequent questions we are asked is:

“Can you guarantee the lead singers in my band will be the same at my event ?”

No matter what you are told, no one can make this guarantee. For example, if a lead singer gained a recording contract, no agreement could guarantee their appearance. And while we only seek out individuals with firmly placed roots, personnel changes and emergencies can occur. Our standard practice is as such:

If a lead singer is to be replaced, we will notify you, introduce to you to the new vocalist and invite you to a showcase to view the band. If for any reason you are unhappy after the viewing and wish to void your contract, we will refund your deposit. While the changes we’ve made to our bands over the years have made them stronger, we want you to remain confident that you won’t be locked into a band if you are unhappy with a change of vocalists.

If there is an emergency with a lead vocalist prior to or on the day of your event, we spare no expense to provide a replacement of equal or greater talent. After serving the community for over 25 years, we have the largest network of performers in New England and beyond. We once flew a singer in from Las Vegas to cover for a vocalist attending a funeral, when we were unhappy with the local vocalists available on that weekend. While these situations are the exception rather than the rule, rest assured that we will “have your back” in the case of an emergency. We even have a 24 hour emergency phone system that rings straight to our cell phones for those pre-event jitters.

Contact us today to request availability.

Unless otherwise requested, our male musicians dress in suit/ties and female musicians in elegant evening dresses. Attire for Black Tie events is also available, upon request. A recent client had this to say about one our band’s attire:

The band looked great for the party. We had a “business casual” event, and the band’s attire fit the bill perfectly. They were well dressed without outshining any of the guests (ie, not wearing ball gowns or tuxes).

Mike and Elana, State Room

Contact us today to request availability.

This will be a quick read: We have a no drinking policy and our band members do not consume alcohol under any circumstances. Neither do they help themselves to any food other than the vendor meals that are served to them. It’s that simple.

Contact us today to request availability.

Our bands do not require meals in their contracts, though it is customary to feed the band. Your venue or caterer will offer vendor meals at a lower cost than your guests’ plates.

Contact us today to request availability.

We often say that “vendor meals are to the band industry, what tipping is to the service industry”. While it is customary to feed the band, our bands do not require gratuity. Clients who choose to tip generally do so in the $25-$50 per member range.

Contact us today to request availability.

Many venues won’t allow a vendor through the door without an Insurance Certificate. Rest assured—we are fully insured and routinely provide Liability Insurance Certificates for our bands (up to $2,000,000).

My Event

Overtime refers to extending the full band performance beyond 4 hours. This is a service you can decide upon during your event. However, we suggest you contract Overtime ahead of time if possible, which allows the band to structure their performance accordingly.

We also have a less costly alternative to overtime, where the band DJs music to keep your party rocking into the night. You ca even use a combo of the both, though it needs to begin with band overtime.

Contact us today to request availability.

Our bands‘ song-lists are generally updated twice 3-4 times a year as they learn music throughout each season. Song-lists are never truly up to date, because the bands are always learning new material and keeping up with emerging trends.

The songs our groups perform on any given night is made up of 3 primary factors:

1) Popular music that will create an amazing party. The band leader reads your crowd and all the age groups in attendance, calling songs accordingly.

2) General musical styles that fit into your personal preferences. They ask for a lot of feedback into your preferences so they can accommodate your family and guests.

3) What the band performs best.

Our artists require that you place trust in their ability to call songs throughout the party (with your preferences in mind). And of course, you will choose all the material for your formal dances.

Contact us today to request availability.

The band’s primary sound equipment will arrive approximately 3 hours prior to the start of your reception. Individual band members will arrive 1 hour prior to their start.

The band will work hand in hand with your venue. Upon arrival, the group does a final check of your timeline with the event coordinator. They also sync their music with the service of food courses and formalities. While the flow of events is based on the timeline you have devised, the band also takes cues directly from your venue or event planner.

Some venues have cocktail receptions which take place in the same location as the band. This may require the band’s equipment to be fully set up by the start of cocktails. We refer to this as an early set up. If this is the case, our bands can be set up 1 hour prior to the start of your dinner/dance reception at no additional cost.

Contact us today to request availability.

As is a tradition in New England, our ensembles perform under tents often throughout each season. We have several requirements put in place to ensure safety as well as uninterrupted performances:

1) Band needs 12 x 20 foot flooring if there is no raised stage or platform. Band is unable to perform directly on the ground.

2) Performance area must be in a three sided tent with available side wall flaps in case of rain.

3) Band requires (3) three separate 20 amp circuits solely for their use. These circuits must be located within twenty-five feet of the bandstand.

4) All band equipment is on wheels. Band requires close road access or paved access to the area where they are required to set up, or a cartage fee will be applied to basic charge.

(The 12×20 foot print is an approximate size and the cartage fee can be avoided if the equipment vehicle can have direct access to the tent.)

Contact us today to request availability.

Payment & Contract

The total cost is the band’s compensation. We hold ½ of the total in a non-interest bearing business account, to be forwarded to the band the week before your event. You then complete the other ½ with your final payment, on or before the event date. Our clients do not incur any cost for our services. We are compensated by our bands.

We accept Visa, Mastercard and personal check for the first payment. The final payment is payable to the artist on, or before your event date, by bank check, money order, or cash (the remaining balance cannot be paid by credit card).

Final Payment is payable to the band only, and is due on or before the event date, by check only.

Contact us today to request availability.

Leading up to the event, your conversations with the band may spark the need for a time change or perhaps the addition of cocktails and/or ceremony musicians. If this is the case, let us know and we’ll re-issue your paperwork with the changes. Timing and additional services are never set in stone and can be updated at any point (ideally, no less than 30 days prior to the event).

Contact us today to request availability.

We’d love to hear from you. Give us a call at 978.256.0360 or email us. e-mail us Wilson Stevens Productions
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