FAQ

frequently asked questions

Bands

Our bands range from roughly $9,000-$15,000 for local events, depending on the group, date, and specific location.

People commonly 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. We recommend you ask as many questions as you can about a company’s tenure, policies, and ethics. 

Several factors determine band cost:

Band size. Larger groups (9-11 pieces) tend to be more costly than smaller groups (6-7 pieces). The difference in size is generally based on A) the number of horns and/or B) the number of lead vocalists.

Tenure. Recently-formed bands are often priced more aggressively than bands that possess longer tenures.

Location. Cost is relative to your venue’s distance from Boston, MA. We arrange charter flights for island events and distances that exceed approx. 4 hours of drive time from Boston, MA.

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 some Fridays and Sundays that yield lower call volume. We reduce our costs 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.

We are self-sufficient and provide all the necessary equipment to perform a dinner/dance reception, including:

* MC Services

* DJ Services

* 2 New Songs of your choice

* Sound System + Engineer

* LED Lighting to illuminate the performance area

* All Musical Equipment

We can DJ mp3 music via laptop throughout the entirety of the dinner/dance performance. We MC the evening, administering the formalities and timeline you devise. There is no tax associated with our costs, nor hidden fees.

This process is a compromise between two parties. We honor your preferences and ask you to trust our ability to call songs that create the best party possible.

Leading up to your event, you’ll complete a song-list form and select every song you like. The more music you choose, the more beneficial the outcome. At our discretion, we’ll play roughly 15-20 of your picks. You’ll also select all music for your formal dances. Plus, we can learn two new songs that are not a regular part of our repertoire! (formality dances take precedence).

Can I choose all the songs you play?

We are unable to perform with pre-determined setlists. However, your feedback heavily informs what we play.

Can I make my own song list form instead of using yours?

While this may seem helpful, we have a system that results in countless amazing parties. Our song list form is a critical part of this system. We appreciate your understanding.

We came across a pithy blog on this very subject, HERE.

This may be the most critical question you can ask. We cannot guarantee there won’t be personnel changes. Here’s how we approach this:

At the core, WS is a talent management agency. We hire the personnel in our bands; we train them; they’re bi-products of our expertise. So when personnel changes are necessary, we’re responsible for staffing our groups with the best talent in the Northeast. People think our primary function is to book bands when frankly, “booking” is the easiest thing we do. 80% of our staff specializes in A) talent management and B) entertainment planning.

There are no guarantees against turnover in this business. But we tell it like it is and promise that if you trust our brand, you’ll be thrilled with the outcome.

What happens if there is a personnel emergency?

In the event of an emergency, we spare no expense to recruit a replacement of equal or more exceptional talent. After 35+ years, we have the most extensive network of performers in the US. We will have your back in an emergency.

Yes! We perform often under tents and have a few requirements to ensure safety, set-up, and uninterrupted service:

Tent Requirements:

a) 24’ wide by 12’ deep flooring is required if there is no raised stage or platform. The band is unable to perform directly on the ground/exposed grass. We have several feet of flexibility with this footprint, though 24’x12’ is ideal.

b) Performance area must be in a three-sided tent with side-wall flaps to be drawn down in the event if rain or excessive wind.

c) Green Room (or tent) for artist personnel. We plan to arrive as early as you need the equipment in place. We kindly request a private area for the artists to reside.

Private Residence / Rural Locations

If your reception is held in a tent or area that is not associated with a commercial property, we strongly recommend renting a Diesel Generator. A typical gasoline generator used during power outages will not sufficiently power a band. Whereas Diesel Generators are comparatively quiet, stable, reliable, and substantial enough to power a band, catering, and restrooms.

This is critical. Most wedding vendors require electricity. And not all electrical power is created equal. We need close, reliable electrical access, or we risk power loss.

In short, no.

We often say that “vendor meals are to the band industry, what tipping is to the service industry”. While it is customary to provide vendor meals, we do not require gratuity.

Those who feel we have gone above and beyond and elect to tip, generally do so in the range of $50-$100 per member.

Yes. It is customary to provide your vendors with “vendor meals.” “Your venue or caterer will make these hot meals available to you at less cost than guests’ plates. Thank you!

Choosing & Reserving a Band

Experience 

35 Years | 25,000+ Successful Events | Five-Star Rating | Family Owned & Operated

The above is documented proof of pedigree. Search Wilson Stevens on Google, and find 1,000+ Five-Star testimonials and an A+ Rating by The Better Business Bureau. These credentials underscore the promise that you end up simply thrilled when you choose Wilson Stevens.

Support 

Most people assume an entertainment company is a middleman. That’s true for most of our industry but not Wilson Stevens…

We don’t “represent” bands; we are the bands. We build our groups from the ground up, using only the top talent in The Northeast. You work directly with our personnel throughout all steps of the process. The resulting support and oversight equal total peace of mind.

Learn more about our team, HERE.

Ethics 

Policies and Contracts aren’t flashy, but if 2020 taught us anything, a company’s ethics matter as much as its music.

If we cancel for personal reasons, is there any option for a refund?

Yes. So long as we re-book the band for your date, we’ll refund all but a nominal $495 administrative fee.

Be Aware: many entertainment agencies consider your deposit “earned income upon receipt,” with no option for any refund.

Do you have a Force Majeure or “Act of God” clause?

Absolutely. If our performance is rendered impossible by an Act of God, we’ll refund your deposit, minus our nominal fee. Force Majeure isn’t standard in the entertainment industry, but it should be.

– Read what real clients said about us HERE.

We understand that choosing a band is a subjective matter of taste. Our goal is to pair you and your family with a group that matches your personality, preferences, and budget. Call us anytime, Monday- Friday, 9 AM-5 PM.

It’s easy to be overwhelmed at first, or struggle to understand the criteria on which to make a band decision. Choosing a band is like anything else in life; If it feels right, it probably is. Conversely, if you aren’t feeling it, it’s probably not the right fit. Go with your gut. But also follow through with the steps below:

Request Availability, as it isn’t worth reviewing bands 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, The Knot and Google Places offer instant and easy access to verified band reviews.

Google Search. You’d be surprised how much you’ll learn after a few simple google searches.

Read Blogs. 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.

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

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

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

Our booking procedure begins with the written or verbal indication you want to move forward.

If the band you wish to reserve remains available, we take them “off the books” immediately, so no one else can book them. We’ll email paperwork to you outlining the details of the event such as date, time, venue, etc. Many of these details can be fine-tuned at a later time as well.

First Payment:

We ask that you sign & return with the first Payment of 50% payment within 5 days (first payments can be made by personal check, Visa, or Mastercard only).

Final Payment:

Final Payment is due 14 days before the event. This may be paid by check only and mailed to our offices. We’ll reach out with a friendly reminder in the days leading up to this due-date. We’re unable to accept final payments on-site at the event or accept credit cards for the Final Payment. Thank you for your understanding.

And always know— we’re here to help throughout every stage of the process.

As soon as you feel comfortable!

Request Availability ASAP:

Every month we are forced to inform someone that we’re sold out for their date. It’s the least fun part of our job. Most people feel dismayed and react with shock. We’ve often heard “but all the books say to begin 9 months out!“.

While this can be true in some instances, roughly nine months is hardly the industry standard anymore—and generally, it isn’t nearly enough time. So when someone asks us “how far in 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 IG followers on far in advance they booked their band. The answers ranged from 7 to 23 months. We advise our clients not to move forward until they’re comfortable, but to try and get comfortable as soon as possible!

Don’t move forward under duress:

This should be a joyous process. And while we’re always working with multiple clients for the same date, there is always more than one band that can give you the party of a lifetime. So give yourself a break and try to enjoy this special time.

My Event

You can expect the best customer service of any vendor you’ve hired. Service is our top priority, second only to the success of your event. We’re here to help Monday- Friday, 9AM-5PM. We guide you through the process, make suggestions, and listen to your needs. Clients often tell us we were the most helpful vendor they hired. Despite our size, we’re a mom n’ pop shop at heart. We strive to make your celebration feel like the only one on our calendar. 

How does the planning work?

We begin this process 3-4 months before your celebration. You’ll work directly with us on all details, including timelines, formalities, special songs, and more.

You can read a more in-depth explanation of all items related to our entertainment planning, HERE.

One thing to remember: we must finalize everything no later than 14 days prior to your event to ensure adequate preparation.

Unfortunately, we’re unable to make a recording upon request. The only way to produce a suitable recording would be to use a studio, which isn’t feasible. Thank you for your understanding.

Rest assured, our musicians are professionals and will do an excellent job of replicating any formal dance. If you’re more comfortable knowing exactly how a song will sound, we can also DJ the original recording. This is especially common for choreographed dances.

Lastly, if you have a special arrangement in mind, let us know! We may be able to engineer a custom mp3.

Our primary sound equipment will arrive approximately 3 hours prior to the start of your reception. Our artists will arrive 1 hour prior to their start time.

We work hand in hand with your venue. Upon arrival, we’ll do a final check of your timeline with the event coordinator. Throughout the evening, we sync our music with the service of food courses and formalities. While the flow of events is based on the timeline you have devised, we ultimately take cues directly from your venue or event planner.

Certainly. We have 2 options to help you extend the evening…

1) 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.

2) DJ Overtime features mp3 music triggered by a band member via laptop (this is not a “beat mixing” club-style DJ). The rest of the band will discreetly remove their instruments during this time. This can also be used to begin the evening with DJ’d music + MC

Unless requested otherwise, our male musicians dress in suit/ties and female musicians in elegant evening dresses. Black Tie is available upon request as well!

Payment & Contract

Absolutely. We can always re-issue your paperwork with timing changes or the addition of services. The only limitation is all details must be finalized no later than 14 days prior to your event. But don’t worry, we’ll have plenty of time for event planning!

Many venues won’t allow a vendor through the door without advance proof of Liability Insurance. We are fully insured and routinely provide General Liability Insurance Certificates upon request (up to $2,000,000).

Our booking process begins with a written or verbal indication that you are ready to move forward. If the band you wish to reserve remains available, we take them “off the books” immediately, so no one else can book them. We’ll email you paperwork outlining the event details, such as date, time, venue, etc. Many of these details can be fine-tuned at a later time as well.

First Payment: We ask that you sign & return with a 50% payment within 5 days. This payment can be made by personal check, Visa, or Mastercard (we do not accept Amex).

Final Payment: This is due 14 days before the event. This may be paid by check only and mailed to our offices. We’ll reach out with a friendly reminder in the days leading up to this due date. We’re unable to accept final payments on-site at the event or accept credit cards for the Final Payment. Thank you for your understanding.

If we are able to re-book the band for your date, we’ll refund all but 10% of the deposit (the 10% serves as an administrative fee). Otherwise, the deposit is retained as damages.

Beware; many entertainment agencies consider your deposit “earned income upon receipt,” with no option for any refund. 

“Do you have a Force Majeure or “Act of God” clause?”

Yes. If our performance is rendered impossible by an Act of God, we’ll refund your deposit, minus the fee described above. Force Majeure isn’t standard in the entertainment industry, but it should be.

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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