Christmas party bands or Christmas party DJs – the choice is yours!
Whether to have a live band at your Christmas party or to just have a DJ for the night is a decision that isn’t purely based on budget. There are a few other factors to consider when making the choice. Here are a few of them.
1. Do you have space for a live band at your Christmas party?
A live band doesn’t necessarily have to take up half the room but if you are looking at a band with a full drum kit (and you probably will be. It is Christmas after all) then you really need to factor in at least 8 square metres of floor space and preferably more for a live band. A DJ would take up about half that space, depending on the gear they are using, so it is a big difference if your venue is small and your crowd is big!
2. What do you want your Christmas music to achieve?
This sounds like a bit of a silly question but in our experience there are fundamental differences in the way people dance to and interact with a live band as opposed to a DJ (we are assuming a classic function band playing rock and soul hits here). When a band is playing a crowd tends to be much more focused on the stage area and there will be as much singing as there will be dancing. Because a live band involves a number of people on stage giving it their all that spirit tends to carry across into the crowd making it easier for the audience to get into things, certainly at the start of the night.
A DJ will have a much wider selection of tunes at their disposal so if they are good at reading the room they will be able to get everyone up on the dance floor within a few songs but the dancing tends to be focused inwards with guests collecting into small groups rather than engaging in a collective experience in the way they would with a band.
3. How long is your Christmas party?
This is an important factor to consider as most bands will play up to 3 x 45 minute sets as a maximum for the evening. So if you are looking for a band to play after you finish your meal at 9 all the way till 1 am you probably need a DJ as well to fill the gaps in between.
That said at a recent fiesta we attended in Spain the band played for 4 hours with barely a break between medleys of Spanish pop classics. But that is Spain and they know how to party there! The singer was as flat as a pancake after 2.5 hours though so there has to be a trade off somewhere. Bottom line you can’t sing or play that well for four hours its really tiring!
4. What sort of Christmas guests have you got?
Is your company male dominated? Gender balanced? What is the age range of your guests?
These are questions you need to ask yourself before you book a band or a DJ. Not wishing to move into dangerous gender stereotypes here but crowds don’t dance well if they are more male dominated. It is nearly always the girls who get the party going on the dance floor, especially when you have a DJ playing. In a more male heavy environment a band can work better as a vehicle to get people moving as you can just jump up and down to a band with your mates.
Trust us we do quite a few children’s parties and see kids learning how to dance, or jump up and down (largely based on gender) and things don’t change that much as we get older….
OK so potentially mildly controversial at the end but at least a few things to get you thinking. If in doubt our advice would be to book both a band and DJ or find a band where one member can DJ in between. As really they do achieve a slightly different effect and are both applicable at different points in the evening.
At Yes Entertainment we come from live music performance backgrounds ourselves. So we love working with live musicians and venues that support them.
If you would like to discuss live music for your bar, or restaurant in London please send us your details below or call 0845 890 8525.