The difference between an audience style entertainment and event entertainment is quite significant. However ironically we tend to choose entertainment for our events based upon the audience style performances.
I’m sure you are familiar with the cliché wedding band genre. What gives them this cliché is often the same thing that allows for them to be beneficial while entertaining a Happening. That is, they have styles and genres that are appealing to a wide range of people. Often the result is not that one of the songs in there repertoire are played perfectly however their diversity is appealing. Being able to appeal to all your guests is paramount in making successful events.
Over the years I’ve had the good fortune of working with some of the best performers in the industry like Elton John, Madonna and Diana Ross to name a few. However, when working with any major talent at an event, the talent has always been a feature part of the performances and not the entire performance. This is the part that differentiates audience style entertaining and event entertaining. When we go to an audience style performance our focus is solely on that act and spending a considerable amount of time within that particular performances genre is anticipated and welcomed. In an event environment like a wedding, the key ingredient is the couple, therefore the performance is to support and emphasize the couple’s significant occasion. Therein lies the challenge of the classic wedding band. Resulting in an almost elevator music like sound across-the-board, never quite hitting the mark and always feeling forced.
So what is the solution? The best way I have found to keep the focus and have great entertainment is to have a range of short diverse performances. Some of your guests will relate to one and other guests to another but overall there will be something for everyone. Try picking several small acts. They don’t need to be big names, they just need to be good. Pick different types of performances. They can range from classical, jazz, pop, rock, dance and even performance arts. Once you have assembled your range of live performances, for the main portion of the reception hire a DJ. Share with the DJ the different performances you have and ask if he or she can find complementary music for before and after each act, and then to segway styles between the genres. Your DJ will also be able to offer a great dance set because different than the band, they are able to grab original music and play it at just the right time. Therefore a DJ can alter the song list in relation to the energy in the room. Another added feature of the DJ is they can ensure that once the music starts it’ll never stop. Even if there’s a problem with an act, the DJ can come in and save the day by filling the potential void with track music, allowing the show to go on and in most cases your guests will be unaware of any of the difficulties taking place. A last great tip is to add in a bongo or saxophone player to accompany your DJ. This is a great way to bring in a live component while listening to original track music.
Whether you are looking at A-list performers or a talented friend of the family, adding range to your wedding through feature performances, tied together through a talented DJ, has time and time proven to be a great recipe for a memorable wedding!