JPJazz Entertainment Group  - Event Planning & Live Music Performance
Our Blog: Events out Loud

What does live music cost?

So, how much does live music cost? There are exceptions, of course, but we found these figures on a cost search for wedding and cocktail hour combined and they are quite accurate. Many couples will hire musicians for their wedding ceremony and cocktail hour and then another group or a dj for their reception.  We are often asked if Jack will sing for  the "first dances".  He will either add dinner and the first dances on as an incremental cost of performing for the ceremony and cocktail hour OR he might start with cocktails and continue on through dinner and several dance sets with a DJ finishing off the evening.Below is an excerpt of several articles we found.
  • The cost of hiring a live musician will depend on the type of instrument, number of musicians and length of performance. Soloists naturally charge less than duos, trios or quartets. Many musicians who routinely perform at weddings will charge a higher fee for the first hour of performance, often considered a "ceremony" charge.  ( This charge can also be considered a "set up fee' as the musicians will need to bring their equipment; the exception to this is strings, they usually have chairs and music stands but as they play accoustically there is little else to set up.)
  • Costs for a solo guitarist range from $100 - $425 for a 2-hour performance, covering the ceremony and cocktails. Solo pianists charge roughly $300 - $400 while violinists cost between $300 - $770.
  • Duos, whether two guitars, pianos, violins or harps, range from $800 - $1,250.
  • Trios and quartets (strings are most popular for weddings), average around $1,000.
What should be included:
  • Price quotes from wedding musicians should include the length of the actual performance, including their own set up and break down time, as well as all necessary equipment (such as sheet music, music stands, etc.). Most live performers require a 5 to 15 minute break between sets, roughly once per hour.
Additional costs:
  • Depending on the location of the wedding ceremony and reception, a travel fee or second-location fee may be added. Travel fees typically range from $50 - $100, or $0.50 per mile. Musicians from out of the area may also require one night's lodging.
  • Some musicians also require meals, particularly for longer performances.
  • A per-hour cost is usually added for wedding rehearsals or planning/consultation sessions.
Discounts:
  • Many musicians offer discounted prices for performances on days other than Saturday, which is the busiest day of the week.
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