Advice Clinic

Top tips for setting up a function band

12th April 2018

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Joe Bradley studied a Diploma at BIMM Bristol in it’s second year of opening in 2009. Since graduating, he has become a professional drummer whose career highlights so far include supporting legendary psyche-rockers Hawkwind, meeting Lars Ulrich backstage before playing Glastonbury festival and being flown out to corporate gigs around the world. He also teaches drums and once covered for BIMM Bristol tutor James Hester at the front of a class in which he was once a student. Here, Joe advises how to start and run a successful function band. 

I have been playing drums and ‘depping’ with numerous function bands for a long time. I felt by now I have enough understanding of how these gigs are run to create my own band and start booking gigs myself. This way, I am able to earn more money, as I can take a musicians fee as well as an admin fee for booking gigs, etc. I also want musicians to be taking a fairer fee for the hours they are putting in. The standard fee at present seems to be £150 per gig (at least the gigs I am doing). I want everyone to be taking £200, so that was my main focus for this band. Creating a professional product that I could sell was the first (and most important) hurdle. Quality attracts quality.

The two main features are a good video and website. I was lucky enough to have a friend, Jack Offord who is a fantastic videographer, who took on board my keywords such as a ‘Quality’ and ‘Premium’ product. Same goes for our website created by Matthew Webber. Without these two elements it would be impossible to approach our clientele with confidence. Themes and colour schemes are very important for a unified image.

I am currently in the process of researching and contacting the appropriate clientele. With help from a friend Emma Daley (PR Consultant), I feel I am tapping into the right areas and adapting my approach to each client. Already, within a week of going live with our website and video, I have made 4 bookings!

The key elements

  • Band name – quite possibly the hardest part!
  • Quality, reliable musicians
  • A promo video that stands out from the rest
  • A professional easy to use website
  • Know your clientele

I hope this is of use to anyone looking to start their own function band, feel free to drop me a message with any questions on [email protected]




BIMM University

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