Hire A Band For Your Birthday Party
This year we have had a massive run on birthday parties. Probably more 40th’s than other age celebrations, but generally the age range has been broad. In addition to 40th’s, there’s been 21st’s, a 30th, a few 50th’s, 60th’s, 70th’s and one 80th. A few years ago we even played at a 90th. This party went so well that I’m expecting a call when his 100th birthday comes up.
The thing to consider with 21st birthday parties is the broad range of ages, and… who’s paying for the band. Naturally, there are large numbers in their early 20’s, but there will also be older family members/relatives. In addition to this, usually the parents will invite close friends who have been part of the birthday boy/girls’s life.
The biggest misconception with 21st birthdays is that the young ones (20-something year olds) know how to party. This (unfortunately) is not the truth. The fact is that young adults still don’t really know themselves and therefore carry many insecurities (as we all did at that age). The proof of this is the amount of alcohol they drink. Generally (at 21st’s), the young ones hit the bottle pretty hard. Meanwhile, the older guests usually stand back and keep out of the way of the loud raucous behaviour and drunkenness.
The solution to separation of the generations is a quality live band with a broad repertoire of songs that can connect with all age groups. Live entertainment is a diversion for the younger guests away from their awkwardness. Music is music, but the “live band” factor brings with it an element that will intrigue young eyes. For the older guests, with their mature range of experiences, the opportunity to watch a live band playing will be a breath of fresh air. The end result is a party where all generations connect.
I have a confession to make… of all the gigs I do, playing at 40th birthday parties is easily my favourite. It’s such a great age group because they are old enough to “know themselves”, but still young enough to have the energy to party hard. Many of the 40th’s we have played at this year have been for people whose weddings we’ve done. The common thread is that they have such cracking memories of their wedding, they now have an excuse to hire us again and generate a whole lot of new memories.
Commonly, two or more people will collaborate and hold their 40th’s together. Sometimes these are for husband and wife combinations. Other times these are close friends. Some people like to go with themes, while others just want a party with without putting pressure on their guests to come up with specific outfits. Regardless, a quality live band with a diverse repertoire of material will have all guests talking about the amazing time they had at the party for many months afterwards.
We played at Bob Hawke’s 80th birthday party a few years ago. 80th’s are more like a celebration of one’s life, the things they have accomplished and friendships that have been maintained over the decades. An important factor that any band must be aware of is that a lot of people are going to want to do a lot of talking. The band’s job is to play a supporting role to this. Being able to generate an atmosphere of celebration while keeping the volume down is paramount, particularly in the first few hours of the event. Later on, the challenge is to encourage the guests to feel young again. For this I use simple mathematics. I work out what year they would have turned 21, and then hone in on that era of music. For example, if the 80th birthday is in 2015, the person would have turned 21 in 1956. If, in the final hour of the function, I can sing some of the hit songs from this era – BINGO! The guests will leave feeling young and exuberant.
Obviously, I have only just touched upon my many years’ of experience in this article.
Maybe you are planning a 30th, or a 50th. Believe me, there isn’t much that I haven’t seen or done. I don’t know everything, but I sure know a lot about playing at parties. If you are planning on holding a party that people will still be talking about for years afterwards, give me a call and I’ll share with you what I know.