Question: How Do Our Prices Compare?
Answer: Very well
What are average prices?
If this is your first time hiring high end local entertainment comparing what you get for how much is likely your initial shopping strategy. You have probably done several web searches and browsed pages of lists of local band websites. You may have visited sites that list available talent such as Gig Masters, Gig Salad, The Knot, Thumbtack, and Wedding Wire. You will likely see many of the same bands advertised on each of those sites with profiles that detail their services accompanied by photos, videos, and reviews.
At this point you have probably seen what bands are popular in your area but may still have no idea what fees to expect. One of the reasons it is so hard to find absolute prices is that every event is different, often requiring customization.
On this page you will find reconnaissance on band pricing to educate you on what to expect to pay for quality live music. Remember that each band is different, not just in terms of pricing, but how they sound and what they offer as well. Make note of what differentiates each act and why each seems special and what it is you most appreciate. After reading the information on the following links you will likely be relieved by how much value is offered by the rates of The Matt McCallie Orchestra.
Diamond Empire Band:
On the local St. Louis scene this band advertises prices as high as $33,700 for a 16 piece big band.
Starlight Orchestra Blog:
The Starlight Orchestra has multiple articles in their blog that list the prices of competing acts. You might be surprised to learn that many DJs charge $2,500-3,500. On the high end DJs charge up to $50,000 per event.
Bands like The Starlight Orchestra start around $12,000 for a 10 piece band and if hiring more musicians increase to around $30,000 for a wedding ceremony and reception.
They also list some of the prices for superstar acts. To hire Jennifer Lopez for your event would cost around $1 million. You can have The Rolling Stones make an appearance for $9 million. We're obviously no longer talking about the average St. Louis wedding bands but hopefully you are starting to get an idea of what sort of numbers to expect.
This following link will take you to an informative blog written in three sections. Start with part two if you want to begin with prices by clicking here.
Solon Z And The Sapphires:
This is a Boston based big band that, like The Matt McCallie Orchestra, has a big band instrumentation that includes a full strings section. Also like us they offer bundled packages with set pricing for convenience. Their string quartet starts at $1,299. Their 24 piece big band costs $8,399 for a three hour engagement. Just a solo vocalist goes for $799.
Of note they have clearly spent a healthy amount of effort and investment on their website but as of 2016 they have only one video to showcase their talent and nearly every photo on their website is from that one performance.
A major difference between The Matt McCallie Orchestra and their band is that we play thousands of songs covering almost every popular style while their band doesn't even play a hundred songs. Click here to see their other bundle prices.
Pricing for a soloist starts at $150 for an hour and another $100 per musician per hour for most events. A trio for three hours is $1,200-$2,000 for weddings and corporate functions. Their wedding and ceremony bundle runs $2,500-3,500 for a total of three musicians; a soloist or duo at the ceremony, a duo during cocktail hour, and a trio during dinner and dancing.
For most events pricing begins at $200 per musician for the first hour and $50 per musician for each additional hour. Their DJ rates run $750-$1,500. At wedding receptions they charge $3,500 for saxophone, keyboard, drums, bass, guitar, a singer, and lighting. They also offer bundles like a solo violinist for two hours for a bridal party event for $400, solo sax for three hours at a groomsmens' party for $400, and violin and piano for an hour and a half during the wedding ceremony for $600, all discounted to $1,300. Their travel rate beyond the first 20 miles is $1 per mile.
St Louis String Quartet:
There are now two string quartets in Saint Louis, MO named the St. Louis String Quartet, the name The Matt McCallie Orchestra has been using for its string quartet since 2012. The newer quartet starts its pricing at $900 for one hour of entertainment, nearly double the price of the original St. Louis String Quartet. An hour with just a duo is $600, which is more than we charge for a full quartet. These are acoustic ensembles with no amplification, lighting, or custom song arranging.
Martha Stewart has an article that not only discusses what prices to expect to pay for a wedding band, she also lists the skills unique to wedding bands and explains their value. For smaller wedding reception music bands she suggests $2,400 to $4,000 as common. To hire a larger Latin or big band ensemble for four hours she expects fees to be around $10,000. You can read more here.
Here is a blog in which couples discussed the quotes they received and what they paid with bands and agents when searching for music entertainment. Some of the highlights show average band pricing in Chicago at $15,000 and $16,000 in New York. String quartet pricing packages were $2,000 to $12,000.
Here is a site claiming the average cost of a wedding band with 4 musicians for four hours cost $3,357 in 2015. Using that same math an 8 piece band would cost $6,714. A 12 piece band would cost $10,071 and a 16 piece band would cost $13,428.
Bare in mind that an agent is working to make money for themselves by adding an average of 20% to what the musicians actually earn. Agents often do little work for each event but the relationship between an artist and their agent can be mutually beneficial.
If a band has an earnest, skilled, and hard working agent the band can benefit from increased exposure to potential clients and may acquire performance opportunities they would miss without the agent's connections. The agent will earn more by booking a band more frequently and at higher rates. Just keep in mind that they are not your entertainer, likely won't be part of your event, and are usually only interested in their commission. Agents also create an additional go between during negotiations and planning. For simple events like charities, corporate events, festivals, and concerts this can be ideal. For more involved events like weddings you may want a direct line to the musicians so there is less opportunity for miscommunication or time lapse to relay information.
Here is an agency listing four hours with an acoustic jazz combo anywhere from $750-1,500. One of the reasons a small acoustic group is lower priced is that no amplification is required. Amplification can easily add hours to a job on and off site of the performance. They also list exclusive party and wedding bands at $10,000.
Here is another agency listing four hour trios starting at $2,000 to $5,000 and 7-12 piece bands at $6,000 to $10,000. They also list pricing for wedding ceremony musicians for 30-90 minutes ranging from $150 to $500 per musician.
Here is another agency with a healthy list of acts organized by price range. Their categories start at up to $1,500 for a duo and go to a section listing several bands at over $10,000.
Headline Booking Group:
Ever wonder what it would cost to hire your favorite recording artist? Headline Booking Group is an agency that can make that happen. They book various types of entertainers including comedians. Their lowest price range is artists who charge $20,000-$100,000. Here are some artists you may know and their price ranges:
The Matt McCallie Orchestra:
Visit our booking page and download our event form to find our most up to date price lists. The prices listed reflect our most popular options. Our base price begins at $150 for one hour with an acoustic soloist. Additional musicians, time, DJ, lighting, and other features are available for very reasonable prices.
Ben E. King
Big Band Voodoo Daddy
Billy Ray Cyrus
Blue Oyster Cult
Boyz II Men
Charlie Daniels Band
Creedence Clearwater Revival
Grand Funk Railroad
Jerry Lee Lewis
Kool & The Gang
The Oakridge Boys
Three Dog Night
Tower Of Power
Big & Rich
Brian Setzer Orchestra
Cee Lo Green
David Lee Roth
Frankie Vali & The Four Seasons
Gary Clark, Jr.
Hall & Oates
Hank Williams, Jr.
Huey Lewis & The News
Jo Dee Messina
Lee Ann Womack
LL Cool J
Penn & Teller
The Beach Boys
The Black Crowes
The Doobie Brothers
Allman Brothers Band
Blue Man Group
Crosby, Still, & Nash
Goo Goo Dolls
Larry the Cable Guy
Steve Miller Band
Black Eyed Peas
Dave Matthews Band
Harry Connick, Jr.
Over $500,000 Continued:
Little Big Town
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Red Hot Chili Peppers
The Rolling Stones