A few tips for booking a band for your Upstate or Greenville wedding, corporate event or party…

You’ve decided you want a band to provide live entertainment for your function, that’s a great idea!!!  Now, let’s look at what you should do next.

Find a band!

This sounds easy, but it may not be. Before even you start looking, you will need to determine the type of music, whether it is country, rock, jazz, blues or beach, or maybe you want a variety of genres. Once you know the genre/genres, a great resource is Google.

Let’s say you are looking for a band for your wedding reception and you plan to have it in Spartanburg, SC.  Go to Google, and put in a search for, “hire a band for spartanburg wedding reception”. That should turn up a number of results.  If not, you may need to expand a little further, such as, “book a band for upstate sc wedding reception. You can get more specific for sure, with searches such as, “book a fun band for greenville wedding reception”, or “book a country band for greenville wedding”.

Start looking over these sites.  Stay away from the national sites like gigsalad or gig masters that are just booking agencies and referral services which are usually listed at the top of the Google search, and instead go for the bands who have themselves listed with their own domain, or with links to facebook, reverbnation or even myspace.

Make note of interesting looking groups (Hopefully you are in the Upstate, and The Dockside Band looks impressive to you!), bookmark the sites in a new folder.

Now, time to do some research!  Don’t take the word of the band who posted, “We’re the greatest band for your Spartanburg wedding” on their website. They could be and probably are a little biased. Move over to facebook and search for the band there.  Try to find posts from “fans” who interact with them regularly or go back through the timeline and read what has been said.

Check out their scheduled shows. If a band is not booked once a month, then there may be a reason for that.

Next up, ask your friends and family if they have heard of these groups and what group or band they would hire for their own event, or if they have hired a band in the past, ask how that went (would they do it again?).  A referral is always great!

Now, after you have narrowed it down to one or two bands that may meet your desires, it’s time to make contact. Check their webpage or facebook for contact information, and give them a call, shoot them a message or email.

Tell them the type of event you have planned, and ask if they are available that day for an engagement. Once you find out if they are available, then you can start getting the details together.

What does the band need to know? 

  • Date of event
  • How long will they be required to play
  • When do they get to setup (load in)
  • When can they tear down (load out)
  • Will they need special attire (tux, suit)
  • What type of music do you want to hear (dance, upbeat, background)
  • Will there be any special songs that you want played
  • Will they need to bring a PA or does the venue have one
  • Will they need to bring lights or are they provided
  • Will they need to be present at a rehearsal
  • Will any other music be required (tracks played during a break for instance)

The persona representing the band should be able to give you an idea of cost at that point.

How much does it cost? Just like that cake, or your beautiful dress, the sky is the limit. (Expect to pay 100 dollars or more per member, depending on requirements)

Things that may affect the bottom line will include:

Time – If you have a band play a 3 hour engagement, remember it will take them an hour to load in and out, and ideally, 2 hours to load-in and get a sound check. If the venue cannot be accessed immediately before the gig and the band has to setup several hours in advance, then you have multiple members spending many hours that they cannot do anything else.  Example: Band is expected to play from 7 to 10 PM, but has to be setup by 3 PM and have a sound check, means they will be there at 1 PM and leave after 11 PM. That’s 10 hours times the number of band members.  If there are five members, that’s 50 hours, not including drive time and loading up and unloading at their studio, home or storage facility.

Song selection – If the band has to learn new material, they may charge per song due to the rehearsal time invested to learn the new song/s. Look over their selection and see if it will work for you without paying additional money.

Attire – If you require everyone in the group to wear a certain color, or rent a tux, be prepared for that cost to be passed on to you.

Equipment – If you have a particularly large event, that requires additional sound equipment, such as subwoofers, or lighting, or the use of a audio or lighting engineer, then both the time investment has gone up, and the need for this equipment, which could mean rental fees. Don’t skimp here. If a band tells you that due to the size of the venue, you need more than the basic setup, take their advice and be prepared to pay a little more.

After you have nailed down a price to book the band, assuming it is within your budget, it is time to go one step further. Find out where that band is playing and go hear them! Ideally, it would be at a similar event to what you want to hire them for because any one band may have many facets, like the diamond on your finger. Our band plays out at some venues with 3 and 4 pieces, and at others, we might have additional members than our core group, so you could walk into a TDB show find a totally different configuration than you are expecting, and a totally different selection of music.

After witnessing the prospective group first hand, or at least watching some videos or listening to live recordings, it is now time to seal the deal.

Just a note here – If you have not been referred to this band and found them on the internet and it looks like they could be anything but true professionals, ask them for some references, or look at the places they have played and ask the venue owners if everything went well. A little time spent now could save you from grief on your special day!

Expect the band to present you with a contract which simply states that you agree to pay the band X number of dollars for a performance on a certain date. They may have you put up a retainer, which you lose should you cancel the event. These contracts are to protect both you and the band.

After the papers are signed, stay in touch with the band monthly leading up to the month of the event, and weekly in the month prior to the event. You don’t want ANY surprises. Keep checking their facebook to make sure they have not fallen off the face of the earth.

Communicate with the group leader/s and put them in touch with your wedding director/s and the venue owners. Let them figure out the small details and you worry about the big day!

Should you be in the market for a band that plays a variety of music, can custom tailor set lists to be country, classic or southern rock, or beach, and provide you with a professional show with no disappointments, then please, consider The Dockside Band for your special occasion! Call us at 864.979.1224 or use our CONTACT page for more info.

UPDATE: The Dockside Band is no more… But, for a fun and funky, dance and party band for your Upstate area event, be sure to check out the new HOT AS A PEPPER site!

The groovy Grateful Dead “Epic Tour” album may be the next thing your kids are listening to

Jerry Garcia may be dead, but the the Grateful Dead will have a reunion with him anyway, well, sort of.

In the videogame “Grateful Dead Game: The Epic Tour”, you can travel through “time and space” to ten shows. You will not be surprised to learn that there is no end to the game.

Very surprising was that there are no drug references. I had somehow figured that in addition to the typical instrument (guitar, bass, drum) controllers like you might find in “Rock Band” or “Guitar Hero”, there would be a bong involved. Not so, according to the article. You can read more about the “Epic Tour” game here.

The article goes on to say that other musical acts are testing the videogame market too.   Jay-Z is one mentioned, and Jimmy Buffet has a “Margarittaville” game.

This is a great way to expose a younger generation to older music. I imagine it won’t be long before my kids are playing the Pink Floyd “Wall” game. Think of other CDs and albums that would make for an interesting video game experience. Maybe NWA’s “Straight Outta Compton” could be the next “Grand Theft Auto” game.

UPDATE: The Dockside Band is no more… But, for a fun and funky, dance and party band for your Upstate area event, be sure to check out the new HOT AS A PEPPER site!

Where are we playing this weekend? We’re booked for a private wedding reception in Greenville.

We received an email from someone wanting to catch a Dockside show this coming weekend, unfortunately I had to inform them that we are not playing at a bar, club, festival or other public event.

Instead, we are playing for a wedding reception here in Greenville that will keep us busy both Friday and Saturday nights.  This should be a lot of fun as we know the bride and groom, and their family and we were  fortunate enough to play for their engagement party too!

So, if you are wanting to catch some great live music, then I’m afraid you will have to wait until the following weekend, May 5th (Cinco De Mayo party anyone?!?!). We will be playing at the Upstate’s coolest Cajun place, Bleu Voodoo in Easley. It’s not just some bar, it is a restaurant with authentic New Orleans decor, vibe and food.   We start at 7pm during the dining time and play until 10pm.  We’ll do all your favorite rock, beach and country tunes, and throw in a few of our own originals. This is a smoke free venue!

Should you be searching for the best live entertainment in the Upstate for your wedding reception, engagement party or anniversary party, please call us. We will do everything we can to make your gathering as memorable and fun as possible.

We’re not limited to just Greenville, Anderson, Clemson, Spartanburg, Pickens, Simpsonville and the rest of the Upstate, we can travel to the coast or to the mountains! Charleston anyone? We’re especially interested in your Hawaii destination wedding!

Hire a professional band today by calling 864.979.1224 or using our booking page.

John M. Hoyt – Bass guitar / Vocal

UPDATE: The Dockside Band is no more… But, for a fun and funky, dance and party band for your Upstate area event, be sure to check out the new HOT AS A PEPPER site!

Greenville live music community helps restore my faith in our profession

I have lived in LA on the West Coast, and Fayetteville Arkansas in the heart of The Country, and since 1998, here in the Upstate of South Carolina (Easley).

Growing up in Arkansas and playing in bands there, we had a tight community, with the 80s being incredible for bands and music performers in every genre. There was always a gig, always something fun going on. Musicians helped one another out in every way you can imagine. From helping other bands getting booked into venues, to sticking together on social and political issues that affected the live music scene, and in times of trouble, say a sick band member, there were half a dozen people ready to sit in and help.

Then, I moved to Los Angeles…  Talk about culture shock. We had to pay to play at many clubs (yes, you could buy a roll of tickets and sell them for a dollar each and make a dollar, or buy the roll from the bar or club and give them away, etc), and bands would cut your throat if you horned in on their established places to play. If you needed someone to sit in, and you were making 100 bucks each, that person would say he wanted 200 dollars to cover the session for the evening.   So each band member had to pony up a few extra dollars to cover the missing player’s replacement.

Forget about fundraisers. Every band who was good would only play a fundraiser if you paid them, and usually, it was their going rate. So if someone’s family had cancer and they wanted to have a charity event, they had to pay to rent the venue, pay for the band, pay for food, and for the swag involved, and then hope they had some money left over.  Those who could not afford publicity and relied on word-of-mouth were screwed, they rarely made much money, UNLESS they paid for the best band around that was guaranteed to pull in a big crowd.

In essence, bands there were very “professional” and were in it purely for the money. It was every man for himself (or herself).

Then I moved back to Fayetteville Arkansas after about 7 and half years to find that my hometown had become somewhat similar. Very money oriented. And I have heard this from friends of mine all over the country, wherever they live.

Finally, after moving here to the Upstate, I have begun to experience a little of what it was like back in the old days. Sure, venues here pay very little as opposed to what they did in the 80s, something that I will not go into now, but, the bands, musicians, entertainers, performers, for the most part, they all seem to want to lend a hand!

Let me list a couple cases that come to mind as I write this:

  • Decadent Daze members helped get our band booked into at least one venue, putting in a good word for us.
  • Decadent Daze bassist, Mark Bennett volunteered his services to help out on a charity event where our drummer could not make it.
  • Everlasting Earle‘s drummer, Travis Rygg also volunteered to assist with the same gig (We took him up on his offer).
  • Bennie Waddell, a singer who has worked with us before has always volunteered to sit in on gigs.
  • Kip Tomlinson, the original lead vocalist of TDB has sat in when we needed him.
  • Decadent Daze and a slew of great bands came forward to help out with a fundraiser for a venue owner who has cancer.
  • TDB, $2 Pistol and The Bottom Line Band volunteered for the Pickens County Cancer Association’s Pig Pickin’ in Easley.
  • When Delaney’s Pub in Spartanburg, SC burned, bands came forward to play a fundrasier to give back to the place that they had played.
Those are just a few, I kept thinking of more, but it would get rather long if I kept on!
Don’t hear what I’m not saying. I do understand that not every band can always play a fundraiser without receiving some kind of compensation. Music gear is very expensive, travel expenses are getting higher all the time, and if you have to hire in sound gear, lighting and personnel to operate that, then of course a small band cannot afford that, especially  when you consider they are likely taking off work and possibly losing money there.
It is certainly a breath of fresh air when bands and individual musicians, as well as club/bar/venue owners work together though!
Thank you to the Upstate music community for helping restore my faith in what this profession can be!

John M. Hoyt – Bassist and vocalist for The Dockside Band

UPDATE: The Dockside Band is no more… But, for a fun and funky, dance and party band for your Upstate area event, be sure to check out the new HOT AS A PEPPER site!

36.5 Occasions to Hire a Great Band in Greenville / Upstate SC

Some events are just too important for entertainment from a DJ… LIVE MUSIC is the only way to really impress your guests. You will, of course, want a FUN, PROFESSIONAL, GREAT QUALITY BAND performing covers and their own originals. Above all, you will want your guests to have a GREAT TIME! In Upstate South Carolina, THE DOCKSIDE BAND is the best. The ONLY CALL you need to make!

We play music to SHAG to, COUNTRY MUSIC to sing along to, SOUTHERN ROCK tunes to get your party started. Most importantly, we play a great variety of music to suit any age, audience and venue.

We will WOW your WEDDINGS guests, BOWL OVER your BAR MITZVAH party, and MASH UP your MARDI GRAS!

OK, Here We Go…

  1. Wedding
  2. Graduation
  3. Bar / Bat Mitzvah
  4. Brisk (hah)
  5. Beach Party
  6. Pool Party
  7. Luau
  8. Bar or Club
  9. Festival
  10. Wake
  11. Mardi Gras, Cinco de Mayo, July 4th
  12. New Year’s Eve Party
  13. Quiet Background Music for Restaurant, Cafe or Coffee Shop
  14. Grand Opening of your Business
  15. Corporate Event or Function
  16. Charity Fundraiser
  17. Coming Out Party
  18. End of the World Party
  19. Keg Party, Beer Bash, Beer Pong Tournament
  20. Fraternity or Sorority Event
  21. Pig Roast or BBQ
  22. Super Bowl Party
  23. To One-Up your Neighbor’s Last Gathering
  24. Royal Wedding Party
  25. Dinner Party
  26. Masquerade Ball
  27. Homecoming
  28. Inauguration Party
  29. Biker Party, Poker Run
  30. Birthday Party
  31. Masonic, Shrine, Moose, Elk Club Event
  32. Music Festival
  33. Loss of Virginity Celebration – One per Person…
  34. Orgy
  35. Opening Band for National Touring Group – Slayer… we’re waiting for you!
  36. State or County Fair
  37. Party to Celebrate…………………………………

To Book the Best Live Band in Upstate SC, use our contact page or call 864.979.1224

UPDATE: The Dockside Band is no more… But, for a fun and funky, dance and party band for your Upstate area event, be sure to check out the new HOT AS A PEPPER site!

Please check out The Dockside Band’s newest tune, “Forever” and let us know what you think! @DocksideBand

Please take a moment and give a listen to our latest fun tune, “Forever”, which is posted up on ReverbNation. This recorded live at Rendezvous in Greenville, SC on April 14, 2012.

If you like it, please share it with your friends and be sure to reply here, or find us over on Facebook, “like” us and let us know there!



UPDATE: The Dockside Band is no more… But, for a fun and funky, dance and party band for your Upstate area event, be sure to check out the new HOT AS A PEPPER site!

Connect with The Dockside Band to keep up with fun live music events in Upstate / Greenville, SC

Please take a few minutes to get connected with us… You can subscribe to this blog through Feedburner and receive updates that way, or you can check our blog when you feel like it (we will try to keep it fresh and current!).

Another way is to join our mailing list over on ReverbNation, which should alert you to new shows as posted.  You can join that list here:

Web music player

You can also visit our Facebook Page and “like” us or follow our @DocksideBand twitter account.

Should you need to hire a great band for your Greenville or Upstate SC wedding, party, graduation, reception, corporate event, festival, bar, club, or for any music entertainment venue or function, please let us know, we want to help make it a party!

UPDATE: The Dockside Band is no more… But, for a fun and funky, dance and party band for your Upstate area event, be sure to check out the new HOT AS A PEPPER site!

Live music at Rendezvous in Greenville, SC with The Dockside Band TONIGHT! Let’s have a party!

If you are in Greenville tonight, make your way over to Rendezvous on Pelham Rd, and let’s have a party!

We’ll be playing your favorite rock, country, Carolina beach covers, and a few of our originals. A little something for everyone, and we guarantee you that you won’t be able to keep from dancing, singing along, or at least tapping your feet as you enjoy cold drinks, and live entertainment!

John – The Dockside Band

You’ve helped The Dockside Band become #4 in the charts – THANK YOU!

A popular music connection site is ReverbNation, where tons of bands from all over the world go to showcase their talent. They post pictures, videos and audio recordings of themselves, and connect with people just like you would on Facebook.

We created a profile, uploaded one of our original songs, not even a studio recording but a live recording of us performing at an outdoor event (the grand opening of Palmetto Moonshine in Anderson).

Between our ReverbNation connections, facebook and twitter, we’ve gotten a number of views, and a lot of positive input.

If you have not given the Carolina beach tune, “Carolina Baby” a listen – you can do so here:

Share it with your friends, and help us keep our spot on the charts.  Your help is what keeps us booked steadily and we appreciate it greatly!

If you are a bar or club, or maybe an event coordinator for festivals, weddings, etc, looking for live entertainment in the Greenville and Upstate area of South Carolina, please consider us!

UPDATE: The Dockside Band is no more… But, for a fun and funky, dance and party band for your Upstate area event, be sure to check out the new HOT AS A PEPPER site!

TDB put together another new song during tonight’s rehearsal… Country / Rock Party Goodness!

Derrick Dorsey came by my office a few weeks ago and had jotted down lyrics to what would be his first song. After listening to him recite them, we put together a basic riff, recorded it on his cell phone, and at the first chance, played it for the rest of the band.

Tonight, we finally had time at the studio to make what is sure to be the final arrangement of the tune. Chris Carroll changed the groove significantly, breaks were added with the input of Tom Wheat, along with the sax fills, and Mark Harmon went to work with me to try and lock in the rhythm section.

It’s not quite ready for prime time, but if you come to one of the gigs this weekend and ask us to perform “Get ‘er Done”, I bet we would give in and do it live, in spite of the penalty for failure.  This is sure to be a hit!

Actually, the name is “‘Til the Cows Come Home” I believe…


UPDATE: The Dockside Band is no more… But, for a fun and funky, dance and party band for your Upstate area event, be sure to check out the new HOT AS A PEPPER site!