Here are a list of typical questions our clients may have about Musicians Unlimited, Inc., the entertainers we represent and how we work:
Q: Could you explain the whole process for booking a band or other entertainers?
A: Our pleasure! We recommend an initial conversation about your entertainment needs and requirements. We will give you pricing for the different entertainers that fit your criteria. From there you tell us what price range you want to work within. We will recommend the entertainers who match your criteria. From there, you can use the media tools on our website to audition these entertainers. You may choose to have an in-person, cost-free video presentation at our studio, or possibly see your prospects performing at a live venue. If you have strong interest in a given act, you can place them on “hold” for up to a week at no cost. If you decide to book a given act, we will need a signed contract and a deposit . The deposits for a dance band range between 15% and 50% depending on the act, the location of the performance and other band policies that affect deposit. The balance is normally paid upon arrival at the engagement to the Group Leader.
Q: What other charges are there on top of the contract price?
A: Normally none. If you book a dance band for a Twin Cities area engagement, the band provides their own sound and lights. They pay their own employment taxes. (there are no state and local taxes for entertainment at this time in the State of Minnesota) If there are other circumstances, such as an engagement played outside the Twin Cities area, all charges will be listed on your contract.
Q: How much performance time do you get with a dance band?
A: Normally, the bands play three hours of music (180 minutes) within any given four hour period you request. The break times don’t have to be rigid. During the band breaks there will always be programed music playing through the p.a. unless you deem otherwise. There are options to book extra time with the dance band as well as options to book a solo piano, a trio or prerecorded music before the the dance music starts.
Q: What is Musicians Unlimited, Inc. and what services do you provide?
A: Musicians Unlimited is a full service entertainment booking agency that specializes in high quality, competitively priced dance bands for weddings, corporate events, fundraisers and private parties. We also represent several other types of entertainment that can be viewed by clicking on the Bands & Entertainers tab on our website.
Q: What does “Exclusive Booking Agency” mean in reference to your bands?
A: This term refers to our written agreement with our exclusive bands. We are the direct source and can give you best prices for them. It’s equivalent to buying “factory direct” in the music business.
Q: Why do you feel a live band is better than a DJ for a dance event?
A: Live entertainment is the real thing. Seeing a phenomenally gifted singer or musicians making music on the spot and interacting with your guests will never be replaced by anything mechanical. Also consider this: When you book live musicians, you are buying locally and supporting the art community here in the Twin Cities. This allows these people to live as artists and pass on these values to the next generation; not only through teaching but giving the younger guests in your audience to be exposed to these great musicians.
Q: Yes, but do you provide programmed music when the band is on break?
A: All of our exclusive dance bands play prerecorded music during the band breaks (or any play-ready i-pod or burned cd you give us); In other words, any prerecorded music you want to hear can be included for your event. (note: The Sevilles and PopLuxe bands’ also provide “disco” lighting in addition to stage lighting); A band can do what a DJ can do, but the reverse is not true.
Q: What do you offer that sets you apart from your competitors?
A: Thirty years of experience. Any advice you get is backed up by a formal music education and actual experience on the bandstand. The musicians in our exclusive dance bands are among the best in the country at what they do, some of them with hit records to their credit. Quality control and first class service will begin with your first contact through the end of your special event.
Q: Do you handle any non-exclusive entertainers?
A: Yes, we do, but over 90% of our bookings are with our exclusive acts. We do represent hundreds of other “freelance” entertainers, such as jazz trios and specialty acts, ethnic music as well as national acts. This added service gives our clients the option of “one stop shopping”
Q: How do we know what entertainer(s) or band is best for our event?
A: We offer cost-free phone consultations and/or in-person presentations at our St. Paul Studio. Our job is finding the best entertainer(s) that fit your criteria at the best price. Having several options can be very confusing to most clients. There are many differences in the styles, different strengths of entertainers, different band policies and technical support that often aren’t known by our clients until we work together. These distinctions are often the reasons they choose one group over the others.