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Entertainment Budgetary Considerations

When booking any sort of act for your event, you should consider that the entertainers are professionals and depend on their income from the event quite heavily.  The cost of entertainment varies substantially but depends on many factors such as location, time of day, day of week, personal contacts, size of the event, amount of equipment they have to bring, a certain "hassle factor", and any extras you require.

In general, figure about $50-$100 per person per hour plus some fixed cost.  For example, a DJ for three hours will probably run you $200-$300 for a party.  Weddings typically cost a little more because the DJ will be dressed up and will have worked with you quite a bit beforehand in music selection, MC requirements, etc.

A band also runs about the same but keep in mind the cost of bringing equipment.  A quality five piece band for 2 sets (i.e. they are there about 3-4 hours with setup) will run $1000-$1500.  A larger band, say 8-15 musicians will run about $1500-$3500 for a typical show, more if it is a large event.  The band leader will typically hire musicians for the show depending on the budget, so in many ways you "get what you pay for."

Dance Performances are about $25-$50 per dancer per routine plus expenses.  So a couple would get about $150 for one number, and a large group might do 2 numbers for $200-$500, though this is depends even more on circumstances.  Many dancers are also instructors so if doing a show has promotional value to them, then price is fairly negotiable.

Tipping: generosity is never overlooked.  If you managed to negotiate a low price with the entertainers, they spent a great deal of time with you on the phone, they put on a great act, and you have the money, definitely tip them.  If you are paying top dollar in advance, it isn't expected or necessary.


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