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Function Bands and Music Residencies

All you need to know to start performing in function bands, musical residencies and working at weddings.

Last updated: 16 March 2023

Working as a musician in a function band

Function bands have different operating strengths depending on the budget of the client. They can be as large as 8 or 10, or be reduced to a quartet. It pays to be flexible in these situations, especially where corporate clients may still be experiencing the effect of the recent financial downturn.

Function bands either work off the back of their reputation and word-of-mouth, or engage agents who can secure high-profile corporate work, both in the UK and overseas. 

Musicians always have to ensure that any work abroad is contracted. Get contract advice as a function band member when you are an MU member.

Performing in musical residencies

Musical residencies are normally connected with hotels and in some cases large shopping malls. Residencies can vary from a foyer pianist or harpist working regularly to a small jazz group or string quartet being engaged on a nightly basis in a hotel restaurant for example.

Generally the ‘Food and Beverage’ manager is responsible for engaging the musicians, however in most cases the booking will come via an agent.

Our advice is to be adaptable and flexible when fitting in as a hotel musician. Interaction with the guests is often a requirement, and such engagements may lead to bookings outside of the hotel for private parties.

Working at wedding gigs

One area that is still relatively busy is the wedding market. People are prepared to pay good money for a great wedding band.

Presentation is key to landing this sort of booking. Great promotional material is a must. Have a website that includes not only your set list, but an opportunity for any prospective engager to see what you look and sound like.

Include a technical page setting out requirements for your band.

Get more advice on working as a musician at weddings.

Career as a live musician

Member benefits for live musicians