Hiring Musicians for Cocktail Hour


Cocktail hours, whether for work or a social gathering outside of the daily grind, should be fun for everyone attending.  Although it can be hard to settle on one type of music or musician, hiring living musical talent can turn everything around and make this gathering into something nobody can stop talking about!

What Type of Mood Do You Want to Set?

What’s the cocktail gathering for, and what type of mood do you want people to have while they’re drinking together?  Of course, not every gathering has to be themed, but are you going for something that’s supposed to feel classy, or would it be better if the meeting was more casual?

Consider what the people who are attending expect and what type of clothing will be worn to the gathering.

How Large Is The Space?

Is the cocktail hour space being held going to be a small room or a large open space?  The type of musicians you hire depends on how much sound you’ll need to fill a space.  Finding a violinist for hire can be enough for a small space, but for large venues, you may be better off with a quartet or band.

This is both because you don’t want to drown out the conversations with music and also because the band will take up space.  If there isn’t enough room for them to perform, having them there isn’t going to make the gathering any better.

What Budget Do You Have?

How much money do you have for the entertainment budget?  This is a part of planning that many overlook, but your budget matters.  If you can only afford one or two performers, don’t try to talk large groups into giving you a discount.  Some performers will accept tips as part of their payment, but not all will so don’t hold them to this if they don’t want to work for discounted rates.

A general performer will charge anywhere from fifty to two hundred dollars an hour, so plan accordingly and try to hire as early as possible so that you can save up and budget for this amount.

How To Find Musicians

Finding musicians seems difficult, but it’s far easier than you’d expect.  Musical talent can be found in multiple ways, the easiest of which is word of mouth.  Let people in your social groups know that you’re looking for a performer for a small gathering.  If nobody you know is a musician, they may pass it on so that someone else they know can contact you.  Consider posting on social media that you’re looking for musicians as well.

If you don’t want to seek out performers this way, the best way to ensure you get the largest assortment of musicians is to search on gig sites.  These sites will allow you to sort talent by their price, location, or availability and will give you the chance to be picky about who you hire. 

Make sure to book as far in advance as possible to ensure you get who you want.  If you put it off, you may find they get booked by someone else before you can hire them.