Roaming Band Questions
Let's get to work and answer your roaming band questions. With 10 years in the business we happen to know the FAQs and we're here to help.
What is a roaming band?
A roaming band is a group of musicians who are able to travel with their instruments as they perform. This could mean they perform as they walk through a dinner service or drinks reception for example. Unlike a traditional band performance from a stage; a roaming band uses the venue space that they perform within and moves throughout different areas enabling them to perform to different groups of guests at a time. Think of a personal band performance for all of your guests without the restriction of a stage. A roaming band or wandering band is designed to move, entertain and help your guests relax and get fired up for your party. It’s music in motion!
What’s the difference between a roaming band, a strolling band, a wandering band or a roving band?
There is no difference at all. These are just different ‘terms’ across the world of events and musical entertainment that all describe roaming bands - they mean exactly the same thing.
How many musicians are usually in a roaming band?
Roaming bands often have 3 or 4 musicians with similar assortments of instruments. The Travelling Hands perform as 5 musicians as standard however to bring a bigger, richer and more rounded sound with 2 acoustic guitars, double bass, percussion and saxophone. We even have extra options to increase numbers too for even bigger performances! Click through to our roaming band extras page and you can find out more about the additional musicians you can book with The Travelling Hands, plus a range of extras we offer to clients to customise their bookings with us too.
How much does a roaming band cost?
Costs can vary significantly between different roaming bands. Whilst you can find bands from as low as a few hundred pounds, be wary of thinking this is a bargain. Just like shopping for anything - if you see low costs - there are always good reasons why. Confidence is important in any purchase in life, and booking a roaming band is no exception. Well we have some good news. Rather than being a band quickly thrown together by an agency, or a band that offer roaming as an afterthought, The Travelling Hands were founded in 2011 and we’ve got to where we are now from 10 years of events performing for some of the biggest brands on the planet. We began our journey in pubs and bars of South London and have moved through to the luxury events and 5* venues that we can be found in today across the world.
It’s been quite a ride, we’ve grown as a team, honed our craft, and we’ve moved through the ranks of live bands over 10 years with the aim of being the best in the business. Our starting prices and roaming costs can be found on our various events pages in the menu bar of the website that you’re reading this on right now. There are very good reasons why we perform for so many big brands and entertain in some incredible places such as Kensington Palace (and the HRP venues) or The Mulia in Bali (see here). Simply click through to our events pages such as our roaming wedding band page, browse our packages and find out a little more about our events.
What sort of events do roaming bands perform at?
Roaming bands can perform at a wide array of events. From corporate events, to weddings and private parties. The two stand out most popular times are dinners and drinks parties. Locations can be anywhere and performances can be at anytime. The Travelling Hands have performed at 8am in Facebook’s offices in London and 1am in Lake Garda to celebrate a wonderful Scottish couple’s wedding. Options are unlimited and we can’t wait to hear about your event. Simply BOOK A CALL with our founder Tom to tell us everything about your plans.
Can a roaming band perform outside?
Yes, yes and yes! Roaming bands are perfect for outdoor drinks and parties. The Travelling Hands have performed at wedding receptions outdoors, drinks parties in the V&A gardens, and even on yachts, river boats, castles and balconies. Roaming bands can perform anywhere and at any time. The only limit is your imagination.
Would a roaming band work well at my wedding?
Roaming bands at weddings are a brilliant idea. The best time of day we recommend for performances at weddings is the wedding breakfast itself. Let’s just think about this for a second. Your friends and family are all seated together in one room and we can help you make the most of this moment, and turn dinner into a party. Find out more about our wedding breakfast performances here. Other times are great too such as afternoon drinks, the break before your evening party or even brunch the day after your wedding too! When The Travelling Hands perform at weddings our goal is to help your guests unwind, relax and party at whatever time of day we perform. If you’re thinking of exploring this option then click through to our ultimate musical wedding planning guide enabling you to learn how to plan perfectly throughout your entire wedding celebration, and celebrate in style.
Can a roaming band take requests?
We can’t answer for other roaming bands, but all roaming bands SHOULD take requests. We certainly do in The Travelling Hands. Our performances are designed to get your guests singing and dancing with epic songs featuring well known lyrics that you and your guests will love to sing along with too. That means if we can use our musicianship to play some of the song you’ve requested whilst we move around (even if we’ve never played it before) then we will always do what we can.
What style of music does a roaming band perform?
The Travelling Hands roaming band perform a great blend of songs from different genres and different decades. A musical journey from rock n roll 50’s classics, that can change to Take That the next minute, followed by a soul classic, then perhaps some Tina Turner to some feel-good The Beatles, Stevie Wonder, Bruno Mars, Elton John or Ed Sheeran. Simply put - we perform the world’s greatest hits at the world’s best parties. No decades are off limits.
How long does a roaming band perform for?
Most roaming bands perform for 2x45 minute sets or occasionally 3x30 minute sets. This gives great statement entertainment ideal for a range of parties and events. 2x45 minutes is the set length The Travelling Hands offer as standard to our clients.
How far do roaming bands travel for events?
The only limit is your imagination. The Travelling Hands have performed their roaming sets at parties all over Europe and as far away as Bali during a very special wedding.
How long does it take a roaming band to setup?
Most roaming bands can be ready to perform incredibly quickly. An outfit change, a quick tune up of instruments, and a few vocal warm-up exercises and they will be all set! Typically The Travelling Hands roaming band will be fully set within 30 minutes after they arrive, but as standard for UK events they will arrive 1 hour before they are due to begin. There’s no difficult load in, no huge sound systems to unpack and setup, just the musicians, their musical instruments and their classic British suits from Marc Darcy.
What time of day is best for a roaming band to perform?
If you head through to our wedding, parties or corporate pages you will find options to download guides for each of these types of events and where best to place The Travelling Hands roaming entertainment. We’ve used our 10 years in the industry to carefully examine these events to help you plan music perfectly from start to finish, and we also examine the best places for The Travelling Hands roaming sets to feature too. For most events the role of a roaming band is to get your guests fired up and ready to party during dinners and drinks.
How do roaming bands entertain at corporate events?
Corporate events come in a range of shapes and sizes, and roaming bands can fit into them at a variety of times. Drinks receptions are the most popular performance times for roaming bands alongside dinners. However, The Travelling Hands have performed at many other times at corporate events each year. We’ve performed in front of several thousand guests in Portugal, we’ve performed on boats in Paris, Geneva and London, we’ve entertained in uniquely shaped venues too such as the top of the BT Tower as it revolves, we’ve even performed in 3 different restaurants in Malta within 45 minutes. Once again anything is possible to help create some musical magic during your event.
How many guests can a roaming band perform for?
The flexible nature of roaming bands means that they’re suitable for a range of events and a huge range of audience sizes too. Roaming bands can perform for private family dinners of only 6 guests offering intimate performances for the most exclusive evenings. On the other side they can roam through a corporate event for several thousand guests performing either fully unplugged to small groups at a time, or with amplification too
Can roaming bands perform with amplification?
Some roaming bands can perform amplified and The Travelling Hands do this at many events each year. So how does this work? We can team up with your AV team and perform with wireless microphones and instrument packs. This means that we can still roam your event and play our sets close to different guests, but whilst everyone can hear the music at the same time. The sound is relayed through the speakers throughout your event space. Another alternative of course is to have the band static in one place such as on a stage. Every now and then we have clients who would love the band to perform in a traditional format on stage. We've done this in The Victoria & Albert Museum and The Natural History Museum for example. When we do this, our percussionists Ollie & Tom switch their snare drums over to cajon to give a bit more bite to the rhythm section.
What is a sound limiter, and how does this affect a roaming band?
A sound limiter is a device used to control volume levels in venues. Some venues don’t have these at all (and volume is not a problem you have to worry about). Where venues do have these, the most common form is to have a sensor permanently attached to a venue wall that measures sound levels. These can be set at different levels at different venues (eg some venues will allow a higher sound limit than others - measured in decibels).
When the volume goes above the set limit for a certain amount of time, the limiter will then cut power to certain power points in your venue. Yep - this means the power to a band can be completely cut which is bad for the party (and the gear too). So this means a band or DJ needs to test the sensitivity of a limiter during sound check to do their best to avoid triggering the sound limiter during their performance, whilst also not playing so quietly that it affects the party mood.
For roaming bands such as The Travelling Hands - this is not a problem. Their acoustic roaming sets don’t involve power - so their performances can go on completely uninterrupted. So the biggest tip we can give - before signing on the dotted line with your venue, ask them if they have a sound limiter installed and at what decibel level too. If you discover this after you’ve signed - don’t panic. Just find out the level and make sure your band or DJ is aware of this too.
How do I find the right roaming band for me?
The ultimate question. Here the most important thing to do is break down the decision into multiple parts:
Where will your roaming band be performing?
What time of day will they be performing?
What’s the occasion and the specific part of your day where you want them to perform?
What’s your goal of booking a roaming band for this moment? Is it singalong fun during your wedding breakfast, a gentle accompaniment or otherwise?
What style of music would you like to hear at this moment?
Break down your goals and this should help you find the right act for you. The Travelling Hands want to help you achieve your goals. We think it’s important for our clients to get to know us before they sign on the dotted line rather than just being ‘another client’. To do this, you can BOOK A VIDEO CALL with our founder Tom to tell us about your party, wedding or celebration, your interest in roaming bands and your goals for your event too.
My name is Tom Warner & I founded The Travelling Hands in 2011. I manage every performance that we attend. I work directly with our clients to make sure their weddings, parties and events are enriched with music, laughter and fun through our immersive performances.
I’ve helped hundreds of couples, individuals, event managers and party lovers worldwide to celebrate in style. I’d love to help you too.