Where are you located? Do your acts travel?
We have a number of offices and agents located physically in the Washington DC, Baltimore and Northern VA and Eastern Shore areas. However, we regularly send our talent to many far flung locations and we bring national talent into town for events as well. Our offices are in Silver Spring, Baltimore, Annapolis and the Eastern Shore of MD.
For specific office address, email and phone numbers click on the “contact Us” button at the top of the page.
Why should I use an agency instead of hiring directly or online?
In short we provide knowledge, experience, negotiating power, protection & convenience that you will not be able to share as a one-time buyer of talent. By selecting a state-bonded agency like the Entertainment Exchange, you will receive topnotch, professional service without paying any additional costs. It’s a win-win.
We think that this is such an important topic that we’ve provided an article on booking entertainment and why you should use an agency like the Entertainment Exchange. If you’re interested please review the article.
What is your price range? Why don’t you list prices on your site?
We have a tremendous amount of talent at our disposal. Each type of talent has a different price range. The overall range is as low as $250 and extends upwards of $100,000 depending upon your selections. Therefore it is somewhat meaningless to post an overall range. In addition, each specific act generally also has a range of prices dependent upon date, time and, most importantly, location of your event. So an $8,000 band might charge $6,000 on a weeknight while other bands may not.
In general it’s typically best if you have an entertainment investment in mind and clearly communicate with your agent so that the options presented to you are available, of high quality and within your budget.
Can I see your bands perform live?
The simple answer is YES. We can arrange private showcases for you in our Silver Spring Showcase Theater. If you see an act you like while browsing the site, Request a Quote and let us know you’re interested in seeing the act perform live and we’ll notify you when a showcase is scheduled for that specific act.
Another great option to see our bands live is to make arrangements to have you look in on a private event where we get permission to have you attend. You would need to arrive at a pre-determined time, dressed appropriately, etc. In this case, it is important to remember that you’ll be seeing the band perform according to the musical tastes and timeline determined by the client for whom they are playing. They will not necessarily be able to play your special requests or take a break to speak directly with you at this time, however a follow-up meeting with the band leader can be arranged at our office or by phone.
Will I get all the people that I see in the video?
Some of the videos feature bands with all of their options. For example, we have seven piece bands that will add additional horns and/or singers for an additional charge. Similarly we have large bands that will drop some pieces depending upon the clients’ budget and space available.
Additionally, sometimes changes are made to bands and the video that you see may have some performers who are no longer with the band. Your agent will be able to detail these changes for you. In general, the bands intend to provide the same people and will do so unless the players in the band fail to continue to meet the standards of professionalism set forth by our agency and the band leader.
What if a performer/band member gets sick?
We will make sure that the show goes on as scheduled with talent of equal or greater value. That’s a real benefit of using the Entertainment Exchange as the company from which you arrange your entertainment. We’ve been in business for many years and have a rolodex filled with the best musicians, DJ’s and performers in the area. On any given day there will be tremendously talented people that are not employed for one reason or another and they would love to work. So if the need arises because of some catastrophic situation we will staff your event with a very talented understudy who can step in make sure that the show goes on.
What do you offer for cocktail hour?
We have many options available to suit your needs and your dreams. If you’ve hired one of our bands then you can choose from among the musicians in the band for an economical alternative. Or, you can hire a completely different act ranging from jazz groups, steel drums, bag pipes, etc. — the sky is the limit.
What do you offer for ceremonies?
Similar to the cocktail hour options, you may be able to select musicians from your band to perform for your ceremony at a nominal additional charge. Or, if you prefer to set a different tone, we have complete string ensembles, brass ensembles, soloists, harpists, etc. Anything you can imagine we can provide for you.
What is your refund policy?
All deposits are refundable less a service fee if we are able to book an event of equal or greater value for the act that was cancelled on the date that the event was cancelled. Your deposit reserves a specific act for a specific performance date. From that point forward, the acts begin to pass up additional offers of work from other clients. Often when an event is canceled the act is unable to reschedule the date and thus loses a performance opportunity for that date in question.
Do you offer continuous music (NY Style Wedding)? And what does that mean?
We do offer continuous music for all of our acts. However it is important for you to explain to your agent what you mean by continuous music. We are aware of other agencies in town that promises continuous music when their bands perform but instead of keeping the band (or band members) on stage throughout, they simply put on a CD. Technically, this is “continuous” music because music is always playing from the band stage. If this is what you mean by continuous music then you don’t even have to ask the question. All of our bands are capable of providing pre-recorded music during any band breaks.
More typically, the clients mean continuous music as is typical in a “New York Style” reception. In this format the bands will figure out a way to keep at least a few musicians on stage at all times so you have live music during any food courses or scheduled breaks. Again, all of our bands are happy to offer this service, but some of the acts will charge a fee and some won’t. Therefore, it’s important that you plan on discussing this option with your agent if it’s one of your requirements.
Whatever you choose, continuous music or normal band breaks, our bands will carefully coordinate any breaks with the events of the evening according to your preferences. It is typical for a band to break during meals, toasts or cake cuttings only and NEVER when it’s a great time for your guests to dance. We want your guests to be constantly entertained — whether they’re eating, listening to toasts or dancing all night long.
How much room do your bands need?
Each group is different in their needs and each band tries to be flexible too. For instance a band might state a preferred stage size of 24 feet wide by 12 feet deep, but can still fit happily onto a stage that’s 18 feet by 8 feet if that is what is needed for the venue. If you have any space concerns or if your venue dictates the number of pieces allowed, please call us to discuss the options available. We have lots of experience at almost every venue in town and we know how to make things work best at each place. For example, we know of some venues that specify no more than 6 pieces. However, after speaking with the catering staff we learned that they don’t count singers as pieces so you could easily have one of our more typical eight or nine piece bands without breaking any rules. We can help you with your choices so please don’t hesitate to ask us for guidance on floor plans, staging, etc.
Do I have input on the song list?
Absolutely. You will have the opportunity to indicate your likes and dislikes from each band or DJ’s play list. In addition, each band will be happy to learn a few songs that are special for your event. We will put you in touch with your band leader or DJ so you can communicate about the song list as soon as you’ve made your final selection and hired the act.
Can I pay by credit card?
Yes. However certain conditions to apply. We accept Visa, Master Card, and American Express. Please review credit card options with your agent when booking your affair.
How much is the deposit?
The amount of the deposit is typically 50%. The remaining 50% is to be paid approximately two week prior to the date of the performance specified in your contract.
Can I do a payment plan?
Yes. Depending upon the date of your event and the total cost of your talent, we are usually able to accommodate an arrangement for a payment plan. However, no matter how the payment plan is structured you will still be required to have paid in a minimum of 50% before the event is played. The final balance will be due approximately two weeks prior to the date of the performance specified in your contract.
Do you carry liability insurance?
Yes. We carry a commercial liability policy for $2 million. This is a requirement of a number of venues and hotels now. Many independent acts do not carry this type of insurance and will be barred from performing without it. Please be sure to check with your venue and notify us in the event that an insurance certificate is required.