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  • Writer's pictureMemphis Pipe Band

How much do musicians cost?

From time to time we have potential clients inquire about the cost of having members of our organization play for their events. From solo pipers to a piper and drummer duo and all the way up to the full band. Most people hiring live musicians have never done it before, so it can be a daunting task to wade through prices and quotes online when you have no idea what things should cost. The cost of live musicians can be affected by many factors including knowledge, experience, tools, services, time, travel and so much more.

Below is a excerpt from a recent blog post by Encore Musicians Blog, the full post is definitely worth a read and can be found here.

Since starting Encore in 2014, our musicians have sent over 100,000 quotes to customers for all sorts of events, so we’ve got an excellent database of prices for different types of music.

For each type of live music, we’ll give you three prices:

Starting Price: this is the lowest price you can expect to pay for a professional performance. If you’re quoted a price below this, you may be dealing with amateur or student musicians, which can be risky.

Average Price: this is the average price based on over 100,000 quotes.

High-end Price: this is the highest quote you should expect to receive for a particular type of musician or band. If somebody gives you a quote above this price, be sure to ask for a breakdown of the fee.

Travel expenses

It’s also worth bearing in mind that these prices do not include travel expenses. The Musicians Union suggests that musicians should charge .56¢ per mile travelled, so if you’re hiring a soloist who is travelling a 100mi round trip, expect to pay roughly $60 in travel expenses.

With a budget of $475, you’re able to afford most types of solo instrumentalist or singer.

How much does it cost to hire a Bagpiper?

Costs for a bagpiper typically range from $150 to $350, with the average price being around $250. Bear in mind that bagpipers are particularly popular on New Year’s Eve (Hogmanay), Burns Night, and St Andrews Day, so prices tend to be higher during these peak times.

  • Starting Price: $150

  • Average Price: $250

  • High-end Price: $350

Bagpipers are common at Scottish weddings, where the piper will often perform while the bride is arriving, or as the couple leave the church.

Here are the typical prices for different performance durations (this includes any needed travel and prep before and after the event):

  • 1 hour of service: $150-$250

  • 2 hours of service: $250-$350

  • Over 2 hours of service: $350+

Each bagpiper will tailor a quote individually to your event, but remember that a cheaper quote doesn’t necessarily mean a better deal for you! Make sure to listen to each bagpiper, look for reviews and testimonials and find out their level of experience. It’s worth paying for a good bagpiper who will create a haunting, unforgettable atmosphere.

Now that you have a little insight into obtaining a solo piper think about how this would all translate to a full band performance of 10+ musicians. Remember, you’re not just paying for the performance, you’re paying for the quality and everything that makes the performance possible.

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