Living in a big city like Washington DC certainly gives you a lot of perks. One of these is that when you are looking for a DC band to play for an event, it’s relatively easy to find one!
But before diving into the depths of DC bands, you need to decide what exactly you are looking for. Do you want a new band, one that is indie or underground that most people don’t know? Are you looking for a cover band, one that can play all of the songs that the crowd will know and love? Deciding this is crucial, since it sets the tone of your event. A punk rock band will create an entirely different atmosphere than a jazz band.
How to Find DC Bands
One great company to use as a resource to find bands is Washington Talent Company. The company, located in the DC-metro area, can connect you with bands for hire for a huge range of events. You can book live bands, DJs, MCs, and more! It also categorizes bands tailored for specific kinds of events, such as bar and bat mitzvahs, weddings, and corporate gatherings. Washington Talent Company also supplies photographers and videographers for events, so it’s a “one stop shop” if you also want to document your gathering.
Another spot to look for DC bands is the Washington City Paper. This periodical has an excellent classifieds page with a section dedicated entirely to local bands for hire. Not only does the site include bands, but it also lists DJs as well. Using this resource is convenient because bands listed have actively placed themselves on the page, meaning that arranging the booking should be a smooth and easy process. You can also post an hiring ad and wait for bands to contact you.
If you’re into jazz, a great resource is DCjazz.com, a site solely dedicated to the jazz bands of the city. The website has an extensive directory of groups and artists available for private events, and it has extra helpful resources, like links to artists’ websites and a calendar of events so you can check out the bands in person. You can also purchase CDs from each band to listen to their music before you decide who to hire.
Finally, Entertainment Exchange is another great resource to check out. This website only lists the top-rated bands that perform in DC, so you know you’re going to get a high-quality band when you book. These bands have all been reviewed by regional or national publications, which gives them a lot of credibility.
Explore DC Music Venues
For a hands-on dive into the DC music scene, check out classic venues such as the 9:30 Club or the State Theater. If you’re looking for a smaller, more intimate experience, indie bands typically flock to the Black Cat. Seeing bands in action – especially those you’re researched prior using the above resources – is a great way to vet out who might be the right fit for your event. Do your research, and you won’t be disappointed.
Photo by Vancouver Film School