Yorkshire Entertainment

Charity Event and Charity Ball Entertainment Advice.
Information and Advice for organising Charity Ball Entertainment.


Live entertainment can make the difference between an average charity ball and a great profitable one! For most people, arranging entertainment is an irregular or once in a lifetime event. We aim to pass on a wealth of knowledge that should prove useful to you - even if you don't end up arranging your entertainment through Yorkshire Entertainment Ltd !!!

Please note, we supply top quality entertainment for a charity ball or other styles of charity fundraising events throughout the UK……not just in Yorkshire.

  Advice and Information

Why Is Entertainment Important For A Charity Event?

Do you remember the table centres or the balloon decorations from the last event you attended? Maybe, maybe not. Now here's an easy one: Did you have a good time? Did you dance all night to a brilliant function band? Was the live entertainment a great success? Or was it terribly disappointing? If you're like most people, chances are you'll remember the entertainment more than anything at a party. Entertainment leaves a strong memory so it only stands to reason that the guests you invite to your charity ball or fundraising event will have the same impression. You are no doubt competing with other charity fundraising events and our live bands & top function entertainment helps you to have a hugely successful party. This has the distinct added advantage of helping you to more easily sell the tickets for next year's fundraising event.

How Early Should You Book?

As early as possible! This varies based on the time of year and day of the week but many months prior to your event date is definitely not too soon. The busiest time for charity events is between September and June. Weddings tend to be in demand between the beginning of May and the end of September and all Bank Holiday weekends. Fridays & Sundays are increasingly popular charity event dates & Christmas is hugely popular for company parties. So the advice is to book early….even if you don’t book from us!! If you find an entertainer that you like, whatever you do, don't let them slip away. Fabulous function bands & dynamic DJs are difficult to get hold of and if you think that they’re great – chances are that many other people do too so they tend to get booked up well in advance.

How To Find Your Entertainment.

Where do you begin? If you've been to a charity event recently, ask the organiser how they found their entertainers. To give you the best options & advice call a professional entertainment agency!

Why Use a Professional Entertainment Agency?

Use an agent experienced in booking entertainment for a charity ball and a fundraising event. You’ll actually save a huge amount of time and money by using a good entertainment agency, and you’ll still maintain complete control over your event. Your event is much too important to worry about whether the band are a reliable outfit, will be set up on time, know how to make any introductions, be dressed appropriately, and be cooperative about the volume, etc.
A good agent has worked with all types of professional entertainers. We know who shows up and who doesn't. We know who'll make your charity ball memorable and who won't. We also know who'll help make your charity ball stand out from competing fundraising events. We have access to a huge range of musical genres and we’ll help you match the style of entertainment you need to the budget you have available. For you to go out in the midst of planning a party and find a suitable band, try and find the person in charge of bookings, try and make a deal, and then hope they actually turn up just doesn't make any sense when an agent will do that work for you and usually at no additional cost. (A reputable entertainment agent takes his commissions from the acts. We’re full members of the Agents’ Association of Great Britain and we abide by their rigorous code of conduct). Many party bands hear the words "charity ball" and they can increase their prices substantially. Our agency already knows the pricing structure and history of the bands we work with. Bands are also generally more accommodating for an entertainment agent (from whom they get regular repeat business), than they are for someone using them on a one-time basis.

How do you really know if a band has the experience of playing at a big charity ball? When enlisting the help of Yorkshire Entertainment Ltd, your options and choices are greatly improved. We have already done all of the legwork. We are able to provide you with a broad choice of excellent entertainers and we’ll already know who is currently available on your date of your event. We’ll supply you with professionals with a great track record and we’ll make sure they fit your needs and budget. We will ask you many questions but this will allow us to more thoroughly understand exactly what it is you need and what your objectives are.

When Should We Entertain Our Guests?
The occasion splits up into 2 main sections:.

  1. Entertainment for the pre-dinner drinks, meal and fundraising.
  2. Live Wedding Entertainment for the dancing.

Here are just a few ideas for the smooth running of the event.

Pre-Dinner Drinks & Meal Entertainment.

To create a happy warm welcome for your guests the alternatives include Wedding Pianists, Piper, Harpist and String Quartet. These instruments lend an air of sophistication and elegance but if you require a more informal ambiance, a mobile Jazz Band is an excellent and very popular option.
Any entertainment you supply throughout the meal would need to be 'background' rather than 'full on'. Another option would be a close-up magician. He will visit your guests' tables one by one performing his magical art before right in front of your guests to leave them amazed and helping to stimulate relaxed conversation. Other speciality performers such as Caricaturists will keep your guests occupied between courses. (You could also charge the guests for each drawing or ask for a donation). They also give your guests a special present to take home. For the larger gatherings engaging the services of a Toastmaster is a very wise move. His job is to make sure that everything runs smoothly. He will advise you on etiquette and will usually meet with you before the party to discuss your requirements. He will ensure that caterers, entertainers and any photographers all know what to do and when. If you wish, he will announce the arrival of each guest, and introduce the speeches and help with the fundraising. Most have a great sense of humour and are often a good source of entertainment. Employing the services of a toastmaster allows the event organisers to relax and enjoy their evening.

Charity Fundraising

There are a number of different ways to raise funds, the most obvious of which are raffles, tombolas, and party games (Irish bingo and 'heads & tails' are currently the most popular). Another brilliant way to persuade your guests to part with their cash is to book a Las Vegas Charity Casino Night.

Band or Disco?

When choosing entertainment for your charity ball, there is always the age-old question, "Live UK Party Band or mobile disco and DJ?" If you can squeeze it in the budget, you may want to consider both. If budget is an issue for you, you may want to consider hiring a top quality DJ who can play a huge variety of songs and at a lower cost. Whatever you do, don't book a 'cheap' local DJ !!

Advantages Of Hiring A Band.

A good live party band will have an amazing effect on the atmosphere and even the 'stuffiest' of guests will find it hard not to get up and dance. Hiring a live party band is a great way to ensure a "lively" event that will create lasting impression and to help make your charity ball stand out from other local events. For most of your guests the live music will encourage them to spend the majority of their time burning up the shoe leather on the dance floor. For others, who might have less of a desire to dance, the live music provides an equally enjoyable experience as you can get great enjoyment from watching a terrific live band…..but you can’t really watch a DJ.

What Style Of Band Should I Book?

Generally, there is a wide range of ages and musical tastes a charity ball and versatility is the key ingredient to your party's success! Experienced, versatile function bands play a selection of well-loved hits from a huge repertoire designed to appeal to all of your guests. Other music also very popular in a range of different styles including a Soul band, Jazz, Rock n Roll, and Tribute Bands. If you're holding a theme night, Yorkshire Entertainment will offer you a range of excellent alternatives to choose from. Ceilidh bands are also popular. However, unless a large proportion of your guests are of a Celtic descent we would generally only recommend this type of band to do one long set and to follow this with a disco. Ceilidhs are fabulous for audience involvement, but as the night wears on (and the alcohol takes effect), the guests often find it difficult to remember the callers' instructions! This is part of the fun of course, but it can lose its impact the second time around.

If I Book A Band Do I Also Need A Disco?

Probably! It all depends on the timings of your event (again, here at Yorkshire Entertainment Ltd our experienced consultants will ask you all the right questions and offer you some friendly impartial advice). The most important thing to remember is that live bands will usually play 2 sets - lasting between 45 minutes to an hour each. (Any more than this and the music will lose it's dynamic impact and special nature). Once the band stop for a break, the DJ will keep the dancing going until the band are ready to start there second set. If you don't do this, the drop in atmosphere will make it much harder for the band to get the audience back in the mood. Depending on when the band finish, the DJ can keep people dancing till the early hours if you wish, and for far less cost. (You are only paying for 1 person). All of our party bands can however supply music during their breaks and again this may well be the best option - mainly depending on the timings of your evening, when and how you plan to do the fundraising, and the atmosphere you wish to create.

Why Should You Book A Band & DJ From The Same Source?

Most DJ's supplied from alternative sources are not used to working alongside the bands. They will often play some of the party band's material (even though they may say that they will not!) making it much more difficult for the band to perform at their optimal level. Our experienced professional DJ's have worked with our bands on thousands of successful occasions and they’ll liaise with the bands. They can share equipment when space is at a premium leaving you with more room for dancing. They expertly announce the band on and off stage and ensure a smooth and continuous flow of entertainment, removing your worries and helping you to enjoy the event along with the guests.

Advantages Of Booking A Disco.

If you go for the option of a solo mobile DJ, please remember that you trust the whole nights entertainment to just one person – so make sure you get the right one !! A mobile disco is the most practical and cost effective form of entertainment available to you. The DJ will perform for longer periods of time and play a wider range of music to suit the ages of your guests. If you have some favourite tracks or particular styles of music you would like played he will be able to accommodate you. DJ's are especially good for small to medium sized parties. Yorkshire Entertainment's professional DJ's all carry high quality sound and lighting (which has all the relevant safety certificates). They will play the music you and your guests want to hear and at a volume that is not offensive.

How Much Will The Entertainment Cost?

The costs vary quite considerably, partly due to the location and date of your charity ball or fundraising event. It also varies according to the popularity of the entertainers. Our Yorkshire based party bands and charity casino night are however generally less expensive than acts from other areas of the UK, as their overheads and cost of living is lower. They travel right across the whole of the UK. Live music provides exceptional entertainment value and can be more affordable then you might think. If you complete our on-line questionnaire or call our head office we can offer you a fully inclusive quote by return with absolutely no obligation on your part.

Where Do Our Acts Perform?

Our entertainers perform throughout the UK & perform at many prestigious venues outside of Yorkshire including The Royal Albert Hall, Hampton Court Palace, The Savoy, Clarities, Waldorf & Governor House Hotels in London, dozens of Town Halls including Manchester, Guildford and Cheltenham, The International Conference Centre in Birmingham, The Roman Pump Rooms in Bath, Scotland's St Andrews Golf Club, The Salle Royal in Marrakech and Le Meridian Hotel in Paris. They have entertained in every conceivable situation including Private Houses, Stately Homes, and Marquees.

Can I See An Act Before Signing A Contract?

Yes. As they travel around the UK there is usually an event where they are performing at where you can get to see them. However this sometimes proves difficult to arrange as an increasing number of people are based in a different part of the UK from their party venue. The vast majority of our acts are aware of this and we have a selection of CD's to send to you. We would recommend caution when listening to most bands' CD's. As an agency, we receive hundreds of recordings each year from acts around the uk wanting to get on our books. We cannot begin to count the number of acts we thought sounded amazing on the CD, only to go and see them 'live' and be hugely disappointed. Many bands add 'talent boosting' effects and digitally enhanced techniques in the studio to their recordings and they are just not the same in a live situation. Our acts have genuinely not done this. What you hear IS what you get.

Is It Customary To Feed The Band?

In almost all cases, the acts are away from home for a substantial period of time (including travelling, set-up, performing, & de-rigging) and it is therefore customary to feed the entertainers. If you are having a very elaborate charity ball, you do not need to serve the entertainers the same seven-course meal you are providing for your guests but a hot meal is usually required.

Can I Request A Special Code Of Dress For The Entertainers?

Generally speaking, the entertainers have appropriate attire for the various types of affairs they normally perform at. It should be made clear upfront and stated in the contract what type of attire you would like at your special event. If your request is not out of the ordinary there will not be any added charge for attire. For example, it is reasonable to request musicians or groups to wear standard black tuxedos for a charity ball or fundraising event.

Are There Any Special Considerations For Marquee Events?

Our party bands have performed for thousands of events within a marquee setting. If possible, we recommend that the marquee company arrange an access flap or doorway, close to, or directly behind the stage area. This allows the musicians to quickly set up & pack down with the minimum disturbance to the guests.

Is It Essential To Provide A Stage?

Whilst it is not essential to supply a stage - it does allow the party band to be seen when the dance floor is full. If you are able to supply a stage, it must be safe and soundly constructed. A minimum ceiling height above the stage of 6ft 6ins should be allowed. (Please take note of sloping marquee linings where necessary).

What Sort Of Power Supply Is Required?

It is essential that a safe, properly earthed and constant power supply be provided. Venues that regularly stage entertainment should already have the correct supply, but please check with them. The exact requirements depend on the artists you have booked but as a (very) general guide, for an average sized band & DJ - 2 separate 13 amps or 1x30 amp 240-volt mains supply is required. This should terminate on stage in 13 amp sockets. These supplies must be totally independent of each other (i.e. not drawn from 1x13 amp source via a mains extension). This supply should be for the sole use of the artiste and should never be shared with anything else. Where the band have to share the available power with the caterer, it is most advisable that a 3-phase supply is available, with each party having a separate dedicated phase. The alternative is for a high-powered generator to be provided, to accommodate for the heavy demand of heating ovens and other high usage requirements of a catering contractor, together with the artiste's lighting and PA system. An incorrect or unsafe supply will jeopardise your event. (Please ask us or seek the advice of a professional electrician if you are unsure).

Changing Room

Please provide a warm, clean, well lit and lockable changing room with clothes rail for the artistes. At established entertainment venues, you may need to arrange for the use of a hotel bedroom if there isn't a specialist changing room available. Note: Professional artistes should not be asked to change within toilet or kitchen areas - suitable rooms must be made available.

How Big Is The Acts' Performance Area

This again depends on the size & type of entertainment booked. For a live party band an area approximately 12ft deep (front to back) by 20ft wide (left to right) is needed. Additional floor space (approx 4ft square) on the front left and right hand corners should be allocated for speaker systems (These usually are not placed on the stage). Please try to ensure guest's tables are not placed directly in front of the speakers.

Charity Casino Night.

If you're fundraising, you can get maximum returns from a charity casino night. Guests purchase their fun money for cash. You could consider charging an entrance fee - and ask local companies & organisations to sponsor a table or donate a prize for the winning gamblers. A Casino adds that extra touch of sophistication to any function. It’s the easiest thing to tag a theme onto a fun casino event - eg a American Wild West Casino, Hollywood Casino, Cruise Ship Casino, Gangster Casino, Las Vegas or a Monte Carlo Casino Party Night. A Gaming Licence isn’t required - as guests can’t bet on the tables with real money - although prizes can be given.

DJ Requirements.

Additional floor space should be allocated for DJ's speakers and equipment (approximately 5ft either side of the stage for speakers and lighting effects and a minimum area of approximately 6ft square for the DJ and the rest of his equipment). When a DJ is working alongside a band, it is preferable to place the DJ next to the stage, not on it. (This prevents CD's from `jumping'). For marquee events please provide a solid base and a sturdy table approx 6ft x 3ft with a cloth.

Waiting Area.

For various reasons you may prefer that the entertainers do not circulate in the marquee or function room. It is therefore helpful if a quieter area (possibly the changing area) is utilised for refreshments, meals and resting between spots.


We will contact the hotel/conference venues to arrange directions to be sent to us, if we don't already have them on file, but for parties that are not taking place in established venues, it is very helpful if you can provide written directions or a location map.

Emergency Contact.

At Yorkshire Entertainment we check all our acts right up to the day of your special event, so you don't have to worry about a thing. However for your peace of mind, if you feel it necessary to contact the artistes on the day of your event, we'll give you their mobile contact numbers.

I hope you have found this article helpful. Whilst it is very detailed, it is not a totally exhaustive list and consequently if your questions are not answered here I welcome your e-mails if you have a particular issue that you would like me to cover.

We're here for the long run, and cooperation and mutual respect are crucial to longevity in the music business. We're very proud of the good reputation we have established, and the many friends we have made over the years. I hope we have the opportunity to provide the entertainment to help make your fundraising event a huge success. If not, we wish you every success for a truly memorably occasion.

Yorkshire Entertainment
Head Office
25 Chanterlands Avenue
01482 441190 (5 lines)
LO-Call 0845 345 1945
(All calls charged at your local rate)
e.mail duncan@yorkshireentertainment.co.uk

This site and all its content and design is copyright of Yorkshire Entertainment Ltd