Steve Bloom is the owner of Associated Entertainment Consultant Sacramento and Hip Entertainment Talent and Event Management. Steve is a life long musician and lover of all kinds of music. When he attended UC Davis he started playing music professionally to support himself and in the past 25 years, he has played in projects all over the region. Currently, Steve manages and plays guitar with Hip Service the regionally renowned dance band.
Who is your typical clientele?
We have a lot of brides and their families as clients. We love a good wedding! Many of our regular clients are the venues and event planners who rely on us to meet and exceed their client's expectations. We are viewed as a "one stop shop" for all entertainment needs. In addition to brides, we also have corporate clients, community groups, nonprofit agencies and government officials. We like the challenge of working with a variety of clients and we have the experience and capability to make every event successful, beautiful and fun.
What is the approximate price range for your musicians?
We have artists to fit almost every budget. For example, if you would like Motoshi Kosako a world class harpist for your ceremony, or a soulful, contemporary Norah Jonesesque vocalist to sing your favorite songs at cocktail hour - they are surprisingly affordable and add a beautiful and unique quality to your special day. For all entertainment, the factors that impact pricing are:
- Location - Where is the event and where is the band, DJ, artist located?
- Band Size - The bigger the band generally means the bigger the price tag. For example Love Train is a six piece dance band and will be less expensive than Hip Service, an eleven to fifteen piece band.
- Duration - How long would you like the artist to be there? This is a variable we can really help with by working with you and venue coordinators. Sometimes clients envision a certain time line and inadvertently add to their budget. We can help make adjustments so that, for example, there isn't four hours of down time for the band between load in and performance. Often we will utilize the musicians in the band to also cover ceremony and cocktail music. It really depends on the needs of the client and the capabilities of the artists.
- Date - Some dates are high demand dates. New Years Eve, Valentines Day... Picking a less traditional date for your wedding can save you money with all your vendors. Also, outdoor weddings may need a rain contingency plan for certain times of the year.
- Notoriety - some brides really want a bigger name band with name recognition, so there is a price tag. There are many outstanding bands who perform at weddings every weekend to rave reviews, but the general public may not have heard of them.
- Venue - Some venues are self - contained. Hotels and concert halls have different requirements than an outdoor wedding. Generators, tents, stage... almost any location is possible with the right planning.
What are your requirements (food, dressing room, beverages, stage, power, etc)?
The performance requirements depend upon the location and the artist you select for your special day. We spend a lot of time advancing the event with venue management and wedding coordinators to make sure stage, power and lighting are handled without a hitch.
Our food and beverage requirements differ some from artist to artist but generally they are: bottled water and a hot meal for each band member (not necessarily the same meal as your guests are eating). On a typical wedding, the band arrives a few hours before the guests and will be working a 10-12 hour day, so it's important to feed them. A well fed band is a happy band! We have a no alcohol policy for all of our artists. Dressing rooms also vary depending on the artist but the standard is at least some locations where the band members can change clothes and eat and sit during the down time. We are happy to offer personalized solutions for the venue and artist you have chosen.
How are you different from other traditional wedding bands? Is there anything unique that you do - anything that separates you from your competition?
The bands we represent have been developed and prescreened and not only are they the best in entertainment, but they are also the best in customer service. As we all know, a wedding is a once in a lifetime experience and so it's important to have talented amazing musicians who are well prepared, pleasant to deal with and professional. I have high expectations when it comes to selecting bands for weddings and special events.
We love live music and all music lovers know that a great band makes for a great party. The other component to a great party is great planning. Every event has it's little glitches that need to be worked out. We do all the pre-work but then, we also work with our artists to help them troubleshoot issues on site. When the power blows out an hour before the ceremony, our clients want the team that will run to the store to get the parts to fix it. Not the band that comes to the coordinator (or Bride!) saying "there's a problem" and leaving you and your team to fix it.
What kind of audience are you best suited for?
When it comes to dance bands, we offer options to suit ANY audience - I get many requests for a great all around variety dance band playing everything from big band to Motown to 70's disco to 80's to current hits of today. Some of our groups have a younger focus, some older. The challenge is to make our younger couples happy with the music, while not alienating the parents and grandparents! We do quite a few weddings featuring ethnic music, ie. Latin, Jewish, Indian, etc. We also have many unique entertainment ideas that many of our clients are just not aware of, both for the ceremony and reception.
Is there any particular performance/event that stands out in your mind with any of your bands (the crowd, the venue, the celebration, etc)?
We recently did a Platinum wedding in Sacramento where I had the challenge of sneaking in a 16 voice gospel choir and band. Nobody was supposed to know about this surprise appearance. We hid the singers in a small room until just the right moment, and then positioned the choir and the band on a balcony behind the guests who were seated for the ceremony. When the couple was pronounced "husband and wife", the choir and band broke out into Ain't No Mountain High Enough, to the amazement of 300 guests. It was quite an emotional moment and we pulled it off! I really enjoy planning those special experiences and memories that will last a lifetime.