20 years of quality music from trusted musicians
The Midsummer Music Agency presents to you over 1000 live bands located throughout the UK. So no matter where your venue, you can hire a band through us that is based in your area. We cover all genres, be it a Jazz Band or a String Quartet, a Ceilidh Band or Barn Dance Band or Covers and Party Band, so you are almost sure to find a band on our site that appeals to you. Here is a short summary of what Midsummer Music has to offer:
Finding a Wedding Band to hire can be a time consuming part of your wedding arrangements, so we present live bands to you in an easy to browse format. Search by county to find local bands and wedding bands in the UK who perform in your area. We include descriptions, photos and importantly, music samples so that you can decide whether you like their style of playing. Some bands have videos too.
The main difference between booking bands for weddings and hiring a live band for a party or anniversary celebration, is that your budget is likely to be lower. Thus a jazz trio or jazz pianist may be more appropriate than a 6 piece jazz band; a 3 piece Ceilidh Band (including the caller) will be less costly than a the complete 5 piece Barn Dance Band. This is even more the case with Function Bands or Covers Bands, where a Covers Duo with backing tracks may be a fraction of the cost of a seven piece Tribute Band. Our pages of bands available in each town or county give price indications for that location, so it is worth spending some time browsing our site.
The term Jazz Band covers anything from a Trad Band, through a Swing Band to modern and lounge jazz. So if you are looking for a jazz band for a wedding or party, considering the diversity of styles, it is well worth browsing the Jazz section of our website. Selecting Jazz Bands in the dropdown box will show you some of the larger line-ups of the jazz bands available for hire. Selecting jazz guitarists, jazz pianists or other line-ups reduces the selection to jazz trios, jazz duos etc.
People are often confused at the difference between a Ceilidh dance and Barn dance. The truth is they are basically the same thing. They both have a caller who teaches the dancers and the band will play traditional folk music to dance to.
Ceilidh is the Celtic terminology, so this would tend to cover Scottish Ceilidh Bands and Irish Ceili Bands. (Notice the different spelling. Other versions are Caleigh, Kaley, kaylee, kayleigh etc. so you can't really spell it wrong!) The bands would tend to play Celtic folk tunes.
Barn Dance tends to be the English and American terminology, where English or American folk tunes would be played. However, many of the dances are common to both a Ceilidh dance or a Barn dance.
Many bands perform a range of music and dance that spans all styles. This is particularly suitable for a wedding Ceilidh or birthday barn dance, where all musical tastes have to be catered for. For an Irish St Patricks night, or a Scottish Burns night, then a specialist band would be more appropriate.
Classical and light music ensembles are usually booked for the wedding ceremony, drinks reception and sometimes the meal. All these ensembles can play the well known wedding music repertoire, but have different characteristics.
A wedding String Quartet is probably the most flexible ensemble. They can play the full wedding repertoire in full four part harmony (so it sounds complete), but they can also play music from the shows, light jazz and some String Quartets also play arrangements of pop covers. They are also able to move location quickly and easily, so starting off in one room to greet wedding guests, moving to play for the civil ceremony in another room, then moving outside (weather permitting) to play for the drinks reception, can all be accommodated.
A wedding harpist is a strong favourite. As well as sounding magical the harp and harpist form a beautiful focal point that can be taken advantage of by your wedding photographer. Consider though, that a harp can not be moved quickly, so they need to stay in just one or two locations. They also produce less volume than a string quartet, so consider how many guests you are likely to have at yourwedding reception.
Pianists and guitarists are lower cost options suitable for wedding receptions with a small number of guests (they have less volume than a string quartet, so don't forget that wedding receptions tend to have a lot of chatter).
If yours is a church wedding, then all classical ensembles are suitable, especially as the acoustics of a church are usually excellent. We do have people book string quartets and other classical musicians on occasion for wedding anniversaries, dinners and even birthday parties. It all depends on the music you like!
When people are considering bands for weddings, they tend to term them generically as live wedding bands or wedding music bands; but within this lies a plethora of musical styles, band sizes and cost. It can even be difficult to pigeonhole groups into Covers Bands, Party Bands and even sometimes Tribute Bands. So the best way to navigate through this diversity to find a wedding band that you really like, is to search all the categories who play in your county, listen to their music and decide what appeals to you. The price guide against each band is important too (unless you are in the fortunate position of money being no object), as prices of function bands and pop bands vary more than for any other musical genre.
The Midsummer Music Agency began back in the 90's as a way of bringing our own Midsummer Ensemble, Midsummer Quartet and Ringerike Ceilidh Band to those who loved music and wanted good music for their weddings and functions. Over a number of years, the agency grew to include the music groups of friends and colleagues around the country, and underwent significant expansion: we now promote over 1000 music groups across the UK. As a result we are able to offer you a wide range of live music groups and bands that cover the Classical, Jazz, Folk and Pop/Rock/Cover genres.
Janet oversees all the day-to-day running of Midsummer Music. She has a law degree and is a talented musician and singer, as well as being a scarily good runner, rower, baker and, of course, administrator. She has been working for Midsummer Music for many years and took over the business in 2018. Janet lives in Herefordshire with her husband, children and Daisy Dog.
Rob looks after the technical side of the business and the website. He has been playing guitar and bass in the Ringerike Ceilidh Band - one of the original Midsummer Music bands - for well over 20 years, and now also plays guitar, mandolin and possibly banjo (when the other band members aren't looking) in Tomfoolery Ceilidh Band. Rob took over the business with Janet in 2018. He lives in Bristol with his wife, children and an assortment of old cars.
Chris: Proper Technical
Chris has largely escaped Midsummer Music now, preferring to spend more time on his boat, but occasionally we call on him! Chris designed the bespoke back-office system that Midsummer Music still uses. Chris is a skilled accordion player and can be found playing for several of the bands on the site, in particular the SR Barn Dance Band and Tomfoolery Ceilidh Band.
Datacentre: Web Wiz
We're really proud to use Web Wiz for our back office servers. Web Wiz are a long established and UK based company offering fully renewable-powered hosting. We're very happy with their service and can unreservedly recommend them.
Honourable mention: Derek and Margaret
Derek and Margaret founded Midsummer Music and ran the business for over 20 years before retiring in 2018. Derek plays in the Midsummer Quartet and the Ringerike Ceilidh Band. Having escaped Midsummer Music, they now spend lots of time caravanning. They live in Malvern with Fritz the robot lawnmower.
We have offices in Herefordshire and Bristol, but we work with musicians and hirers in all parts of the UK.
If you would like to contact the webmaster of this site, please use the 'All Other Things' button on our 'Contact Us' page.
(Midsummer Music Agency & its music groups is a registered name.)