Why use Live Entertainment in your Irish Pub?

Live Entertainment in licensed premises creates a positive atmosphere, enhances customers’ moods, which influences spending behaviour, thus increasing revenue.

Statistics show that pubs, which feature both live and recorded music, take, on average 44% more revenue than pubs that do not. This figure rises to 60% at weekends. In establishments where food is served, diners were prepared to spend more money when background music was played compared to those with none. Also different types of music have different effects on people. For instance, classical music encouraged customers to spend 20% more and pop music 16 % more.

Whether you run a traditional pub or a modern bar, employing music can make your business a successful one that stands out from your competitors and attracts more customers.

I grew up in a musical family and started my live music career at the age of 15 in Ireland. I quickly realised how the mood of our band influenced customers in a pub. We had the power to make them smile, laugh, tap their feet, sing along and dance. But most importantly we kept these customers entertained and wanting us to play music all night long. I had learned the value of live entertainment!

I have since worked with pub owners and managers to guide them in using music both live and recorded, to create an atmosphere that draws in more customers. I also founded and run the online business, http://www.BandBidder.com, to help pub owners and managers find affordable live entertainment.

The first thing you need to do if you are looking to use music for positive effect, is consider carefully the type of music best suited to your premises and clientele, to ensure that the mood and style best fits the desired atmosphere and intended customer behaviour. Decide on how regularly you want to have live music. Concentrate on getting this right, whether it is originals or covers, local entertainers, or afternoon jazz. Music offers you a solid identity, a brand and connects you with your local area.

Live music attracts new business so ensure that you choose the type of music that your customers want to hear. Do not be afraid to try out different sounds until you get it right. Acknowledge your loyal or regular customer base by asking for their preference. Use this information when choosing your live entertainment and, also, when choosing your background piped music.

Next, set up your infrastructure. If you need to soundproof your premises, do it before you begin getting complaints for noise. Some space in a corner or, even better, a small stage is all that is needed for a live band or entertainer to start up. Most musicians have their own sound-system, but if you can afford to, you should get your own and have it fitted around your pub. Having a quality sound system has huge benefits and can pay for itself in the long term. Entertainers will not charge as much if they do not have to bring equipment, plus you have a great sound system for playing your own-recorded music. If you are fitting a sound system, make sure to have your live music feed playing in staff rooms, kitchens, customer washrooms, outdoor patios and smoking areas.

The best advice that you could take from this article above all else is to hire an ENTERTAINER. The difference between an entertainer and background piped music is that live entertainment provides a personality to the audience that, if chosen correctly by your pub, will enhance the experience of your customers resulting in repeat business. There is a wide range of live entertainment available to owners and managers in the global Irish Pub market and the choice of talent available for booking is better than it has ever been. Also, the cost of booking live entertainment has decreased considerably in the last few years. If you become known as the place for great live entertainment, customers will keep coming back.

Finally, live entertainment brings a sense of fun and motivation to what is, after all, your workplace. Music boosts the morale and productivity of your staff and it is a proven fact that productivity is lower when no music is played. Do not be afraid to get bar staff involved in the gig by having them interact with the entertainers.

Now that you’re ready for live entertainment and you have booked your preferred entertainer, it is time to advertise your gig. Local papers, flyers and posters are the traditional routes for advertising. However, more and more publicans and venue owners are realising the benefits of cost-effective, direct contact with their customer base by using social media such as Facebook and Twitter to promote their live entertainment events in real-time.

Encourage the band to promote your pub as a venue to their existing fan base. Work with your preferred entertainers, promote them and have them promote your venue. Most bands and entertainers have built their own following so use that to your advantage.

Chris Kelly - founder of Bandbidder.com

Guinness is promoting Arthur’s Day in over 40 countries worldwide, all of which are represented by IPG. Why not join in the celebration and avail yourself of the free global promotion and advertising and book some live entertainment for the day in your pub. If you are on a budget, auction your gig on BandBidder.com: the acts will come to you and will be no more expensive than your auction price limit. Your revenue intake and customer base will increase and you will have a great day to boot!

Have a great Arthur’s Day!


BandBidder.com is a website where you – Irish Pubs and Hotels looking for live entertainment can post a gig for auction including your maximum budget. Entertainers who are members of Bandbidder.com can bid for the gig, up to the maximum auction price. You can subsequently review a detailed profile of those that bid and choose the most suitable act for your gig. 

This service is free for Irish Pubs Global Members so don’t forget to use the registration code IPGMUSIC when registering. Check out the video on our home page to fsee how you can be using BandBidder.com to have musicians coming to you for gigs


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