Working With a Music Agency vs Hiring Musicians Directly

Andrew St. Royal

Why working with a professional music agency to plan, design and hire musicians and DJs is better than hiring musicians directly

A biased account from someone who's been on all sides of booking live music for events as a Musician, an Agent, and a Client.

When it comes to planning, designing, and hiring musicians and DJs for an event, it can be a daunting task for any individual or organization. From choosing the right music for the occasion to ensuring the performers are reliable and trustworthy, many details exist to consider. That’s why it’s often worthwhile to consider working with a professional music agency.

When St. Royal started we were the direct-to-musician type of organization. Our costs and fees were reduced, but our lack of experience and organization likely gave our clients more to do than they should have been doing. In order to deliver the high-calibre of customer service and take tasks off our client's plates - and give them back their time - we had to develop systems, and protocols and instil a higher level of professionalism in our artist collective.

What Happens When My Event Runs Late?

A professional music agency can provide a level of trustworthiness and reliability that can be difficult to find when hiring musicians directly. When you work with a professional music agency, you can be sure you’re getting vetted and reliable music talent who are familiar with all of the necessary protocols at weddings and events and procedures for adjusting on the fly.

Since nearly every event runs at least a little off schedule, it is imperative that your artists are flexible and professional in adapting to unplanned changes. This can help to ensure that your event is a success without any issues.

How Can I Avoid Late or Hidden Fees?

In addition to providing reliable and trustworthy music talent, a professional music agency can also save you time. By allowing the professionals to take care of the details that come with planning and producing live music experiences at a complex, multi-location event such as a wedding, you can focus on other aspects of your event that require your attention.  

Once the major pieces of your live music plan are in place (booked your DJ, band, ceremony music, picked your special requests, etc) your agency can focus on working with the venue, audiovisual team, and planner to create the setup & logistics plan as well as the event itinerary. They can also flag any potential concerns before they occur, allowing you to address them before it’s too late. This is critical to avoid last-minute changes to the event budget!

How Can I Ensure a Smooth Event?

Ultimately, when you work with a professional music agency, you can have more peace of mind. You can trust that they will provide you with reliable music talent that can help to ensure your event runs smoothly, things remain visually clean and organized, and they will have a sensitivity to the high-stakes nature of a once-in-a-lifetime event like a wedding.

Ideally, at your own event, you are focused on your guests, and being present in the moment with them - not worrying about your musicians or DJ! This is definitely worth the premium fee that you may pay.

In conclusion, working with a professional music agency to plan, design, and hire musicians and DJs is often a better option than hiring musicians directly. They can provide you with reliable and trustworthy music talent, save you time, and flag potential concerns before they occur. Ultimately, this extra peace of mind is well worth the premium fee.

Happy planning!



Andrew St. Royal is a former professional musician and the founder and creative director of St. Royal. Andrew has taken part in over 1500 events - as a musician, music designer and producer.


St. Royal creates music experiences for events and celebrations. Their musicians, live bands, DJs, strings, jazz and specialty ensembles perform hundreds of events across Canada. 

Past clients include: Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Marriott, Soho House, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Special Olympics, Canadian Tire, Tiffany's, Royal Ontario Museum, Mercedes, TIFF, Royal Winter Fair, the Taste of Little Italy, and more.

St. Royal was founded by a professional musician and is led by a team of passionate event and music-industry professionals. To date, St. Royal has created performance opportunities which have put more than $4.6 million into the pockets of local music artists, the St. Royal Collective.