Original vs. Cover: Which Band Should You Book?

Planning an event isn’t easy; there are so many factors to consider when creating a plan for an event. One of the most important parts of planning an event is entertainment. Many event planners will hire live bands for their events because people love to listen to music. 

When thinking about hiring a band for your event, several different factors need to be considered. One big question many folks ask themselves is, “Should I hire a cover band or a band that plays original music?” 


It goes without saying that the Eagles sound better than Phoenix, your local Eagles cover band. But the Eagles will always sound like the Eagles. If you hire a Phoenix, you are getting something different and unique. Sometimes people don’t want to hear the same song on the radio played the same way. That being said, you have to know your audience. 

If most of the people at your event are like that crazy uncle who bought one pair of New Balance 624’s in 1982 and refused to buy another pair because “they don’t make them like this anymore,” they might want to hear the original Eagles. 

That being said, if your target audience is a little bit younger, they might not want to hear “Hotel California” played the same way they have already heard 1,000 times on the radio. 


Simply put, the Eagles are going to cost more than Phoenix. If you have the budget and want to hire the Eagles for your show, call up Don Henley and tell him to pack his harmonica, but if you are hosting a fundraiser for your local high school, Henley may politely ask you to kick rocks. 

If you get aggressively shut down by your original choice of band, there will always be a cover band that sounds great and is in your price range. The most important thing is that there is live music in the air, and even though the Eagles may not have answered your voicemail, Phoenix will be happy to take your business. 


There are a couple of very important things to consider about the location of your event when choosing the appropriate band. First of all, is the location remotely close to where the original band lives? The only way you are getting Joe Walsh to fly from California to Massachusetts to play in your wedding is if you are swimming in a pool of hundred-dollar bills. But, if you live within a twenty-mile radius of the famous guitar player, you might be surprised. 

That being said, there will always be cover bands in your area, so even if you don’t live close to Joe Walsh, Phoenix lives within less than a ten-mile radius of your event. You might even be able to hear them playing in the garage a couple of blocks away. 

The bottom line is there are so many bands for hire all over the country. The final decision comes down to what you can afford and what your audience will enjoy the most.  Whether you get the Eagles or you hire Phoenix, the people who go to your event will love that there is live music in the air.