The Complete Mariachi Band Booking Guide: Tips, Costs and FAQs (2024)

Updated: 30th May 2023
The Complete Mariachi Band Booking Guide: Tips, Costs and FAQs (1)

If you're looking to inject some excitement into your event but would prefer to steer off the beaten track, hiring an authentic Mariachi band is an excellent way to add a fun, cultural twist to your day.

Guaranteed to add a little spice to your event, a Mexican band will be sure to keep your guests entertained with their flamboyant costumes and highly-personable performance.

There are a few things to consider when booking a Mariachi band, so put on your poncho, grab a shot of tequila, and keep on reading to find out everything you need to know. Arriba!

What is a Mariachi Band?

Great question! A Mariachi band or traditional Mexican band is a group of musicians who perform folk-derived Mexican songs, typically sung in Spanish or English.

Mostly performing unplugged or acoustic, Mariachi bands are a fantastic choice for parties and events where they can roam free and entertain guests with their upbeat spirit and joyful repertoire.

Expect your Mariachi band to come fully styled in bright, extravagant outfits and wide-rimmed sombreros to ensure you receive an authentic Mexican experience.

Looking to Hire a Mariachi Band?

Browse our impressive range of Mexican bands based across the UK.

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What instruments make up a Mariachi band?

The standard instrumentation in modern Mariachi music includes trumpets, violins, a vihuela, a nylon-string guitar and a guitarrón. All musicians will typically sing and share vocal duties, which is standard practice in traditional folk music. For larger and more show-orientated line-ups, you'll often see harp, Guitarra and an additional guitar or trumpet present.

The exact number of musicians that comprises a Mariachi group varies, although duos, trios, and quartets tend to be most popular for private events.

Will the band wear those fantastic outfits?

Absolutely! The traditional Mexican image is part and parcel of hiring a Mariachi band, and the musicians will ensure they arrive at your event looking the part.

The Mariachi uniform, ortraje de charro,is based on a horserider's outfit, originating in Spain. There are several variations of the uniform, and most commonly seen today is the rural upper-class version with chaquetilla (short jacket), botines de charro (ankle-high boots), and sombrero de charro (wide-brimmed hat).

There are variations in clothing if the musician is male or female. Women often wear a full-length skirt instead of trousers and jewellery such as necklaces and ornamental crystals/beads.

What music will the band perform?

With modern Mariachi music, you'll usually hear a mix of traditional folk, Latin and modern pop songs - all sung in Spanish and English as appropriate. Most Mariachi bands are happy to take direction in what they play, but in our experience, it's best to let the musicians take the reigns as they'll know what works best based on the audience and event type.

Whatever songs the band plays, they'll be sure to add a distinctive Mexican twist, so do bear this in mind when browsing through their repertoire. Below are a few of the most popular songs you'll find performed by our Mariachi bands.

  • La Bamba - Traditional Mexican
  • Ring of Fire - Jonny Cash
  • Guantanamera - Traditional Mexican
  • Decpasito - Luis Fonsi / Daddy Yankee
  • Mambo No.5 - Lou Bega
  • Las Mañanitas - Traditional Mexican
  • El Jarabe Tapatio - Traditional Mexican
  • Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da - The Beatles
  • Quién será? (Sway) - Pablo Beltrán Ruiz
  • Oye Como Va - Santana

When hiring a Mariachi band, it's always worth taking note of their repertoire to make sure you're happy with the songs available.

What's the best time of day for a Mariachi band to perform?

Mariachi bands excel at audience interaction, making them particularly well-suited to afternoon drinks receptions. With no amplification necessary, the musicians will be free to roam around the venue and entertain your guests. This type of afternoon performance is an excellent way to keep energy levels up at weddings, BBQs and garden parties.

If you're planning a wedding, adding a Mariachi band to the proceedings is a great way to add some variety to your day, especially if you've booked something more traditional for your ceremony or evening reception.

Another great reason to hire a Mariachi band would be for a birthday party or corporate event entertainment. Our Mexican bands have extensive experience at various types of events and are pretty much happy to play anywhere!

The Complete Mariachi Band Booking Guide: Tips, Costs and FAQs (3)

Mariachi price guide

Depending on how many musicians you'd like to book, you can expect to spend anything between £500 and £1500. Your quote will be based on your event date and location, and numerous factors may affect the price, such as travel expenses, accommodation, and the time of year.

How long does a Mariachi band play for?

As standard, most Mariachi bands play approximately 2 x 45-minute sets; however, shorter and longer performances are just as common. Due to the nature of the music played, it's best to have short bursts of music with breaks to avoid exhausting the novelty aspect. Many bands offer quotes for various booking lengths, allowing you to choose the option that best suits you.

TIP Most bands play 45 minutes per hour booked, accounting for a 15-minute break.

How long will it take the band to set up and get ready?

Not long at all! Unlike most party bands, Mariachi bands tend to perform acoustically, and so can prepare for their performance in just a few minutes.

It's ordinary practice for acts such as this to arrive an hour before the event if they need to change, tune their instruments and introduce themselves.

Do Mariachi bands take song requests?

It's best to request any songs when making your initial enquiry to ensure the act can accommodate. It's also worth checking the band's repertoire online as they may already know the song you have in mind.

How much performance space does a Mariachi band need?

In most cases, a Mariachi band won't perform in one spot for too long due to their roaming nature. With this in mind, it's best to familiarise yourself with your venue to ensure there's enough room for the band to move freely. As long as there's clear access between tables, then you'll almost certainly be fine!

If you do intend to have your Mariachi situated in one spot, we recommend the following performance space:

  • Mariachi Duo: 2 x 2 meters
  • Mariachi Trio: 3 x 2 meters
  • Mariachi Quartet: 4 x 2 meters
  • Mariachi Quintet: 5 x 2 meters

The Complete Mariachi Band Booking Guide: Tips, Costs and FAQs (4)

Will the musicians need food/drink?

We always suggest having a small bite to eat available for the musicians on the day and light refreshments such as tea, coffee and water. Some musicians may have particular dietary requirements, in which case they'll let you know before the day so you can make any necessary arrangements.

Would the band be happy to play outside?

Mariachi bands are a natural fit for outside events; however, we always recommend having cover available, such as a gazebo or marquee, in case of rain. Ultimately, it would be down to the band's discretion as to whether they're happy to play outdoors, bearing in mind their instruments can get damaged in wet weather.

What equipment does a Mariachi band provide?

It depends on the band in question, but if they provide any equipment, it will likely be small battery-powered speakers to amplify some of the quieter instruments, such as the nylon guitar.

It also depends on what type of event you're hiring the musicians for as to what they'd bring. In any case, it's always advisable to reach out to the band before the event date to confirm requirements.

How far in advance should I book?

We always recommend booking as far in advance as possible to avoid disappointment. As a general guide, many acts get booked up a year in advance so if you're thinking of hiring a Mariachi band for your event, then get in touch with us today to discuss options.

Hire a Mariachi Band for Your Event

Hopefully, you now have all the information you need to start your Mariachi search, so why not head over to our Mariachi bands section and get in touch with any queries.

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