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Chicago Entertainment Industry Resources for COVID-19

This uncertain time has been hard on everyone, but we are looking forward to better times when the threat of COVID-19 is diminished. On that note, we want to let you know that we are working hard to postpone events. We also came across this list of links that may be helpful during this difficult time. Everyone is in this together!

National & Illinois Assistance Programs

Facebook Small Business Grants Program

Illinois Unemployment Program

US Small Business Administration Disaster Assistance

PLUS1 COVID-19 Relief Fund

Sweet Relief Musicians Fund

USBG National Charity Foundation Bartender Emergency Assistance Program

List of Illinois Assistance Programs (Compiled by USBG)

Restaurant Workers Community Foundation

Recording Academy MusiCares

Petitions

Petition for Covid-19 Federal Aid Package for Events Industry

International Association of Fairs and Expositions Letter

Petition for Bring federal relief for SMALL BUSINESSES & FREELANCERS affected by COVID-19 cancellations

CDC Resources

CDC Guide for Managing Stress & Anxiety

How to Protect Yourself

If You Think You Are Sick

12 Memorable (and Awesome) Adult Birthday Party Entertainment Ideas

These adult birthday party ideas are as over-the-top as the guest of honor, and as fun as any kid’s birthday party. (Why should kids have all the fun?) Truly, these ideas for adult birthday party entertainment up the fun factor, and make the party the topic of conversation long after it is over.

Jazz Band

A list of Chicago adult birthday party entertainment ideas wouldn’t be complete without a jazz band. The best Chicago jazz bands are more than nod to Chicago’s roaring history; they are a jazzy addition to a Roaring 20s or Great Gatsby themed party.

Bands

Nothing can keep guests on the dance floor like a good Chicago band. The right band also contributes to a party theme or makes guests feel like they are at the ultimate dance club. Chicago is full of dance, country, international, blues, Latin, and international music bands. Though the list may be long, it’s important to select the most reliable and high-quality bands in Chicago.

Acoustic Artists

Acoustic entertainers are a wonderful way to establish an upscale atmosphere. Pianists, guitarists, soulful singers…there are numerous opportunities for cocktail and mainstage entertainment. (Ask an entertainment agent to connect you to the best acoustic artist for your guest list and desired atmosphere.)

celebrity impersonators at corporate event

Celebrity Impersonators

Perfect for surprising the guest of honor on their big day! (Or the guests!) This birthday party entertainment idea makes everyone feel like they are partying with the stars.

Comedian

If you want a birthday party as fun as the guest of honor, a comedian is the perfect entertainer for your event. This adult birthday party entertainment idea does hinge on finding the right comedian for the day—one that can leave guests in stitches and talking about their jokes for days to come.

Mariachi Band

A mariachi band is the perfect mainstage or atmospheric entertainer for a birthday party, making the guests feel like they are south-of-the border. This adult birthday party entertainment idea is the perfect addition to a themed event with a Mexican menu and the right décor.

mardi gras entertainer with pink and purple dress and drink servers on the skirt

Mixer Girl

This entertainer adds drama to any birthday party! Everyone is going to fight over getting the next glass with this over-the-top entertainer.

Mentalist

Mentalists are spellbinding, providing a customized act that guests can’t pull away from. The best mentalists can personalize their act for the occasion, guaranteeing a performance perfect for the guests of honor.

glow in the dark performer

LED Entertainer

A LED Entertainer is an unexpected entertainer, perfect for an evening birthday party. This birthday party entertainment idea brightens the guest of honor’s night and wows the guests.

Steel Drum Band

This band is the perfect way to transport guests to a warmer time and place. This birthday party idea completes a tropical theme, entertaining guests while they nibble at tropical dishes and cocktails.

Caricature Artists

A caricature artist provides entertainment for guests PLUS a one-of-a-kind favor. Long after the birthday party is over, guests’ll love to look at their favor and think back to a wonderful birthday party.

Throwback Entertainers

If the guest of honor’s favorite decade is in the past, make them—and all the guests—feel like they stepped back in time. Diner entertainers are a wonderful addition to a 50s adult birthday party theme. Flappers and gangsters create an atmosphere that takes guests feel like they are in the middle of a roaring party at a Chicago speakeasy.

10 Over-the-Top Quinceanera Ideas for Entertainment

These Quinceanera ideas are sure to make your quince the event of the year! It’s truly amazing how the right entertainment can make a quince an amazing and memorable event.

Choosing the right entertainment for your Quinceanera starts with an honest review of your guest list (or with a call to an experienced entertainment agent with a quality list of entertainers), continues with in-depth research of quality Chicago entertainers, and ends with hiring one of these fabulous Quinceanera ideas for entertainment.

acoustic artists for wedding cocktail music hour

Acoustic Entertainers

Acoustic entertainers are a wonderful addition to a Quinceanera, providing upscale cocktail hour or main stage entertainment. The best acoustic entertainers can adapt their act to offer beautiful background music or a more high-energy performance.

Paparazzi

If the goal of the Quinceanera is to make the guest of honor feel like a star, this is the perfect addition to your Quince entertainment line-up. Paparazzi entertainers are a fantastic part of a Hollywood- or star-studded Quinceanera, making the star of the event (and her entourage) feel like a celebrity!

Band

A band is the perfect high-energy act that keeps guests on the floor! It’s also a chance to add a personal touch; the right Chicago band not only puts on a fantastic act, but can also contribute to a personalized or themed atmosphere. The opportunities are endless: Latin sound, dance, jazz, country…an experienced entertainment professional can connect you to the right act for your Quince.

Throwback Entertainers

Entertainers that look like they popped out of past decade are the perfect way to transport guests back in time. Flappers and gangsters liven up a Quinceanera, making guests feel like they are attending a party in Chicago 100 years ago. Atmospheric 50s entertainers are a great way to get guests onto the floor for the ultimate sock hop. The possibilities for a throwback theme are as fun as planning the event.

Creative Servers

Your menu can be the ultimate interactive experience with costumed themed entertainers. These unique Quineanera servers are a fun part of any theme, or a way to add flair to a posh event.

International Performers

International performers from all over the globe can add to the atmosphere. There are numerous performers that can add authenticity and flair to your Quince. To find the best and most reliable performer that fits with your atmosphere, contact a professional to connect with the right act for your event.

wedding artist painting picture of reception

Painter

An event painter is a one-of-a-kind entertainer that can provide a unique gift for the guest of honor; the event painter can paint a picture of the event or of the guest of honor on her special day.

Face Painter

Face painters are the go-to entertainers at a Quinceanera. Professional face painters can add beautiful designs to guests’ faces that coordinate with their elegant attire, adding an unexpected flair that draws guests—and creates beautiful Quince photos.

Ice Bar

An ice bar is a wonderful addition to a Winter Wonderland themed event. This stylish form of entertainment is an upscale and fascinating touch to any Quinceanera.

Jazz Band

A jazz band is a perfectly coordinated detail for a Great Gatsby or Roaring 30s themed event. This Quinceanera idea for entertainment is a nod to the past—and to the promising future of the Quince host of honor.

10 Amazing Wedding Reception Entertainment Ideas Your Guests’ll Remember

These over-the-top ideas for wedding reception entertainment are sure to make an incredible impression on both you and your guests. We’ve compiled a list of wedding entertainers that make a one-of-a-kind statement your guest’ll talk about for years to come.

Dance Band

The most common wedding reception entertainment idea is a sure-fire way to get your gusts moving and mingling. The best wedding dance band is different for every couple; it never hurts to contact a pro to help you sift through the best Chicago dance bands for the “right” one.

wedding artist painting picture of reception

Wedding Painter

A wedding painter is a unique wedding reception idea that satisfies two functions. A wonderful wedding painter is a fascinating addition to a reception, while producing a keepsake that couples can treasure for years to come.

aerialists at corporate event

Aerialists

Aerialists boost the wow-factor of any wedding reception, adding an unmatched elegance to the occasion. This wedding entertainment reception idea is also a great way to add an upscale touch to a tasting station.

gangster and flapper entertainers

Roaring 20s Entertainers

A jazzy Chicago wedding wouldn’t be complete without gangsters and periodic entertainers. These wedding entertainers are an unexpected surprise for guests and the final piece of a roaring 20s atmosphere.

mardi gras entertainer with pink and purple dress and drink servers on the skirt

Servers

Food service is an integral part of every wedding reception, but it doesn’t have to be a boring one. Glamorous food servers can be just the ticket, providing a fun and entertaining touch that your guests’ll flock to.

celebrity impersonators at corporate event

Celebrity Impersonators

Nothing starts a conversation at a wedding like celebrity impersonators. Celebrities can be the perfect way to surprise guests with an unexpected appearance on the dance floor or a face mingling in the crowd that makes guests spin. For couples planning a movie-themed wedding, celebrity impersonators can be the perfect addition that ties the details together. (Contact an entertainment pro to select the right entertainer for the event.)

Magician

A magician can add a magical touch to any wedding. A magician can be the perfect way to entertain children in a kids-only room, or a main stage act that entertains and excites guests at an adults-only wedding.

Steel Drum Band

A steel drum band adds a tropical flair to any themed wedding, making guests feel like they are attending a destination wedding on the beach—in Chicago. Best yet, this wedding reception entertainment option can be a mainstage act or a unique cocktail hour entertainment.

child with holiday facepaint for corporate christmas holiday party

Face Painter

Professional face painters are an unexpected surprise for guests of all ages. Best yet, these professional entertainers are able to provide whimsical designs for a garden wedding, fun artwork for a picnic wedding, or seasonal graphics that fit with the wedding theme.

holiday soldiers entertainers

Holiday Entertainment

A holiday wedding is an opportunity to indulge in all things related to the holiday. For a Halloween wedding, this can include human statues and a murder mystery. A winter holiday wedding is enhanced with elves, soldiers, Father Christmas, and other popular characters that fulfill the holiday atmosphere.

20 of the BEST Entertainers for Parties

The one commonality of the best entertainers for parties is they are all different—meaning you’re sure to find the right entertainer for your corporate event, birthday party, gala, or fundraiser. The best part of finding the best entertainment for your event is that the list of entertainers is endless (longer than the list below!)—but can easily be narrowed down with a call to a Chicago entertainment professional.

aerial entertainer at themed gala

Aerialist

Magicians

celebrity impersonators at corporate event

Celebrity Impersonators

juggler at mccormick place in chicago il

Jugglers

1950s entertainers at corporate event theme

50s Entertainers

great gatsby entertainers

Roaring 20s Entertainers (Great Gatsby)

Showgirls

wedding artist painting picture of reception

Artists

entertainers at nautical themed corporate event

Themed Entertainers

stilt walker for outdoor wedding

Stiltwalkers

marchiachi band for cinco de mayo

Mariachi Band

Steel Band

Jazz Band

Hypnotist

Comedian

Balloon Sculptor

Dueling Pianos

Face Painters

Champagne Girl/Themed Servers

endless summer band for summer weddings

Dance Bands

aerial entertainer at themed gala

9 Amazing Themes for a Gala That Draw a Crowd

A gala is a fanciful affair that can take a million different directions; this list of gala themes can get you started choosing the one that wows your guest list.

Casino

A casino gala theme is full of possibilities. This theme starts at the door with an upscale entrance, service, and welcome befitting a casino. It continues into a space with lighting and décor that sets the mood. The gala menu should make guests feel like they hit it big, followed by a mainstage act that makes a big impression. This theme demands a band that makes a big impression, comedian, or mentalist that can adapt their act to the occasion. 

derby entertainer at corporate event

Kentucky Derby

This gala theme should make guests feel the excitement of race day with pre-race buzz and unique event details. Guests’ll be ready to don their most spectacular hats and choose the winner, especially when they walk into a derby-worthy gala. The event planning starts with themed invites and continues with music and photo opps with jockeys that look ready to ride.

Winter Wonderland

This seasonal gala theme is a spectacular nod to all the wonders of the season. The gala can be a sea of white décor that resembles a fresh snowfall or a colorful occasion with tones of the season. A winter wonderland event practically screams for lighting and remarkable décor. The décor should set the scene for a scrumptious event menu and entertainment. The latter could include an orchestra, band, or a winter holiday act that puts guests in the spirit of the holiday.

red carpet entertainer with guests at masquerade themed charity gala

Masquerade Ball

A masquerade ball is a formal affair with a million opportunities to amaze guests. An event with this upscale gala theme should meet guests’ expectations with a formal welcome at the door. The theme should envelop guests as they enjoy every detail: luxurious décor, a delectable menu, and entertainment that exceeds their expectations. The exact choice for the latter depends on the target audience; a professional can help narrow down masquerade ball themed entertainment options.

Theater

A gala with a theater theme should provide drama in every event detail. This event theme should use dramatic colors that make guests feel like they are attending a wonderful performance. The atmosphere should start at the door with paparazzi making guests feel like stars or showgirls welcoming them to the show. Once in the door, the mood should continue with dramatic touches and over-the-top entertainment.

gangster and flapper entertainers

Roaring 20’s

A roaring 20s theme should transport guests back to a speakeasy with an arresting flair. The mood of this gala theme isn’t complete with period décor and bold entertainment. The latter should start with entertainers who look and act the era—perfect for photo opps! The entertainment doesn’t have to stop there; a phone call to a professional can produce a swinging band that jazzes up the occasion.

entertainers at nautical themed corporate event

Under the Sea

An under the sea theme demands over-the-top décor and entertainment. This event theme should make guests feel like they are diving into an experience, and deliver the best parts of the experience. When choosing an event venue is part of the process, an aquarium is the perfect backdrop (though this themed atmosphere can be created at any building).

aerialist serving drinks at charity event

Tasting

A wine or ale tasting delivers the best local tastes—and every part of the sensory experience. This is an event that can be as formal as the occasion dictates; every element of the event should be coordinated and cohesive. As such, the event entertainment ideas for this theme vary from a unique server to acrobats to an orchestra or band.

Movie Theme

A movie theme can reflect the latest trends in movies or elicit all the feelings of a classic cinematic flick. There are numerous opportunities for bringing a movie atmosphere to life, such as with significant menu dishes or a fun photo opp.

20 Holiday Event Entertainment Ideas that Make Guests Merrier

A holiday event, whether retail or corporate, requires entertainers that suit the occasion and the audience. Because of the variety of events and audiences, the options for holiday event themes and entertainment are endless.

The first step is to set a goal for the event and confirm important details. This step can be as simple as setting a date and time (when the venue is already set) or as involved as finding a venue with the right logistics that fits the target audience. Either way, there are numerous choices for holiday event entertainment that are suitable for a mail or store event or fit perfectly into a themed holiday corporate party. (Contact an event entertainment professional to find the right entertainer for the guest list.)

grinch character for holiday parties

Characters

  • Father Christmas
  • Elves
  • Grinch
  • Toy Soldier
  • Gingerbread Boy
  • Scrooge

Main Stage

  • Holiday Theater Show
  • Dueling Pianos
  • Country Christmas Band
  • Dance Band
  • Jazz Band (perfect for a jazz holiday lounge)
  • Magician
  • Mentalist
  • Comedian
  • Steel Drum Band (for a tropical holiday theme)

Atmospheric

  • Face Painters
  • Event Painter
  • Ice Bar
  • Carolers
  • Classic Ensemble

30+ Amazing Corporate Event Entertainment Ideas

aerialists at corporate eventYour customers and employees expect more from your corporate event entertainment. These incredible entertainment ideas meet—and surpass—those high expectations. Best yet, this list is just the start of an endless list of possible event entertainers that can take any corporate event to the next level.

While guests appreciate creative corporate event entertainment ideas, the best way to impress guests is to choose the right event entertainer. The best entertainer fits the event and guest demographic (and may take a professional to find).

Theme Entertainment

Crown of Thrones Entertainment

throne from corporate event

Movie Characters

Showgirls

Jockey (Perfect for Kentucky Derby Theme and photo opps)

derby entertainer at corporate event

Ship Captains (and other nautical-themed entertainers)

entertainers at nautical themed corporate event

Diner Entertainers

1950s entertainers at corporate event theme

Game Show

game show for corporate events

Gangsters and Flappers

gangster and flappers at chicago corporate event

Brazilian Dance Troupe

dance group at adult-only company picnic

Main Stage Entertainment

Performance Art

Jazz Band

Mentalist

Comedians

Country Band

R&B Band

Dueling Pianos

Steel Drum Band

Atmosphere Entertainers

Mariachi Band

marchiachi band for cinco de mayo

Champagne Girl (mixing food service and entertainment)

mardi gras entertainer with pink and purple dress and drink servers on the skirt

Aerial Entertainers

aerialist at event hanging from ceiling

Carnivale Server

carnivale themed table lady

Celebrity Impersonators

celebrity impersonators at corporate event

LED Entertainers

glow in the dark performer

Barbershoppe Quartet

barbershop quartet

Holiday Entertainment

Toy Soldier

toy soldier at holiday event

Father Winter

Father Christmas entertainer for office holiday parties

Elves

troop of elves and holiday entertainers for holiday parties

Holiday Show

office holiday party entertainers

Carolers

holiday party carolers in chicago IL

Characters

grinch character for holiday parties

Family Entertainment

Face Painters

child with holiday facepaint for corporate christmas holiday party

Balloon Sculptors

balloon sculptures at grand opening chicago il

Magicians

Jugglers

juggler for corporate events

10 (Unique) Wedding Entertainment Ideas You Haven’t Thought Of

happy just married young couple celebrating with wedding entertainment ideasWe all have seen the traditional wedding reception entertainment: a good DJ or one of the best wedding bands that can create a special atmosphere.  For couples that want to go beyond the traditional wedding entertainment, there are a number of unexpected (and fun) wedding entertainment ideas that can take your wedding day over the top.  (If you want more unique ideas, contact us. We’ll find the perfect wedding entertainment for your ceremony and reception.)

Magicians

Your union is a magical experience; why not share that sentiment with your guests?  Hire a magician to entertain your youngest guests in a separate room, or to fill time between your dinner and wedding reception.

Artist

wedding artist painting picture of receptionAn artist is an unexpected wedding entertainment idea that is perfect for a formal or a picnic wedding. A wedding artist can give you a memento of your big day that you can hang on your wall forever.  At a picnic wedding, an artist can face paint your young—and more experienced (adult)—for fun wedding photos that you’ll have for years to come.

Yard Games

If you want fun outdoor wedding entertainment, crack out the traditional yard games: corn hole, lawn dice, tic tac toe (on steroids), ring toss, outdoor bowling, etc.  Put out yard games to keep your guests entertained before your band takes over, or contact an entertainment agent for entertainers to create a fun carnival atmosphere at your wedding. (Remember, due to our unpredictable Midwestern weather, make sure you have a plan B.)

Hayrides

Nothing beats a hayride at a rustic wedding venue.  It’s the perfect entertainment for all your guests, both young and old.  One tip: make sure your hayride is safe, and your venue has adequate insurance for the occasion.

Mariachi Band

For a fun Mexican or beach-themed wedding, hire a Mariachi band to make your guests feel like they’re on vacation.  To enhance the theme, add a piñata to your list of wedding entertainment ideas to enhance your wedding atmosphere.

Bowling

Lawn bowling or a venue with classic bowling options…you’re guests’ll always remember your union as a strike!

Greeters

wedding entertainer with formal red dress and head piece as a wedding entertainment ideaTo establish your theme before your guests enter, hire statement entertainers to greet your guests and circulate through the crowd.  Ask your entertainment agent about entertainers specific to your theme, such as flappers and gangsters for your vintage event.

Bubbles and a coloring table and…

Don’t forget about entertainment for the kids at your wedding.  We’ve listed a few wedding entertainment ideas that your young guests—and their parents—will appreciate!

Fireworks

End your big night with a bang.  Make sure your guests now about it so you can enjoy it together.  For a plan B wedding entertainment idea (the weather, remember?), contact the professionals who have the experience to make your night a big bang everyone’ll remember—even if it’s pouring outside.

5 Tips for Selecting the Right Ceremony Music

wedding ceremony sheet musicYou’re engaged! Congratulations. Let the wedding planning begin, including selecting the songs that play while you walk down the aisle. Your ceremony music is one of the first parts of your wedding that your guests experience, so make sure you give your ceremony music the due attention it deserves and don’t let your big day (or your guests) down. Here are five tips to help you choose the ceremony music—and the musicians—that makes your wedding ceremony even more meaningful.

Know how much ceremony music you need/want.

Every wedding is unique; the amount of songs vary but we can talk in generalities. Typically, your ceremony music consists of prelude, processional, and recessional music, and any interlude songs that are played during special moments during the ceremony (lighting a unity candle, etc.).

  • Prelude music is soft background music played as guests enter and are seated.
  • As the wedding party enters, there are usually two songs played during the processional. The second processional song is a more joyous song signifying the bride’s entrance and walk down the aisle.
  • During the recessional, a louder song is played as the bride and groom exits followed by softer music as the guests leave (called postlude music).

If you’re holding the wedding in a religious setting, ask about ceremony music restrictions.

Don’t wait to do this important step; ask first so you can avoid heartache later. Talk to the coordinator at your ceremony venue, or discuss any limitations with your officiant. If your service is in a church, synagogue, or temple, ask about hymns or traditional religious music that was played at other weddings.

Consider your ceremony setting.

The amount of, type, and kind of ceremony musicians you hire depends on a lot of different factors. If your wedding ceremony is outside, you may need more musicians to ensure that you have adequate volume. For a small, intimate, interior ceremony setting, a quartet may be overwhelming—and, from a practical standpoint, there may not be adequate room for your musicians. If you are unsure, contact a professional who can select the right professional musician or musicians appropriate for your wedding and coordinate all the details.

Your music is your choice.

Don’t feel limited by traditional songs. For example, just because your mother walked down the aisle to Pachelbel’s Canon in D doesn’t mean you have to do the same. We found this list of songs to work from; don’t be afraid to ask an entertainment agent for quality musician and song suggestions (they can draw on their experience to make modern, contemporary or traditional recommendations for music). Good musicians have the experience and skill to play a variety of songs that you choose.

Don’t hire amateur musicians.

You don’t want just any hack musician setting the mood for your special day. This is the time when you are committing to your wedding partner formally, and you shouldn’t have to settle for amateur musicians who haven’t touched an instrument since grade school. Instead of relying on a ‘friend of a friend’ who may or may not have the skills to play at your ceremony (do you know for sure?), contact an entertainment agent who can choose skilled professionals perfect for your ceremony, venue, and budget.