Should you consider Live entertainment for your next event?

At the stage of putting together an event, there are a lot of decisions for you to make. You need to decide on the date, the venue, the number of guests, the type of catering and, amongst many other things, the type of entertainment.

Each event is unique and its unicity should be celebrated and honoured. Whether you are organising a private party or a corporate dinner, we know that you want your event to be successful. You want your message to be delivered and your guests to enjoy their time and remember it beyond midnight.

The question of entertainment is therefore central.

The positive impact of live entertainment

At UPSTAGE we think of live entertainment as a key element to add value to any event, project, or production. Add value can mean many things depending on what the objective is, but we usually use live entertainment as a tool to achieve all sorts of “event objectives”. These could be:

  • To connect people,
  • To amaze,
  • To educate,
  • To inspire,
  • To entertain,
  • To make people see different perspectives,

And many more…

We all know how special it is to “live an experience live”. Have you ever watched a concert on television and then attended the concert live? Do you remember how strong and emotional the concert was, compared to watching it on TV?

The fact that a performance is happening live also brings a risk element to the moment: there is always a possibility that things may not go as planned. The audience and performers are vulnerable, delivering a show with their entire body, technical elements might not act as programmed, etc.

The human factor makes each show unique and brings a kind of “spice” to the experience, both for the spectator and the producer. And I must confess, as a creative producer myself, this uncertainty feeling is definitely my favourite part!

The different types of live entertainment

Live entertainment can take on many different forms and shapes. As soon as you have a human being performing in front of another human, this can be called live entertainment. But live entertainment is not just limited to singers and music performers (as most people might think), we can be as creative as we want in terms of entertaining your guests and help you deliver your goals.

It can happen with either a “passive” audience (the audience is just watching the performance/production) or “active” (where the audience and the guests are part of the show, having the live entertainment happening around them and sometimes even with them). See our article about Becoming Shades, the award-winning immersive circus show produced in London, by UPSTAGE.

A Master of Ceremony (MC) to animate the event

Having someone acting as a “Master of Ceremonies” playing a live character role at an event together with music is a basic element of live entertainment.

Think about the MC as the “conductor in an orchestra” keeping things together on top of the schedule. Add a DJ to play your favourite songs and you have the perfect combination. Put some musicians on top, and it’s a match made in heaven!

The MC will keep track of the time, make announcements about what’s coming next, encourage people to interact and it will also be the best asset to start and keep the party going (only applicable for specific events where required).

A DJ or band to bring the music to life

This might be the most well-known type of live entertainment. At Upstage, we offer endless musical combinations, but we have created the following proved and tested packages suitable for all types of events:


  • The first music package consists of our high energy DJ and MC “combo” to deliver a seamless event. We call this UPSTAGE DECKS.
  • For our second package, take the dream team of our DJ and MC and add interactive dancers to deliver crowd participation and get the party going. We call this UPSTAGE DANCE.
  • The full setup is our signature Live DJ which combines live musicians, DJs & MC. Live musicians can include any combination depending on the style of event (percussionist, violinist, pianist, saxophonist and more). We call this UPSTAGE LIVE.

Single performers to interact and surprise your guests

As we saw above, live entertainment doesn’t always happen “on stage”. You can have dancers mingling in the crowd but you can also have other types of performers to match your taste and theme of the event.

(Photography courtesy of Blake-Ezra Photography)

A live “contact juggler” is always an impressive asset to any occasion, bringing illusion and elegance for all generations. A contact juggler is a circus performer with a very unique skill, simulating illusions of constant movement with a crystal ball.

  • A single musician (such as Saxophonist or Violinist) entertaining guests at a drinks reception is an interesting feature as it helps set a certain atmosphere.
  • A “puppet ballerina”, welcoming your guests with delicate moves, on pointe shoes and those stunning “pas de bourrees” as people enter the room.
  • A football freestyler to impress the football aficionados (and less aficionados) in the audience, dancing with the ball like no other.

A theatre show to tell a story and move your audience

Now let’s talk serious business… I have been lucky enough to enjoy my work for over 10 years working in all sorts of production “scenarios”. However, what gives me the most pleasure is creating something from scratch.

When it comes to producing a “theatrical” piece for an event or project this is always something very exciting. Many times individuals or organisations are keen to transport their guests into a completely new world, a new atmosphere, and immerse them into their imagination. Why is this so positive? Because of the human connection and the impact that we can generate through storytelling is extremely powerful and unique.

If you are thinking of a creative way to deliver your message, or simply make sure your audience will step into a different world, from the moment they walk through the door until after they leave the site, talking to us about a “creative concept” might be the right path for you.

As a short example — a while ago I was approached by a charity to create a full 4-piece production telling the story of how generations of Eastern-European travelled across the world to arrive in their “holy land” and fulfil their ancestors’ vision.

The production took place at the magnificent Royal Albert Hall with over 5000 audience members.

Not only I worked with my team in creating bespoke costumes, choreography and music edition to suit the brief, but also we included in the show a live Klezmer band, an orchestra and a choir. This made a total of over 200 performers onstage for the grand finale which concluded a unique event celebrating a pivotal moment in history.

Bespoke vs Off the shelf

I call “off-the-shelf” something that is already created as an entertainment product and is ready to be used in an event straight away. The difference with a “bespoke” concept is that the latter one is tailor-made for a specific client from start to finish.

Bespoke costumes

Costumes are an important element of any type of entertainment as they bring another dimension to the end product.

The process of developing something tailored-made might involve different stages (brainstorming, design, production, rehearsals, composing, technical elements, etc) and it’s incredibly fun and enjoyable to do both for our team and our clients.

As you can imagine, this process takes longer than something already created but we can assure you it is worth it 100% and the final product is always mind-blowing!

Bespoke room design

To have a big impact on an audience, we don’t always need something to be big, bold and large. I believe sometimes it comes down to HOW something is done, rather than WHAT is being done.

Having a bespoke design can include unique stages and backdrops as well as podiums or any other elements of decoration in the room. But sometimes, the most impressive bespoke creations are made in the details and personalisation of our/your ideas.

A while ago, at UPSTAGE we produced an event for a private client, and we were not only in charge of the overall event production and management but also the creation specifically of the live entertainment for the evening.

One of the concepts consisted of a tailor-made branded “mind-reader booth” which was designed in with the event theme including a live performer to interact with the audience as they wandered through the room.

We added an additional layer to the “booth” by using a technical design so that every person had an exclusive barcode printed on their name cards. By scanning their barcode, each one of them received a tailored message. The message was projected into a crystal ball to wow them and create a “magical” atmosphere throughout.

Have you thought about telling your company story through a dance or theatre performance? Or how about making your charity appeal through a live act?

Upstage is much more than an agency. We are STORYTELLERS, ENTERTAINERS and MEMORY MAKERS. We love to create, design, produce and run your event, transforming what could be an ordinary day into an extraordinary moment for you and your guests. Our office is always open and we are happy to arrange a meeting to speak more about your ideas, thoughts and vision.

(Photography courtesy by Jeremy Coleman Photography)

For more information on UPSTAGE: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Website

Originally published at




Award Winning Creative Producer, Choreographer & Master of Ceremonies / Founder & Director at Upstage Creative Ltd. Argentine living in London

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Ilai Szpiezak

Ilai Szpiezak

Award Winning Creative Producer, Choreographer & Master of Ceremonies / Founder & Director at Upstage Creative Ltd. Argentine living in London

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