FAQs - England & Wales
Congratulations! You're having a party, wedding or event and you want the finest live entertainment to help you celebrate. Here are some useful things you need to know.
How Long Will A Band Take To Set Up
Most bands are able to set up in around an hour. Some of this time can depend on access to their performance area and how easy or difficult this is. There are some larger bands that ask for a little longer to get set up and if you are pushed for time, some bands can be set up quicker than this.
When Will A Band Set Up
A band would usually look to set up in the early evening for you. For a wedding this is often after your wedding breakfast (if in the same room) or during if it is in a separate space. For a party or event they can often set up before your guests arrive. Standard pricing is based on arrival from around 6pm for most bands.
A band can get in very discreetly, even during your meal if you need. If getting in after your meal they will make sure background music is put on from the PA as soon as possible so that you have music in the room quickly.
Many bands can even set up without making a loud sound check so they don't disturb you.
How Long Will A Band Play For
As standard most bands play for 2 hours during the evening. This can be 2x1hr or 3x40 minute sets, you can chose depending on what works best for your evening.
Many bands do also have options for additional sets. Just ask your Hireaband contact for any options for this
What Happens When The Band Are Not Performing
Most bands provide a complimentary unmanned DJ service when they are not performing. This will be tried and trusted party music played from a laptop or iPod etc. The band can usually include some requests taken in advance on here for you as well.
Many bands also have options to provide a more dedicated 'manned DJ' service as well if you prefer.
There is also the option for you to provide a playlist for the band to put on / plug into their system. Many people like this option as they can prepare their own playlists before the event.
Can My Band Work With A Sound Limiter
Most bands can work with sound limiters, but this can vary depending on where the limiter is set. If you are unsure then check with your venue and let us know. As a bit of a rule, anything 96db or over is ok for most covers bands. Anything below this and it might take a specific type of band with an option of electronic drums to be able to play within the limits.
We are happy to speak with your venue to make sure that any requirements are met and the band are prepared for you.
If a band cannot play to a venue's limiter then we will let you know and always help out with options of bands who can work with your venue.
Have a look at this handy Hireaband guide to sound limiters.
What If My Band Cancel or Don't Turn Up
Hireaband only works with entertainers with a professional and courteous attitude. Every aspect of your booking is contracted and confirmed in writing. Bands cannot cancel a booking for any reason other than serious illness for which we require relevant certificates. We perform meticulous checks through the life of the booking right up to the week of the engagement. We are therefore aware of any problems before they become an issue affecting the performance. Worst case scenario would be if the band are involved in an accident or break down on the way to an engagement (this has never happened yet) in this case we would do everything in our power to provide some form of entertainment. Hireaband has access to an enormous pool of talented entertainers plus we also operate a genuine emergency phone number which is always manned - it's 03330 112 221 or 07595 542 279. However, despite some claims to the contrary, no agency can guarantee to cope with every eventuality although every possible effort is guaranteed.
That said, not once in our 20+ years in business have we left a wedding or event without entertainment.
What Will The Band Wear
Most bands are dressed in a smart casual manner. As a guide, what you see in their photos and videos is roughly what they will be wearing on the night.
If you do have a special theme or dress requirement then always ask and more often than not a band can accommodate.
Can We See A Band Live
In most circumstances this is not possible as we work with bands and artists specialising in performances at private functions. By the nature of the fact that they are private, we cannot obtain access.
On the very rare occasion that an artist might be doing a public show, it’s impossible to guarantee that the artist will still be available for your event by the time the public show takes place. The best artists get booked very quickly so if you find one that you like, you are much safer basing your decision to hire on the strength of their demos, play list, biography and references from other customers.
Some bands however, do play some public events, so feel free to ask us if they have coming up.
Can We Speak Directly To The Band
Yes. We always put you in touch directly with the band around 12 weeks before the date of your booking. This is the time to speak about any finer details with them and let them know of a first dance or special song request.
Can I Pick What Songs The Band Will Play
We recommend that you pick any favourites from a band's songs list, any you really may not like and then leave them to pick the rest. The bands we work with are experts in reading a room and judging what you and your guests want during the evening. Some bands even take requests on the night and love some crowd interaction, you don't want to lose this by having a prescribed list of songs.
If a band doesn't have a song listed on their repertoire that you really love, then this is the perfect time to make sure it is on any playlist that goes on for the times the band are not performing.
Should I Provide Food & Drink For The Band
Yes please. However, this does not need to be the food and drink that you are having! For most events the catering team will provide 'crew meals' for bands, photographers and anyone else working at your event or wedding. If this is not the case then there are often non expensive options to provide the band with some hot food. If you have an evening buffet then you can include them in this as well.
For drinks, some soft drinks are greatly appreciated for the band, but at the very least we request plenty of water during their performance.
If any of this isn't possible then always let us know and arrangements can often be made around it. The worst thing is for a band to arrive expecting some food and there being nothing (or just a small sandwich).
Will A Band Learn A First Dance
Most wedding bands are happy to learn a first dance or special request for no additional charge provided they are given sufficient, reasonable notice. However, there are some situations where a band may not be able to do this or feel it is not the right option, these include:
- If the band uses tracks to supplement their sound - creating whole new tracks is a lot more work and they may not be able to undertake this without charges
- If the song is not appropriate for the band to play - We have seen some very interesting requests over the years ranging from classical music to obscure heavy metal. If a band cannot do a song justice with their instrumentation setup they will recommend playing the record
- If you are learning a choreographed dance - This is more for you than the band. Sometimes, if you are nervous a band will recommend that the 'safety' of the track that you have practiced to many times would be a better option for you.
In any instance where the band do not play the first dance live, they will be ready to start their first song as soon as the first dance finishes. You will not be left with an awkward silence after the first dance, it will be completely seamless into the band's first song as if they had been playing live the whole time, and everyone will still be on that dancefloor.
I Feel Nervous Not Seeing A Band Before Booking, Can You Help
At Hireaband, we are run by people who have worked in the entertainment industry for decades. Our Directors are musicians themselves who have very high standards as to who we work with. We only work with bands and artists who are of the highest possible standard. This high standard is not just in musicianship, but professionalism as well.
We vet every band personally and do not work with anyone who is not superb at what they do. It is an absolute privilege for us to work with so many great people.
All of the bands that you see will have audio, video, reviews and songs lists for you to see. These are real reviews from previous customers and the videos and audio are a great representation of a band's real performance.
We have many bands applying to work with us and we reject a lot more than we accept. If a band clearly has audio that is not 'real' then we will not work with them. We understand that it is important that what you see is what you get with every band on our website.
What Payment Methods Do You Accept
You can pay your reservation fee by credit/debit card, BACS/CHAPS or internet transfer. Please note, we do not accept American Express (AMEX).
The Balance Payment can be paid via bank transfer 30 days before the date of your event
What Time Will The Band Turn Up / Play
As standard for most bands, the fee is based on then turning up no earlier than 6pm to be set up by 7pm. Once they are set up they can be ready to play for you at any time up until midnight.
The recommendation is to not have your band on too early in the evening. When planning your timings bear in mind things like evening guests arriving and any evening food being served. Of course every event is different, but having the band ending the night is usually the preference.