All your questions answered.
Booking A Band
How much does it cost to book a band?
The price of hiring a band can start at around £600 and can go all the way up to £5000 or more. Live wedding bands can sometimes cost more than party or corporate bands but generally, a good three-piece band will cost between £600 and £900, 4 piece bands £800 to £2000 and 5 piece bands or larger can start from £1000 and go right up to £5000 or more. You have to take into account possible website commission costs and any bands petrol costs and other expenses. Off-peak and peak season price fluctuations are also very common so before booking any band, ask about all these possible extra costs first.
How do I hire a band near me?
There are quite a few ways to hire a band in your area but one of the safest and most popular ways is to book a band online either directly or through a third-party representative. You can book any type of live wedding band, party act or corporate entertainment online safely and securely. Most good websites will show bands that can either travel to you or are based near you and you should be able to compare prices and options and pick the best band for you.
Is it safe to book a band online?
If you book a band online make sure they have great reviews, good, up to date promotional material and honest and comprehensive pricing. Whether they have a representative or not, good communication and professionalism from the off should be expected. Make sure you have a robust contract in place with any band you hire so you are fully protected.
How do I make a booking?
Firstly, select the entertainment you’re interested in and either submit an online enquiry. We’ll then discuss your requirements and get a confirmed quote directly from the artist. Once you’re 100% happy that the artist is right for you, we’ll issue a booking contract to you and the artist. You then pay a small deposit which can be made by BACS, internet transfer or cheque. In some cases, the remaining balance is payable directly to the artist on the day of the event. You can make payment in advance to Seventh Second if you prefer and we hold your payment for security in our ‘client’ account, releasing payment to the artist only after the event. Back to the top of the page.
I feel unsure booking an act online that I’ve not seen before, can you reassure me?
We totally understand the concerns about booking an artist you’ve not seen before. However, there are two very good reasons why you shouldn’t worry.
1. Seventh Second exists so that you don’t have to do all the hard work of vetting bands and artists yourselves. We do all that for you and only represent those who pass our strict vetting procedure. If you are concerned about quality, don’t be. All the artists we work with are pre-vetted and continually monitored by ourselves to ensure quality is maintained. Most acts we have known and worked with for many years. Our artists are totally professional and have too much at stake to let us or you down.
2. Every artist has photos, audio examples and references from previous customers to view on their unique Seventh Second web page. The feedback from other happy clients is one of the best ways to calm your nerves and you can hear what each band sounds like from their online audio demos and most have videos for you view them in action. We all make ‘blind’ booking decisions when we book a hotel room or holiday and as with web sites such as TripAdvisor.com, Seventh Second allows you to be guided by the feedback of previous customers. As for any concerns about booking with Seventh Second, our previous customer references also speak for themselves. You also have the added security of a comprehensive booking contract and 24-hour emergency support.
What security do I get if I book one of your acts?
When you book live entertainment with Seventh Second you get a comprehensive booking contract. This contract legally binds the artist to perform at your event, it confirms exactly what the artist will provide and at what times and it also binds the artist to provide a high quality of service and behaviour. This contract is legally binding and cannot be cancelled unless someone dies or is seriously ill. If one of the artists is seriously ill or injured, Seventh Second operates a 24-hour emergency hotline so we can be contacted to make alternative arrangements. This could include arranging an alternative artist or helping the band to replace an injured member. Our out of hours emergency hotline is permanently staffed by 3 members of staff so no matter what time of day you call it will always be answered. We will also be on hand to help with any questions or queries up to and after your event.
What if the act cancels?
The contract is not cancellable without consent from both you and the artist, or unless a situation arises which would be covered by the standard force majeure clause. The force majeure clause from the contract states:“In cases of ‘Force Majeure’ (which shall be known as war, fire, death, illness or other capacity certified by a properly qualified medical practitioner, epidemic, accident, civil commotion, national calamity, order of Government or Local Authority having jurisdiction in the matter, changes in law, foreign government policy, act of God), which are not attributable to any act or failure to take preventive action by the ‘artist’ or ‘client’, then the ‘artist’ or ‘client’ may cancel this booking without penalty other than loss of deposit.” In laymen’s terms, this means that unless the artist dies, is seriously ill, or has an accident travelling to your event (and if none of the above is attributable to them failing to take preventative action) they can’t cancel your booking without being in breach of contract; for which you could sue them for substantial damages. Either way, you are 99.9% protected by Seventh Second’s 24-hour emergency service. One quick call from you or the artist and we would seek to provide a replacement artist.
What if I need to cancel or re-arrange?
As above, the contract is not cancellable without consent from both you and the artist, or unless a situation arises which would be covered by the standard force majeure clause (see above). Where if the artist breeches their contract you have the right to sue them for unlimited damages, if you cancel; the artist can claim only fixed amounts relevant to the remaining balance due to them and only then if they don’t manage to secure another booking elsewhere for the same date. The cancellation fee compensates them for loss of income. Therefore, they do not include expenses, fuel or travel costs. Bear in mind most people book 6-9 months in advance of an event, so if you need to cancel within this time frame, it’s unlikely that the artist will be able to secure another booking and you’ll end up having to pay for them anyway. If you are able to reschedule the event and can sign a new contract immediately, some artists may waive any cancellation fees due. If the artist is able to find another booking for the same date, they are only entitled to charge cancellation fees for losses incurred. Calculation of cancellation fees works as follows:
i) If you cancel after 48 hours of placing your booking and up to 3 months before the event, loss of deposit plus 50% of the remaining balance would be due to the artist.
ii) Within 3 months but before 2 months from the event, loss of deposit plus 75% of the remaining balance would be due to the artist.
iii) Within 2 months of the event, loss of deposit plus 100% of the remaining balance would be due to the artist.
Can I see the act live before booking?
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. Bands who regularly play at pubs are probably not the type you’d hire for an important private party as pubs don’t pay the money required for top quality acts. On the very rare occasion that an artist might be doing a public show, it’s impossible to guarantee that by the time the show takes place, that the artist will still be available for your event. 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, playlist, biography and references from other customers. I will also be able to offer my personal recommendation and many artists now also have a video which enables you to get a good flavour of their performance style.
Can I speak to or meet the act?
Once you’ve booked, the artist will contact you in the 3 weeks leading up to your event to discuss the finer details, ensure your requirements haven’t changed and finalise song preferences etc. If you need to speak to the artist before this it can be arranged but most liaisons before this point should be made via Seventh Second. We work on the artist’s behalf and this helps to ensure everything is properly noted on your enquiry/contract and not forgotten! Most artists will not make site visits as they are not necessary and they do not charge enough money to be able to afford to give up a day to do so. If there is an extraordinary circumstance which demands a site visit, it can be arranged and a fee would more than likely be charged to cover time and travel.
My venue has a sound limiter, will this be a problem?
Sound limiters spoil everyone’s fun. If you don’t know what they are, they are devices which measure the volume of sound in a room, then cut off the electricity supply if the sound volume remains above a pre-defined threshold for more than 10 – 20 seconds. If you can, book a venue that does not have a sound limiter fitted. If you are unlucky enough to have already booked a venue with a sound limiter you need to understand the following:
1. Bands are loud and not deliberately so. They will work with you to perform within the confines of a sound limiter but it’s not always possible if the limiter is set unworkably low. The band cannot turn down any lower than the unamplified volume of the drum kit. As you can imagine, a drum kit is quite loud even if it’s not being amplified by the band’s PA system. The minimum level the band can set their equipment to is so that the other instruments and vocals can be heard above the natural volume of the drum kit. This varies from band to band and from style to style. In modern pop/rock music, the drums are played in a lively, strong and energetic fashion. Therefore, pop bands are relatively loud. Jazz drummers often play with brushes and in a much more refined fashion so they don’t normally have trouble with sound limiters.
2. In many circumstances, as long as the venue see the band are making an effort to comply with the limiter, they will switch the limiter off or raise the threshold if problems persist.
3. If the limiter is set to a threshold of approx 95dB, most party bands should be able to play without too much trouble, depending on the location of the sound limiters microphone. Below 95dB and you run the risk of audience applause tripping out the electricity!!
4. A few bands offer the option of being booked with an electronic drum kit. These kits look like a normal drum kit but all the sounds are generated electronically. This means that the volume of the drums can be controlled much more easily as the drum pads themselves make little noise when hit, all the sound comes out of the PA speakers. Although, only a few bands offer this (see The League of Gentlemen), and because electronic drums sometimes sound slightly artificial, it’s best chosen as a last resort if your venue is really strict.
How loud will a band be? (See also sound limiters above)
The minimum level the band can set their equipment to is so that the other instruments and vocals can be heard above the natural volume of the drum kit. This varies from band to band and from style to style. In modern pop/rock music, the drums are played in a lively, strong and energetic fashion. Therefore, pop bands are relatively loud. Relative doesn’t mean much unless it’s in context. We’ve established that most party bands are going to be ‘quite’ loud and this would mean that if you are on the dance floor in front of the band’s PA system, it would be difficult to talk without having to speak directly into someone’s ear. However, unless they are at the peak of their set and playing a highly energetic song, you would expect to be able to talk with a raised voice 20-30 feet away. In ALL circumstances, a Seventh Second band should adjust the volume to suit you but bear in mind that they will only be able to adjust the volume to the natural level of the drum kit and this may still sound loud for very elderly guests. If you have any concerns about elderly guests, consider a swing band or rock n roll band as these should be slightly quieter than a standard rock and pop function band. In our experience, at weddings and parties it’s the grandparents who dance first, longest and hardest so don’t worry too much!
Will a band learn a first dance request?
In most cases, if the band offers this service it will be noted as a booking option on their profile page. If you are unsure please ask your agent. In many cases, if the song is not something the band feel they would perform again, they will charge a fee to cover rehearsal time and the hire of a rehearsal room. They will usually also only consider learning a song if it can be performed with their standard instrumentation. For example, it would be difficult for a guitar-based band to perform a convincing Frank Sinatra track without the piano and orchestra.
Can I pick which songs a band will play?
Most bands prefer that you select the songs from their playlist which you definitely do and don’t want, then leave them to structure your choices into a workable order. They will need to consider many variables in order to ensure their sets flow well and the singer will probably want to avoid having certain songs side by side. Feel free to make an input but let the band bring their considerable experience to bear when finalising the actual playlist for the evening.
How long does the band/act take to set up and how much space will they need?
If the band has good access to your venue (EG: no lifts or stairs, no more than 100ft to wheel their equipment) they should be able to load in, set up and sound check within 90 minutes maximum. Many bands can do this in 60 minutes. If your event is running late and you’ve arranged for the band to set up after speeches, they will still need the same amount of time to set up. This allocated to set up and sound check time is vital for the band to properly connect their equipment and get a good sound. Allow an absolute minimum of 1 meter across per person, but ideally 1.5 meters across per person. Allow 2 square meters for a drummer. EG: A 4 piece band with drummer, bassist, guitarist and vocalist will need an absolute minimum of 3 meters wide by 3 meters deep.
What is a ‘Rider’ and do I need to provide anything else for the act?
A rider is a list of contractual band requirements while they perform at your event. They include:
Somewhere to change comfortably would be appreciated and it helps if there are a mirror, electricity supply and comfortable chairs. Toilets are an absolute last resort. Ideally, the changing room should be secure so that the band can leave their day clothes and bags in there. This can also double up as a quiet space to go between performances. If no changing room is available, please let the band know in advance.
For afternoon musicians and entertainers, soft drinks, water, tea and coffee are usually fine. For the majority of party bands and evening entertainers, you will need to provide food and refreshments. This is referred to in your contract. In the case of most evening bands, the duration of their time away from home is approximately 12 – 16 hours, running from the time they leave home until the time they get home. Because of this, it’s important that they get a good meal, so hot food or access to a good quality buffet is always much appreciated. Sandwiches or a plate of chips is not ideal as this is likely to be what they ate for lunch on the way to your event and can hardly be expected to keep them going for another 6 hours. If for some reason it is impossible to cater to the band at your venue, let them know well in advance. Please ensure your hotel or catering staff are aware that the band needs to be catered for and that ideally their food should be provided immediately after their first performance. If the band are to help themselves to the buffet, it is also helpful if your caterers can plate this up separately so the band don’t have to queue for so long that they don’t have time to eat before their second set. Please also ensure that bar staff know soft drinks and tea/coffee are free for the band (or make arrangements for plenty to be provided in the bands changing room.) You DO NOT have to provide alcohol for the band; although a complimentary beer after they’ve finished sound check is likely to be much appreciated.
Why is Seventh Second different to the other entertainment agencies that I’ve seen online?
Seventh Second- we’re all about fun! We admit, we’re fun junkies! We’re all about the celebration, that special day, that perfect moment for you and your friends, family or colleagues. The meaning behind our name even symbolises a very poignant time in our lives too. We all desire a day which we’ll always remember, always look back at fondly and which makes us smile when we’re maybe not having the best of days and here at Seventh Second we’re bringing talented people together who help make those days unique. We’ve taken our years of performing experience and excellent connections to create this agency and over the years with our colleagues and friends entertaining you, we’ve got it pretty much sorted.
We will never have the biggest roster because we don’t feel bombarding you with too many options to think clearly helps you. Instead, we get to know our acts with many of them being friends of ours for years. This gives us peace of mind when recommending them to you as we know they won’t let us or more importantly you down. It also guarantees you a great quality act at a price they won’t offer anywhere else because as we all know, creating that amazing party, wedding, birthday or any other celebration can put a serious dent in the wallet. You will notice we don’t list a full price list either and that’s for one simple reason- we make bespoke prices just for. A unique, unbeatable price that we doubt you can refuse. Check the base rate for any function band, other act or event service on their individual page and then enquire about them to get your unique price!
Many entertainment and function band websites are confusing and crammed with way too much information so here at Seventh Second, we try to keep it clean and simple. Dealing with day to day life plus organising an event is complicated enough without our website scrambling your brain! Therefore, we hope you can navigate swiftly and peruse our function bands, entertainers and event services effortlessly and we certainly hope every page delivers all that crucial information. However, if you ever need clarification or just want every bit of info we can muster for you, we will happily send it to you if you can’t find it here.
Rest assured that the service we provide is the best to ensure you get exactly what’s right for you. Our enquiry and booking system kept simple and effective, with all customer correspondence, invoicing, contracts and notes organised our database system. All your requirements are noted, all requests accounted for, all emails and phone conversations compiled into one central hub so even if your appointed entertainment coordinator is out of the office, another member of staff can help without you having to repeat everything all over again. Because we can account for everything we do instantly, you can are emergency service which is permanently manned by three members of staff to ensure we are always available. We don’t just book entertainment and forget about it. We discuss your requirements in detail to ensure we fully understand your event and what you want from your entertainment. We explain in detail the differences between each artist you’re interested in and make recommendations for any we feel might be more suitable. We look in detail at timing and logistics to ensure absolutely nothing can go wrong and that you are fully informed as to exactly what you’ll get. We don’t pressure sell, we don’t try to push you to spend more money than your budget allows. We are an essential part of the entertainment booking process and our expert staff 24 hourWe also operate a foolproof, accurate and efficient. Booking with Seventh Second is the best way to ensure a fun, easy, stress-free event. We are a completely professional, ethical organisation. We do not operate a ‘get what we can’ pricing policy and our commission rates are set at a fixed percentage no matter how much money you have to spend. This ensures that the majority of the money you spend is going towards a quality live band and not the bosses next holiday. We also won’t book a band for you and then send you someone completely different. There are a lot of rogue traders out there who hide behind a reasonable looking web site. You’ll know who they are because they either don’t advertise their contact address or they don’t show any details of who’s behind their company
What are the benefits of booking live entertainment through Seventh Second?
1. Expert advice and guidance to ensure you’ll get exactly the right entertainment for you and that nothing goes wrong.
2. Fast efficient service ensures your questions are answered promptly and you always get as much help as you need, even after you’ve booked.
3. Safe, secure booking contracts ensure you won’t get messed around and the performance on the day exactly matches what you asked for.
4. 24-hour emergency service to ensure if the worst happens, someone is on hand to put things right.
5. Excellent value for money. We don’t allow artists to charge you more money just because they think they can get it. All artists’ fees are bespoke and the best deal the band or act can offer.
6. Established, reputable business – we plan to be around for a long time and won’t be disappearing as soon as we’ve got your deposit. Your booking is in safe hands.
7. High-quality artists – each act is either known by us for years already or vetted by us before we work with them. Each act is continually monitored to ensure quality and anyone who falls below par is removed from our web site.
8. Reliable artists – they have too much to lose by messing us around. They are all professional, ethical and have numerous references from previous clients to put your mind at rest.
9. Simple, efficient booking system – be rest assured that the service we provide is foolproof, accurate and efficient to ensure a stress-free event.
10. Easy to use – every step from enquiry to booking process is easy. No jargon, no stress, no hassles. Give us a try and see how easy and fun it is to book amazing live entertainment!
What payment methods do you accept?
We accept bank transfer, internet transfer and cheque. In some cases, you can pay the remaining balance to the band direct but all deposits must be paid to Seventh Second.
How do I amend a booking?
Simply speak to or email you us and we will arrange any changes to your booking. In some circumstances, EG: requesting the artist perform for longer or arrive earlier, additional costs may be incurred. It’s important that any amendments are reflected on your contract and this can only happen by Seventh Second re-issuing it (we don’t charge a fee for this). Do not agree with any amendments with the artist themselves otherwise they will not be covered by your old contract and there is a possibility amendment will be forgotten.
How do you select your acts and ensure quality?
In many cases, we personally know the artists we represent and have done for years. However, every artist must pass through our application system. 95% of applications are rejected. Our detailed artist application form must be completed in full. We initially look for a good quality demo CD and promotional materials (preferably including video), plus evidence of work at a professional level. We then interview each artist over the phone and gather further background information to satisfy ourselves that they are a professional act and will represent our agency well. If their application gets this far we then look for references from previous customers, gather feedback and pass their application over to the final stage with our MD.
In many cases, we will either go to see the band live or invite them to an audition at rehearsal rooms local to us. We have personally seen the majority of our most highly ranked artists. Subject to approval in this final stage, artists are accepted on a trial basis where they must prove themselves reliable, efficient and professional in their interactions with us and customers. Artists who do not meet the standards required will be deactivated. We ask for after event feedback from every Seventh Second customer and this detailed feedback about artist performance, attitude and behaviour is monitored by our team. Any negative comments, even minor gripes, are followed up with the artist and if comments are not taken on board and improved upon, the artist will be deactivated. It is not worth our reputation to work with artists who let the side down.
I’ve seen a local act but want to know the risks of booking outside an agency?
Although it may be tempting to book a local act there are several good reasons why it’s dangerous to your event and a false economy.
1. If you book any act directly, you have no real cover if anything goes wrong. If you don’t know the act already they’ll have no loyalty to you and no concerns about ruining their reputation by letting you down, as chances are there will be no way for you to damage their reputation. The biggest danger with booking an act direct, is them getting a better offer and pulling out of your event. They can’t do that when contracted via an agency. When booking through Seventh Second you are covered by a contract, the acts loyalty to us and the help of a professional, reputable organisation to sort out a replacement in the event of an emergency. We do care about our reputation and we won’t let you down.
2. A local act has no one to answer to but themselves, so quality control, behaviour, song choices, appearance, equipment quality are all totally ungoverned and unmonitored. With Seventh Second, acts have to first pass our strict application guidelines and then answer to us with every bit of feedback we receive from previous clients. This ensures you’ll get a reliable act and no nasty surprises.
3. Cheap local acts are likely to sound cheap. Professional function bands, entertainment and event services should have much better quality gear including PA systems, lighting, instruments and of course, better performance ability. Chances are you’re looking for live entertainment for an important event? Chances are you wouldn’t book the local chip shop owner to run the catering for your event? Why cut corners with the music and entertainment? You will notice the difference; you will wish you’d booked a quality act. Professional entertainment provides a totally different service to the acts who busk down the pub on a Thursday night.
4. If you pay a deposit to a local act and they split up, disappear or stop returning your calls, where are you going to go for help? You’ll end up coming to Seventh Second anyway and you’ll need to pay a deposit all over again. Book with us in the first place and you’ll have security and no danger of being messed around.
What if I have a complaint?
Although thankfully very rare, we have a very efficient system to ensure any complaints are looked after sensitively and thoroughly. If you have a serious complaint, you can discuss it with your booking agent who will formally put the complaint to the act. We usually do this in writing so that all issues are clear and accountable. They will mediate with the act and obtain their side of the story and this will also be put to you in writing. If the acts response and any offer of compensation are not to your satisfaction, your agent will continue to liaise between both parties until a satisfactory outcome can be agreed. If neither party can agree on a satisfactory resolution to the complaint, you will be fully entitled to take legal action against the act directly (most are represented by the Musicians Union) and your solicitor will be able to offer much more detailed legal advice than we are qualified to. If after investigation we feel an act has caused unnecessary and unavoidable inconvenience or distress to a customer, or should they not cooperate fully with a complaint procedure, we will remove them immediately from our web site. If you have a complaint about Seventh Second or your booking agent, this can be made directly to us.
I’m not sure which act I want, can someone help me?
Please submit an online enquiry for the most suitable act you’ve found so far and one of our band members will be happy to assist. We promise to respond within 48 hours excluding weekends. Once your enquiry has been made, the same member will look after you from start to finish so you’ll always deal with the same person and they’ll work with you to understand exactly what you’re looking for.
We’ll be able to make recommendations based on the information you provide and on any artist selections that you’ve already made. If you have found one artist you like, we can answer any questions you have about them and if required, discuss the differences between them and other similar artists so you can compare a range of options and quotes.
The more specific you can be about what you want the more easily we’ll be able to help. Think about what style of entertainment you want, what you want the entertainment to achieve (dancing, mood setting, ice breaking etc), how much you want to spend and how much space you have. Do you want lively, calming, modern, funky, sophisticated, cool, mature, young, vibrant etc? All these descriptions will help us to make a suitable recommendation.
Live Wedding Bands
How far in advance should I book a wedding band?
For you to get the wedding band you really want we suggest you look at booking them at least a year in advance. Booking a live wedding band any later than 6 months before your wedding could mean they are already booked up. Popular wedding bands get booked years in advance so when you see the band you want we suggest you book them quickly!
How much is a live band for a wedding?
Prices for live bands can vary wildly but wedding bands worth booking start from around £600 and can go all the way up to £5000 easily. A good three-piece live band can range from £600 to £900, 4 piece bands from £800 to £2000 and 5 piece bands or bigger can start from £1000 right up to £5000. You have to bear in mind extra petrol costs, other expenses and off-peak and peak season price fluctuations so for example, if you booked a 6 piece wedding band in the off-peak season that was based near to your venue they could actually cost less than booking a 3 piece band in peak season that’s based 100 miles away from your venue. It’s always worth asking any live wedding band or their representatives about discounts or offers too. For all the information and answers check out our in-depth post all about it HERE.
How long should a wedding band play for?
Typically, wedding bands play for 2 hours usually splitting that into 2×1 hour or 3×40 min sets. Over the standard 4 to 6 hour period that a wedding band stays with you, the live sets usually begin around 8 pm/8:30 pm and finish around 11:30 pm/12 am with background music or a DJ in between. Of course, once fully set up, any wedding band should be able to perform any type of set length at any time you need them to assuming you have agreed on it with them beforehand. Wedding bands do regularly perform for longer than two hours and often past 12 am if required.
When should you have music at your wedding?
You can have wedding music at any time during your wedding but the most popular and suitable times are at the wedding ceremony, drinks reception and most commonly at the evening party after the wedding breakfast. Having a fantastic live band during your evening party is the perfect way to celebrate getting married with friends and family.
Can wedding bands perform first dances?
Most wedding bands are happy to perform first dances at weddings provided the bride and groom discuss their song ideas with them beforehand. Not all songs can be replicated by live wedding bands so it’s always best to check with your band or their representatives first.