1. The Admin Side

What should you check with your venue before booking?
Some venues are more live music-friendly than others, so here’s what we recommend checking:

  • Any sound level restrictions (we suggest asking specifically whether they have a noise limiter)

  • Any earliest or latest live music performance times

  • Do they have preferred audio production supplier(s), and are you obliged to use them

  • Any restrictions on the time of day that gear can be loaded in or out

  • If they have a stage, ask for dimensions. If they don’t have a stage, ask for guide dimensions for the recommended stage area.

 

How do the contract and deposit/remainder invoices work?

Once you're ready to confirm your booking, we’ll send you a short questionnaire of key info such as your name & address, venue address and top-level event timings. We'll use these to build your contract, sent to you for e-signing via Hellosign (all very easy!) Please make sure you’re happy with all the information shown on the contract before signing as it's much harder to make changes once signed. 

 

When we send your contract we’ll also email you with your deposit invoice, the band’s dressing room rider (if applicable), and their technical rider (if you’re booking audio production yourself). You'll be billed a 50% upfront deposit to confirm the band, and the 50% remainder will be due 30 days before your event. (If you’re booking for an event less than 30 days away we’ll just bill 100% invoice up front.) 

 

Deposit payment FAQs:

  • Payments should be made by BACS transfer where at all possible - please advise if you need to post a cheque so we can confirm our current postal address

  • Funds are held in our client account and will not be paid out until your event has taken place

  • We apologise that we can'tt accept card payments over the phone or PayPal.

 

Contract FAQs:

  • We can only work to our own contracts which are designed by our legal team to offer maximum protection to both our customers and our acts. 

What happens once you’ve booked the band?
As soon as we’ve received both your signed contract and your cleared deposit payment, your booking's confirmed - congratulations! If you're booking audio production through your own suppliers, please introduce us to them by email as soon as possible (please see Audio Production). If not, we’ll be in touch in the month leading up to your event to send you your remainder invoice and pull together the finer details for the band's schedule. 

 

Putting together your schedule

We'll send you a second, more detailed questionnaire in the weeks leading up to your event including questions such as band meal arrangements, contact details, reconfirmation of precise set times, parking and loading access, and more. We recommend that working schedule versions/updates are not shared with us until this stage unless they affect the high-level details already agreed in the contract, to help avoid confusion. Please ensure all details have reached us at least 1 week before your event (ideally more) for the final version circulated to the band. We like to be as thorough as possible to minimise questions on the day!

Who will be looking after your booking?

Once your enquiry moves to contracting stage you’ll be introduced to your booking manager, who will be your primary point of contact from then on. You may also hear from our director Ursula to say hello and help with any more complex questions. If you have booked production through your own supplier, you’ll likely be introduced to Guilhem who looks after our technical advance work and will work with your production company to ensure everything runs smoothly on the tech side. Find out more about our team on the LMI Team page of our website!

 

Unlike many agents, our office team are trained to answer questions in-depth about every aspect of our bands’ shows and sets, from individual personnel to repertoire and more, so you won’t be in touch with band members directly. This is the best way for us to ensure that you get clear, prompt and thorough correspondence, and that nobody drops out of the loop at any stage.

A week or so prior to your event, your booking manager will provide you with an on-the-day mobile phone number for the person who will be your point of contact on site on the event day. Typically this will either be the bandleader, the audio production crew member (if we’re providing your production), or a member of the LMI team (if one is attending – typically larger events only). We politely ask that this number be used only on your event day and not before or afterwards; on business days a member of the office team will be delighted to help.

2. What happens if….?

 

You need to change your event timings

It’s usually fine for musicians to be flexible about set start and finish times, within certain parameters – we know events can run late, and we’ll be as accommodating as possible of changes on the day. Fees are based on overall call time on site, so substantial changes to the following post-contract would usually involve a surcharge:

  • Moving forward arrival time for sound check

We’ll calculate what time the musicians need to arrive for sound check working backwards from when your guests arrive in the event room and building in suitable contingency.

  • Extending overall playing duration

Playing duration will be agreed with you prior to contracting; many of our acts are happy to increase this at a surcharge (up to a notional maximum).

  • Moving back cut-off time for finish

Where possible we’ll build in suitable contingency after your expected finish time to determine latest finish cut-off. Whether this cut-off can be extended will depend on musicians’ estimated arrival times back at their homes.

  • Changing load-in and load-out times if audio production is booked through LMI.

If audio production is being booked through LMI then changes to production arrival time for load-in, reductions to the load-in window or extensions to the get-out time may be subject to a surcharge. We recommend checking with your venue to find out if there are any restrictions on earliest arrival time for load-in or latest time for get-out before booking.


You would like to increase or reduce your band size

Many of our bands offer flexible lineup sizes, and given enough notice we’ll generally be delighted for you to add further musicians post-contract, which we will quote and bill you for separately. If you decide to reduce your band size post-contract we would generally need to retain any deposit already received, or bill you in full for that musician if you are cancelling them within 90 days before the event.

You need to cancel your booking
Our cancellation policy is shown in greater detail in our contract: we’ll be happy to share T&Cs with you pre-contract if you would like to check these in advance. In brief, if you give us notice of cancellation more than 90 days before your event then we would retain your deposit; if within 90 days before your event then you would owe the full fee. We’re able to work with the best bands and musicians in the business because they trust us to honour cancellation fees, and will turn away other work offers on your event day on that basis, so we need to operate a strict cancellation policy.

The band needs to cancel your booking

Our bands take cancellation extremely seriously, and cancelling a booking is something we have almost never had to do in 15 years booking hundreds of bands each year. Because all our acts have top-level fully rehearsed deputy musicians for each role, a situation in which a full band would need to cancel a booking is highly unlikely. If such a situation arose, we would of course promptly reimburse all funds received: our cancellation policy is shown in greater detail in our contract T&Cs (available on request).

A musician has to cancel due to illness or emergency

Illness or dropouts for other emergency reasons are very rare, and due to our fail-safes we've never yet failed to supply a full band for a booking. All LMI bands have top-level fully rehearsed deputy musicians for each role and our team would drop everything to ensure this gap was filled swiftly. If replacing a musician were to involve booking fresh transport we would of course take care of payment and arrangements for this.
In the highly unlikely event that a musician named in the contract (i.e. a solo artist or band with a named bandleader) is affected, we would notify you immediately and do our utmost to put in place an equivalent musician for you. Should you choose not to book your replacement through LMI, you would of course be promptly reimbursed all funds received (per our contract T&Cs).

3. The Music


What kind of music will the band play?
Most LMI bands include a sample repertoire on their websites, which should give you a good feel of the range of styles and type of artists they cover. If the band you’re interested in booking doesn’t provide this information on their website, please drop us a note and we’ll be happy to share a sample set list.

How long will the band play for?

Typical set length varies from band to band and from event to event, but as a guide most party bands expect to offer 1 x 1 hour & 1 x 45 minute set within standard rates, and most background bands expect to offer 2 x 1 hour sets. Most (though not all) bands are able to extend at a small surcharge: please let us know how much time you need covering and we’ll be happy to quote accordingly.

We’re sometimes asked whether our bands can cover much longer performances. We’ll be happy to discuss this with you and will do everything we can to accommodate your needs while being conscious of committing musicians to physically exhausting schedules.

 

How many songs will they play?
Live songs are rarely a fixed length, however as a guide, party band songs tend to last around 4-5 minutes / background music around 5-6 minutes. An example 90 minute party set would therefore contain a little under 25 full-length songs.

Background band set lists
Bands or musicians booked for a background set will typically play this by ear on the day, reading your guests’ reactions and what feels right for the setting, which makes for the strongest performances. They will draw from a large memory bank of repertoire options, some of which will be their own versions or arrangements of popular classics. We politely ask customers to leave this selection as much as possible in the band’s hands – they've road-tested their material in many settings over many years to know what works best (and what doesn’t)!

Of course, if you’d like to pass on any ‘must haves’, likes or dislikes in terms of genres or particular artists/songs, we’ll be more than happy to share these with the band.

Party band set lists
We're very happy to work with you to put together a set list you love for your big night! Our party bands will work from your guest demographics to draft up a set list drawn from their repertoire which we'll share with you* together with plenty of spare options that can be swapped in. Many of our clients find they're very happy with the first draft, but of course if not we'll keep going 'til you are!

Building a great set list is a surprisingly complex process and a big part of a band's expertise, so we politely recommend that you trust our acts' knowledge of what works best as far as possible. They have huge experience of the tracks guaranteed to fill a dancefloor, with their versions often faster and funkier than the originals, and also of which tunes suit specific singers best, key- and tempo-matching for segues, medleys, choreographed moments, building towards a climax, and much more. 


Bands typically produce set lists for each event a couple of weeks beforehand, working from the latest version of their repertoire at a given time. If you would like to see and discuss your set list before your event, please let us know at least 1 month before your event so we can schedule this in with the band.

Special requests

Most of our bands are happy to prepare 1 special request that's not on their repertoire list gratis (often a first dance), and to quote minimally for additional requests. Most requests can be catered but this will be subject to band approval to make sure the style and instrumentation works. Please give at least 1 month’s notice before your event if you have a special request. 

4. Audio production

 

For a great party, a good-quality PA system is just as important as an amazing band. We’ll work with you to figure out the best option for your PA based on your event size, venue and budget.

 

By "audio production" we mean all of the sound equipment needed to amplify your act: this includes the PA (speaker) system, monitors, microphones and cabling, and in many cases a sound desk and engineer. Audio production is essential for all amplified acts but may not be needed for acoustic/background bands - we'll have mentioned in our initial quote if this is on top. Some bands can provide their own PA systems suitable for limited guest numbers and smaller lineups; for other acts (or for larger guest numbers) audio production will need to be booked through a dedicated supplier. We would strongly encourage you to let LMI look after this part of the booking for you through one of our preferred suppliers - their pricing is unbeatable and we trust them to do a great job!

LMI books your audio production through an approved supplier

What quality of system will you get?
As with bands, suppliers vary enormously in quality and sadly far too many are not up to the job – even an amazing band won’t sound good through a poor-quality PA. All our suppliers are the best quality available at their price point and know our bands well, which saves stress and time on the day. We strongly recommend not cutting corners on your production, and we'll only ever propose a system 
sufficient for your venue and guest numbers. 

 

Who will be providing the system?

We work regularly with a small tried & tested selection of professional audio suppliers at various price points. We will choose which supplier or suppliers we approach for quotes for your event based on your venue, guest numbers and budget, and will recommend the most economical option for your needs.  

What information will we need to quote you for audio production, and when?

We'll need to know:

  • Your venue address, location and type (i.e. hotel / marquee etc)

  • Your approximate guest numbers

  • Our quotes assume get-in not before midday with at least 3 hours load-in before sound check begins, and derig by midnight. If you’ll need an earlier load-in, if load-in hours are restricted, or if you need a post-midnight derig, please advise before we quote

  • Please advise of any venue complexities which might make loading or access difficult. These might include performance on an upper floor without goods lift access; substantial distance from loading point to stage; loading over grass or up a slope

  • Any issues your venue may have flagged regarding the points listed under “what to check with your venue before booking”.

 

Once we’ve confirmed your supplier, to avoid extra admin for you it's simplest if we link them up direct with your venue to check a few details. 

 

When will the crew arrive to set up, how long will it take, and when will they derig?

Setup times vary between bands and venues. We’ll work backwards from your guests' arrival time to figure out sound check start time and (before that) PA load-in time, building in plenty of contingency for both. Please see above regarding timing restrictions under standard fees.

Derig will immediately follow the band’s performance unless you advise us otherwise. If you need to use our production company’s system for any additional services – i.e. a DJ following the band / microphones for speeches, etc – please let us know before contracting.

How loud will the band be?
We're asked this a lot, and there's no simple answer! Live band volume can be largely but not entirely controlled by a sound engineer. All our preferred suppliers are aware of recommended noise levels and will judge the volume as suitable for filling your dance floor without causing discomfort for those near the speakers. Our clients are usually very happy with the balance they strike but of course if you have any concerns during the event, the engineer will be more than happy to work with you to achieve the right level.
 

If your venue has a noise limit, please let us know as soon as possible during our correspondence and we will advise whether this is something we can work with. Generally we’re able to accommodate reasonable noise limits, but occasionally venues impose background-level limits on party bands which would restrict their ability to get people dancing – we’ll be honest with you if that's the case!

What happens if I book an outdoor band and it rains?

If you’re planning an outdoor event, we always strongly recommend you’re ready to action a Plan B. There can be no risk of electrical equipment or musical instruments being exposed to wet weather, so the final call on whether it’s safe to install an outdoor system will need to be made by our production company on the event day based on forecast and conditions on site.

 

How many crew will come?
This will vary job to job, with most standard-sized events and bands run by 1 or 2 sound crew. We are conscious that increasing crew numbers increases cost to you, so we will quote for the smallest number of crew we are confident can perform the job, keeping in mind that tight load-in times or complex venues may require additional crew. Please ask if you'd like to know crew numbers quoted for your job.

Can we also supply stage and/or lighting?
Some of our preferred suppliers look after audio production (i.e. sound) only, while some can also provide stage and/or lighting. If you would like us to quote for either or both of these services additionally we’ll be delighted to do so and will select the supplier(s) we approach accordingly.

Please be aware that if you have already confirmed audio production through us and need to add on staging and/or lighting down the line, we may need to source these elements through a separate supplier, so it’s best for us to be aware of all requirements from the outset where possible.

The band provides their own PA system

What quality of system will you get?
Band-owned PA systems are typically suitable for up to c 100-120 guests, depending on the band. We would describe band-owned PA systems as generally medium quality – we will only propose this option for events where we’re confident they will be up to the job, but we recommend that where budget permits you consider upgrading to audio production through an LMI approved supplier (please see previous section).

What information will we need from you in order to quote you for audio production, and when?

Please see corresponding question in previous section ‘LMI books your audio production through an approved supplier’.

 

When will the band arrive to set up, how long will it take, and when will they derig?

Please see corresponding question in previous section ‘LMI books your audio production through an approved supplier’.

 

Please note, when booking a band-owned PA the band would usually expect this to be used solely for their own performance and may not be able to PA-share (e.g. for DJs / speeches etc).

 

How loud will the band be?
Please see corresponding question in previous section ‘LMI books your audio production through an approved supplier’.


Please note, one advantage of booking audio production through an LMI approved supplier is that the system will be operated by a dedicated engineer who is available to you ‘on the ground’ throughout the band’s show, to make any necessary adjustments.
 

What happens in case of wet weather?
Please see corresponding question in previous section ‘LMI books your audio production through an approved supplier’.

 

Who will manage the system?
Band-owned PA systems are typically prepared and adjusted by the musicians during sound check. One advantage of booking audio production through an LMI approved supplier is that the system will be operated by a dedicated engineer who is available to you ‘on the ground’ throughout the band’s show, to make any necessary adjustments.

Can they also supply stage and/or lighting?
Most bands do not own their own lighting rigs, although some do – please ask and we will advise. Bands do not provide their own staging, so this would need to be arranged through a dedicated supplier. We will be delighted to quote for you through our preferred suppliers, whose pricing and quality we have found impossible to beat.

 

You book your own audio production

While our bands are happy to work with your own (or a venue’s) preferred suppliers, we would politely caution that we have had many negative experiences with the quality and punctuality of suppliers we haven’t worked with before, so our preference is to use our own preferred suppliers where possible. If that’s not possible, don’t worry, we’ll work with your supplier to ensure everything is right for the band on the day! In many cases, for larger party band lineups we will send an LMI engineer (inclusive in your basic band quote) to operate your supplier’s front of house desk, who is familiar with the band and their sound.

 

What will the band need?

It's essential that your supplier allocates at least 1 crew from their team to be on site at all times. We'll let you know if our band quote includes an LMI engineer, if so whether they cover front of house/monitors/both, and what roles we'll need your supplier to provide.
Each band (and each lineup) has a technical rider, i.e. their list of technical requirements. This includes a front-of-house PA system, sound desk, microphones, monitors and cabling.
For UK shows where the band are driving, the bands will bring their own backline – meaning instruments and amplifiers. For shows involving flights or trains, we will also send you a Backline Rider listing all instruments and amplifiers which need to be hired locally.
We do not include specifics on lighting in our technical riders as we don’t want to increase costs to you by stipulating precise lighting setups, however party or show bands benefit greatly from being well lit with moving multi-coloured lights (not so applicable for background bands). We recommend checking with your supplier/venue that they are planning to provide suitable lighting.

 

How will the process work?

We'll send you our technical (and backline if applicable) riders for your suppliers to quote from; please request this if you need it pre-contract.

Please introduce us to your supplier by email so they can liaise with our technical advance coordinator Guilhem. This is our failsafe to ensure the suppliers have fully understood our needs and we're happy with any substitutes/compromises they're proposing. We're conscious that costs can be high and are always happy to agree to substitutes from supplier stock where we can.

 

What are your production suppliers’ responsibilities?

We ask that production suppliers commit to honour the timetable and technical rider agreed. This may seem obvious but the most common issue we encounter on shows is arriving to find the gear is not what has been agreed with us, or that the production company are running late, eating into our sound check time. The impact of a reduced sound check or sub-standard gear on our show quality can be immense and means our bands can’t do the job we’ve been booked for. For this reason, sound check times and our technical rider are an integral part of our contract.

 

The band plays acoustically

 

What is meant by acoustic?

‘Acoustic’ can mean 1 of 2 things in practise. 1: instruments are completely unplugged and you're only listening to natural sound. 2: electric instruments run through small floor-level amplifiers beside the musicians, as opposed to through a full PA system. The latter can be a useful middle-ground if you’re not certain whether a fully unplugged performance will be loud enough to carry.

 

What kinds of band can play acoustically?

Acoustic performances are only possible for certain specific instruments, and only for background-level music - it’s unlikely that an unamplified band would be suitable for dancing.
 

- Instruments that often perform acoustically include strings (i.e. a string quartet), acoustic guitars, harps and pianos (not keyboards).

- Electric instruments can’t play without amplification, and vocals usually need at least limited amplification to carry over instrumental accompaniment.

 

Will I be able to hear them?
This is will depend entirely on your venue size, guest numbers, and the size and instrumentation of your band. Please give us as much information as possible about your event setting and the kind of vibe you're envisaging so we can advise. For example, a string quartet setting a background atmosphere for a reception may be ideal, whereas a solo acoustic guitarist performing unamplified during a large dinner might well be lost in the noise.

5. Meal and dressing room arrangements

What kind of meals will the band need?

If your band are on site (or have been travelling to your event) across a mealtime, we politely request that hot meals are catered for the musicians (and crew if applicable). Performing is hungry work and our musicians work away from home day in day out, so good-quality nutritious catering is really important to them and very much appreciated!

How many meals are needed?
We request meals for all musicians and LMI crew on site – please ask us for crew numbers if unsure.

When should the meals be served?

For background bands we ask for a time window of minimum 45 minutes between dinner being served and the band’s performance. Typically meals would be served between a sound check and the first set, although depending on an event schedule it may make better sense to serve food between sets.

For party bands we ask for a time window of minimum 90 minutes between dinner being served and the band’s performance. This is because the band need to digest fully, change and do hair & makeup before a high-energy performance. Late-arriving band meals are common and can throw off your event schedule, so we encourage you to liaise with your caterers and emphasise timely meal service – thank you!

Dietary requirements
We'll be in touch around 2 weeks before your event to confirm any dietary requirements (dietaries can change so it’s best for us to share this information close to the date). Many of our bands will include some vegetarian, vegan and allergy requirements. If you need this information from us further in advance, of course please just ask.

What kind of dressing room does the band need?
Our bands will need somewhere to spend their down time on site and store their clothes and instrument cases when on stage, and to avoid being under your guests’ feet. Dressing room requirements vary considerably depending on the size of band you’ve booked and the logistics of your venue. Larger bands very much appreciate spacious dressing rooms with comfortable seating, but we’re aware that some venues don’t have dedicated dressing room facilities so if you’re concerned about dressing room arrangements please get in touch – we’ve never yet failed to find a workable compromise!

Will there be a dressing room rider?
A dressing room rider is a list of food, beverage and equipment (i.e. kettle etc) that goes in a band’s dressing room in addition to their hot meals.

Some bands, including most of our party bands, have dressing room riders which we’ll share with you alongside the contract & deposit paperwork – please just ask if you’d like to receive this sooner. If no rider is mentioned in the Catering section on the front page of your contract, you won’t need to provide one.

What if you can’t cater hot meals and/or provide a dressing room on site?
Please don’t panic if that’s the case! We’re usually able to agree meal buyouts for the band to go off site for food, and off-site dressing room arrangements – please get in touch and we’ll be happy to discuss.