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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 before you confirm your booking:

  • 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. For example, venues which are open to the public during the day, or which you may have booked for afternoon/evening only, may restrict loading before or after certain times – it’s good for us to be aware of this

  • If they have a stage, ask for dimensions. If they don’t have a stage, ask for guide dimensions for the area that live music would usually take place.

 

How do the contract and deposit/remainder invoices work?

Once you’re ready to confirm your booking we’ll prepare your contract and deposit invoice. The deposit required to confirm the band is 50% of the fee, with the 50% remainder payment due to clear in our account not less than 14 days before your event. (If you’re booking for an event less than 14 days away we’ll simply issue 100% invoice up front.) We’ll need both the signed contract and deposit payment cleared in our account in order to confirm your band.

When you let us know you’d like to go ahead with your booking, we’ll send you an email link to a short questionnaire containing key information such as your name & address, venue address and top-level event timings. We’ll use these to generate your booking contract, comprised of a front page showing information specific to your event followed by our generic booking T&Cs. You’ll receive an email from Rightsignature with a link for e-signing - this is very straightforward and should only take 30 seconds. Please make sure you’re happy with all the information shown on the contract before signing - in particular we recommend double-checking the event-specific details on the front page. Once signed, it may not be possible to amend these details and doing so would usually involve a surcharge.

 

Once you’ve signed, both you and we will receive an email from Rightsignature with a PDF of the countersigned copy. 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).

 

Deposit payment FAQs:

  • Payments should be made by BACS transfer where at all possible, using the invoice number shown at the top of your invoice as the reference, to the bank account details shown at the bottom of the invoice.

  • We prefer BACS transfer to cheque, but where the former isn’t possible cheques can be accepted (please NB, our office address is shown on our email signatures and may differ from our registered address shown on invoices – please check with us if in doubt). Please let us know by an email if a cheque is being posted.

  • We can’t accept card payments over the phone or PayPal.

 

Contract FAQs:

  • LMI can only work to our own contracts which are designed by our legal team to offer maximum protection to both our customers and our artists. It’s not possible for us to sign a customer’s T&Cs as well as our own, as the wording will inevitably differ from our own and potentially render both versions legally non-enforceable.

 

What happens once you’ve booked the band?
As soon as we’ve received both your signed contract and your cleared deposit payment, we will finalise the date with the band for you. At this point your booking is confirmed.
 

As we’ll already have discussed your high-level event information with you in order to create your contract, that’s the hard part done! (If your own suppliers are providing audio production, there’s a little more to do in the interim: please see the Audio Production section for more info). We’ll be in touch again in the month prior to your event to send you your remainder invoice, cover the finer details, and pull together your schedule. You can rest assured that once we’ve acknowledged receipt of your contract and deposit, the band is booked for you and does not need reconfirming. If any changes or questions arise in the interim of course don’t hesitate to get in touch!

 

Putting together your schedule

Approximately 2 weeks before your event we’ll be in touch with a further questionnaire to pin down the finer details for your event, which we’ll use to create the final schedule which goes out to the band. This will include questions such as band meal arrangements, contact details, reconfirmation of precise set times, parking and loading access, and more. We politely recommend that working schedule versions/updates are not shared with us until this stage in the process, unless they affect the high-level details already agreed in the contract (i.e. arrival time / playing duration / departure time), as this helps us avoid updating our systems with versions that will then be superseded. We try to avoid sending more than one version of the schedule to the band to avoid confusion, so the final version will be circulated to them a few days before the show. In cases where this schedule is more complex, we’ll share a draft schedule with you to check and approve beforehand.

We like to be as thorough as possible when collecting your schedule information, as the more we cover in advance, the less can go wrong 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 for any questions during the process and will work with you to pull together your final event schedule. You may also hear from Ursula (Director) 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 correspond 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 – generally for 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.

Quotes are based partly on overall call time on site, from sound check arrival to departure, and our musicians will plan their work and personal schedules around these timings, so the following changes 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 would need to be approved by us and would likely 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

LMI bands take cancellation extremely seriously, and cancelling a booking is something we have almost never had to do in 12 years of operation. 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, LMI would of course promptly reimburse all funds received: our cancellation policy is shown in greater detail in our contract T&Cs.

A musician has to cancel due to illness or emergency

Illness or dropouts for other emergency reasons are rare, but can occasionally happen. All LMI bands have top-level fully rehearsed deputy musicians for each role and our administrators would drop everything to ensure this gap was filled swiftly – we have never yet been unable to provide a full lineup for a booking. If replacing a musician were to involve booking fresh trains/flights, we would of course take care of payment and arrangements for this.
If you have booked a musician who is named in the contract (i.e. a solo artist or band with a named bandleader), we would notify you immediately of the situation and do our absolute utmost to put in place an equivalent musician for you as quickly as possible. Should you choose not to book your replacement through LMI, you would of course be promptly reimbursed all monies received by us (per our contract T&Cs). Named musicians are aware that bookings are made on the basis of their personal availability, so needless to say it’s *extremely* rare that they let us down.

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 guideline 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 bands are happy to extend at a small surcharge (though this can be trickier for fixed-length backing track shows). It’s best to ask us how long the band you’re looking at typically play for, or 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 significantly longer performance durations. We’ll be happy to discuss this with you on a case by case basis, and will do everything we can do 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 as bands may choose to extend or reduce songs and include breakdowns or solos on the fly. As a guideline, songs for dancing tend to last around 4 minutes (fewer if part of a medley), and songs for background music / jazz standards tend to last around 5-6 minutes. A 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 and demographic, 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 – a large part of their expertise lies in having 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
Bands booked for a party set will prepare your set list in advance based on the songs they know to work best from their repertoire. This is a complex process based not only on long experience of what fills a dancefloor, but also which tunes specific singers specialise in, matching keys and tempos, creating medleys or moments of special choreography, building towards a climax, and much more.

 

Typically most ‘multi-decade’ party bands structure their set lists starting with slightly older funky classics, moving through the ages to climax on current and recent material, which means the night starts high and goes up from there. To ensure you end up with the strongest set list on the night, we will pass on information about your event (e.g. age range and guest demographics) to the band who will produce your draft set list. For weddings or private parties we’ll also ask you to share any broad-strokes personal preferences (i.e. loves motown / doesn’t like disco). If you’d like to see the set list for your event in advance, we’ll be happy to share the band’s draft version with you and to discuss any vetoes and/or must-haves with you. Most of our clients find they’re very happy with the band’s recommendations, but of course we will work together with you to ensure you love what you’ll be hearing!

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 1 month before your event so we can schedule this in with the band.

Special requests

Most fully live (i.e. non-backing track) LMI bands are happy to specially prepare 1 song per event gratis on request (subject to approval – requests need to work for the band’s instrumentation and style). Please give at least 1 month’s notice before your event if you have a special request. Learning a new song requires a couple of hours’ preparation from each band member so we politely ask that special requests are kept to a minimum; additional requests would be billed at a small surcharge in most cases.

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 will have advised in your initial enquiry response whether audio production is on top of the fee quoted to you. 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 always 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 impossible to beat to our knowledge, they know our bands well 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?
All LMI approved suppliers are of excellent quality, and we would only ever propose a supplier and a system which we are confident is sufficient for the needs of your venue and guest numbers. 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. We strongly recommend not cutting corners on your production and trusting the job to one of our suppliers, who have worked with our bands many times and who we trust to match their quality. If you would like to receive our supplier’s system spec (i.e. list of gear they will be providing) please just ask.

 

Who will be providing the system?

LMI work regularly with 4 or 5 different audio suppliers at different price levels, all dedicated professional companies with many years’ experience. 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 from you in order to quote you for audio production, and when?

In order to put together your basic quote we will need to know:

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

  • Approximate guest numbers

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

  • 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, they will want to liaise with either you or your venue to discuss further details. You may find it simplest to link our production team up with your venue event staff who will hopefully have answers to their questions ready at hand. 

 

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

Setup times vary from band to band depending on lineup size, and from venue to venue depending on ease of access and other considerations. We’ll work backwards from the time your guests arrive to determine sound check start time, and backwards from there to determine audio production load-in time, building in plenty of contingency for both. Please see bullet points in the previous paragraph regarding timings covered by our quotes.

We’ll assume that 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.

How loud will the band be?
This is a hard question to answer, and one we’re asked a lot! Live band volume can be largely but not entirely controlled by the 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 optimal 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 this is the case!

What happens in case of wet weather?

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 depend on which supplier we have proposed for you, how much time they have to set up, and the size of the job. Standard-sized jobs with generous load-in time windows may well be achievable by 1 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; restrictive load-in windows or complex venues may require additional crew. We will let you know how many crew will be on your job at the point of quoting.

Can we also supply stage and/or lighting?
Some of our preferred suppliers look after audio production (i.e. sound) only - 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?

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 lighting in our technical riders as we don’t want to increase costs to you by stipulating specific 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.

The band will usually need either 1 or 2 engineers (front of house and monitors) to be provided by your supplier, depending on whether LMI are providing our own engineer. We will confirm this on a show by show basis.

 

How will the process work?

We will be happy to share your band’s technical rider with you at whatever stage you’re ready to get a production quotation from your suppliers; if you haven’t already requested the technical rider we’ll automatically send this at the point of issuing your contract.

We will then ask you for the contact details of your production company and will introduce them by email to our technical advance coordinator, Guilhem. Guilhem is an LMI team member dedicated to liaising with external production companies to ensure that they have understood all our technical needs fully, and to agree/sign off any compromises or substitutes they might wish to propose in order to reduce the end cost to you. We are very conscious that production costs can be high and are always happy to agree to substitute gear from supplier stock in order to keep costs down; we would only insist on specific makes or models where we feel the proposed gear would compromise your experience of the show.

 

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?

Bands can mean one of two things by ‘acoustic’. Sometimes this is meant literally – i.e. instruments are completely unplugged and you are only listening to natural sound. Sometimes ‘acoustic’ is taken to mean limited amplification through small floor-level amplifiers beside the musicians, as opposed to through a full PA system. The latter can be a useful middleground for certain types of instrument or setting, 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 a tricky but important question, and will depend entirely on your venue size, guest numbers, and the size and instrumentation of your band. We recommend giving us as much information as possible about your event setting and the kind of vibe you are envisaging for your background music so we can advise accordingly. 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) at a time coinciding with standard breakfast / lunch / dinner hours, 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 before a high-energy performance, and any female band members will need to change and do hair & makeup between eating and performing.

We would politely flag that late-arriving meals can be a cause of late running on shows; of course we will always do our utmost to be flexible around your caterers, but performers can’t do their jobs properly for you on empty stomachs, so we encourage you to liaise with your caterers and emphasise timely meal service – thank you!

Dietary requirements
We will typically be in touch with you approximately 2 weeks before an event to confirm any dietary requirements for the band (dietaries can change between the point of confirmation and the event, 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 LMI 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. We’ll advise on whether a dressing room rider would be needed on a per-event basis according to which band you’re booking, lineup size, on-site time and more. If no rider is mentioned in the Catering section on the front page of your contract, you won’t need to provide one.

When should the dressing room rider be ready in the dressing room?
From the time of the band’s arrival please – other than any alcoholic drinks which we’re happy to arrive from 6pm (or to coincide with the band’s dinner if earlier).

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.