Frequently-asked questions…

How big is the band?
BackBeat Village is available in all sizes from 5 – 12 musicians. All options contain the same 5-piece ‘core’ of the band , + any additional instruments as chosen by our clients. The options are listed below:

  • 5 piece band (female lead vocals, guitar, keyboards, bass, drums)
  • + Saxophone
  • + Trumpet
  • + 2 more brass (4 horns in total)
  • + male vocals
  • + additional female vocals
  • + percussion

How far do you travel?
As far as is necessary! The band is based in London, but we will happily travel to anywhere in the UK or beyond.

How much do you charge?
We will need to know a few details about your event before we can provide an accurate price quote, but as a rough guide it is unusual that we would be able to do anything for under £1000. If your budget is below this figure, please feel free to get in touch anyway as we may be able to offer an alternative (such as a smaller band). We can generally offer discounted prices for ‘off-peak’ dates (Monday – Thursday, and / or quieter months, which are January, February, March and November). If you would like an accurate price quote, please fill in and submit an enquiry form.

Do you require a stage? If so, how large would this need to be?
BackBeat Village can perform with or without staging, indoors or outdoors. This is a guide to the stage or floor area we would need:

  • 5/6 Piece Band: 16ft by 10ft (5m x 3m)
  • 7/8 Piece Band: 18ft by 12ft (5.5m x 3.5m)
  • 9/10 Piece Band: 21ft by 12ft

Do you provide your own sound and lighting equipment?
Yes. We have our own high quality professional PA system and lighting rig which is ideal for the majority of events we play at. For the technically-minded, we mainly use Electrovoice Speakers (SX300s & SB122s), QSC & Matrix power amps, and a Yamaha O1V96i digital mixing desk. Depending on the size of the band and the venue, this is configurable in various sizes up to 4,000W.

PA and lighting costs are always included in any quote for the band. With large corporate events and awards ceremonies, the sound & lighting is often hired in separately.

What are your power requirements?
Our full set-up requires at least three electrical sockets on separate feeds in the vicinity of the performance area (i.e. not a multi-socket extension lead running from a single wall socket). Our power consumption can be up to about 7,000W (30amps @ 230V), hence why 3 separate 13amp feeds are required to avoid risk of overload.

If power is to be provided by a generator, it is the responsibility of the client / venue to ensure that it is of sufficient rating (and has sufficient cables and adaptors) to power the band safely.

How long does the band play for?
It is normal for the band to perform a total of 2 hours of live music finishing by midnight, either as 2 sets of 1 hour with a break or 3 shorter sets with 2 breaks. It is possible to increase playing / finishing times slightly but this would involve an extra charge. We are happy to leave an iPod playing through our PA system whilst we pack up after the band’s performance; usually this allows an additional 30 minutes of iPod before we reach the stage of packing-up that involves switching off the main PA.

Do you provide music in your breaks?
Yes, if required we will play an iPod through our sound system in any breaks, and before / after the band’s performance. We can provide the iPod, but would always recommend to wedding clients that they provide their own, pre-loaded with playlists of their choice.

Can you provide a DJ?
Yes, subject to availability. There are a few DJs we work with regularly, and there is a cost (and space) saving because they would connect to our sound system rather than bringing a whole separate rig. Please enquire for accurate prices.

Do you take requests?
Yes. Our clients are welcome to make as many requests as they wish (in advance) from our current songlist, and we will endeavour to accommodate as many of these as possible. Certain songs specifically require male or female vocals, so depending on the line-up of the band, a few songs on the list may be unsuitable.

We accept first dance requests regardless of whether or not the song you would like is on our set list already, but we require at least 6 weeks notice in order to prepare it.

How long do you take to set up?
This depends on the size of the band and the ease of access. For a 5 or 6 piece band, we can set up in an hour at a push, provided that we can drive close to unload equipment and do not have to move it far once inside the venue. To be safe, we always ask for 90 minutes if possible, 2 hours for a 7 / 8 piece band, and 2.5 hours for anything larger.

The sound & lighting equipment is what takes the most time to set up, and it is always possible to organise for this to be set up in advance of the arrival of guests (this may incur an additional fee, depending on timings).

The rest of the equipment (drums, keyboards, guitar & bass amplifiers) only take about 20 minutes to set up, and for weddings it is not unusual that the PA & lighting would be set up in advance with the rest of the band arriving nearer to the performance time to set up quickly and discreetly after the meal & speeches have finished.

If necessary, it is possible for all equipment to be set up in advance, but again this may involve additional ‘early arrival’ fees for those affected.

Does the band need to sound-check?
Ideally yes, although some of the work can be done in advance if the PA system is being set up early (see above paragraph). The smaller the band, the less sound-checking is needed once the full band is there. A sound-check generally involves the following:

  • ‘EQ’-ing the vocal mics to suit the room (this can be done in advance if the PA system is to be set up early);
  • ‘Line-checking’ the rest of the band (setting an input level for each instrument at the mixing desk, and setting their volume at roughly the correct place in the main PA and the on-stage monitor speakers – this takes about 30s – 1 minute per instrument);
  • Playing a song as a full band, and finely-adjusting the levels of each instrument.

It is sometimes possible to skip the last step and go straight into the performance, as we are well-practised at getting the levels right during the line-check. We can make finer adjustments as we go along.

Do we need to provide the band with food and drink?
We would normally ask if a hot meal could be provided for the band, and soft drinks throughout the engagement. Caterers are often able to provide a ‘cheaper alternative’ for the suppliers such as a dish of lasagne with a bowl of veg or salad.

It is because of the long hours that we ask for a hot meal rather than sandwiches – including travel times (depending on the location), it would be normal to leave home at around 4pm and return at around 2am, perhaps later, and therefore a plate of sandwiches would not be sufficient. Complications can arise if the band has to leave the venue in search of food, as it is never certain how long it will take to find anything and get served.

What are the band’s car parking requirements?
We always try to share lifts, but this isn’t always possible, hence we would require parking to be provided for as many cars as there are band members. For central London venues, we usually assume that private parking will not be available, and therefore look up the parking charges in the area and add them on to our prices quotes as applicable.

In all cases, we need to be able to park vehicles close to the venue entrance at least for unloading, even if they then need to be moved further away to be parked for the duration of the event.

Our venue has a sound-limiter. Will this be a problem?
These days, this is not at all unusual, and we are regularly performing under this condition without any difficulty. We would recommend opting for a band-size no larger than the 8-piece (perhaps smaller, depending on the level of the noise restriction and the acoustics of the venue – in a marquee, the band will not be as loud 10m away as it would be in a room with lots of hard reflective surfaces such as stone floors).

For the best indication as to whether any problems are likely, speak to the venue – if they can tell you that they have bands regularly that are able to perform without triggering the sound-limiter, then there is no reason why we shouldn’t be able to do the same.

Does the band have insurance and electrical safety certificates?
Yes, we have full Public Liability Insurance up to £10,000,000 and all of our equipment is PAT tested on an annual basis.

How do we confirm a booking?
Bookings are confirmed by receipt of a 10% deposit and a signed Musicians Union Band Hire Agreement stating full details of the event. Remaining payment is normally required two weeks before the event (by bank transfer or cheque) or as cash, paid at the start of the gig. Musicians Union booking agreements comply with up to date industry standards.

What happens if we cancel the booking once it has been confirmed with a contract and deposit?
In the event of cancellation (by you, the hirer), the 10% deposit would be non-refundable. If we receive another booking for the date in question that involves all the musicians that had been booked, we would not ask for any cancellation fee. If we receive a booking for a smaller ensemble, we may require a cancellation fee for the musicians not involved in the new booking. If you cancel a year or more in advance of the event, we would not ask for a cancellation fee. Please get in touch if you would like to discuss this matter in greater detail.

Can the band cancel?
No. The contract which would be signed by us as well as you is a legally-binding document that guarantees that we will provide what you have booked. If a musician is taken ill, or pulls out for another reason such as a family emergency, we will hire a suitable replacement so that the performance can go ahead unaffected. Any additional costs for this would be covered by us.

Can we see the band perform before maing a booking?
This is indeed a frequently-asked question! As it stands, all of our gigs are private functions and therefore this is difficult to arrange – but please do check out our audio recordings and video clips. If this situation changes, any public gigs will be clearly advertised on our blog and various social media pages.

I have a question not answered on this page.
Please feel free to get in touch by any of the methods offered on our contact page.