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Hiring A Live Band Check List:

Please feel free to print out this guide for future reference. You may need to keep referring back to these tips over a long period of time so book marking this page to your ‘favourites’ folder may also be worth while.

Part 1 – to be considered at the booking stage...


  • Book well in advance
    The best live bands will be booked up to 9 months in advance. We recommend booking a year in advance if you are able to set a rigid event date.
  • Confirm your venue allows music
    Confirm with your reception venue that live music of the style you are hiring is permitted. Collect any guidelines from the venue which may need to be relayed to your Alive Network agent or the band.
  • Check your choice of live band
    Ensure the band you’ve chosen will be suitable for the event by consulting with friends, family or colleagues.
  • Sign contracts
    Secure your band before they’re booked by some one else. Please read Alive Network’s ’Terms and conditions of booking’ very carefully.

Upon signing your contract you will need to confirm:

  • Full venue address
  • Contact name and number for the venue
  • Exact date of event
  • Band performance times
  • Band arrival times and load-in/ sound check times
  • Finish times
  • Any additional options you may wish the band to provide (CD’s between sets, additional sound/lighting equipment etc)

Confirm all band details with your venue:

Ensure venue make appropriate notes on your booking agreement

  • Band name and contact number (give Alive Network’s number as backup)
  • Band arrival time
  • Band load in/sound check time and duration
  • Trolleys or helpers for band if load-in includes stairs or 50+ yards distance
  • Band size and space required
  • Book good sized dance floor
  • Check electricity supply for band
  • Book changing room for band
  • Arrange bands ‘ryder’
  • Confirm performance start and finish times

(For more information regarding arrangements with your venue, please see our ‘Live music and your venue’ article.)

Part 2 – to be considered in the run up to your event...


  • Keep a record of changes
    List any changes made to your event schedule which may affect the band such as meal times, arrival times, booking other types of entertainment etc. Relay any major changes to your Alive Network agent immediately.
  • Keep in touch with Alive Network
    You can sign up to various Alive Network newsletters in order to stay updated with the latest entertainment news.
  • Put together a preferred play list
    By viewing the bands repertoire information on the Alive Network web site you can start to put together a preferred play list. One 45 min set contains approx 15 songs. Relay your selection directly to the band or via your Alive Network agent.
  • Confirm preferred attire
    If required, specify to your Alive Network agent what attire will be most fitting for the band to wear at your event.
  • Double check band payment method
    In most cases should be CASH on the night, unless other wise agreed with your Alive Network agent. If paying by cheque, please check payment details again as some bands may become VAT registered or change account details. Confirm with the band when you’ll pay them on the day and make any arrangements necessary to leave CASH in the hotel safe.

Part 3 – to be considered on the day of the event…


On the day of the event either you or your venue’s event coordinator should check the following:

  • One member of staff to greet the band and show to performance area/ changing room
  • Performance area and size to be explained to all venue staff
  • Venue staff asked to help band load-in equipment or provide trolleys if load-in includes stairs or 50+ yards distance
  • A changing room is made available to the band
  • The bands ryder is available in the changing room when the band arrive
  • The band’s hot meal (if required) is available to the band as and when required
  • Bar staff are aware the that band are on a ryder
  • Suitable and sufficient electricity supply is available to the band on arrival and for their exclusive use all night
  • One senior member of staff appointed to liaise with band at set up/ sound check time to ensure agreeable volume levels and to discuss use of any smoke machines, strobe lighting etc

  • Introduce yourselves to the band
    A friendly face and welcoming smile helps to put the band in the right frame of mind for your event. They’ll know you from the rest of your guests and will feel more comfortable having put a name to a face.
  • Keep the band updated
    Especially if the event runs behind schedule. Most bands are very flexible with changes to start times but they may need to make changes to their show if performance lengths need to be changed.
  • Keep an eye on your guests
    The last thing you want is for the band to be struggling with an over enthusiastic auntie or picking up broken equipment, knocked over by drunken party animals.
  • Appoint a party spokesperson
    Vital if there are any issues with volume or minor complaints. Please do not allow mother–in-laws or grandfathers to wander on stage and demand the band turn down or play Vera Lyn. Should a problem arise, please ensure that a sober, level headed person be appointed to raise any issues discreetly with the band.
  • Payment to the band
    Usually made in cash at the end of the night. Please ensure a representative of your party speaks with the band on arrival (or passes a message on via the hotel events coordinator) to confirm who will be paying the band. Please ensure that if you have agreed to pay the band in cash that you do so. Otherwise, please ensure that the band is aware at least two weeks in advance that payment will be made by cheque.