FAQ

With any event sometimes you may overlook certain things or need that extra bit of help to make sure things run like clockwork. Here at Mel Hayes Music we offer help & support throughout your booking to make sure everything is taken care of. 

Choosing a band? 

Sounds simple but choosing the right band for your event can make a difference. A great band can get your guests up and dancing with a great variety of live music. It is worth thinking about the style of music that would suit your event. What age group are you guests? Would they like modern or classic hits? Would you want a vibrant party band or a background jazz group? 

What time does the band start? 

Getting the timing right is another factor in making an event one to remember. With most bands typically playing up to 2 hours of live music it is worth considering when the band starts. Too early may mean that none of your guests are ready to dance! Too late and the party is almost over! On average most bands play between 8pm - 11:30pm which gives most people time to enjoy and get into the party atmosphere. 

Space & Power? 

Depending on the size of the act you may need to check with the venue about how much space there is for a band. Most bands can easily setup in a 8 x 4 mtr area. Acts that require a power supply will need at least two double sockets available ideally located in the performance area. 

Booking in advance? 

For any entertainment it is a good idea to book in advance as you are less likely to be disappointed if the act you want is already booked. You can also benefit from our 5% discount on your quote for booking 12 months in advance. 

Can I see an act at a live performance before booking them? 

With most of our acts playing private functions it is not always possible to see the act live. We do mention when any of our acts are playing in public viaTwitter or our blog. We also have video and audio clips on the site to help give you an idea of what the act is like. 

Can I provisionally book an act? 

We are happy to ask an act to hold a date on first refusal for you. This means that if someone else wants to book them, you are first in the queue. It is only fair to warn you that first refusals are not 100% reliable (such as when an act member takes another booking without first checking with the act leader) so are not a substitute for a signed contract. 

If I book a band do I also need to book a DJ? 

Nearly all bands can provide recorded music before and between the bands sets. Alternatively a DJ will provide a better atmosphere as they are able to adapt the playlist and take requests thoughout the evening ensuring the dancefloor is always full. 

There are noise restrictions at my venue. Will a band still be able to play? 

Some venues have restrictions on how loud the music can be. Noise limiters are pre-set to a certain level (eg: 95 decibels) and if the music exceeds this limit, after a brief warning, the act's power is cut off altogether! Our bands are able to work with sound limiters as long as they are not set to unrealistic levels. In this case often the venue is able to bypass the limiter to allow the band to play at a reasonable volume.

Can a band arrive earlier than 6.00 pm or finish after midnight? 

Usually the arrival and finish times are sufficient for the majority of our bookings. In the instance a band is required to setup earlier/finish later they will usually charge an extra fee for this. 

What happens if a band member is ill on the day of my function? 

Under the terms and conditions that our acts sign in order for us to represent them, they must be able to provide "deps" or substitutes if anyone in the band is ill. 

What happens if the act I book breaks up before the date of my function? 

This is extremely rare, but in the very unlikely event of this happening, Mel Hayes Music would offer you an alternative band. As we have a number of quality acts, this puts you in a much more secure position than if you book a band direct. 

How long does a band take to set up? 

Bands with PA systems and lights generally need 1.5hrs to set up, though some need longer and a few are quicker. The ease of access to the performance area can also have an impact on how long they need. Acoustic acts, such as string quartets and acoustic jazz bands, only need around 30mins to set up. 

What are the power requirements for a marqee? 

For marquees, the contractor should be able to provide a 15 amp supply which is then split into separately fused 13 amp sockets. For marquees and outdoor events a surge protection device must be fitted. 

Can the act perform outside? 

Most bands are able to play outside as long as they are provided with shelter from the elements and a safe reliable power supply. Because their instruments are so valuable, string quartets generally require a shelter or gazebo with three sides. 

Do I need a licence to have live music at my function? 

No licence is required if you book an act to provide music at a private home. Public entertainment is now covered by the Licensing Act 2003 and the guidance from The Department for Culture, Media and Sport is very clear: “Any performances of live music that take place in private homes and gardens for private parties and weddings will not be licensable unless the host takes the unusual step of charging his guests to attend and with a view to making a profit.” If your function is being held at a hotel, restaurant or similar sort of venue, the venue themselves should already hold an appropriate licence which covers both the supply of alcohol and what sort of entertainment is allowed. If you want to hold an event at some other venue which is neither a private home nor licensed premises, you can apply for a Temporary Event Notice from your local authority. 

Are the acts covered for public liability insurance? 

Yes, under the terms of business that we have with our acts, they must have public liability insurance cover. 

My venue has asked for a PAT certificate. Can you provide this? 

Yes, under the terms of business that we have with our acts, they must be able to provide a PAT certificate where required. PAT stands for Portable Appliance Test and covers the electrical safety of any piece of portable electrical equipment used in the workplace. 

After booking, who do I speak to about the on-the-day arrangements? 

Loadstar Entertainment are on hand right through to after the event to help deal with any queries you may have. We have established an outstanding reputation for making sure that our acts have all the information they need to do a great job on the day. 

Will a band perform my first dance? 

If a band is able to they will need sufficient time to prepare the request. It is advisable to ask about this at the time of booking to allow as much notice as possible. 

Can I or one my guests sing or play along with the band on the day? 

This varies from band to band. Some are happy for you or a guest to "sit in" with them, but they will need advance warning and it is best to have agreed beforehand what songs are going to be performed. 


If you have any other questions please contact us