Important Questions To Always Ask Your Venue…
It’s really important to get a clear picture of the experiences that your venue has previously had with bands (or DJ’s for that matter). You’ll save yourself a heap of time, stress and disappointment if you get to the bottom of this one before booking the band (or the venue for that matter). The best way to approach it? Simply ask the venue’s event coordinator or manager. The same questions should also apply (wherever relevant) if you’re only planning on booking a DJ.
The Top 5 questions that you should always ask…
“What’s the largest band that you’ve had play here?”
“Do you have staging, and if so what was the largest band you’ve had play on it, does it come in stage blocks, and is there a charge for it?”
“Is there a dressing room for the band, or an adequate space for them to get changed?”
“Have there been any issues with bands in the past that I should know about?”
We’ve had a number of clients over the years that have booked their venue only to find out that there is a very restrictive noise limiter they weren’t aware of, so this next one is important.
“Do you have a noise limiter, and if so, what is the decibel limit and what types of bands have had problems working within its limits?”
Finally, the most important question of them all…
“Do the band have their own Public Liability Insurance (if so, how much do they need to be covered for), and does all of their equipment need to be fully PAT tested and certified?”
While you shouldn’t need to bother yourself too much with these two pieces of paperwork, you should be aware of what they’re for. Public Liability Insurance covers the musicians for any injury to members of the public or your guests, as well as any damage to property whilst the band are attending the venue. A PAT certificate or (Portable Appliance Testing) ensures that all of the band’s equipment has been tested for electrical safety.
Almost all venues require you to supply these two documents on behalf of the band, so check with the band before you book them – if your band don’t have these documents, they won’t be able to perform at your event if the venue requires them. Be certain that the venue requires only £5 million public liability cover, as this is the norm for most bands to be covered by.
We’ve come across some venues who require £10m cover and when the band cannot provide that level of cover the client/hirer can be charged an ‘administration’ fee by the venue.
Go for it…
Feel free to push the venue upfront for answers to all of these questions. The last thing you want to be doing is to be dealing with logistics and legal bits and pieces 3 weeks before the day of your event, when you should be putting your feet up and looking forward to the day. 🙂