Things to consider for a live music event

Is there electrical power to the stage?

Do ensure that there is a continuous, uninterrupted supply of power to the stage, with adequate power outlets for the band. Generators are fine but must be properly earthed and capable of supplying enough power.

Does the venue have/need a license for live music?

In many cases, a venue either does not need a license or will have a license for live music. Most venues will have this in place already, especially if they have regular live performances. Licenses differe depending of the capacity of the venue and the hours of operation. If you are running your own event, you made need a Temporary Event Notice. Check with your local council. Explain what you are planning and they can advise you on whether or not a license is needed. Most local authorities are quite generous. A small duo in a private house is fine; a large outdoor festival in a residential area maybe more problematic. Venues which have live or recorded music should also have a PRS license for the public broadcast of copyright musical works. For more information on licensing, use the links below
PRS Licensing
Temporary Event Notice
Entertainment licensing

Can the band/crew get vehicles close to the performance area to unload equipment?
n most cases, performers and crew will have several large vehicles which need to be parked as close to the stage as possible, there will be a lot of heavy equipment which needs to be physically carried from a van or truck onto the stage. We cannot reasonably ask crew to carry equipment from a carpark, half a mile away over a muddy field.

How much time does the band need to load in and set up?

Always have in mind that the band need adequate time to be able to unload and set-up the stage for an optimum performance. This is dependent on how close the band can get their vehicles to the stage area, where there is anything inhibiting access to the stage, or if the stage is upstairs.
Please allow up to two hours for the band to unload ad set up. Also be aware that during this time, the band will need to sound check which involves playing one or two songs at full volume.

Does the venue have a sound limiter?

Some venues are fitted with a sound limiter, this means that when the ambient noise level in the venue exceeds a certain level, all power to the stage is cut. We can work with sound limiters but it is best to know in advance if the venue has one, and preferably to what dB level it is set.

If the stage is outside, is the performance area protected from the weather?

Outdoor events can be great, but please consider the amount of electrical equipment being used outside. Electrical equipment must be well protected from rain. Amplifiers and computer equipment should be shielded from direct sunlight.

Is the stage big enough?

It is quite common for people to underestimate how much space a professional band needs. A drum kit will take up about four square meters, a piano or keyboard-rig about the same. Guitarists a bit less and vocalists less still. The average five-piece band would require an area about 6×3 metres. We will be able to advise and arrange adequate staging.

Is the audience area right?

Don’t forget your audience! Think about what type of event this is. Do you want your audience seated as in a theatre, or would you prefer your guests seated at tables; able to mingle amongst themselves. What sort of atmosphere are you trying to create. A simple mis-judgement can spoil a party, common mistakes include: Having a large echoing room with too few people. A big room or hall need a lot of people, too few and they gather around the edges, and the sound of the band turns to a reverberating din. Make sure there is one main area for your guests, having the bar area separate from the performance
/dance floor area can mean that you end up with a bar packed with guests and a band or DJ playing to an empty room. When choosing a venue space; less is more, a very large room with too few people can feel empty and lack atmosphere.

Can the band get in and out?

Some events can go on long into the early hours but the band may need to clear the stage after they have finished. Consider your guests safety, avoid a situation where equipment is being carried across a crowded dancefloor. Or if you’re planning an event which runs all day with a band in the evening, avoid having guests in area where band and crew need to load-in their equipment.

Do I need to do a risk assessment?

It is best to do a full risk assessment before an event. Most venues wil have this in place. A risk assessment essentially consists of identifying potential risks and hazards and taking reasonable steps to avoid or minimise them and having plans in place should an emergency occur. It is important to keep areas where people are working, separate from areas where guests or audience are.
It is important that fire risks are minimised and that there are enough fire exits.