Planning a live event or party can be quite a task.
We’ve assembled a list of frequently asked questions below to help you.
Can I see The Cassettes live before booking them?
Yes, you can. We showcase on a regular basis and can provide details to you upon request. We are a very busy band and as it is not really possible to invite you to a private function, our showcases are a good alternative. We don’t usually play at pubs & clubs because our schedule doesn’t allow this.
How much do you charge?
It is difficult to give you an indication of our charges without knowing a little bit about your event. Several factors can affect the cost of hiring our band, including the date, the location, the length of time you want us to play, early arrival and late finishes and inclusion of our DJ service.
We like to work within your budget wherever possible so please contact us and we will be more than happy to give you a quote.
Do you charge extra for sound and lighting equipment?
No, we provide our own high-quality professional sound and lighting system and these are included in any quote for the band.
How do I secure my booking?
Once we have given you a quote, we will then determine your deposit fee: the balance is paid by cheque or direct bank transfer. We will invoice you for this. Please note this is a non-refundable deposit and we will issue you with a receipt. When we confirm a booking for a particular date, we will then turn away all other possible bookings for this date. In the event that a booking is cancelled, we would use the deposit as a part-payment to cover the loss of earnings for the date in question. It is also your guarantee that “The Cassettes” will honour the booking. If you would like to discuss our policy then we would be more than happy to do this.
Are you covered for public liability insurance?
Yes, we have full public liability insurance and can provide certificates if needed.
How far do you travel?
We travel worldwide but most of our bookings are within approximately two hours of London; bookings beyond this area may incur additional travel expenses and/or overnight accommodation.
When do you need the details of our event?
We like to gather as much information as possible to enable us to make sure all goes smoothly for you with your event.
A coordination sheet, song list and usually a DJ request form are sent to you once your booking is confirmed. We advise you to complete and return the details as soon as you can. We like to have all your information about a month before the event. We also try to help by supplying you with our FAQ document (you’re reading it!) and a ‘Pre-event Checklist’.
There are ‘noise restrictions’ at my venue, what are ‘noise restrictions’? . . . can you still play?
Some venues have sound restrictions, which are monitored with a sound meter: more commonly they may have a sound limiter installed. Noise Limiters are pre-set to a certain level (e.g.: 90 decibels) – if the music exceeds this limit, after a brief warning, the power is cut off altogether!
(Not great in the middle of a song!)
Many factors can affect how a noise limiter operates: the positioning of the limiter, the acoustics of the room or noise from the audience etc.
This is increasingly common and we have catered for many venues that have noise restrictions. We play at venues with sound limiters often and because we use specially tailored equipment that gives us more control of our overall sound mix, we can eliminate problems that many other bands can’t. We have a lot of experience playing at low volume levels and have built up our own database of venues with sound limiters so we usually have a pretty good idea. If the limiter is set very low, then although the band may not set it off, it can sometimes be triggered by the audience – especially if they are extremely loud. You need to bear in mind that a venue with a sound limiter may mean our performance is quieter, and we will need sufficient time to test our volume relative to the meter’s settings. We can also play very loudly if required!
My function is in a marquee, or venue where load in may be difficult. When would be a suitable time for the band to set up?
There are several set-up options available for marquee performances. These are affected by the timings of your event, the layout and size of the marquee and the availability of extra access to the performance area (usually a removable tent flap) so that we don’t disturb your guests. Generally, there are a couple of options:
Firstly we can set up before the guests enter the marquee. The advantage here is that the band will be set up and available to start whenever you want, also – the P.A. system is then available for speeches and recorded backing music / or our DJ service during the afternoon/evening. There is often an extra charge for an early setup.
Secondly, the band can set up after the Wedding breakfast or celebratory meal has finished. There is usually a natural break in the proceedings at this point and guests will often take this opportunity to relax and ‘stretch their legs’, making it an ideal time for us to set up. With this second option, it is likely that guests may hear our ‘sound check’, so if this is something you want to avoid, we’d suggest enquiring about an early setup. You also need to make sure that your schedule allows us 1 hour 30 mins to set up before we can play any music for you.
My venue has asked for a PAT certificate. What is this and can you provide it?
PAT stands for Portable Appliance Test and covers the electrical safety of any piece of portable electrical equipment used in the workplace. This is not a specific statutory test like a MOT but it is a requirement for a professional band. Health and safety regulations state that any electrical equipment used in the workplace must be properly maintained and regularly inspected to ensure safety. The frequency of the testing and the qualifications of the tester must be appropriate for the type of equipment and the environment in which the equipment is being used. Most venues expect PAT tests to be carried out annually by a qualified electrician. We are able to provide a PAT certificate if required.
When do you usually set up?
A typical setup time is usually around 6.00pm with an arrival of 5.30pm and we usually finish at midnight. These timings can vary according to your requirements, and we’re willing to work around the schedule of your event. An earlier set up is also possible and the timings of this will have to be agreed in advance.
What if we require you to arrive early in the day or stay later?
No problem, please let us know the details. An additional early setup or late play fee is likely and depending on our location the previous day, we may have to book accommodation to make sure we arrive at your event with plenty of time to spare.
How much space do you need and do you require a raised stage?
We do not require a raised stage as such, this is up to you, however, we do require a flat and stable surface to set up on. A performance area generally about 5m x 5m, however, we can fit into smaller spaces. If you think there may be an issue with the size or structure of the performance area, then please let us know.
How long does it take you to set up?
We require one hour and thirty minutes to set up but this can vary depending on the ease of access to the performance area. Obstructions at the load-in time and vehicle movement & parking regulations can have an impact on how long we may need. Please let us know if you think we are likely to encounter any difficulties during load in. We incorporate a small sound check into this setup schedule.
What are the electrical power requirements?
We require domestic style three-pin 13 amp sockets. Two sockets are preferred and where more than one socket is required, we recommend that these are supplied from different ring mains so that the power is evenly distributed. For marquees, the contractor should be able to provide 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. Our total power loading will not exceed 6kva and will probably be a lot less. For Marquee events, please do make sure that you supply enough power – failure to cover power for both band and caterers could lead to problems.
What lighting equipment do you have?
Our lighting equipment is ‘ultra bright LED lighting’ which draws low power but looks great. We have two large vertical strip lights, which illuminate the band, and two further, powerful lighting units, which flash multicoloured patterns onto the dance floor. If you would like to add more lighting to our set-up than we welcome you to do that, it depends on the result you are looking for.
Why it is important for hot meals to be provided for us?
To play at an evening function with a typical setup time of 6.00 pm and a midnight finish, we will probably leave home late morning and our day’s work will not finish until we arrive home which would be around 2.00/3.00am depending on the location. These times may be extended where more travel is involved or where there is an early setup or late finish. This means that we will typically be away from home for 12 hours or more and this is why we need something fairly substantial to eat. The most convenient option is to eat at the venue where we can be on hand to see how things are progressing. We would not necessarily expect to be served the food you are serving to your guests as we realise this can be very expensive. We respectfully request 4 meals (one of which should be vegetarian if possible). Also please bear in mind that it’s not ideal for us to eat just before we go on stage or in breaks between sets. we jump around a lot and as you can imagine, eating then immediately jumping around is not a great combination.
Can you start your LIVE set earlier or go past the time you agreed on the day?
Yes, we understand that sometimes your schedule may not run exactly as planned and therefore we aim to accommodate where possible; we do encourage you and your guests to enjoy yourselves. However, we cannot play past a restricted curfew time as this would affect the venue’s license and can cause problems.
Can I choose your LIVE playlist?
We send you our song list so you can check of your likes and dislikes. We then compile our live set based on your choices. There are many factors which determine the order and composition of the playlist, such as key signatures, tempos, guitar changes, the order of electronically sequenced tracks, etc. Plus we have extensive experience in knowing what will keep your guests happy and on the dance floor. Our song list is constantly evolving and being updated and is a result of many years of great requests and suggestions. We welcome any extra song suggestions and you may find we already play them.
I wanted you to play a song that is not on your song list. Can you do this?
Given enough notice, and as long as the song being requested is something popular that we are likely to use again, then it’s possible. We do spend a lot of time learning and adding songs to our repertoire, and we’re very fussy about the details: we try to get every song to sound as much like the original as we can, and we have high standards, so will only put songs into our set that we feel we can replicate successfully (no problems so far . . ) and that we will use again. We are extremely busy though, so we do find that we have to turn down requests because of our schedule, Please do ask.
How long do you perform LIVE?
We perform live for two hours which is divided into two one-hour sets or three forty minute sets.
Will you need to sound check?
It is important for us to sound check and you need to allow a specific and convenient time for us to do this. We can play without a sound check and have done so in the past, but we try to avoid this where possible as it can affect the final result we deliver for you and your guests. It is particularly important to sound check when we are performing with a sound meter.
Do you offer a DJ service?
Yes, we can offer you our very own exclusive “live DJ service” as an unbelievable low priced add-on. We liaise with you prior to your event and make sure that you get great music all night.
Can I request songs from the DJ service?
When you book our DJ service you will receive a form to complete, with which you can request specific songs and tell us your likes and dislikes: this is a guide to help our DJ. Most of the time, to complement the LIVE music show our DJ is asked to play a good mixture of songs and genres to accommodate a wide cross section of friends and family……from rockers to ravers…….young and old. If you would like to hear any particular songs on the night, then we give you the opportunity to list these, but we do ask you to be realistic and reasonable with any list you give us – we’re happy to find any songs that we may not already have, but if there are a lot of these, we may charge for track purchases. You can also send us specific songs to incorporate into our DJ set: these should be in MP3 or MP4 format and must be copyright protection-free versions. You can send us a CD in advance or even email the files to us directly.
What if I don’t want any DJ service?
We offer you the facility to play an I-pod or similar device through our PA system, if it is important for you to select the recorded music then it may be easier to burn your own compilation CD or play your own MP3 player or iPod through our PA system. Please bear in mind that pre-recorded compilations cannot be easily edited.
Can I, or one of my guests sing or play along with you on the day?
It may be possible for you or one of your guests to “sit in” with us, but we will need advanced warning and it’s best to have agreed beforehand what song is going to be performed. We strongly advise against people just jumping up – it can lead to confusion and a can disrupt the ‘flow’ of the evening as well as creating health and safety risks. Singing with the band, if requested in advance is normally OK. Insurance issues require that guests cannot play our equipment so we advise against it.
What if a band member is Ill on the day of my function?
This is very rare, but under these circumstances, we would provide a substitute musician.
The show must go on!
It’s unlikely to happen, but any substitute we use will have worked with us before and we insist on the highest quality as we have a great reputation to maintain.
What if there are EXTREME weather conditions on the day of my function?
One thing we can’t plan is . . the weather!
If there are very extreme weather conditions on the day of your function, then we will usually have seen predictions of this on the news/weather forecasts etc.
We will plan extra time for our journey, and occasionally also book hotels etc.
If you and your guests can get there – then so can we ! . and we won’t let you down.
We’re serious about giving you a good show – we’ve driven through rain, wind, sleet and snow!
Once, we even travelled to a gig in deep snow, knowing full well, that the chances of getting home were dubious . . we were right ! and spent the night sleeping on the dancefloor of a castle . !
What a terrific party though . . ! Worth every moment!
On a serious note though, if the whole country is ‘snowed under’ and roads are closed etc. – this may even stop your guests from arriving . under those circumstances, we may have trouble too.
But we will always go beyond the call of duty! We’ve never let anyone down yet . . !