Once the contract with your band is executed, we will send you a link to access your Event Profile in The Hub, our online tool to make event planning with your band easy. There is no password required and you can access your Event Profile at any time.
Fill out your Event Profile prior to 45 days before your event, at which point you’ll be introduced directly to your band and they’ll begin to review your Event Profile. This will help make it easy for you and your band to collaborate to finalize any remaining details.
Click here to watch an overview video of The Hub.
A link to access your Event Profile will be included in periodic emails from Sam Hill. If you cannot locate your link contact our Support Team.
We will put you directly in touch with your band 45 days prior to your event. Please ensure your Event Profile is filled out by this point so your band can review the information and discuss any remaining details with you.
Our bands follow the designated 45 day timeline because it allows them to fully focus on events taking place in the near future. Do not worry - your band has a proven formula for managing details within the specified planning window.
You can access your Event Profile at any time to update or add event details.
Most of the time, your band is traveling to your event location, and in order to maintain their schedule, they can’t lose setup or performance time going in search of food. We request that you provide a hot meal on-site but please know that it doesn't need to be the same meal that your guests are enjoying. Many venues or caterers can provide a less expensive vendor meal option.
A hot meal is strongly preferred, but your band will appreciate any well-balanced, nutritious meal you can provide. Please avoid pizza or fast food – a well balanced meal will help sustain your band’s energy as they entertain you and your guests!
Most bands prefer to eat prior to their performance or during their first set break. You can discuss the meal timing and any dietary restrictions directly with the band. If it is not possible to provide a meal for the band on-site, a meal buyout of $30 per-person can be purchased by contacting our Support Team.
In-person meetings are difficult to arrange given your band’s geographic location, performance schedule and personal commitments. However, your band is accustomed to and very capable of covering all planning details via video call, phone and email.
This depends on the atmosphere of your event. Male performers typically wear suits or slacks and a collared shirt, and female performers have a wide range of formal and evening wear to choose from. Tuxes may be available upon request and subject to additional costs. You can discuss attire with your band when you are introduced 45 days prior to your event.
Yes. Visit our website at any time to view a current, up-to-date songlist for every one of our bands. Simply search for your band and their songlist is available to sort by music style, artist name or song name. You can also access your band’s songlist from your Event Profile, on the Song Requests tab.
Your band is happy to take your song preferences into consideration when crafting their set. They have lots of experience with building energy throughout the night to keep you and your guests entertained, and they know their particular strengths, so there is no need to send a long list of songs to play at your event. To start a dialogue with your band about songs they will perform, feel free to to select up to 6 songs you'd love for the band to play, and up to 6 songs you'd prefer they NOT play. You can enter this information into your Event Profile on the Song Requests tab. Your band will review your preferences and discuss any questions or concerns with you once we’ve put you in touch 45 days prior to your event.
Unless otherwise specified, our bands will be glad to learn one song for you at no additional charge, subject to their approval. For anything the band feels they can't learn or perform to satisfaction, they're always happy to download a digital file of the original recording and play that through their speakers. Many couples prefer to shorten their special songs to between 2 to 3 minutes. If you choose to do this, your bandleader can facilitate this whether the band is playing the song live or recorded.
Enter the song request into your Event Profile before 45 days prior to your event so your band has enough time to review your selection and learn the song.
The band cannot make advance recordings of first dance requests due to their busy performance schedule, personal obligations, and especially the costs involved with recording studios. Rest assured that our musicians are incredibly skilled, and they'll do their best to replicate the song as closely as possible.
If your wedding date approaches and you're still concerned, please know that your band can always play the original version of the song through their speakers. Many couples prefer this option for choreographed dances.
This shouldn’t be a problem if he or she only needs to use a microphone or two. This presents more of an issue if they need to plug in an instrument or do anything that requires reconfiguring equipment on stage, however it is possible in many cases. You'll be able to discuss this in more detail with your bandleader when we put you in touch 45 days prior to your event.
For a 4-hour event, your band will need a minimum of 45 minutes of total break time. This is most often accomplished with two 20-25 minute breaks. Your band will work with you to make sure they take their breaks at ideal times so the flow of your event isn't disturbed, provided no performance set is longer than 90 minutes. If you are planning a wedding, many activities during your reception create natural pauses in the band's performance like announcements and introductions, speeches and toasts, cake cutting, etc. Breaks are commonly scheduled to coincide with these activities so the focus can remain on these special moments. Also, it's important to keep in mind that the band will play recorded music when they're not on stage so there will not be any extended periods of silence.
If you plan a 3-hour performance or less, your band will not require as much break time. In most cases, the band will take one 25-30 minute break in the middle of the performance. Two 10-15 minute breaks could also work if that better suits your schedule.
Your band comes prepared to choose and provide appropriate pre-recorded break music, however if you prefer to customize your own playlist, your band will be happy to play it through their speakers (you can give them a Spotify playlist link or provide a mobile device).
Most bands provide a preset, varied mix of recorded music that corresponds to the flow of the event. For example, a dinner break will feature quieter music that does not interfere with conversation, while a late-evening music break will be lively and danceable. The mix of recorded music is not limited to your band's songlist.
Most bands can play recorded music between the time they complete set-up and the time they start performing for no additional fee. You can discuss this with your bandleader when we put you in touch 45 days prior to your event.
Yes, but keep in mind that they can’t begin to break down their equipment and load their vehicles while doing so. This will lead to more time on-site, which may be considered overtime and will likely carry extra fees. Contact our Support Team if you would like to discuss adjusting your contract.
Anywhere between one and four hours. The specific needs of your band will determine the time they need access to your venue.
If you have booked a small group, like an acoustic duo, jazz combo, or bluegrass band, an hour might be enough time because their equipment is smaller and set-up is less involved.
If you have booked a large dance band with drums, a full sound system, lighting, etc., you can expect them to need 2-4 hours to set up and soundcheck their equipment.
Keep in mind that your band will need time to dress and perhaps eat following set-up and prior to performance. Bands will specify the time they need for set-up in their contract rider.
Please contact our Support Team if your venue cannot accommodate the requested access time.
Our bands have worked with “room flip” scenarios before and will accommodate your plans as much as possible. There are extra complexities involved when multiple vendors are located in one area transforming a space in a limited amount of time. A 60-minute cocktail hour is too short if your band needs to completely load-in, setup, soundcheck and get dressed during that window of time.
Our bands often require between 2 and 4 hours to complete their entire setup process. In a “room flip” scenario, it is imperative that their equipment be loaded and staged in the performance area or an adjacent space, prior to the ceremony, so most of the "heavy lifting" is done. One option is to bring in pipe and drape enclosures, wall screens or curtains to conceal the equipment once it's in place so it doesn't visually impact the ceremony setting and photos. After the ceremony has concluded and all guests have made their way to cocktail hour, your band will need to position their equipment in place to finish setup.
Your band will hustle as much as they can to complete their setup in a limited timeframe. Please consult your venue for suggestions on how your band's set-up process can be expedited and how “room flips” have been successfully executed in the past.
During their performance time, your band can play as large or as small a role as master of ceremonies as you’d like. Just be sure to give them clear instructions on what to say and what times they need to make announcements, and they are happy to be the "ones on the microphone" making your guests aware of what's going on.
Your band must be protected from inclement weather. Your band must be sheltered from the elements regardless of the weather. There is always the chance some rain will pop up and the band cannot be expected to set up outside and then move inside in the case of bad weather. The performance area also needs protection covering it from direct sunlight in order to protect the band’s instruments/equipment from being damaged or overheated. The tent over the performance area does not need to have sides, but the band does require top coverage.
The performance area must be level, flat and dry. Please note: grass does not qualify unless it has a dance floor or staging surface on top of it.
The temperature must be warmer than 55 degrees. This does not mean the temperature outside must be warmer than 55 degrees, it means that the temperature where the band will be performing must be warmer than 55 degrees. Below that temperature, it’s difficult for the musicians to perform (imagine a guitar solo with frozen fingers!). Also, below that temperature, your guests are going to be chilly, so you’ve likely already thought about sides to the tent and heaters. Place several of the heaters near the band and they will be warm enough to rock your event!
Bands do not provide staging. An elevated stage is highly recommended so your band looks and sounds their best. A stage also helps to keep wayward guests and beverages away from valuable instruments and equipment.
If an elevated stage is not practical for your event, the band will require a dedicated performance space on a level, flat and dry floor or surface. Please refer to your band’s rider and consult with your venue coordinator to confirm that the appropriate performance space is available.
Most dance bands request a stage or performance area at least 20’ wide x 12’ deep. Larger bands (8 pieces or more) often request an area of 24’ x 16’ or larger. Smaller jazz combos or acoustic groups can fit into a smaller area, often 16’ x 12’ or less.
Your band will be reasonably flexible given the room space available at any venue, but it is a practical reality that your band needs both a suitable area to change clothes and prepare for a performance as well as eat their meal and be out of the way of other vendors and guests prior to performing. The ideal situation is a designated break/dressing room as requested in their rider. When that is not available, your band can make use of private rooms like an empty or unused office, clean storage area or even a pipe-and-drape enclosure. One option is a separate tent set up as a "backstage" area for bands and other vendors. You don’t need to make elaborate arrangements, and in most cases the band can get dressed in nearby restrooms. It is imperative that there be enough seating for everyone in the band and crew to eat.
If there is no suitable space available on property for the band to utilize as a break area, you have the option to purchase the break/dressing room buyout so the band can make their own arrangements. You can purchase the buyout by contacting our Support Team.
If parking isn’t available on-site, please confirm that the band will at least have temporary access to a loading dock or loading zone. It's important for them to be as close as possible to your space during the unloading process, as most bands travel with a fair amount of equipment. Once unloading is finished, they can relocate their vehicle(s) to nearby parking. Please note that you will need to reimburse the band for any parking fees or charges they may incur.
If possible, it's best to allow 1.5-2 hours for your band’s breakdown and load out process. Certain factors can cause unavoidable delays, including the distance between the performance area and the loading dock, the movement of other vendors who may block exits, or guests who want to chat.
Your band will do their best to load out in 60 minutes if requested, but we cannot guarantee this in all situations.
Our bands have played in just about every space imaginable—small, large, old, new, inside, outside—and have a wealth of experience getting the sound volume just right. They will make any necessary adjustments to suit your venue and will respond to any requests for volume adjustments from you or your venue.
Standard house outlets are often 20-amp circuits. They're more common in newer construction, but may be found in older homes as well. They're generally in the kitchen, bath, laundry, garage and exterior of the house—areas that tend to support more appliances and equipment.
Your band's geographic location and schedule generally prevent them from being able to attend site visits. Be sure to review your band’s rider with your venue so they’ll understand the band’s requirements. As long as the rider requests are fulfilled, the band will be fine to perform sight-unseen.
Typically, booking managers do not attend site visits due to geographic location and scheduling, and he or she would only reiterate the same information that’s outlined in the band’s rider. If needed, a member of our Support Team can speak with your venue contact to answer questions and provide them with enough insight that they could advise you and other vendors on our behalf.
Use of the band’s main equipment isn’t practical unless your ceremony takes place in the exact same physical space where the band performs for the reception. Moving equipment is an involved process that goes beyond shifting a speaker from one spot to another, and most bands don't travel with the same audio-visual (AV) gear and accessories you typically find at a ceremony (like lavalier/lapel microphones, for example).
Some of our bands do have access to additional equipment and will offer use of a separate sound system and microphone for an additional fee. You can view your band’s add-on options either via your Event Profile on the Services & Timeline tab or on your band’s page on our website.
Another option is to contact an AV company that's experienced with ceremony audio support. Most have ceremony packages that come with the proper equipment and a dedicated technician who can set up and breakdown that equipment and monitor the audio quality for you. You might ask your venue coordinator if they can make an AV vendor recommendation.
Typically, bands do not provide remote speaker systems. Their main sound system will be set up where they will be performing. If you need additional speakers elsewhere in your space, you can explore options with your venue and an audio-visual (AV) vendor.
Three to four 20-amp circuits will accommodate most bands in most situations, though requested power supply varies depending on equipment.
Your band may request more circuits or access to 220V power. Check your band’s rider and consult with your venue coordinator to confirm that the appropriate power supply is available.
Bands do not provide generators. Clients are responsible for supplying one if needed.
If you are working with a tent company, you can probably rent a generator from them. Let them know your band’s power needs, and they will advise you accordingly. They can also calculate your overall power needs to make sure you’re getting the right size generator to support all your vendors. If necessary, the band can make the arrangements on your behalf, but you will need to cover any associated costs.
Bands generally travel with extension cords, but it’s a good idea to check with them beforehand if the distance will be more than 50 ft.
Gratuity is always appreciated, but not expected. Tipping a band is generally more discretionary than gratuity in other industries (like restaurants, tour guides, taxis, etc) where those service providers essentially “work for tips”. Bands perform for the amount specified in the contract without the expectation of a specific tip amount or percentage.
We support offering a gratuity if the band has exceeded expectations or if they have accommodated you in the planning process or at the event in a way that showed exemplary service. No amount is too small, and musicians will always consider any gratuity as a generous gesture from their client. But again, you are under no obligation to offer gratuity on top of the contracted payment balance.
If you would like to offer gratuity, our experience has shown that anywhere from $20 to $100 per member of the band and crew is a reasonable range to consider, depending on the specifics of the contracted event. A gratuity can be provided directly to the bandleader at the event in cash or by check.
We provide general liability insurance coverage for every event. If you, your organization or your venue require a Certificate of Insurance, please contact our Support Team no later than 14 days prior to the date of that event.