Live Music (page 2)

Draw up a simple contract between you and the artist to include:

  • Date and  time of performance (how many sets and how long; what time they start and what time they finish)
  • Agreed Fee (including any extra fee for playing on if they are wildly successful; any “rider” i.e free food or drinks (which is often a way of keeping the fee down to a minimum); cancellation fee if for any reason you have to cancel the gig)
  • Publicity – what you expect them to do to publicise their gig and what you will do to publicise the gig
  • Health and Safety – get the band to sign that their kit is fit and proper and safe


Further advice on contracts etc can be had from The Musicians’ Union (MU) , the “Live Music Kit” is especially useful. Click these links to download the MU’s specimen Hiring a band contract  or Hiring a solo musician contract

Organising the Venue and the Night

Make your venue suitable for live music – if you have no stage area then create an area in the pub that is clearly for the band (clear tables and chairs; put up a back drop (blackout is best); buy some LED “cans” – lighting that is low energy produces little heat and you can vary the colour and even flash to the music; put RCD (cut-out units) into the sockets where the act will plug in their kit.

On the night when the act/band arrives – welcome them, show them where to set up, go over the performance times etc, what you expect them to do if there is an emergency (i.e a fire say or any unruly behaviour) – in these events they should stop playing immediately; offer them somewhere to store their surplus kit (guitar cases etc) and somewhere to change (if you have the space)

Check the “nuisance value” – bands will carry out a sound check before they perform (to make sure they sound good) – take the opportunity to assess whether the volume is too loud for comfort in the building and whether it is likely to be a nuisance to your neighbours. If it’s too loud ask the band to reduce the volume and make sure you monitor the level during their performance.

Promoting the Event

Tell the staff what music you have on and encourage them to check them out (on social network sites etc) and then to talk the band up with customers

Publicise the gig with posters, table talkers, chalk boards, on your own website/social networking site well in advance.

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