Frequently Asked Questions
How do I make a booking?
Firstly, select the entertainment you’re interested in and either submit an online enquiry or give us a call on 0121 250 5089. We’ll discuss your requirements and get a quote directly from the performer or band over to you. Once you’re 100% happy to confirm, we’ll issue a legally binding contract to you and the performer or band., you then pay a small deposit (usually 15%), which can be paid by BACS or debit/credit card.
In some cases, the remaining balance is payable directly to the act or band on the day of the event or normally the balance is due 30 days before the event, the fee remains in the Quinn Artistes Client account until the event has taken place. It is only after the booking is completed will the act or band be paid. (Usually the day after or the following Monday.)
What methods of payment do you accept?
You can pay your deposit by BACS Internet transfer or debit/credit card.
Will the band or tribute vocalist provide his or her own sound equipment?
Yes, in 99.9% of cases every Quinn Artistes act or band will be fully self-contained and provide everything they need in order to perform at your event.
In the case of bands and musicians, if an event is particularly large they may need to hire in additional sound reinforcement or a larger PA. Where an AV company is involved and providing the front of house sound and lighting the acts will still provide their backline equipment as a rule.
However, when an event is taking place in a foreign location it may be the case that the backline equipment will also need to be provided (for example, amps, drum kit etc.). In instances such as these a technical rider will be provided by the act so that all requirements will be catered for
How much space and time do the band need to set up?
The following information is based on a 4 or 5 piece and rock, Motown or pop function band
If the band has good access to your venue (EG: no lifts or stairs, no more than 100ft to wheel their equipment) they should be able to load in, set up and sound check within 90 minutes.
The exact set-up time required by each performer that we represent will be detailed and confirmed on your booking contract.
Setup and sound check involves the following important steps:
1. Unloading all the band’s equipment from their van and carrying it into the venue.
2. Unpacking the equipment from flight cases and putting it in their allocated part of the room as pre arranged – as the band need it to be positioned correctly for them to be able to perform and entertain your guests or customers.
3. Connecting up the power and all the cables and checking everything is working.
4. Sound checking – balancing the volume and equalisation of each instrument and/or voice in the band’s PA system so that:
a) everything sounds good in your room (every room sounds different and some instruments require careful attention so that the sound isn’t too loud or unbalanced with other instruments).
b) each instrument is balanced against the other instruments so that you hear the songs clearly.
c) the band members can hear each other clearly.
d) the overall volume level is set as you / the venue requires.
5. Packing away empty cases, moving the vehicle to a permanent parking spot, and getting changed into stage clothes for their performance.
If your event is running late and you’ve arranged for the band to set up after wedding speeches, they will still need the same amount of time to set up. This allocated set up and sound check time is vital for the band to properly connect their equipment and get a good sound in advance of their performance. Please be respectful of the fact that the band can’t physically complete the steps listed above any faster than the time they’ve already indicated when you booked them, and any attempt to make them feel pressured to hurry is only going to stress them out and put them on edge before they entertain your guests!
Please also be mindful of the fact that sound check is inherently loud and cannot happen at the same time as speeches or dinner unless you’ve got the band performing in a different part of your venue.
For weddings, we usually advise that set-up and sound-check happens in the gap after the wedding breakfast, whilst your venue turns the room around for the evening party. For this reason, you might want to speak with your venue to find out if there’s another space where your guests can go after dinner away from the band setting up. It’s not a problem if this isn’t possible, but bear in mind the louder ‘sound check’ part can take up to 20 minutes. Often guests sing along!!
Alternatively, bands can arrive earlier in the day to be set up and sound checked before your wedding breakfast, but there will be an additional cost to cover the extra time on site.
As an approximate guide to the amount of space required by rock, soul and Motown and pop cover function bands:
3-piece band: 3 x 3 meters
4-piece band: 4 meters wide by 3 meters deep
5 and 6-piece band: 5 meters wide by 3 meters deep
7-piece and bigger: 5/6 meters wide by 4 meters deep.
How do I amend or change details of a booking?
Simply speak to or email us and we will arrange any changes to your booking. In some circumstances, EG: requesting the act or band to perform for longer or arrive earlier, additional costs may be incurred.
It’s important that any amendments are reflected on your contract and this can only happen by us issuing a newly amended contract (we don’t charge a fee for this). Please do not agree any amendments with the act or band themselves otherwise they will not be covered by your old contract and there is a possibility that any changes will be forgotten.
What if I need to cancel or re-arrange?
Sometimes clients are faced with an unfortunate situation where they need to cancel a booking. We are sympathetic to the fact that the reason for cancellation might be distressing and difficult to discuss. Please be assured that if you need to cancel a booking, we will always treat you with respect and consideration for your circumstances.
Re-arranging a booking
Re-arranging a booking is possible but it is still technically a cancellation. The difference is that often an act or band won’t charge a cancellation fee to re-arrange a booking providing they’re available on the date you want to swap to and you’re not re-arranging with such short notice that they have no chance of re-filling the old date.
If you need to cancel or re-arrange a booking please call us or email us as soon as possible.
In order to ensure we get your message right away, please try to speak to us on the on the phone highlighting the reasons for cancelling / re-arranging. If you try to cancel a booking by email you must make sure your email is received as spam filters block sometimes emails. Please don’t try to cancel a booking at short notice by email or text as we might not pick it up before the act or band travels to your venue.
Once we know you need to cancel or re-arrange a booking we will contact the act or band to inform them, and we’ll liaise with you to start the cancellation process, including calculating whether any cancellation fees are due, and if so how much.
Consequences and costs of cancellation
All bookings are secured with a legally binding contract and so there are consequences to you cancelling. A cancellation fee will be due from you to the act or band if the reason for you cancelling your booking is not covered by a ‘force majeure event’, and if the act/band is unable to secure another booking of equal value for your event date. If the act/band is able to secure another booking of equal value for your cancelled event date, you will not owe any cancellation fees.
A force majeure event is described in our contracts as ………
A “Force Majeure Event” occurs where a party is unable to comply with its obligations under this Contract for a reason outside of its control (such as war, fire, death, illness or other capacity certified by a properly qualified medical practitioner, epidemic, accident, civil commotion, national calamity, order of Government or Local Authority having jurisdiction in the matter, changes in law, foreign government policy, act of God) and which is not attributable to any act or failure to take preventive action by the act/band or Client (you).
In simple terms, you can only cancel the booking without penalty if you suffer an unforeseeable disaster (often referred to as an act of God) such as falling seriously ill, your venue getting burned down or some other national calamity.
Currently, the cancellation fee thresholds are as follows:
7) Cancellation: if the client/hirer cancels the engagement QA shall notify the artiste(s) forthwith and the artiste(s) shall be entitled to receive compensation as follows:
a) More than 90 days prior to event date – 50% of their total fee.
b) 43 – 90 days prior to event date – 75% of their total fee
c) Within 42 days of the event – 100% of their total fee
Please also bear in mind that if you cancel a booking for a force majeure reason, the act/band may request proof such as a medical note from your doctor.
What if the act or band cancels?
Unless you have booked an act or band who has a provision built into their contract terms which allows them to cancel your booking without penalty due to unforeseen tour / TV work (this is very rare and will have been specifically pointed out to you when you booked them) then the act or band is legally bound to your contract just as you are and they are unable to cancel your booking for any reason other than a ‘force majeure event’.
This means that unless the artist dies, is seriously ill, or is delayed by an accident travelling to your event – then they can’t cancel your booking without being in breach of contract; for which you could sue them for damages.
If the act or band you’ve booked does break their contract, or if they are affected by a force majeure event, then as soon as we know about it, we will inform you and help you to find a suitable replacement act or band. We operate a 24 hour-a-day emergency cover service so even at very short notice, one quick call to let us know there’s an issue and we’re there to support you in finding a replacement.
If an act or band has broken the terms of the contract, we would also support you through taking legal action against them if it’s justified under the terms.
I am not sure which band or tribute act I want – can someone help me?
For no obligation help and advice please submit an online enquiry, or else call us on 0121 250 5089 and one of our agents will be happy to assist. Our offices are open 9.30am – 5.30pm Monday to Friday. Once your enquiry has been made, whether by phone or online, the same agent will look after you from start to finish, so you’ll always deal with the same person and they’ll work with you to understand exactly what you’re looking for.
Your agent will be able to make recommendations based on the information you provide and on any act or band selections that you’ve already made. If you have found one act or band you like, we can answer any questions you have about them and if required, discuss the differences between them and other similar performers so you can compare a range of options and quotes.
The more specific you can be about what you want the more easily we’ll be able to help. Think about what style of entertainment you want, what you want the entertainment to achieve (dancing, mood setting, ice breaking etc), how much you want to spend and how much space you have. Do you want lively, calming, modern, funky, sophisticated, cool, mature, young, vibrant etc. All these descriptions will help us to make suitable recommendations.
Can I go and see the band or tribute act before I book?
In most circumstances this is not possible as we work with bands and artists specialising in performances at private functions. By the nature of the fact that they are private, we cannot obtain access. Bands or tribute acts who regularly play at pubs are probably not the type you’d hire for an important private party as pubs don’t pay the money required for top quality acts.
Can I speak to the band or tribute act?
Once you’ve booked, the band or tribute will contact you in the 3 weeks leading up to your event to discuss the finer details, ensure your requirements haven’t changed and finalise song preferences etc. If you need to speak to them before this it can be arranged but most liaisons before this point should be made via your Quinn Artistes Agent. We work on the artist’s behalf and this helps to ensure everything is properly noted on your enquiry/contract and not forgotten!
Most artists will not make site visits as they are not necessary and they do not charge enough money to be able to afford to give up a day to do so. If there is an extraordinary circumstance which demands a site visit, it can be arranged and a fee would more than likely be charged to cover time and travel.
Can I pick the songs the band or tribute act will perform?
Most bands and act’s prefer that you select the songs from their play list, then leave them to structure your choices into a workable order. They will need to consider many variables in order to ensure their sets flow well.
Feel free to make an input but let the band or tribute act bring their considerable experience to bear when finalising the actual play list for the evening.
Will the band or singer learn the first dance song for us?
In most cases yes, however they will need plenty of notice and this will be agreed in writing and noted on the contract
In many cases, if the song is not something the band feel they would perform again, they will charge a fee to cover rehearsal time and the hire of a rehearsal room. They will usually also only consider learning a song if it can be performed with their standard instrumentation. For example, it would be difficult for a guitar-based band to perform a convincing Frank Sinatra track without the piano and orchestra.
How loud will the band or tribute act be?
The minimum level the band can set their equipment to is so that the other instruments and vocals can be heard above the natural volume of the drum kit. This varies from band to band and from style to style. In modern pop/rock music, the drums are played in a lively, strong and energetic fashion. Therefore, pop bands are relatively loud.
Relative doesn’t mean much unless it’s in context. We’ve established that most party bands are going to be ‘quite’ loud and this would mean that if you are on the dance floor in front of the bands PA system, it would be difficult to talk without having to speak directly into some ones ear. However, unless they are at the peak of their set and playing a highly energetic song, you would expect to be able to talk with a raised voice 20-30 feet away.
If you have any concerns about elderly guests, consider a swing band or rock n roll band as these should be slightly quieter than a standard rock and pop function band. In our experience, at weddings and parties it’s the grandparents who dance first, longest and hardest so don’t worry too much!
My venue has a sound limiter, will that be a problem?
Sound limiters spoil everyone’s fun. If you don’t know what they are, they are devices, which measure the volume of sound in a room, then cut off the electricity supply if the sound volume remains above a pre-defined threshold for more than 10 – 20 seconds.
If you can, book a venue that does not have a sound limiter fitted. If you are unlucky enough to have already booked a venue with a sound limiter you need to understand the following:
Decibel (dB) comparison chart1. Bands are loud and not deliberately so. They will work with you to perform within the confines of a sound limiter but it’s not always possible if the limiter is set unworkably low. The band cannot turn down any lower than the unamplified volume of the drum kit. As you can imagine, a drum kit is quite loud even if it’s not being amplified by the bands PA system.
- The minimum level the band can set their equipment to is so that the other instruments and vocals can be heard above the natural volume of the drum kit. This varies from band to band and from style to style. In modern pop/rock music, the drums are played in a lively, strong and energetic fashion. Therefore, pop bands are relatively loud. Jazz drummers often play with brushes and in a much more refined fashion so they don’t normally have trouble with sound limiters.
- In many circumstances, as long as the venue see the band are making an effort to comply with the limiter, they will switch the limiter off or raise the threshold if problems persist.
- If the limiter is set to a threshold of approx 95dB, most party bands should be able to play without too much trouble, depending on the location of the sound limiters microphone. Below 95dB and you run the risk of audience applause tripping out the electricity!!
I am unsure I have chosen the right act or band – can you reassure me?
We totally understand concerns about booking an act or band you’ve not seen before.
However, there are two very good reasons why you shouldn’t worry.
- Quinn Artistes exists so that you don’t have to do all the hard work of vetting bands and artistes yourselves. We do all that for you and only represent those who pass our strict vetting procedure. If you are concerned about quality, don’t be. All the acts and bands we work with are pre-vetted and continually monitored by us to ensure quality is maintained. Our performers are totally professional and have too much at stake to let you or us down.
- Every artiste has photos, audio examples and references from previous customers to view on their Quinn Artistes listing. The feedback from other happy clients is one of the best ways to calm your nerves and you can hear what each band sounds like from their online audio demos.
- As for any concerns about booking with Quinn Artistes our previous customer references also speak for themselves. You have the peace of mind that comes from booking with one of the UK’s largest live entertainment agency.
- You also have the added security of a comprehensive booking contract and 24 hour emergency support.
What security do I get if I book with Quinn Artistes?
When you book live entertainment with Quinn Artistes you get a comprehensive booking contract. This contract legally binds the artiste to perform at your event, it confirms exactly what the artiste will provide and at what times and it also binds the artiste to provide a high quality of service and behaviour. This contract is legally binding and cannot be cancelled unless a force majeure takes place.
If one of the artistes is seriously ill or injured, we operate a 24-hour emergency hotline so we can be contacted to make alternative arrangements. This could include arranging an alternative artiste or helping the band to replace an injured member. Your appointed agent will also be on hand to help with any questions or queries up to and after your event.
What are the benefits of booking with Quinn Artistes Entertainment agency?
- Expert advice and guidance to ensure you'll get exactly the right entertainment for your party - a bespoke service.
- Fast efficient service ensures your questions are answered promptly and you always get as much help as you need, even after you’ve booked.
- Safe, secure booking contracts ensure you won’t get messed round and the performance on the day exactly matches what you asked for.
- 24 hour emergency service to ensure if the worst happens, someone is on hand to put things right.
- Excellent value for money.
- Established, reputable business – we've been around for a long time and won’t be moving to abroad as soon as we’ve got your deposit. Your booking is in safe hands.
- High quality artistes – each act is vetted by us before we work with them. Each act is continually monitored to ensure quality and any one who falls below par is removed from our web site.
- Reliable artistes – They are all professional, ethical and have numerous references from previous clients to put your mind at rest.
- Easy to use – every step from enquiry to booking process is easy. No jargon, no stress, no hassles. Give us a try and see how easy it is to book amazing live entertainment!
Do I need to provide anything for the act or band?
Somewhere to change comfortably would be appreciated and it helps if there is a mirror, electricity supply and comfortable chairs. Toilets or disabled toilets are not acceptable. Ideally the changing room should be secure so that the band or singer can leave their personal possessions and change into their stage wear. This room can also double up as a quiet space to go between performances. If no changing room is available, please let us know in well in advance so we can make alternative arrangements.
Food and drinks
For afternoon musicians and entertainers, soft drinks, water, tea and coffee are usually fine.
For the majority of party bands and evening entertainers you will need to provide food and refreshments. This is referred to in your contract as a ‘Rider’.
In the case of most evening bands and tribute bands/acts, the duration of their time away from home is approximately 12 – 16 hours, running from the time they leave home until the time they get home. Because of this, it’s important that they get a good meal, so hot food or access to a good quality buffet is always much appreciated. If for some reason it is impossible to cater for the entertainment at your venue, please let us know well in advance.
Please ensure your hotel or catering staff are aware that the entertainers will need to be catered for.
Please also ensure that bar staff know soft drinks and tea/coffee are free for the band (or make arrangements for plenty to be provided in the bands changing room.)
What are the risks of booking an act or band with out using an agency like Quinn Artistes?
Although it may be tempting to book a local band or singer there are several good reasons why it’s dangerous to your event and a false economy.
- If you book any band directly, you have no real cover if anything goes wrong. If you don’t know the band already they’ll have no loyalty to you and no concerns about ruining their reputation by letting you down, as chances are there will be no way for you to damage their reputation. The biggest danger with booking a band directly is them getting a better offer and pulling out of your event. They can’t do that when contracted via an agency.
When booking through Quinn Artistes you are covered by a contract, the act, tribute act or band’s loyalty to us, and you’ll have the help of a professional, reputable organisation to sort out a replacement in the event of an emergency. We do care about our reputation and we won’t let you down.
- A local band has no one to answer to but themselves, so quality control, behaviour, song choices, appearance, equipment quality are all totally ungoverned and unmonitored. With us artistes have to first pass our strict application guidelines and then answer to us with every bit of feedback we receive from previous clients. This ensures you’ll get a reliable band and no nasty surprises.
- Cheap local bands are likely to sound cheap. Professional function bands tribute acts and vocalist should have much better quality PA systems, lighting, instruments and performance ability. Chances are you’re looking for live entertainment for an important event? Chances are you wouldn’t book the local chip shop owner to run the catering for your event? Why cut corners with the music? You will notice the difference; you will wish you’d booked quality entertainment. Professional performers provide a totally different service to the bands that busk down the pub on a Thursday night.
- If you pay a deposit to a local band and they split up, disappear or stop returning your calls, where are you going to go for help? You’ll end up coming to us anyway and you’ll need to pay a deposit all over again. Book with us in the first place and you’ll have security and no danger of being messed around. The deposit and or full fee is held in a non-interest bearing client bank account and we do not charge an extra fee for this – it’s all part of the service.
What if I have a complaint?
Although thankfully very rare, we have a very efficient system to ensure any complaints are looked after sensitively and thoroughly. If you have a serious complaint, you can discuss it with your agent who will formally put the complaint to the artist. We usually do this in writing so that all issues are clear and accountable. We will mediate with the artiste or band and obtain their side of the story and this will also be put to you in writing. If the artistes response and any offer of compensation is not to your satisfaction, your agent will continue to liaise between both parties until a satisfactory outcome can be agreed. If nether party can agree a satisfactory resolution to the complaint, you will be fully entitled to take legal action against the artist directly (most are represented by the Musicians Union or Equity) and your solicitor will be able to offer much more detailed legal advice than we are qualified to.
If after investigation we feel an artiste or band has caused unnecessary and unavoidable inconvenience or distress to a customer, or should they not cooperate fully with a complaint procedure, we will remove them immediately from our web site.
If you have a complaint about Quinn Artistes or your agent this can be made directly to Tracey Cabrera-Quinn – our director/owner.
If you are not happy with our response, you can also make a complaint to Trading Standards, get advice from The Office of Fair Trading, or visit https://www.advicenow.org.uk