Live Wedding Music Planning Advice: Venue Requirements, PAT, PLI & More!
There are a lot of details that go into planning a wedding! With so much to keep track of, you might not be entirely sure on what exactly is needed in terms of entertainment for your wedding. If you’re wondering what your wedding band or performers will need in terms of insurance, equipment, and how this all interacts with your wedding venue, we’ve put a quick guide together below.
Does my wedding entertainment have insurance?
Yes. Every wedding performer, be they a band, DJ, musician or anything else, requires public liability insurance, also called PLI. This isn’t anything you need to arrange on your side, the insurance is taken out by the act themselves. Every act on Tailored Entertainment’s roster has PLI cover, so you can rest assured that when you book through us, everything is taken care of.
Public liability insurance is required to be allowed to perform at venues, and a wedding venue can refuse a band to perform if they aren’t insured. PLI can vary, policies commonly go from £1 million up to £10 million. Check with your venue the amount of PLI cover they require. Venues will ask to see the band’s PLI documents in the weeks leading up to the wedding, and check that everything is in date. Our dedicated events team will be on hand to provide these on request.
Without PLI, in the event of an accident that leads to legal proceedings, performers could be liable for millions of pounds — so it’s really important to make sure your entertainment has this!
What is a PAT certificate?
We’re not talking about the postman! PAT stands for Portable Appliance Testing. It’s essentially a certificate that proves that electrical equipment — in our case, a band or DJ’s speaker systems and amplification — has been tested by a certified engineer, and has been confirmed as safe for use. PAT certificates are valid for one year. There will usually be stickers on the plug sockets themselves with the date of the test, as well as an actual document of certification. If the equipment is brand new, a dated receipt within one year is valid proof too.
Venues will ask to see PAT certificates ahead of the date, and only with a valid PAT certificate will they allow equipment to be plugged into their wall sockets. All of the acts on our roster have up-to-date PAT certificates, and your booking coordinator will be happy to provide these on request. This means the equipment your band uses is all certified as safe, and there won’t be any malfunctions on the night.
What does the act need from the venue?
Rest assured; the band won’t need the venue to provide any equipment. Every band on our roster comes fully self-contained with everything they need to perform, including their sound system, instruments, lighting and more.
They do need a few things at the venue itself. They’ll need a suitable space to set up in; while our acts don’t require a raised stage, they will need a clear area for all of their equipment, with hard, level flooring. If outside, they’ll also require some covering to protect against sudden rain or intense sun. For a 4-piece band, roughly 2.5 metres x 5 metres works well — if you’re curious about a specific act’s requirement, please get in touch!
They’ll also require access to power, e.g. wall plug sockets. We find that between 2 and 4 sockets depending on the size of the act are sufficient, to provide power for all of their equipment. The band will usually have an extension lead on hand just in case, but it’s always best to have more than necessary than turn up short. If your wedding is powered by a generator, we’d always recommend a minimum of 10kVA for a band alone, and suggest 20kVA if use of the generator is shared.
Access to a green room would be very appreciated as well. We call it a green room, but it’s just an area with seating where the band can get changed after loading all of their equipment in, as well as to use during their breaks. Plenty of venues have offices or other rooms available for suppliers, but just double check this with them.
What about sound restrictions?
Plenty of venues have sound restrictions in place. This is very common for venues located in residential areas, or buildings that have protected architecture. Restrictions might sound like a bad word, but it’s definitely possible to have an amazing party while inside these limitations!
Please let us know your venue’s sound restrictions when enquiring. We can then suggest bands and acts that will be a perfect fit for your venue. We might even have had a band perform at your venue before! If you’re at all concerned, please feel free to introduce us to your venue and we’ll be happy to chat directly.
Ask for your venue’s Noise Management Plan if they have one — this is a document required by the local council, which details the reasonable steps that are in place to manage the noise levels. It’ll also indicate if a sound limiter is installed. ‘Sound limiter’ can mean a lot of different things, varying from specific speakers bands must use, to a microphone installed on a wall, to a traffic light system that’ll let bands know if they’re playing over the limit. Having all this information ahead of time helps the band prepare everything for performance and ensures you get the best sound possible on the night!
Bands have a few ways of meeting a venue’s sound requirements. They’ll liaise with the venue coordinator during their soundcheck, to make sure everybody’s happy and all on the same page. They can for instance use an electric drum kit, which gives a band more control over their sound, while still putting on their best performance. They can also use smaller amps, adjust their sound mix, and they have plenty of other techniques in their arsenal as well.
All in all, your venue needs to see the entertainment’s PAT & PLI documentation, as well as to confirm if the act is able to perform within any sound restrictions that are in place. The act will need access to power, a clear ‘stage’ space to set up in and an area for their breaks.
If you have any questions at all, anything specific to your venue, or about a certain act you’ve seen on our roster, please get in touch! You can reach one of our expert team by emailing email@example.com, or by giving us a call on 0800 564 2240.