This blog is contributed by , a specialist music insurance provider offering policies that have been built with the needs of groups, bands and artists in mind. We’ll keep you playing with our pitch perfect cover, whenever, wherever you perform.
Making a living playing music is becoming more challenging than ever, especially for bands that are just starting out. However, if you’re in a band, now is the perfect time to make money.
June to October are the most popular months for people to get married and as such, there is an increased demand for live musicians to make the day even more memorable.
Weddings can be a lucrative business for unsigned bands – but before playing live at someone’s big day, there are a few things you need to know to be a success.
Here are Insure4Music’s 5 ultimate tips for bands playing at weddings.
1. Know your worth
If you’re passionate about playing live, you need to ensure you receive sufficient remuneration for doing so.
Christina Rotondo, a singer and Insure4Music policyholder with over 50,000 YouTube subscribers, is performing at weddings across the UK this summer with her guitarist friend, Harry.
She said: “We started at £300, and we’ve been told multiple times that this is far too low for the work we do. This means we’ll get around £150 each after a wedding performance, but the figure will differ from venue to venue – typically, public gigs like pubs will pay less.
“You should always add your petrol expenses on top of the fee, as well – HMRC guidelines recommend 45 pence per mile.”
2. Get yourself online
When we say this, we don’t just mean relying solely on YouTube, Spotify and Soundcloud to secure gigs.
Granted, these services have helped some musicians gain exposure, but they’re not the definitive platforms for aspiring live bands looking to make their big break.
If anything, you’re more likely to be headhunted for an event like a wedding by signing up to websites such as and .
These websites are designed for bands that perform at private functions such as weddings and allow you to complete a detailed profile with a biography, sample repertoire, price guide and examples of recent clients.
3. Prepare to succeed
Performing live in any capacity requires a lot of fine tuning, so it pays to be prepared!
Depending on the wedding, you might have to memorise over an hour’s worth of songs – needless to say, you should practise until you can’t forget a single lyric.
Think carefully about how you want to set up your stage, too. Often, the venue won’t specify where or how it wants you to set up your equipment, so being prepared in advance will help you think on your feet and avoid any potential delays once the guests arrive.
Finally, it’s worth considering when you play live – especially given that a wedding is a totally different vibe to a live gig at a concert venue. You want to create a nice ambience, but not be so loud that people are having to shout to make themselves heard.
4. Time your journey
There’s more to being late than potentially sabotaging the first dance and having to be replaced by a DJ or Spotify – you could also gain a terrible reputation in the process.
All it takes is for someone to go to the press or leave a negative online review for your band’s moment in the spotlight to be over before it’s even started.
Therefore, if you’re given a set time to arrive at the venue, leave at a time which will get you there half an hour before said time. This will then allow you to offload your gear, set up and go through a soundcheck with minimal fuss. As we all know, satnavs aren’t always the most reliable.
5. Avoid unnecessary risks
If your amp explodes and damages the venue you’re performing at, or someone trips over a wire and holds you responsible, you could be looking at a pretty costly compensation claim.
These instances can easily occur when performing live and you’re not protected against them without .
What’s more, without this cover you might have to turn down some kick-ass wedding gigs, since most venues won’t let you perform live without .
At , we offer Public Liability Insurance starting from just £20 a year to protect you against claims made for injury to someone else and property damage.
We also provide Equipment cover to safeguard your instruments against loss, theft and damage. Your equipment is covered against theft when it is left unattended in a motor vehicle, even when left overnight.
Christina Rotondo said: “The venues I’m performing at have requested that I have Public Liability insurance. For not a lot of money, I’ve given myself that extra level of security with music insurance. Ultimately, it’s better to be safe than sorry. “When people are booking you to play on their premises, if you can say you’ve got Public Liability, they’ll be more eager to hire you.”