Your questions answered:
Your band is very big. Won’t you be too loud?
The size of a band has very little to do with how loud a band sounds. In fact, British rock band, The Who, set a world record at the time for concert volume at 126db – and they’re only a four piece band! The volume of a band is determined by the equipment they use and the skill and cooperation of its sound engineers.
Free Spirit is different from many of the bands you typically encounter at special events. We have our own crew, truck and all the equipment that we need in order to play events of almost any size. We invest heavily in our state of the art sound system that allows our sound man to mix from a position in front of the band using an iPad connected wirelessly to our system. Most bands have a mixer next to the band stage behind the speakers — so their own sound man can’t even tell how loud the band is playing!
We’ve also completely eliminated the use of large, loud, unsightly amplifiers on the stage. Every musician is connected directly through the mixer to an overall volume slider that our sound man can control. Turning the band up or down is literally as easy as moving a finger.
Our goal is to enhance your event and not take over. We will work with you, your planner, the venue, etc. and react to your feedback any time to make sure that our volume is at a level that is comfortable for you.
Can you learn special songs that are not on your list?
Yes. In most cases we can learn up to three songs for each event. For example, at a typical wedding reception, most of our clients ask us to learn a First Dance, Father/Daughter Dance and Mother/Son Dance. We are more than happy to oblige. We do ask for your song requests approximately six to eight weeks in advance of your date so that we have time to get them on the band’s rehearsal schedule, have arrangements written, etc.
How many breaks do you take?
Free Spirit is a very experienced social and corporate event dance band. We are not a typical “club band” that plays for forty minutes followed by a twenty minute break. You’ve probably experienced bands like this while out at the bars with friends. Don’t worry. We’re different. We treat every event as unique and we will work with you to time the number and duration of our breaks in order to maximize the dancing for you and your guests. We typically try to break only at times that won’t matter to your party (e.g., during toasts and speeches, during a sit down meal, etc.). When you need us to be on stage delivering a high-energy dance set for you — we’ll be there.
What music do you play on breaks?
We have a variety of music on CD that is appropriate for most occasions. You will have the opportunity to discuss your option for break music with the band leader prior to your event. If you don’t like your choices, you may provide an iPod play list or a custom CD with music of your choice and we are happy to play it for you.
Will you MC, or do I need to bring one of my own?
Our male lead vocalist will serve as Master of Ceremonies for you throughout the evening. In addition to being an amazing singer, he is also a professional voiceover artist. You’ve actually heard his voice on countless TV spots, jingles, etc. He has more than twenty years experience as a professional entertainer and he will keep your festivities flowing with style and grace — and no carnival barker antics!
Who plans the songs that you’ll play at my party?
Prior to your event you’ll receive an up-to-date song list which includes all of our latest additions. You’ll have the opportunity to mark it up so we know your favorites and least favorite songs from that list. But remember that you’re hiring a band whose band leader has more than thirty years of experience reading crowds and calling songs to keep your guests dancing all night long. So we request that you leave the order in which the songs are played up to our expertise. With your input, by the end of the night we’ll be able to play your favorites songs at just the right time to keep everyone at your party dancing.
May we use your microphones for toasts?
Absolutely. We have four wireless microphones that you may use. During speeches our sound man will also be at your disposal to make sure that you sound great.
Do you get off stage and interact with our guests?
One of the many strong points of Free Spirit is that we are a high-energy, visual and interactive band. Many people hire us because we are great at getting the guests up out of their seats and onto the dance floor. We often do this by sending our singers and musicians out into the crowd. However, we realize that this approach is not for everyone or every event. If you don’t want the band to leave the stage, please feel free to discuss this with the band leader prior to your event. We will be happy to oblige and we’ll still give you the same spectacular show from the band stand.
Can you provide music for my ceremony or cocktail hour?
Yes. We have a number of great options for ceremonies and cocktail hours ranging from soloists to complete vocal ensembles. Many of our musicians are skilled classical and jazz performers in addition to playing more typical dance band music. So please contact us if you’re interested in adding ceremony or cocktail hour music and we’ll discuss what’s the best solution for your event.
When do you arrive to set up?
Our crew arrives three hours before the band’s scheduled start time to begin setting up. This allows us enough time to set up and perform a live sound check with the full band before any of your guests enter the room. If your event requires us to be fully set up more than an hour before the band begins (early setup), or you need us to set up more quickly (quick turnaround), we are happy to accommodate you with advance notice. Please read our Tech Sheet for more details on our set up, staging, electrical preferences etc.
How much electricity do you need?
Generally, we require two(2) grounded, 20-Amp/120-Volt, 60 Hz circuits that are dedicated solely for band use. For very large or very small spaces, our requirements may vary slightly. Please read our Tech Sheet for more details on our set up, staging, electrical preferences etc.
Do you require a stage?
No. We prefer to have a stage for the band if one is available however, a stage is not required. We understand that each venue is different and sometimes a stage is not practical or provided for a number of reasons. If you do plan on providing a stage Please read our Tech Sheet for more details on preferred stage size, etc.
Do we need to provide food for the band?
While we always appreciate a light meal or snack, we do not require that you feed the band. Please remember, however, that your event will require several hours of set up and tear down, in addition to the high-energy live performance — often a 10-12 hour commitment for the band and crew. We do need to eat during your event in order to keep our energy high so please let us know in advance if you do not intend to provide food so that we may make alternate arrangements. If you do plan on providing food for us, most caterers or hotels often have “vendor” meals at a reasonable cost for the band, photographers, etc.