What is Event Production?
We would describe event production as the unsung hero of events. It is where all the technical elements of an event are brought together to realise your vision. This includes many aspects such as lighting, sound, video & projection, staging, draping, dance floors, set design, power distribution and rigging. At Velvet we will listen to your requirements and advise on what restrictions there may be, we will then come up with a creative technical solution that not only looks stunning but will ensure all of your brief is executed in the best way possible.
What are the best colours for party lighting?
There's no right or wrong but working with the venue palette is often the best. The beauty of modern event lighting is that it's usually very easy to completely change the look of an event at the press of a button. Popular colours tend to be ambers, pinks, reds, purples and blues. We would always recommend spot lighting key areas of the venue like a cake display, bars, speeches and table centres in a warm white.
Is good lighting expensive?
It needn't be. Our wireless uplighters are quick and easy to install and can really transform a space, and in this instance, we don't even need to provide a technician which can really help keep costs under control. We provide equipment for events of all sizes and budgets so we would always recommend that you get in touch.
I'm having a party in a marquee in my garden. Do I need a generator?
Not necessarily. With a combination of wireless and LED lighting the power draw can be quite low, especially if the catering is done on gas, so we can use the house power. We will do all the calculations and advise should you get to a point where you require a generator.
I'm having an event in a listed building, is there anything you can do?
Yes, we work at many protected venues. We can supply discrete free-standing lighting and sound equipment that looks and sounds great without touching the building.
We don't have much set-up time, can you make it work?
We've set up events with sound, lighting, video, carpet and staging in 30 minutes and we're used to deadlines. It's all in the planning!
What PA systems do you use?
We have a range to suit budget and crowd size - but you can't beat our d&b Audiotechnik equipment for quality, punch and packaging - it's the industry's go-to, with discrete speakers for small speeches right up to concert size. We also stock digital mixers and processing for ultimate sound control, radio microphones and band equipment. You can also have them in white!
What's the minimum lighting I should have to make it look good?
It's really up to you, the more you have the better it will look and the more control and options you will have, but we don't believe there is a minimum and we will always find the most effective way of using the lighting that you have booked to give the biggest impact. If you already have a technician and a van coming to set up your event, adding a few extra bits can be quite cost-effective.
Do you work with other suppliers?
Absolutely! Firstly we are part of a group of companies. We have an arm of the business that deals with artist bookings and entertainment and our sister company Velvet Living supplies furniture and styling accessories for events. As well as this we are always collaborating behind the scenes with party planners, florists, caterers, marquee contractors and musicians to ensure your event goes smoothly. We could quite easily supply the bulk of your event requirements “in-house” if you wanted us to do that, and we are also very happy to suggest other suppliers that we trust and work with regularly for items that are beyond our realm.
For a small fee we are happy to project manage all these things, leaving you to concentrate on the finer details.
Can you do a sound system for our fun run warm-up?
Yes, or a wedding, bar mitzvah or gala dinner! If you have an event and need any kind of technical support, we're here to help.
Best team snack?
With a big team of VL, VE, VR, all the furniture and production warehouse full-timers and temps there are a lot of birthdays, so there's a lot of cake in the office!
What kind of entertainment do you offer?
We have a wide range of acts to keep the guests entertained at your event. Our entertainment roster includes party bands, DJs, string quartets, solo musicians and non-musical acts including magicians, acrobats, caricaturists, variety acts, hosts and speakers. Let us know what kind of event you want to throw, and we’ll find the perfect entertainer to please you and your guests.
Do you supply entertainment abroad?
Alongside our sister companies, Velvet Riviera (Cannes), Velvet Barcelona & VL Lounge (Malloca), we regularly provide entertainment across Europe from weddings in Rome to corporate parties in Cannes.
Do your music acts take requests? Can they play our first dance?
Most of our musical acts will learn one special song for free, so if you have a first dance or a song to end the night on, just let us know a few months before the event. Please note that this doesn't apply to all our bands, so do let us know when you book.
How much will it cost?
The cost of the entertainment will depend on the entertainment you are considering for your event. As a guide, a solo performer will start from around £400 +VAT, small musical groups around £1000 +VAT, with party bands and more specialist, acts starting from £2500 +VAT
Your acts seemed more expensive than other acts I found directly online?
If you find an act directly online you will most likely not have to pay a booking fee. We do however have a few key reasons that help to explain the difference between finding an act yourself and the added value that making a booking through us brings with it. The first and probably main reason to book through us is that you are eliminating the unknown and leaving nothing to chance. We carefully vet and nurture our acts, who have proven themselves and developed a great working relationship with us and our clients over many years. You can be sure that any act that we are recommending will be one of the best available in the industry.
You will receive expert and impartial advice from our staff members who have years of events experience both in front and behind the microphone. You can see us as a safety net as we have the backup and experience to deal with any issue that may arise. We have a proven track record of consistently delivering high-quality entertainment for events over the last 15 years and we are proud to say that all of the above reasons are why we are a trusted supplier to some of the UK’s most prestigious locations and events.
Can we view before booking?
We will do our best to arrange an opportunity to view our acts before booking whenever possible. However, the opportunities for this can be limited. We represent bands that perform at the top level of private and corporate events and these are rarely open to the public. As such we need to make sure that the privacy of our clients is respected. When possible, we may be able to arrange for you to discreetly view an act. Rest assured, if a band appears on our website, they have been thoroughly vetted by our entertainment team, all of whom have performance experience themselves, and you can book with confidence. All of our bands can be watched and heard online via our website.
What about volume and sound limiters?
Volume is always at your discretion. However, it can be difficult to balance the dynamic required for a good performance against requests for very low volume. Also remember - some entertainment elements, such as drums, have no volume control (other than the drummer,) therefore a band with live drums can have difficulty coping with requests for very low volume. It's also worth noting that an increasing number of venues have sound limiters fitted. This is a piece of equipment that measures the volume in a function room and cuts the power supply to the stage area which can result in the band's performance coming to a somewhat abrupt end. However, in most cases, the limiters are set at a reasonable enough level and don't cause too much trouble. Our advice would be to check with your venue if it has a sound limit or limiter - if it does, get in touch and we will put together a list of acts that are suitable for the allowed volume.
Do I have to provide food and drink for entertainment acts?
This is something to bear in mind for events where our entertainment acts may be required to be on location for extended periods of time. To answer this question, I should perhaps give you a little run-down of an entertainment acts day when performing at an event. It will be worth considering that many of our entertainment acts will be departing in good time to reach the venue of your event (especially if outside of London), transporting both themselves and any equipment they require and arriving a couple of hours before their scheduled performance time to load in and set-up. Not long after completing their set-up, they will then be providing a high-energy performance for you and your guests before then having to de-rig their equipment and commence their journey home. Therefore, we will generally ask to provide the band members and crew with an evening meal and free soft drinks during the time on site. For setups where an early sound check is required, lunch may be required as well. A well-fed band will always have a bigger smile on their faces and more energy when it comes to performance time!
How long will the entertainment perform?
This will vary depending on the kind of act you book as each act will have the suggested performance time for maximum impact at your event. However, as an example, every musical act has various options but you can expect most to offer either 2 x 45, 1 x 90 with more sets/increased performance lengths always up for discussion.
How long will it take to set up the equipment?
Most bands will set up in around an hour. This will vary depending on the size of the band and event. It is best to do this during a room turnaround when they can do a small sound check or at a time when guests are not trying to listen to speeches etc. If this is a real concern for your party, it is usually possible to arrange for the band to arrive for an early sound check for an extra fee.
Can bands play different styles of music?
Our musical acts have to appeal to a broad spectrum of audiences. You'll find most of them will perform a highly varied set with something for almost everyone. However, a traditional ceilidh band, for instance, won’t consider Coldplay’s latest. Most good function bands may be able to play something a bit more bespoke as part of their normal set. However, should you wish an extended set of a certain type/genre be sure to check first as some bands may need to bring in additional musicians at extra cost. If in doubt get in touch first for the best advice.
What size band should I book?
This one is mostly down to budget and venue. As mentioned above, larger bands are usually more expensive. Another deciding factor is how much space there is for your band to set up? If, for instance, your band play on the dance floor itself then there is less available space for actual dancing. Your venue will give the best advice on this but, give us a call and we talk you through the best solution.
Does the band provide music between and before sets?
Yes, our bands are happy to provide music via an iPod/iPad between sets, this is usually a pre-mixed playlist. If you have particular songs in mind, you're also welcome to create your own playlists which can be played through the band's PA system. We recommend you provide a playback device or the playlist in advance of the event so the music can be downloaded for safety.
What if the band or member of the band can't make it on the day due to illness?
If a member of the band is unable to attend on the day of the event due to illness, the band will use a suitable replacement. All our bands have back-up (dep) musicians for this kind of scenario. In the very unlikely event that all members are unable to attend due to illness, we will find a suitable replacement or offer a full refund. In the 15 years Velvet Entertainment has been trading, there has not been one account of a band failing to perform their set.
What if my event is running behind schedule, will the band play later?
We understand how sometimes little things can occasionally contribute to your event running a little behind schedule. But there is no need to panic in this situation. Both we and all our acts have dealt with this kind of scenario on many occasions, and our performers will always look to be as flexible as possible in these circumstances. After all, they want to perform just as much as you and your guests do, so timings can usually be shuffled and adjusted fractionally on the day to make things work as well as possible. However, it should be respected that certain instances are trickier to be flexible than others. Particularly in regard to performances that may have late finishes (midnight or later) where travel arrangements for performers will need to be considered, or occasions where the performers may have secondary bookings elsewhere after the planned finish time at your event (which we will make you aware of beforehand).
Can you provide other services?
As well as entertainment, we also have a production arm to our business able to assist with any sound, lighting, and other technical needs you may have. We also share our London offices with our sister team Velvet Living who will be able to handle any furniture and styling requirements including bars and serving stations, comfy lounge seating areas, outdoor furniture, poseur tables and bar stools.
Can I choose the songs the band play?
We would generally advise against clients dictating the songs or setlist. You're welcome to send over a list of your favourite songs from the band's repertoire and the band will do their best to find a happy medium and include these where possible in their set. Bear in mind that most bands will use their experience to alter their set to suit the audience reaction. Our musicians have years of experience performing thousands of gigs and will always aim to get all your guests up and dancing.
What venues have you worked with lately?
We have a vast list of venues that we have worked with throughout our history. However, some of our most recent are venues such as the iconic Old Royal Naval College, The Royal Academy of Arts and Somerset House where we are approved suppliers for entertainment.