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frequently asked questions

  • Why should I commission dogBowl?
    We are a collective of musicians, with a unique understanding of what music can achieve at a wedding, a brand activation, a club, or anywhere else you can fit at least 3 instruments. We care deeply about all our clients’ motivations, working directly with them to achieve their goals and make their event the best it possibly can be. There are no middle men at work here. The people you talk to at dogBowl are the people who will turn up and deliver cutting edge, no holds-barred live music performances. Never to a click or backing track, no two performances are the same.
  • Are you an agency?
    We are not an agency. We are a collective of young professional musicians who have been touring together in originals and covers projects for the last 5 years. As musicians ourselves, we offer an understanding of the product your average agency cannot. We have experience running all aspects of live shows and, as such, are uniquely equipped to create bespoke entertainment for you. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to our music.
  • Can I see the bands live?
    Our team of producers & musicians regularly perform on the UK & EU circuits. If you are interested in seeing any of the bands live, check out our Instagram where we announce our public shows. Typically, listening to our promo & chatting to Michael is all you need to be convinced dogBowl is the right fit for your event.
  • How do I hire a band/DJ?
    The first step is to fill in our contact form, email, or WhatsApp/call Michael on +44 (0) 7923539288. Feel free to include as much detail here, such as the date & location of your event, or if you are still at the planning stage, mention you are keen to chat about what options might suit you. Our team are available to consult on what could work best for you. From here, we’ll put together a line-up for you, and draw up a contract. Don’t worry if not every detail is finalised, we can reflect this in the contract. The booking is confirmed upon receipt of the signed contract & a non-refundable 25% deposit. The remaining balance is due no later than 7 days prior to the performance. At any time up until the event, you will be able to contact us at any point to ask questions or chat about the plan.
  • How much does it cost to hire one of your bands?
    Our prices vary significantly between line-ups, & are also affected by factors such as timings, travel, amplification, etc. Please do get in touch to discuss what could work for you and your budget.
  • How far do you travel?
    We are proud to have operated in all corners of the UK, & across Europe. Our bands can travel any distance required. Please note for international gigs, we may need to liaise with local instrument, PA system & lighting hire companies.
  • Are you insured?
    We carry £5m public liability insurance & our electrical equipment is PAT tested. Please let us know if you require copies of these documents.
  • What’s your cancellation policy?
    We operate a tiered cancellation policy. You are entitled to a 100% refund of your deposit if you cancel within 48 hours of the booking being made. The only exception to this is when the booking is within the next 48 hours, in which case 50% of the total fee is payable. Cancellations up to 60 days prior to the event: 50% of the total fee is payable. Cancellations up to 30 days prior to the event: 75% of the total fee is payable. Cancellations up to 14 days prior to the event: 100% of the total fee is payable. A force majeure clause applies in the event of war, terrorism, earthquakes, hurricanes, acts of government, plagues, or epidemics. Please note, time runs from the day, hour and minute the booking is made or cancelled, or the performance is scheduled.
  • What if we need to reschedule our event?
    You are entitled to multiple free reschedules within the next 12 months. Due to the nature of dogBowl as a collective, it is extremely unlikely we will not be able to produce the live music at your event, even for a rescheduled date. Please let us know if you need to reschedule your event as soon as you know, via If a reschedule falls further than 12 months away, please note a slight price increase may be applicable in line with the prices for the following season.
  • Do you have a Covid-19 update?
    Due to the ongoing impact Covid-19 has on the live music industry, we understand events will be affected. We are committed to working with clients to provide the music for their event, and as such are offering a 100% refund if we are unable to provide music for date that must be rescheduled due to Covid. Please read our Covid-19 update in full here.
  • When do you arrive & how long do you need to set up?
    We typically arrive 2 hours prior to our performance, enough time to set up, warm-up, change & get ready for the show. Our acoustic line-ups can take as little as 30 minutes to set up, however we will usually budget 45 minutes. For our amplified line-ups, we have a digital mixing desk, meaning we can recall a preset and soundcheck virtually silently. In this case, setup takes approximately 60 minutes.
  • How much space do you need?
    This varies according to line-up, however a 6 x 3 m space is ample for all but our biggest bands. This does not necessarily need to be a raised stage, just a distinct area. Our Fat Brass walkabout option can perform anywhere, spread out throughout your dancefloor and fully mobile.
  • Are any of your bands walkabout?
    Yes, Fat Brass offer a walkabout option, where the band can be fully acoustic & mobile, with a unique roaming drum setup. This avoids the faux New Orleans look, and means the same energy & improvisation you can expect from the stage band translates to the roaming setup.
  • Can your stage bands do any roaming?
    Our stage bands perform their best as a tight unit, able to communicate with just a look. This means it is usually best for the performers to stick to the stage, where they can craft the set specifically for you. Some roaming may be possible within sections of a Fat Brass or Kings of Honk set.
  • Is there anything else I need to provide?
    We are easy to please – enough hot meals for the full band, some drinks, one/two parking spaces, and a dressing room where we can warm-up, store cases & change. Please note for international gigs, we may need to organise local instrument, PA system & lighting hire companies.
  • What power do you need?
    If you’ve chosen an acoustic option, then no power is required! The musicians will simply turn up and can perform straight out of the box. If you’ve booked an amplified option, we require 2 standard 13-amp 3-pin plug sockets connected directly to the mains or your generator (not an extension lead!). This ensures the safety of everyone involved & the show doesn’t fall silent because we’ve tripped the circuit breaker. All our equipment is PAT tested.
  • Can you play outside?
    Yes, we are more than happy to play outside, although please bear in mind the weather conditions! Our acoustic line-ups (Fat Brass & London Jazz Scene) are more resilient to the weather, as they have no power requirements. Please let us know at the booking stage if your event is outside.
  • Can you play in marquees?
    Yes! All we ask for is some dry, even ground for the stage area & the same power requirements as above.
  • Do I need to provide any equipment?
    All our bands come with their sound & lighting requirements catered for, including microphones & PA system (if amplified), suitable for events up to 200 guests. For events with more than 200 guests, we would advise hiring in a larger PA system & lighting rig, capable of throwing the brass, bass & vocals to the furthest ears. We work with a number of suppliers, & are happy to advise on this.
  • The venue I’ve booked has a PA/I’ve already hired a PA, can you plug into it?
    Yes, of course. We have experienced sound technicians on our team, all we ask is you put us in touch with your venue/PA supplier to discuss our needs & their gear.
  • How loud are you/is a sound limiter a problem?
    Whilst we do not have thrash metal drums and chugging distorted guitars, horns can get quite loud, even if acoustic. Sound limiters cut off the electrical supply to the venue if the noise level exceeds a certain threshold, with venues forced to install them to comply with noise restrictions imposed by their local authority. Normally, we can perform even if a venue has a sound limiter, however it is important we know in advance if this is the case. Please let us know if your venue has a sound limiter – we are happy to liaise directly with your venue to discuss sound levels if required. If it looks like a sound limiter will cause a problem, our smaller line-ups can deliver the same energy as a bigger line-up, in a slightly quieter package.
  • How long do you play for?
    Our brass and funk bands perform up to 90 minutes, typically split into two 45 minute sets with a 30 minute break in between. This break gives your guests a chance to head to the bar, as well as the band to refresh and maintain a high-quality performance. During this break, the band will cue a playlist over the speakers (if we provided a PA). Our DJs perform for up to 2.5 hours, without breaks in the music. Our jazz bands perform for up to 2.5 hours, typically with 2 breaks. All these timings are flexible, depending on the flow of your event.
  • Can I have multiple bands play at the same event?
    Of course. Many of our musicians perform in all our ensembles, meaning an entertainment package from us can work out cheaper than booking multiple different ensembles. As an example, for a wedding, a typical schedule making the most of the live music on offer might look like this: Ceremony – a surprise Fat Brass walkabout set to end the ceremony, & lead the procession to the reception venue. Reception – Fat Brass walkabout continue with chilled out old-school soul & funk. Dinner – London Jazz Scene perform contemporary interpretations of jazz standards & the American songbook. Evening – One of our amplified bands take to the stage, such as 3 Up, 2 Down, Kings of Honk, or a Fat Brass stage show. Lastly, one of our DJs takes over to round out the night, accompanied by a horn section. You can even continue the party with our ‘I’m the DJ’ option, where we provide the soundsystem, you provide the tunes. Of course all of these bands can be booked individually too, & we can even create a custom band for you, if the exact line-up you are looking for isn't mentioned.
  • How late can you play?
    Typically, our bands finish before 2300. If a gig finishes after 2300 and is outside the M25, we may ask for accommodation to avoid a very late journey. Our DJ options can continue late into the night, and again, accommodation may be included depending on location & timings.
  • Do your DJs just press play on a laptop?
    No. Our collective of DJs are all artists in their own right, mixing & cutting live, reading the room and playing to the crowd. This is invaluable to the vibe of your party; no pre-mixed sets, all meticulously hand-crafted vibes.
  • Can we use your equipment for speeches or another DJ we’ve booked?
    Yes, depending on timings. We can arrive earlier or stay later to run sound for wedding speeches or a DJ you’ve booked, at extra cost. This usually works out cheaper than hiring in an extra PA system for speeches or a DJ. Please simply mention you might be interested in this when enquiring.
  • Can you learn a custom song?
    Yes, all our quotes include one custom song of your choice, however that comes with the caveat that they will be true to their original performance style. For a first dance at a wedding, if you are planning a choreographed routine relying on exact song structure, you might choose to use the recorded version, & request a big tune to close out the party.
  • Can I choose the band’s set list?
    Example set lists for all our bands can be found on their individual pages. We pride ourselves on plenty of segues and builds throughout the set, reacting to the audience and switching things up to give you a truly unique set, and therefore suggest letting us know a couple of must haves from the example set lists (& any no-gos!). Extra requests can be accommodated for £100 per track. For any brand activations, we can build bespoke sets around you & your goals. Previous examples include full a full chronological set of music from the UK, a Chicago versus London battle mix, & tunes specific to various football clubs.

have a read, & if your question isn't answered here, contact us.

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