FAQ on how to book me for an event
Here are a couple of questions I am frequently asked!
Hopefully, you have read about the other services that I provide on my "About" page first. Some of your other questions you have may already be answered in other service-specific sections.
This page will take you through the hassle-free process of booking one of my services for your event to make the booking process as smooth as possible.
How do I book you for a performance?
Once you have decided what service you are interested in, please send me an initial email via the "contact" page on my website with as many details as possible. If you are able to include the times, date, and location at this point, this will help me to check my avaiability. Do not worry if you do not have all of these details just yet.
If you are intersted in multiple services that I can offer, please also include those that you are interested in.
E.g some clients may want me to play both the bagpipes, and perform a ceilidh for something like a wedding celebration or a Burns Night performance.
The more information you are able to provide, the easier it will be to create a personalised plan of action, creating the best musical entertainment experience for your event. Providing excellent customer service is my top priority as a musician. Do not worry if you are still uncertain. With over 15 years' experience in this industry, I can guide you if there is anything you are unsure of. I just need your initial email expressing your interest in booking me!
How much do you charge?
I base my prices on the Musicians' Union's suggested rates of pay for both live performances and lessons.
This means that live performances will start at around £172 but could be more depending on the location, dates, and size of the event as travel expenses and performance time are factored in. I will always provide a breakdown of the quote for you.
I charge slightly more than this for a bagpiping job, as The Fenland Piper, as I also need to take into consideration the maintanence of the instrument and uniform. The bagpipes and uniform are a lot more expensive to maintain compared to the other instruments I play.
Furthermore, the bagpipes require more practice before an event as the instrument itself is also more tempermental than other instruments to keep the bagpipes sounding their best. There is a lot of "behind the scenes" that is involved in my bagpipe performances to ensure the highest quality of playing at your event.
However, I always try my best to keep prices as fair as possible. For example, I may offer a slightly reduced rate if I am not required to play for very long. For example, playing the bagpipes at a cremation service where I pipe the hearse from the gate to the chapel of rest, and then play a tune during the ceremony, is charged at just £150 (plus travel expenses if not at Peterborough Crematorium).
I always price my services as reasonably as I can. Please try to remember that this is my livlihood and that I need to charge to enable me to provide for myself and my family as well as the maintanance and upkeep of my instruments and equipment.
Unfortunately, this means that I am unable to work for free or "for exposure" at charity events. If you are a charity, I can certainly look into reducing my fee slightly, on occasion, to help support your charity. Please do not hesitate to contact me, including your budget range and your requirements, to we can see what we can do.
How do I confirm a booking?
Once we have discussed all of your requirements and you are happy with the plan, I will send you a booking form to confirm all of the details for your event. This can be altered, within reason, if there is anything you wish to ammend. A £50 booking deposit is required at the time of booking to secure your performance, and an invoice will be sent.
If I cannot attend due to unforseen circumstances such as illness (although, this has never happened in the 15+ years I have been a musician), the £50 booking deposit will be refunded and I will endevour to help find alternative music for your event.
If you cancel the booking after confirming (by paying the £50 booking deposit), I am unfortunately unable to refund the booking deposit, unless exceptional circumstances apply. However, if the event is postponed to another date, I will do my best to be available to attend your event on the alternative date.
I try to be as flexible as possible and use my disgression with this rule. Unfortunately, the booking deposit exists due to cancelations issues in the past where I have turned down other bookings due to being booked-in to play, and then being cancelled as the client "changed their mind", resulting in a loss of income. If there are genuine reasons for a cancelation, I will always use my disgression.
Once you are all booked in, we are ready to go! If you have any further questions or tune requests you think of in the meantime, just let me know.
I want to book one of the ceilidh bands.
Excellent! Whilst the other answers on here are based on booking me as a soloist, you can still ask me directly about booking a ceilidh band for your event.
Please include as much information as possible when contacting me such as potential dates, times and location. This will enable me to contact the other members of the band to secure your booking faster. Once I know our availability, I will get back to you with a provisional plan and a quote. We look forward to hearing from you!