Frequently asked questions

Why book a live band?


Nothing transforms a room or an event quite like live music does. Having real live musicians in the room, playing their hearts out and engaging with your guests adds a touch of magic to your event. A live band is perfect for creating an energy that can draw guests of any age onto the dance floor, and before you know it the whole room will be up and dancing!




Why book The Keynotes?


We pride ourselves in creating an experience that can be enjoyed by all ages, by playing classics from the 60's to modern day dance hits. And for important moments like your first dance, a live band can “cast a spell” over the whole room in a way that a DJ just hitting “play” simply cannot.




What are your Tech and Space requirements?


We will need to confirm with your venue that there are a minimum of three 15A power circuits in proximity to the band. We also suggest you inquire about a stage or riser from your venue for bigger impact, especially if your event exceeds 150 guests. If it is an outdoor event, we will require the performance space to be elevated and covered by a tent with a backing. We are fairly flexible on space requirements, but in general the space needed 16′x 12′ for our 5-piece band.




What is you A/V package?


Our A/V package includes state-of-the-art speakers, subwoofers, a digital mixing console, wireless monitoring system, microphones, stands, cables, as well as basic band lighting to highlight the live performance. We also include a dedicated audio engineer who will set up equipment, sound-check the band in the afternoon, control the mix wirelessly throughout the performance, and strike the A/V equipment at the end of the night. As part of our production services, we are also happy to provide you with a wireless microphone for your dinner speeches free of charge!




What if the venue says they have their own A/V?


Most venues have an in-house A/V system that is designed to deliver audio and lighting for a DJ and/or speeches only (PA speakers and a basic mixer). These systems don’t have all the equipment that is required for a live band performance and their lighting will generally be for the dancefloor only. This is why we use the term “A/V Package", due to the fact that more equipment is required for a live dance band. Only select venues provide Band A/V suitable for 4 to12-piece dance bands (Palais Royale, Liberty Grand, Steam Whistle and Evergreen Brickworks are some examples). For quality control purposes, we suggest having our highly trained Audio-Visual team work in coordination with the sole A/V provider at the venue. If the venue can only provide some of the equipment needed, we can work with them to deliver the best and most cost-effective package for you. A reliable Audio-Visual system is a crucial requirement of a successful event. We want to make sure we provide you with the best sound for your occasion.




What lighting is included in your A/V package?


Our standard A/V Package includes basic Band Lighting. This usually consists of some LED up-lighting around the perimeter of the stage/performance area, as well as some spot lighting on the band. Please let us know if you have a specific colour scheme/preference that you would like us to match!




Can you provide a sound system for our ceremony?


Of course! We can provide a sound system for your ceremony whether it’s in the same room, across the hall or on the venue grounds! We include wireless microphones to keep walkways clear and safe for those walking down the aisle, and we will gladly organize all of these details with your coordinator to ensure that things are worry-free!




How much time do you need for set up?


Typically 2-3 hours for the 5-piece band with lighting and a full sound system. For wedding receptions, our team will typically arrive around 2pm to make sure the set-up and sound-check are complete before your guests arrive.




Do you have insurance?


Yes, The Keynotes have $2,000,000 liability insurance for any event. A certificate of insurance can be provided should your venue require it.




What if I have to cancel?


Your deposit is non-refundable. However, if you cancel at least 90 days in advance, you may re-use your deposit amount to re-book The Keynotes within 6 months of the cancelled date.




Do you charge for Travel?


All travel expenses will be included with your personal quote and are meant to cover the costs of transportation for our musicians and equipment if your event is outside of the GTA. This is standard practice when using professional musicians and audio-visual companies. For events at venues that are more than 60 minutes drive from downtown Toronto, we will require overnight accommodation. To help simplify logistics and avoid complications it's strongly preferred for hotel/motel accommodations to be at or as close to the venue location as is reasonably possible. Please don't hesitate to ask if you have questions about this.




Can you learn new songs for my event?


Absolutely! We are happy to learn 2 new songs of any genre at no extra charge, as long as they work for our specific 5 piece group/instrumentation. Additional special requests (of songs not in our setlist) usually require an extra charge to cover the extra rehearsal time it takes to learn these additional requests flawlessly.




Do you take requests from guests during the party?


Yes, we do. If we get a request during the party and we know the song, we will happily play it. One of the great advantages of working with The Keynotes is our extensive repertoire from years of working together.




Can I pick the songs for my ceremony?


You can fully customize your Ceremony (Processional, Signing of the Register and/or Recessional) by selecting from our Ceremony Repertoire. If there is a special song that is not on that list, we are happy to learn it for free!




How customized can I make the bands setlist?


The Keynotes have crafted a tried and true setlist over the years, guaranteed to get even the most diverse crowd onto the dance floor. Each song has been arranged to suit the band’s style and instrumentation, with perfected transitions and surprise medleys that will keep your audience engaged all night! If you wish, you may also send up to four ‘do not play’ and up to four ‘do not cut’ selections from our repertoire which we will take into account when building your setlist. Between this and your two free special song requests you can have a lot of control over what we play while still ensuring that the "Keynotes experience" will be delivered to your guests!




How long is your performance?


Sets are usually 45-60 minutes long, with 20-30 minute breaks. Our most common performance time is 9pm-12am: three 45-minute sets with two 20-minute breaks (or two 70-minute sets with one longer break). The DJ or a playlist will cover dinner, band breaks and closing until 1am.




What happens when the band isn't playing?


There are a few options for filling the time between the band’s sets: 1) "Keynotes Break" Playlist: FREE During band breaks, we will transition to an iPad playlist to play music through our PA system. Our playlist is sound-checked for volume consistency and carefully arranged to keep your guests dancing. The cocktail/dinner playlist consists of jazz and lounge music, and the dance playlist is a general mix of oldies and Top40. Please note, we cannot accommodate special requests with this option. If you would like to have specific songs, please see the option below. 2) Your Playlist: FREE
Please make sure volume levels for all songs are normalized in iTunes, or Spotify, clicker sound and password protect is off, your device is fully charged, and that you have a backup device with the same playlist. You may also need to assign someone to cue any specific songs during dinner and in between speeches. If you choose this option: Before the start of your event, please provide us with your playlists, labelled:
– Ceremony Playlist: 30 to 45 min
– Cocktail Playlist: 1 to 1.5 hrs
– Dinner Playlist: 2 to 3 hrs (specify Entrances, Dances, Bouquet Toss, etc.)
– Dancing Playlist: 1.5 to 2 hrs (during band breaks & closing)




What will the band wear?


Our style is smart (Black suits and or vests, white shirts), semi-formal or formal, depending on the event. Don’t hesitate to let us know if you would like the band to follow a specific dress code.




How loud is the band?


We will set the perfect volume for impact and energy, without reaching uncomfortable volumes. Additionally, you are more than welcome to ask our sound technician to turn any element (i.e. vocals, guitar) up or down at any time. The ability to perform at any volume is one of the biggest reasons to hire full-time professional musicians for your event!





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