Can the band move during a performance?
String Quartets and many other entirely acoustic classical ensembles
Provided that sturdy, armless chairs are provided ready at each location that you want the ensemble to play at, then the quartet musicians can move location in 5 minutes or less. This is something you need to organise in advance with the venue.
Harpists and pianists
To move a harp it has to be wrapped, loaded onto a trolley, moved, unloaded and unwrapped. Steps slow things down, and stairs can be a major problem. Typically it can take 10 or 15 minutes to move a harp from a ceremony room to a reception area.
Pianists can move in minutes provided your venue has a piano at each location, but if they have their own electric piano to move, possibly with separate amplifiers and speakers, this is at least as difficult as moving a harp.
Classical ensembles using a PA system
If you are hiring an electric string quartet or similar, it will depend on the equipment they are using. If it is a duo with small amplifier, it may be possible to move location in 20 minutes or so. If it is a string quartet with full PA system and mixing desk, it is not possible to move. Find a site where they can remain for the entire event. Alternatively, get them to play acoustically in one location, and amplified in another fixed location.
Ceilidh & Barn Dance Bands
Ceilidh Bands and Barn Dance Bands always use a PA system of some kind. It is not possible to move once set up. If you are considering a performance that is outdoor if the weather is good, or indoor if it turns bad, then set the band up on the day in a marquee but facing out of an open sided marquee if the weather is good, and facing in if not. If the weather changes, expect half an hour without music as the band turns their equipment around.
If you want music for a drinks reception before the Ceilidh, some bands can play acoustically for a 'music to listen to' situation, then plug in and use the PA for the Ceilidh. You must make us aware of this requirement before booking, as not all bands can do this and not all situations are suitable.
It is never realistic to do a Ceilidh without a PA system, although some people believe (to their cost) that it is.
Trad. Jazz bands can often play unamplified, as they have loud instruments and are usually quite large bands, so such bands can move location more easily.
In general, (but not always), other kinds of jazz band can not move once set up. If they have a piano, drum kit or are using a PA system with mixing desk, then they are fixed. It is unrealistic for most bands in most situations to play without some form of amplification.
This may not be the case for small venues without too many people, such as pubs or small parties or weddings, but if you want a band to move location during an event, you need to state this on your booking form, so so that we can make sure that this is possible for the particular band.
can the band move to another location; move outside; move outdoors; play outdoors; move from the ceremony room; I want the band to move; I want the band to play outdoors / indoors / in the ceremony room; how long do the band take to move; will the band move; will the band play in more than one place