PLAN YOUR EVENT
We have endeavored to provide you with as much information as possible as you plan your event. Please don't hesitate to contact us for further details.
WHAT IS THE CAPACITY OF THE SPACE?
Sound River Studios will accommodate 500 guests for standing-room-only events or 350-400 for seated dinners with room for a dance floor. Of course, capacity will vary depending upon the nature and design of each event. See our floor plan for space layout and square footage.
WHAT IS THE RENTAL FEE FOR THE SPACE?
Our venue rental rates vary based on the day of the week, the season, and the specifics of each event. Please contact us to schedule a visit or to request a quote tailored to your needs.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO RENT ONLY A PORTION OF THE SPACE?
We book no more than one event per day to ensure the best experience for every client, so while you may section off portions of the space, the fee reflects rental of the entire space. Thus, the venue may not be ideal for smaller events, but please bring up your questions when we discuss your options during the site visit.
WHAT DATES ARE AVAILABLE?
Please email us with requested dates for your event to check availability. Be sure to include setup and breakdown time as needed.
HOW DO I RESERVE SOUND RIVER STUDIOS FOR MY EVENT?
A deposit of 50% of the rental fee is necessary to reserve a date. The remaining balance is due 30 days before the event. To book a date within 30 days of the event, the rental fee is due in full at the contract signing. A $1200 security deposit, due at the time of booking, will be refunded within 30 days of the end of the event, less any damages. Proof of insurance is also due no later than 30 days prior to your event.
WHAT FORMS OF PAYMENT DO YOU ACCEPT?
Sound River Studios accepts certified, bank and personal checks, as well as money orders, wire transfers, and all major credit cards (3% service fee for credit cards).
WHAT IS YOUR CANCELLATION POLICY?
Cancel more than 90 days prior to your scheduled event, and you will receive your deposit back less a $2500 non-refundable booking fee. Cancel within 90 days of the event, and you forfeit your rental fee deposit. Cancel within 30 days of the event, and you forfeit your rental fee. The security deposit will be fully refunded regardless of the cancellation date. If you wish to change the date of the event to another available date, a rebooking fee of $500 will be charged in addition to any difference in venue rental fee.
DO I NEED TO PROVIDE MY OWN INSURANCE?
We require you to provide a certificate of insurance that covers you and your vendors. (Note that your caterer may be able to insure certain vendors through their policy.) We require $2M general aggregate / $1M per occurrence including property damage. Your policy should include Host Liquor Liability if you are serving alcohol. Review the policies offered by eventhelper.com, wedsafe.com or privateeventinsurance.com should you need insurance not provided by your caterer. Copies of all insurance policies must be submitted to Sound River Studios no later than 30 days prior to your event.
DO I NEED TO HIRE AN EVENT PLANNER?
Sound River Studios can direct you to our in-house event planner or recommend experienced professionals capable of managing your event (see our list of preferred vendors). You must secure the services of a competent event planner to coordinate all facets of your event. This includes supervising load in/load out, deliveries and pickups from vendors, and coordinating the timing of your event to be sure you remain on schedule. We will work with your event planner throughout the process, answering questions about the facilities and offering logistical suggestions to support her/his objectives for your event. In addition, an in-house operations manager will be on site for the duration of your event.
WHEN CAN MY VENDORS AND GUESTS ACCESS THE SPACE?
Standard venue hours are 9am to 2am, with guests out by 1am to allow an hour for vendor breakdown and load out. Additional time may be negotiated on an hourly basis. Your event planner must be present to coordinate all deliveries and pickups, vendor setup and breakdown, and guest arrivals and departures throughout the rental period to ensure your event functions smoothly from start to finish. Our staff are always available to assist, but it is the sole responsibility of you and your event planner(s) for executing the event as you envisioned it.
ARE THERE ANY RESTRICTIONS ON VENDORS FOR MY EVENT?
Many clients have relationships with various favorite vendors, and Sound River Studios is happy to accommodate the vendors of your choice. For our recommendations, please see the list of preferred vendors whom we trust to provide superior service.
WHO PROVIDES BAR SERVICE?
The service of alcoholic beverages is regulated by the New York State Liquor Authority. If you plan to serve alcohol, request a permit from the state for your event, and submit a copy of this permit to Sound River Studios as soon as you receive it. Most caterers are licensed to serve alcohol and carry insurance for its service. If you are not working with a vendor with a valid liquor license, please contact us to discuss other options. Cash bars are never permitted at Sound River Studios.
What other services do you provide?
An agent of Sound River Studios will be your contact throughout your experience renting the space, from site visit and contract signing to the return of your security deposit. This includes conducting site visits for you and your vendors, responding to questions and concerns about the facilities, and providing logistical feedback as you plan your event. In addition, an on-site liaison will be present during your event to answer questions and provide assistance related to the facilities. Consult our list of preferred vendors for any additional services you may require.
Who is responsible for cleanup and garbage removal?
Sound River Studios will provide a clean space for your event, and you are expected to return it in the condition it was provided. Although basic sweeping, mopping and washrooms cleaning will be handled by our staff after you have vacated the premises, you may be charged for any excessive cleaning or repair issues as a result of your use of the space. To get your full security deposit back, your event planner and staff must complete the following breakdown procedures at the end of your event:
- All centerpieces and candles not taken home by your guests or staff must be stored neatly in the kitchen. Décor items must be removed or discarded as per house guidelines.
- If you will need to leave any materials or equipment for later pickup, arrangements must be made in advance, as we cannot be responsible for items left on the premises without prior agreement.
- Leftover food must be disposed of or removed by your staff.
- All rental items—tables, chairs, glassware, dinnerware, linens, kitchen equipment, etc.—must be repacked/crated and stacked neatly at the rear of the main hall ready for pickup. Any house rentals must be separated from outside rentals.
- Your staff must break down all boxes, separate and bag recyclables and garbage, and place all refuse in the appropriate containers by the end of the event. Your event planner will be shown where to have your staff place garbage for later pickup and removal by Sound River Studios.
Do you have an outdoor space?
Perhaps the best feature of Sound River Studios is our waterfront location. The main hall opens onto 1260 square feet of terrace space on the East River which, during events, is separated from our neighbor, Anable Basin, though guests may be allowed access via the terrace if desired.
Where can we take photographs?
There are a variety of options for photography in and near Sound River Studios. In addition to the main hall for interior photo shoots, the outdoor terrace and the adjoining city pier at the end of 44th Drive are ideal for photos incorporating the Manhattan and Long Island City skylines as backdrops. The second floor loft is sometimes available for interior photos as well. See our gallery for photos.
Is there a kitchen?
Our 645-square foot kitchen is equipped with two industrial refrigerators, two sinks, two 6’ work tables, and sufficient power for any electric appliances your caterer might need. See our floor plan for the layout. In addition, grills may be placed outside (away from guests) should you require their use.
Is there a bridal suite/green room on-site?
There is a small dressing room between the kitchen and restrooms that is equipped with a sink and vanity mirror. Pipe and drape or soft/moveable walls can be used to create a separate room in the main hall should you need a larger space for your event. Always seeking to improve our facilities, a new bridal suite/green room is currently under construction adjacent to the main hall.
Is there a coat check room?
There are several possibilities for setting up coat check in the entrance hall, the main hall or the second floor. Please discuss this with us when you visit the site.
How many restrooms are there?
There are ladies’ and men’s restrooms (four stalls/urinals each) in the hallway off the inner lobby. In addition, there are two unisex wheelchair-accessible restrooms in the entrance hall.
Is the building heated and air conditioned?
Sound River Studios has overhead heating units in the main hall. As a high-ceiling warehouse with concrete floors and exhaust fans in the roof, the space remains fairly cool even during the summer months, but air conditioning units have been rented for past events to provide additional cooling and circulation.
Is parking available for guests and delivery vehicles?
Street parking is available on 44th Drive and along Vernon Boulevard and beyond, and there is a city-owned parking area across the street from Sound River Studios. Local valet companies are also available for hire. Vendors must be carefully scheduled to avoid congestion when making deliveries and pickups. Delivery vehicles will find ample parking along Vernon Boulevard and nearby side streets.
Is smoking allowed?
Smoking is not allowed inside Sound River Studios, but it is permitted outside on the terrace. It is your decision whether to allow smoking on the terrace at your event.
Are candles permitted?
All candles must be contained in votives or hurricane lamps with bottoms. Open flames are prohibited.
Is the building wheelchair accessible?
The entire space, inside and out, is at street level except for the second floor loft which is only available by prior arrangement for photo shoots. There is no elevator for the loft.
Is Sound River Studios pet friendly?
In accordance with state and local regulations, service animals are permitted to accompany their owners at any event. Otherwise, pets present a challenge as they rarely follow the direction of event planners. You may inquire about exceptions, but as a rule, it’s best to let your pets chill at home while you enjoy your event. You can always take them a doggie bag.
What are your rules regarding music?
Bands may perform until midnight, DJs until 1am. Sound systems may not be used in the outside space because, oddly enough, residents of the skyscrapers nearby don’t want to hear our music. If you would like your event to end later, or if you wish to book a concert, please discuss this with us on your site visit.
Can I collect a cover charge/admission fee at the door?
Sound River Studios does not permit clients to charge entrance fees of any kind at the door. Please handle any such fees prior to your event. The entrance hall has ample space for guest card or check in tables should your event have the need.
What are the electrical specs?
Up to 1000 amps of power is available. Sound River Studios does not provide any lighting or electrical equipment. See our list of preferred vendors for any electrical services or equipment you may need.
Do you provide technical services (rigging, stages, etc)?
You must secure the services of experienced professionals to perform any technical services related to set construction, rigging, etc. Please see our list of preferred vendors.
How do I arrange for my guests to arrive by boat?
You may dock directly in front of the event space, providing service to your event by boat. Please request a quote for docking services, and see our list of preferred vendors for companies you can hire to bring your guests from Manhattan or Brooklyn.