dj hire - Don't hire your next wedding or function DJ until you have considered these five things everyone forgets
DJ Hire - how to get it wrong by paying too much
You have thought through the night really hard, got the party just right and its cost you an arm and a leg. So you don't want to skimp on the DJ, right?
The DJ should be able to sense the mood of the crowd, work closely with you, enjoy what he or she does. But that shouldn't also come at a price. The problem is that many DJ's the way they work is to say they have so much experience, and that you need to pay for that experience.
There is actually a sweet spot.
First, see if you can get word of mouth. Has anyone experienced a good dj that they have hired? Ask your friends. A good DJ will charge a reasonable amount, but not ridiculously so.
A friend of mine was told by a DJ that he would be happy to come back from Ibiza (to the UK) to play for them for £800, which basically covered his plane costs!
At the same time, a DJ that costs only £100 / $200 is probably not taking it seriously. You can't build a good collection of tracks for that money, let alone have decent lighting and sound.
If they aren't charging enough, then they aren't keeping up!
So look for somewhere in between. About £400 is about right.
DJ Hire - how to get it wrong by not saying what you want
A good DJ will respect you as a client. They should come to you and ask you details such as what is the night about, who is the special guest (if any). What ages of people will be there. After all, granny may not be into house or garage.
Its at that point that you should really say what you think...what is it that you really want. Dj's are creative people and they should be able to use their music an lighting like an artist uses a paint brush to create a memorable experience. What you tell them will be both their canvas, and the image they are going to create.
Don't let them guess, however. Its not fare on them. The more information you can give them, the better it will be.
However, do be careful after the discussion to say to them, 'do you think you are able to do that for me?' and then get their ideas.
If they fudge around a bit, move on
DJ Hire - how to upset a DJ
These people are artists. Artists have feelings...often explosive ones. Now they do have a business to run, so you should be safe. But be careful about telling the DJ their job.
If you want to really upset a DJ then give them a playlist and tell them to stick to it. They will, but they will become so bored that the crowd just won't respond. Dj's read the crowd, and respond intuitively to what is happening at that moment. They will try to play a range of music, see what is working, and then follow that vein.
You are not the DJ. If you think you are, then you do it.
If you have a playlist, and want just that, then save yourself some money and create a playlist on your phone, hire a PA, and just plug it in.
DJ Hire - don't hire a kids only DJ for a stag night
Dj's are sometimes flexible, sometimes not so. Charlie the clown might be the best thing ever for the children's party DJ, but beware at the adult nights. Equally the other way around.
Sometimes the issues are around the songs that they have to play. A DJ with a wide range of experience will have many songs from which to choose. You need to feel comfortable that your guests will be able to go up to the DJ and ask for a track and they will have it.
More than a few DJ's however have no desire to play requests. Sometimes it doesn't fit their planned sets (their playlist). Sometimes they just don't like your ideas.
In this day and age when you can have an internet connection almost anywhere, there is no reason for a well paid DJ to not download a requested track whilst the other songs are playing.
The opposite is true, though. It is disturbing to find many junior children happily singing about sex on the beach. Its the music they are listening to. A good DJ when playing out to children will have checked not just the relevancy to kids, but also the lyrical content.
In fact, to give good kids DJ's their due, its harder to play to kids, than it is to adults
DJ hire - don't let the DJ act like an idiot
DJ hire - what to say if your DJ is an idiot
There's many reasons why DJ's act like idiots. Ok, if they are in the right place its pretty much ok. But when they are desperate to get a crowd going it can be counter productive if they start messing around.
There's a few things you might want to watch out for during the evening.
- Is the DJ drinking? I recommend soft drinks only. Provide soft drinks for free too, then they won't be tempted to knock back harder stuff
- Periodically through the night check that they have everything they need, do they need a comfort break?
- When they arrive, check that everything is secure. Not all DJ's risk assess their handiwork!
- Check that they are aware of the clientele
- Go around your guests and see if they are having a good time and what they think of the DJ. if there is a problem, go and sort it out
What would you hire a DJ for?
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