The time has come to celebrate so what do you do? A cosy meal at your favourite restaurant, a night out dancing at your favourite bar or a room with your closest friends and your favourite tunes?
If it is the latter, then you will need to organise the music otherwise you will be burdened with it and probably feel a little less relaxed. Unless you like to cover the role as DJ yourself then hiring one is your next best option. You could pass on the duties to a friend but doing so could mean lowering the enjoyment across the board.
So where does one start? This short guide will lead you in the right direction, pointing out things to keep in mind and what you should steer clear of.
How your event is structured
In your head you should have an idea of how things should pan out, so this will dictate what music you will need and what tempo to set. Think about who will be attending, how old they are and the scope of genre and tempo they are likely to prefer over others. Remember this is your night, but it is one that you are sharing with others so keeping the vast majority happy is important for enjoying the night.
If you’re a little unsure of how to proceed, get some intel from your guests prior to the event, so that you can get more of an idea of what people are expecting.
You will need to build your night around your event space naturally so look at any limitations which may include volume restrictions or guest numbers. Hosting a wedding in a public space? There are likely to be local council restrictions in place, so it pays to do some research first.
Spacing out the function is also an important factor. If it is during the evening, you should consider when to slow things down or when to move things to another venue. This will then dictate the structure including when you need to serve food and ultimately when to start the event. Once this is determined, run all of this by the potential DJ you have in mind.
Deciding music style & genre
Most party DJs are flexible, and they should be, but they also have their specialties. Find someone who reflects your specific taste in music. For those who might be unsure exactly what that looks like, here are some things to consider:
- Personal collections – Scan through your CDs and music collection; is there a theme present? When hiring the DJ, throw them some of the releases you currently own so they can build a playlist around your preferences.
- Radio – Do you listen to the radio much? What stations or shows do you enjoy most? Are there any tunes that get you going or inspire you? Compile a list here and relay that to your DJ.
- Streaming services –If you subscribe to a any streaming services like Spotify, there are many playlist recommendations you can tap into. Which songs hit the spot, and which one do you steer clear of? Pass these lists on to your DJ so they may create suggestions for you.
Collect plenty of examples
When booking your DJ, ask them for samples of their previous work. This may come from Soundcloud or a physical CD mix they can send you or download. Any professional DJ should have various options on hand for you to make the most informed decision.
If they are lacking material or information at the time, ask if they have an upcoming show you can attend to have a listen. If you need a wedding DJ, ask them where they have played recently and if they can also cover MC duties.
Cost and bang for buck
Bottom line, how much will their DJ services cost? Some DJs charge per hour while some charge based on crowd size. The venue size and amount of people attending will also determine how much sound and lighting equipment will be needed. The DJ may have to hire more gear, and this may inflate the cost so do your research.
Ultimately, gearing up to hire a DJ takes a bit of research and planning from the outset, but is well worth the effort.