How to Book DJs for Your Event?


Finding a DJ for your event is an essential part of hosting. DJs don’t just play music; they set the tone for the event and help it run smoothly. Booking a DJ is an integral step in the event planning process. 

To book a DJ for your event, you’ll need to decide what you’ll expect from your DJ, and then search for someone to fit the profile. Searching for a DJ isn’t complicated, but finding the best one for your event can take some work. 

Whether a birthday party, wedding reception, or club night event is in the planning stage, there is always that one missing piece who can add fun and excitement. Read further for some tips and advice on how to book a DJ to get your upcoming event ready to roll!

How to Book a DJ for Your Event

Booking the right DJ can make your event, booking the wrong DJ can break it. A DJ is one of the significant components of party planning, so it’s essential to do it right. 

Search the Web for a List of Possibilities

Platforms that are updated daily and, in some cases, hourly, are a plus. The latest information circulates in real-time to keep you in touch which is clearly and advantage. Misinformation could also be a factor to look out for when searching for DJs, this has been an issue since the inception of the internet.

Blogs

Entertainment blogs that are centered around informing visitors of upcoming festive events are one method. Not only does such a platform post articles and interviews, but also included are updates regarding DJs who are added on the lineup to perform at specific venues.

Forums

There are discussion forums that are dedicated to the nightlife and events in certain cities. Forums have threads that contain pages, and on those pages are posted by various users who contribute to a discussion. The discussions are based on a particular topic. 

But in the case of an entertainment forum, the topics created are centered around performances, celebrity appearances, and the latest news. 

The majority of the time, who is behind a forum user account, is unknown. Yet one thing to consider is that it is likely DJs may lurk or post.

Some DJs have their forum on their official site. So, chances are, they visit the site regularly and possibly lurk their forum.

  • The courtesy which applies in person should apply on a forum. Professionalism also still applies when attempting to conduct business with a DJ.
  • Regular participation could allow one to get to know other users, and that may manifest a potential candidate for an upcoming event. 

Social Media

Social media platforms can be powerful if utilized wisely as well as appropriately.

What an individual makes of it is entirely their choice, and depending on what they do could reflect positively or negatively. The reality is that not everyone has honest intentions.

Even so, social media pages (as well as some maintained by DJs themselves), which are catered to performing at events, are good to keep an eye on. 

  • The benefit here is that you could speak with a DJ directly via their social media which can get you the answers quicker and to a higher standard for DJ bookings.
  • This is the quickest method in terms of a search. Whether Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook are used, a search could be completed within one day. So you should be able to get a feel for a hit list of DJs to choose from quickly.

Conduct a Background Check

It is important to remember that DJs are individuals with various individual personalities and histories. They still have names and may or may not have complaints attached to their reputation.

So, the DJ who appears to be perfect for performance should not be exempt from such a prudent measure. It is better to ensure their image as a DJ is not one which is known to be complicated or has problematic issues than to be regretful later. 

  • Although this may be intrusive, it is crucial to know who you are dealing with before booking.
  • Platforms are available for this type of check, but often charges are required to view confidential information.

Learn the Specialties of a Particular DJ

Not all DJs are created equal when the subject of booking one who is willing to play a specific type of music arises. Some will not compromise despite the situation if they follow personal guidelines and will also stand firm. However, a compromise is not always out of the question if the DJ will benefit as a result of a notable exception.

Find a DJ That’s Familiar with Your Music Genre

In terms of categories, some DJs could be found according to music, which they play consistently. So, if you are a fan of pop music, yet the DJ specialises in Hip-Hop, chances are there would be a conflict of preferences.

The best measure to take is to discuss it with the DJ before the event. This will avoid any misunderstandings as well as imposing any surprises at the very last minute.

  • The music selection could be random. One minute, Rock could be playing, and then there could be a sudden switch to Pop. The situation depends on the DJ. 
  • Explicit music could be banned in a particular city or country. 
  • It is not far-fetched for a DJ to stick with a personal selection of music rather than a requested playlist.

Know the Limits of Your DJ

To ask for more than the extent of an agreement could be problematic. After all, there are only 24 hours in one day, and those hours fly quickly when occupied. Of course, this does not mean there is an admission to be overbearing and demanding.

  • Consideration is the key. DJs have a right to express rationally when they feel uncomfortable or pressured. 
  • Most likely, respect for a DJ’s space would be appreciated in response.
  • No one enjoys being overworked and likely has a life outside of their career. This also pertains to DJs.
  • To ask for special favours could be crossing a boundary.

Research DJ Rates

Hourly rates are the standard, but flat rates do exist, and some DJs may request partial payment before an event to ensure they will receive the remainder afterward.

This prevents a rip-off or scam from attempting to pay less than what the DJ is charging. Or a possibility of cancelling / changing the booking last minute.

Standard Rates

A rating scale is necessary for you to determine what you can afford and what is in your budget. This is a regular practice and makes the process more comfortable in terms of the type of service a rate will cover. Consider the list below to get an idea of the standard rates from low status to high status.

  • Beginner DJs: $200 USD – $350 USD (£150 GBP – £260 GBP) per hour
  • Semi-Experienced DJs: $450 USD – $750 USD (£335 GBP – £560 GBP) per hour
  • Advanced Experienced DJs: $850 USD – $2,000 USD (£635 GBP – £1500 GBP) per hour

Make Sure Your Schedules are Compatible

The individual who handles the booking must go by the DJ’s timeframe. There may be other events in which the DJ is slated to perform and cannot be re-scheduled. Their time is what matters to avoid a conflict in their schedule. 

If the situation leans toward them likely performing elsewhere throughout the month, the possibility of them performing at events scheduled at later dates is low.

Availability

To know when a DJ will be able to perform at an event, and the hours which need to be free to do such, the DJ must provide that information. They may go by days, weeks, or one whole month of booked events and may not be willing to squeeze in an extra date. 

  • Any professional DJ should have their dates displayed on a personal profile, page, or website for those who are interested to see.
  • As an alternative, to make inquiries, contact information could be used. Such information should be easy to obtain.
  • If a DJ’s status is moderate to high, the booking may be difficult as they are often out of reach or only accepting offers, which will net a high amount of money.
  • Specific guidelines are usually tailored (and sometimes altered) to reach a compromise between both the DJ and who is booking them. Perhaps a direct discussion would be beneficial.

Consider Agency Representation vs. Independent DJs

Some DJs are signed to an exclusive contract and are limited to where they can and cannot perform. They are also limited to who can and cannot book them. 

However, independent DJs are free to do what they please as far as accepting an offer from anyone who wants to book them.

  • DJs who have an agent charge on an expensive pay scale. Performing for less is out of the question and not a factor in their contract. 
  • A contract does not bound independent DJs but still must be wise enough to protect their image and freedom. They are often viewed as vulnerable and easy to take advantage of.
  • Some agency represented DJs have the backing and the connections. Well-known celebrities, or associates of those celebrities, are usually that backing and those connections. 
  • DJs who often must pay their way for access to certain events do not have the luxury to use the high status of a celebrity for their profession.

Other Ways to Book DJs

If you do not want to take on the task of booking a DJ, an alternative could be utilized if you cannot decide where to start. The task may appear to be easy, but in some way, shape, or form, some individuals may find it to be complicated.

Event Planner

An event planner is a choice that could breed a slower process than one which is remote, but one who knows what they are doing could prove otherwise. They charge their rate before the booking of a DJ. Additional charges may include a consultation to assess the preparations needed.

  • The event planner can only handle but so much and is responsible for an event from the beginning to the end of the process.

Word-of-Mouth

This method is effective mainly if you know someone who knows someone else who knows the DJ. In other words, this is where having the right connections could work.

  • The process could be slower than what consists of an event planner.

Why Hire a DJ for Your Event

A DJ means much more to an event than just spinning records or programming music to play at a high volume while blasting through speakers on their laptop. To be part of the atmosphere while contributing to a positive experience is what matters.

Help Small Events Run Smoothly and Provide Ambiance

Venues usually consist of a capacity of attendants who do not exceed a certain amount at one time. Nightclubs, weddings, and birthday celebrations are known to book DJs who are independent and are open to performing at locations which are not considered to be in demand.

Smaller crowds can be more susceptible to awkward moments, like empty dance floors. This can be catastrophic for something like a wedding, although more on weddings later. Having an experienced DJ can help prevent these disasters from happening. 

If there are any specific schedules or events that are happening, like a fundraiser, a DJ can be responsible for hitting those points in the night. Again, here is where a DJ will ensure that things run smoothly. And, an experienced DJ won’t have any slipups.

Keeping the Tradition at a Wedding

Wedding DJs might be some of the most familiar. And, they have a big responsibility, as in making sure the whole thing isn’t ruined. 

In the aftermath of such a sentimental ceremony, a reception usually comes with the territory of a wedding. It is an opportunity to unwind and mingle with the other guests as well as eat and drink. 

But also included is dancing, which many guests have the urge to do after sitting for an extended time during a ceremony. This is where a DJ enters the scene to help the guests tackle that urge. 

With the right music, the energy could be used to dance to a list of party songs (as well as a particular slow song for the newlyweds), which the DJ knows will do the trick.

Events That Need to Stick to a Schedule

For an event that is held in the name of a good cause, in terms of a charity, the community is usually the DJ’s audience. Complete with activities such as raffles and games to raise enough money to reach a mark. This all is usually accompanied by music to give the fundraiser a pleasant theme.

  • The livelier the music, the better the chance that the organiser of the fundraiser could use the same DJ for another fundraiser soon after. 
  • The DJ can lift the mood of the attendees, especially if the fundraiser is to raise money for an organisation that is in support of cures for terminal illnesses.
  • Some DJs may use some of their earnings from the job to contribute to the fundraiser as a form of courtesy and as a genuine display of sympathy.
  • An auction could also be considered a fundraiser.

Major Events like Concerts, Festivals, or Even Conferences

An arena is a clear example of a large venue. This is used to accommodate DJs who often provide support for music artists of high celebrity status. Also, a large capacity of attendants fills the space of the venue. The DJs are usually hand-picked and sought-after based on their reputation and ability to entertain successfully. 

In the aftermath of such a sentimental ceremony, a reception usually comes with the territory of a wedding. It is an opportunity to unwind and mingle with the other guests as well as eat and drink. 

But also included is dancing, which many guests have the urge to do after sitting for an extended time during a ceremony. This is where a DJ enters the scene to help the guests tackle that urge. With the right music, the energy could be used to dance to a list of party songs (as well as a particular slow song for the newlyweds), which the DJ knows will do the trick.

Final Thoughts

Booking a DJ doesn’t have to be challenging, but it can take some time. However, you don’t want to rush the process. DJs are such an integral part of event hosting, taking the time to find the right one is a must. If you follow all of the tips we just discussed, it should make booking a DJ for your event much more comfortable.

Related Questions

How do DJs get bookings?

Building an online presence and networking are the key areas of focus when getting bookings as a DJ. Evidence of your skills as a DJ promoted via social media and music platforms such as Mixcloud which can help peak word of mouth. Networking requires making friends with event managers, artists and club / bar managers.

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