It’s that time of the year again when you’re putting on a special event and you’d like it to be as entertaining as possible. For this to happen, you’ll need the services of a professional DJ. So how much does a DJ cost to hire?
Well, this’s a question that has different answers depending on whom you ask and several factors put into consideration. This’s because there’s no set of price for DJs. It can be as much as 250,000 GBP or as low as 50 GBP. For example, Tunemixer usually charge around 1000 GBP on average. In this no-nonsense guide, we’ll take you through the main factors that will eventually determine what you pay. Let’s get started!
1. DJ Popularity
This might seem pretty straight forward, but most people tend to overlook this factor. The level of the DJ’s popularity can push up the cost significantly. In fact you’ll have to pay as much as 50,000 GBP to get the services of a popular DJ such as Carl Cox who has an outstanding 40 year-long career.
Still amazed? DJs with ‘pop-star’ status like Calvin Harris and David Guetta can charge over 250,000 GBP and this is in fact minus any VAT or travel expenses! All in all, be prepared to pay more if you’re looking to hire a popular DJ to rock your event.
2. Performance Duration
The duration the DJ will be performing is also another crucial factor that will add up to the cost. Most wedding DJs however won’t charge you for set up time because they’ll just turn up and begin to perform.
Most DJs will perform for at least one to four hours. You’ll be charged on a fixed rate for these services, but some might charge you by the hour. In addition, you should keep in mind that the time spent by the DJ to create your unique playlist and set up the decks may incur additional charges.
3. Door Price And Venue Capacity
The size of the venue you’d like to host the event and what is being charged on the door is also another factor to be considered. Most if not all DJs will adjust the price accordingly going by the door price, venue capacity, and what time they’re playing. All in all, expect to pay more depending on the door price and venue capacity.
4. Distance Travelled
In this case, most DJs won’t charge a dime in travelling costs for the local gigs. For instance, the DJ cost in London for an event anywhere near M25 will not attract any extra travelling charges. However, bookings for national and international gigs will attract expense fees. In fact, a DJ doesn’t have to pay anything to come and rock your gig!
All said and done, before booking a DJ to perform in a national gig always ask for the full price including travel costs. You might also need to factor in hotel costs as well as arranging for airport pick-ups. Most importantly, always sign a contract.
5. DJ Equipment
This’s arguably one of the main reasons why you don’t want the DJing services of your cousin to your birthday party. Even if he has fantastic taste in music, without professional sound equipment it will all sound like one being played using a home stereo and you don’t want that, do you?
That said, most professional DJs invest a lot in their equipment and that’s the reason why they charge high rates. In fact, an upgraded package might include things like lighting as well as other special effects.
Putting on a successful event is not only expensive, but also requires lots of work. Fortunately for you, it’s possible to significantly reduce your DJ cost. One of the tricks is to always ask if the DJ offers discounted rates for the slower days of the week (Thursday/Sunday) or off-season. Additionally, follow up with references and read client reviews to make sure that you’re getting what you pay for.
Alvaro de Iscar is Pro Tools Operator and sound engineer. In his free time he loves DJing for weddings and night clubs.