I was inspired to write this blog after being in a Facebook thread with fellow wedding DJs and event vendors.
I want you to first understand this a venue point of view only and by no means directed towards any one DJ company.
Hiring a DJ vs. Do yourself
When considering hiring a DJ, remember they perform one of the most important jobs in making any wedding or event a success. Highly recommend no bride or corporate planners to never try and to do their own music; it makes for a much-unorganized night.
As a venue we wish more DJ’s would consider the following when working with any venue.
In saying this we find many DJ’s do not do their homework when coming to a wedding or event. They may have visited with the bride or corporate planner but have you considered the venue?R
Recommended Walk Thru
Every DJ should always do a walk thru with every venue manager. In doing this it will truly make the event run more smoothly. This way the DJ will know where to unload, what all they need to bring with them, get a feel of the room and it’s surroundings. For the DJ franchised companies, they seem to do the walk thru, then send a DJ that has no clue. This, in the long run, will get their company barred from working at that venue. This does not mean they have to do a walk thru for every event at a venue you have worked with in the past.
Not all venues require huge woofers and bass amps to make the sound great. We have found many DJs bring way too much equipment for the size of the room or area where they will set their equipment. They need to know if they will be setting up outdoors and indoors. Don’t assume the venue will have a tent for them to set up under. Bringing a tent in their vehicle should be part of their daily equipment they bring incase they will need it. Most DJs, we have found, do not think about weather, and do you have covers for their speakers and equipment? It is not the venues reasonability to go find something to cover their equipment.
We know every DJ loves to play music at a high volume and that it’s not needed for every event they play. Remember a wedding is not a nightclub. I truly don’t think some DJ’s take into consideration that during a wedding reception you have an age variation and that should be considered. We have many brides ask us, “Why did everyone leave so early?” When a person cannot visit with family members and friends because the music is so loud they leave. Also, as humans get older their ears get more sensitive. DJs also need to remember; if a venue manager asks you to turn down the volume, they do it with out hesitation. If a DJ does not comply, it may result in being barred from the venue. We have heard of venues that have been fined and shut down due to volume and that is a concern of every venue. When the bartender can’t hear an order, the music is too loud. The venue has another events / bride to consider the next day and wants to still be in business.
DJ’s need to remember they have been given the opportunity to work at someone’s facility that is not theirs. They need to respect the venue rules even if they don’t like the rules. They need to be willing to set up where they are told to, bring all the equipment they need and not assume the venue will have what they forget. Volume will be monitored and should be. Most venues have homes or other businesses close by and need to respect noise zones.
Remember to clean up after yourself. Leaving pop cans, boxes, equipment to be picked up the next day is unacceptable.
Liability / Safety
A venue is always thinking about safety of their guests and the liability that is involved in hosting events. Every DJ should always carry their own liability insurance and if they are not willing to carry they should not be in business. Why do they need a policy? Liability is a cost of doing business! It covers them if someone would trip over their cords, electrical shock or speaker’s falls on a guest. Don’t assume the venues liability policy will cover them and your business.
Don’t assume the venue has high speed Internet or allows streaming of music. It is the DJs’ job to have all their music in place before arriving to the venue. We have seen inexperienced DJs with this issue. Using our venue as an example, we have spend literally thousands of dollars getting our entire ranch internet capable but even with that, it’s impossible to streamline music when we have 300 people trying to get online.
DJs should know the time line before arriving, asking the venue manager what is should be happening next just isn’t acceptable. Vendors need to know their job. DJs need to remember a venue and the manager has a lot to think about during any event. They have to make sure the bride is happy, every vendor does their job and arrives on time, are the guests comfortable, parking, bathrooms working, noise ordnance complied to, have a plan B ready incase of inclement weather, liquor liability, etc. So when a DJ arrives late, chip on his shoulder, thinks the evening is all about them and doesn’t want to follow house rules, it can make for a rough night.
Facility Use / Privilege
Every DJ needs to remember that every venue has the right to refuse any DJ or vendor to work at their facility. Yes, the DJ also has the right to refuse to work at certain venues too. Remember, the facility is not the DJ’s and that they have been given the privilege to work there.
Brides and Corporate Events planners ask the venue who they would recommend for their music and MC. The venue will also recommend DJ’s, bands and artists that work well with the venue.
We all have to remember we are a team (all vendors) when hosting and working an event and we all need to be on board with each other.
2331 Ellis Ranch Lane Loveland, Colorado 80538
Photo Credit: Kimball Nelson Photography