Written by Matt Potter (Events Director)
First of all let’s go back a few years, take a look at a DJ and see what they were doing 20 years ago.
A DJ was employed firstly and foremost because they had the music! A record collection they could bring along with them and play to make you dance and allow you to request your favourites. That was great entertainment as at the time music was very difficult for us all to listen to with limited technology and music formats. We had to get a record player or a cassette…fast forward, reverse, insert and eject the cassette to hear the tracks.
Then came CD!
It was so much easier to go through the CDs and select the tracks you wanted to listen to. However, if you do remember that far back when CDs first came out, you probably didn’t fall in love with the album quite so often as you decided to skip through the tracks to play your favourites.
In my opinion, that was the start of the big change and what followed was the landslide into music streaming and instant access to music.
Nowadays with internet access, everyone has access to every track on the planet. This coupled with access to cheap DJing equipment available to purchase or download makes everyone a DJ!… or does it?
I suggest the question remains…what makes a good DJ!?
In my opinion, as a nightclub and mobile DJ veteran of nearly 30 years, these are the secrets!
First and foremost use your ears! A DJ should listen to the client’s requests about the type of music they want to hear. We encourage a playlist from each and every client including their loves, likes and dislikes because we’ve got access to every type of music on the planet. The trick is to play the music the client wants to hear whilst maintaining a busy dance floor. That’s the key to our success, maintaining a busy dance floor…how is that done?
Well, it’s done by playing a certain type of music throughout the key stages and times of any event. A certain type of music should be played during the guest arrival for the first hour, during any food and then the tunes to fill the dance floor when the time comes…and keeping it busy!
The key to keeping people dancing is what we call, ‘reading the dance floor’.
Being the best ‘beat mixer’ is not the key! A nightclub beat mixer is not the key to being a successful wedding, corporate or private event DJ. Yes! You’ve got to be able to mix well! However, the way we read the dance floor is by taking the requested music and playing certain tunes at key stages of the event to suit the crowd, how excited they are, the type of people and the age group on the dance floor. The music should be ever-changing with fast good mixing. Unlike a nightclub with a specific music genre it is, in my opinion, impossible to work out a set for a wedding, corporate or private event in advance. You just don’t know what the clients and guests are going to do on the dance floor and timing is key.
To wrap it up…The key is fast mixing and fast adjustments with the type of music and the artists you’re playing to maintain a busy dance floor. A good DJ knows both what to play and WHEN to play it. They’ll take your request list as the ingredients and create a musical tapestry for you, creating a presentation of music throughout your event, maintaining the correct ambiance and maintaining a busy dance floor when it counts!
Fundamentally that’s the key to DJing, that professionalism you should be looking at when employing your DJ.
Questions you should ask when booking to get it right:
- Are you happy to take our playlist and use it?
- How will the DJ look? How the DJ is being presented and what type of equipment the DJ is using. Aesthetics are important on big days!
- How long will it take you to install?
- Is the sound system adequate for the size of my venue/marquee?
- Will the DJ actually be mixing? Would you like to see some decks or someone using a Laptop or iPad?
- Does the DJ have nightclub and mobile experience?
- The DJ comes with the band for free? Is it a pro DJ or is it a member of the band with their iPhone?!
- Do you have any experience at my chosen venue or similar venues?
What should you pay for event & wedding entertainment (this is 2019)?
- Wedding/Event Band: £1000 – £3000 +
- Pro DJ and disco performance fee: £500 – £1000 +
- Audio & Lighting: Should be designed and priced to suit your venue and event requirements
Potter Group supply pro DJs, discos and event entertainment for weddings, corporate events and private events in Northampton, Northamptonshire, Leicestershire, Buckinghamshire, Milton Keynes, Bedfordshire, Oxfordshire.