Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Curse Of The Cheap DJ

If there's one thing that angers me, it's members of my own profession acting unethically, sullying the reputation of the Mobile DJ as flakey and undependable. Case in point, the enclosed message I got today from another DJ (let's call him DJ Flake) seeking someone to cover a wedding reception that is just SIX days from now. 

DJ Flake is offering to pay 300.00 for six hours of coverage for a wedding at which he promised to perform. This is an amount that no Pro DJ I know of would accept for such a gig. This leaves only the desperate, the untrained or the foolish available to perform for this event. So I doubt the Bride is going to be happy with DJ Flake's replacement. She is probably already stressed that DJ Flake cancelled on her at the last minute and is sending a yet unknown back up. 

I wish I could say this is an isolated incident but I've seen this movie countless times. DJ Flake gives no reason why he can't perform for the soon to be wedded couple and their guests. My money is on DJ Flake booking a much more lucrative gig that day. This happens more often than I'd like to admit *. An unethical DJ will offer a low price just to get something on the calendar. Then when a better offer comes along, he will take it and farm out the first gig to another DJ. Possibly someone he doesn't even know though he admittedly, "promised the client I would get them a good DJ". When DJ Flake's replacement does show up he is likely to be inexperienced, have low end equipment and be an unpolished Emcee.

And this is the risk people take when they hire a cheapo DJ for their wedding or other important occasion. My instincts tell me DJ Flake is getting more than 300.00 but is taking his cut. Plus, he'll probably be DJing that day for someone willing to pay him more than the first client.

I think this bride is now wishing she had spent a bit more on her DJ and gotten a professional who takes pride in his livelihood. And this is why DJs should charge what they are worth in the first place. It's unfortunate that there are unscrupulous people in all professions. You would probably be suspicious of a discount brain surgeon or a car dealer advertising a "cream puff" Mercedes Benz for just 500.00. Use the same discrimination when hiring your DJ and have a worry free celebration! 

* Online ad services like Thumbtack.com, Craigslist and Gigmasters may be havens for this kind of activity.

The Wedding DJ


Unknown said...

Friends I am share with you some thing hope you like. If the DJ booth is visible to the crowd, you are performing whether you like it or not. Visibly acting like you are enjoying/engaged with what youare doing goes a long way. Energy is contagious. Always be prepared. Even if the spot claims to guarantee turntables, CDJs, controllers, slip mats, needles, and or built in interfaces… BRING YOUR OWN! You don’t want to be unpleasantly surprised at the venue. Also – always bring a line in cable. If everything is just plain wrong at the gig but you still have to play something… that line in will plug to your laptop, ipod or phone. That will be your gig saver.
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Coach Casie said...

I agree whole-heartedly with your comment that DJs need to be paid what they are worth! So many times I see a DJ charging like this too. I like to take into consideration my transportation costs, my music library costs on top of my fee. It's important for the DJ to establish themselves as a professional to educate the person hiring them for the job that they aren't just a human jukebox but much more!

Unknown said...

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Unknown said...

I totally agree. I run a DJ service in Austin, TX and I get calls, all the time, from unhappy customers who have had their DJ cancel on them. It's very unethical, but sadly, very common. My advice to customers, get a contract.

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Unknown said...

Yeah! I also agree with your post. It is possible that sometime DJ has worked something bad, it could be due to any problem either it can be from the crowd side or something else. It does not mean that DJ has not to be charged.DJ's has to be paid.

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Ale said...

This is one of the stuff in this line of work that results very problematic!
Thats why i prefer to invest in a good dj case!

Black Tie Events said...

Very informative post for all people who book any cheap DJ for their special occasion. Thanks for sharing this post.
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