Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Orange County Thumbtack DJ- Buyer Beware!

Thinking of hiring a disc jockey from Thumbtack, Craigslist or Wedding Wire for your wedding or special event? Many of the DJs that get their work through competing to be the “lowest cost provider” may be untrained, unprofessional and inexperienced.

Over the last 6 years, 269 complaints have been filed against Thumbtack with the Better Business Bureau.


The internet landscape has changed. If you Google to find a local Pro, chances are your results will include national companies that have edged out local special event providers. These companies often represent low budget DJs with ultra cheap rates. The promise of a low price and increased competition has a dark side.

In this video, the DJ gets drunk, the music stops and guests try to help. Then the real trouble starts. I can’t say for sure that this guy was hired from a national corporate DJ booking agency but I guarantee you he was not a highly touted referral from a reputable wedding pro or from the event facility. He probably charged way less than others and that’s how he got the job. The bride and groom thought they were getting a great deal but in the end their wedding was ruined. This could have been avoided.

Warning #1. The ugly, cheapo lighting hung on the tripod at the beginning of the video. This is ok for a kids party or a frat house bash but not for a wedding. Ideally, lighting should be placed unobtrusively down low, ceiling mounted or pole mounted with black or white wrap to make it look nice. Tripods have a large footprint and are a tripping hazard. My advice, “Just Say NO” to the Tijuana Disco Look! This why I recommend SEEING the DJs sound rig and lighting as part of the evaluation process.

This DJ got wasted, argued and fought with guests and eventually got arrested for assaulting a police officer. Odds are this isn’t the first event he’s drank too much at. A bit of research (Yelp! anyone?) would have probably unveiled this prior to the decision on hiring him. Did anyone ask for his referrals prior to hiring him? Was he ever asked if he drinks while performing?

There are LOTS of wannabe DJs that buy some equipment, then drop a Craigslist ad or start advertising on Thumbtack, Wedding Wire, GigMasters, Decidio or other large event service platform. These DJs charge incredibly low prices and are just happy to get a paying gig. 

One disgruntled Thumbtack user said, "I hired a DJ through Thumbtack and I was extremely disappointed. He didn’t do any of the things we asked of him during our event. We even requested to meet with him the week before, gave him a written outline of the events, announcements etc and he still did not do it. I would have been better off running the event myself with music from my iphone."

"Anyone with an email address and a computer can open a Thumbtack account."


Many clients don’t realize that their party is actually part of this disc jockey’s internship and on-the-job training. The DJ is at the start of a long learning curve and may be proficient someday, after enough events and experience. At which point they will no longer charge a rock bottom price and will start getting word of mouth referrals if they are skilled. People who hire them before that may be disappointed. They may not get drunk and arrested but their performance may be substandard and amateur.

Your special event is only going to happen once. Get a good DJ!

Orange County Thumbtack DJ Disc Jockey