Band and DJ

Is it common for a band and a DJ to be booked together?

We thought that it’d be good idea to get our opinions on this matter down in cyber-print, as it comes up in conversations with clients regularly. Hopefully it will help straighten a few things out for you guys… 🙂

The client asks “Is it common for an event to have a band and a DJ. What do you normally do?”. Well, it’s not always common. The best way of explaining this is by using an example…

Let’s say you’ve booked a band for an hour and a half (which is quite normal). Your guests arrive at 8pm so you want the band to come on around about 8.30pm-9pm, let’s say 9pm, and your event finishes at midnight. Well, that leaves you four hours to fill from 8pm.

In those four hours, the band will play 90 minutes. That leaves you with two and a half hours left to entertain your guests. Most events with the best intentions and planning will run over by 20 minutes to half an hour at least, so you’ve now got two hours where the band won’t be performing. Let’s say that in between the band break, you want to do some speeches or a buffet, so that’s a minimum of half an hour, 45 minutes. So now all you’ve got left is between an hour and an hour and a half for a DJ to play. Trust us, this happens quite a lot, if not at all of the private events that we have been to. If a DJ can cost you anywhere between ÂŁ300 and ÂŁ600 (whichever quality of DJ, that will be the rough cost), they can soon start to look quite expensive for what you are getting in this example.


Let’s look at scenario of an earlier or later finish time…

Another scenario where you might want to book a DJ is if your band comes on at round about 7 o’clock or you’re finishing at 1 a.m., 2 a.m. in the morning. Now, you’ve got a lot more time to fill around the band’s performance. That’s when you should really consider having a DJ because you’ll get more value from them. They’ll be able to read the room, respond accordingly with the right records, and at the right moment.

Let’s consider the band coming off at midnight, and you want your guests to stick around until 1:00, 1:30 in the morning. You’re guests are more than likely going to engage with a DJ who’s putting on records, reading the crowd and responding with the right record than they are with just an iPod playlist. So we’d say that the rule of thumb is to consider a DJ when you’ve got more than about an hour and a half to two hours worth of time to fill around the band’s performance.


What are the alternatives to a DJ?

There’s a couple of alternatives here and they both involve using the band’s PA. Firstly, you can provide an iPod with a playlist on it which the band should be able to manage and play through their PA for you. The other alternative is for you to ask the band to provide an iPod or laptop playlist in between sets and either way, there should be nothing for you to worry about. Just double check exactly what it is that the band are going to be playing. It’s probably along the lines of a similar type of style of music to what they perform as a band, but double check that anyway just to be on the safe side.


What you’ll want the band and DJ to do if you’ve booked them both?

What happens if you do decide to book a DJ and you’ve also booked a band? You’ll really want the two parties to be co-operating with each other for obvious reasons. Otherwise, you’re going to have a lot of equipment in the room where your event is being held, not leaving a lot of room for critical dance floor space for your guests to get their grooves on. We would always advise that you double check that. Any professional band or DJ worth their salt will always work together to help make your event run as smoothly as possible. 🙂