A free gig that everyone wants to pay for

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Scott Hanna

DJ Extraordinaire
ODJT Supporter
Oct 25, 2006
8,653
13,700
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Cleveland, OH
www.djincleveland.com
A very good friend of mine for 40+ years , who's also a DJ(semi-retired) asked me if he could book me as a standby for his nephew 's wedding. He was going to DJ it but his mother is not in great health and he wanted to have me be ready just in case. I said why don't you just enjoy your nephew's wedding and let me do it.
After discussing it with his wife, brother, and nephew(all have been friends too), they decided that was the way to go.
Besides being a great friend, we've sent business back and forth. He's sent much more business to me than the other way and would never take anything for it.
When he said just let me know how much he owes me, I said nothing. He says he's not letting me do it for free. I said it's too bad, that's the way it's going to be. His brother calls me later in the day and demands to pay. The nephew found out that Im not taking any money for it and now he's demanding to pay. 😁
The wedding isn't until November. I'm sure I haven't heard the last of it.
 
A very good friend of mine for 40+ years , who's also a DJ(semi-retired) asked me if he could book me as a standby for his nephew 's wedding. He was going to DJ it but his mother is not in great health and he wanted to have me be ready just in case. I said why don't you just enjoy your nephew's wedding and let me do it.
After discussing it with his wife, brother, and nephew(all have been friends too), they decided that was the way to go.
Besides being a great friend, we've sent business back and forth. He's sent much more business to me than the other way and would never take anything for it.
When he said just let me know how much he owes me, I said nothing. He says he's not letting me do it for free. I said it's too bad, that's the way it's going to be. His brother calls me later in the day and demands to pay. The nephew found out that Im not taking any money for it and now he's demanding to pay. 😁
The wedding isn't until November. I'm sure I haven't heard the last of it.

Just charge them $50 cash to cover your fuel costs, and ask them to make a donation of whatever amount they want to a charity or foundation that you care about!
 
Just take the $200.00 dollar tip! Not many can say that they have made great friendships over the years like yours Scott.
It pays to give and not ask for anything in return from true friends.
 
Be careful to not be too insistent on doing it for free. I know I can get offended when someone offers me a freebie and refuses to take any money. I'd probably just reply "I'd really like to do this for free for you guys, because of our great friendship but if you insist, just whatever amount you think is fine with me. I'm just honored that you'd ask me to be a part of this."
 
I get that you don't want any money for this gig. Since they are insisting you get paid something, just tell them to put something in an envelope and if you wish donate the money.
 
A very good friend of mine for 40+ years , who's also a DJ(semi-retired) asked me if he could book me as a standby for his nephew 's wedding. He was going to DJ it but his mother is not in great health and he wanted to have me be ready just in case. I said why don't you just enjoy your nephew's wedding and let me do it.
After discussing it with his wife, brother, and nephew(all have been friends too), they decided that was the way to go.
Besides being a great friend, we've sent business back and forth. He's sent much more business to me than the other way and would never take anything for it.
When he said just let me know how much he owes me, I said nothing. He says he's not letting me do it for free. I said it's too bad, that's the way it's going to be. His brother calls me later in the day and demands to pay. The nephew found out that Im not taking any money for it and now he's demanding to pay. 😁
The wedding isn't until November. I'm sure I haven't heard the last of it.
What you could do is just say put something in an envelope and let it go.
 
You're not really doing them a favor by working for free. EVERY customer expects you to have an investment in the work to be done, 'skin in the game' so to speak. He's not merely paying you - he's buying the insurance that you'll have the resources to overcome any obstacles that arise without any intervention on his part. This includes the ability to hire another DJ to replace yourself if it becomes necessary.

Working for free is high risk for everyone onvolved. Your friend is trying to tell you that he expects you to solve any and all emergency issues yourself.
Listen to him - and take the money.
 
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I've had this when I agreed to do gigs for relatives. One was my nephew's wedding out near Pittsburgh. Finally, my parents laid down the law and told everyone THEY were paying. Since I wanted to do it as MY gift, my parents agreed to pay for the van rental, the hotel rooms, and gas.
 
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I personally won;t work for free for any "Friend" or person that I know.

I have a friend that is a guitarist that is getting married in August. They have been planning the wedding since 2022. He told me he has to have me, and only me as their Wedding DJ. I gave them a 50% discount. His bride paid me in full like 2 months ago. It will be my lowest paid wedding in a long time, but still charging them money. I usually only offer a 40% "friends and family" discount, but knowing he doesn't make a lot of money I chose to do half price for him. They were very grateful for the discount. Paid me very quickly almost thinking I didn't charge them enough LOL. I am bringing my son to be my roadie on this wedding. He also wants to see my son there. He hasn't seen him in a couple of years.