Reunions High School Reunion

IceBurghDJ

DJ Extraordinaire
Apr 17, 2015
1,711
57
Western Pennsylvania
iceburghdj.com
I do a number of reunions and it all depends on 2 things - size of the reunion and wealth of the school.

I've done reunions with 30 attendees (common here, over 100 is very rare). Spread your cost over the 30 coming and you have to be 'reasonable' to get the job.
I've done a couple of 300 person reunions - much bigger budget, year after year, and higher expectations as well.

Is the reunion in 3 months or a year out? Farther out the more power you have to get a higher price.
VFW hall or country club? Goes to budget again.

I have a reunion in 2 weeks - classes 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78 - yes, 6 years - and they're expecting 110 people...and ONE attendeed is paying for me out of his own pocket ($450).

Reunions are all about the HS music, so 72 to 79 ish in this case. Background mostly - they want to reminisce and talk. Some slow dances, maybe some other dance songs will get them out there for a bit, but they didn't come to dance. So don't play it so loud they can't chat.
 

djcrazychris

DJ Extraordinaire
Jun 12, 2018
3,874
46
I just cringe at the thought of dealing with the "two sides".

Always seems as if HALF of the crowd wants to hear music from their "era"....
while the OTHER half feels THAT music makes them feel old.
yeah...always gonna be those people who lean against the wall ....dont really want to be there...and look for an easy target to complain about...

On a positive note...I think music as a whole has become less era driven and more universal in the last few years... especially when every teenage party i book has to have Earth Wind and Fire... Journey... Michael Jackson... etc on it... and most 50th anniversaries in turn pepper in plenty of stuff like justin timberlake...bruno marrs... etc.... it just seems like with streaming and satelite radio and the way people get their music and have it at their disposal...music isnt as generational as it once was... and people want it all... long gone are the days where peoples cd collection or favorite radio station becomes their life soundtrack...

in a reunion scenario id give em some classics from their teens 20's and 30's... since music doesnt stop being important after high school... then essentially do a wedding style set during dance...with a multi genre and era vibe...

cc
 

steve149

Veni, Vidi, Lusi
Staff member
Sep 26, 2011
35,025
Prospect, CT
I just cringe at the thought of dealing with the "two sides".

Always seems as if HALF of the crowd wants to hear music from their "era"....
while the OTHER half feels THAT music makes them feel old.
I've found that "era" music played for the first 80% of the time ... slowly moving to newer dance stuff for the final 20% seems to work fine.
 

Jim Davis

Professional "Craigslist DJ"
Thanks for the discussion, guys. I went $500 and they were interested (even considering moving the date based on my availability - it was a referral) until they found out $500 didn't include uplighting. Uplighting?? For a high school reunion???

For the record, I let the woman know that dance floor lighting *was* included.
 

Jas

DJ Extraordinaire
May 22, 2013
1,834
I did a high school prom a few years ago and they wanted uplighting included with the typical Prom price. It was a small class and not a large room so I included about six uplights again'st one wall. Worked out fine for that room.

The last couple of reunions I did. $475 for a local reunion. $575 for one that was 100 miles away.
 

Ausumm

Day Late and a Dollar Short
Oct 21, 2008
10,743
55
Bethlehem PA
www.mikefoxx.com
..I think music as a whole has become less era driven and more universal in the last few years... especially when every teenage party i book has to have Earth Wind and Fire... Journey... Michael Jackson... etc on it...
After doing a reunion weekend for ALL ages groups, I get the feeling Guardians of the Galaxy and movies like it are really turning people on to older music.

I've found that "era" music played for the first 80% of the time ... slowly moving to newer dance stuff for the final 20% seems to work fine.
It does. But you'll still have the "bitchers" who will speak up whenever you're not playing THEIR music.
 

steve149

Veni, Vidi, Lusi
Staff member
Sep 26, 2011
35,025
Prospect, CT
After doing a reunion weekend for ALL ages groups, I get the feeling Guardians of the Galaxy and movies like it are really turning people on to older music.



It does. But you'll still have the "bitchers" who will speak up whenever you're not playing THEIR music.
For "era" music, I comb through the charts and try to find stuff all over the map from many genres to play from the 5 year period around their HS days (or college if that's the reunion). It's a lot easier with older music to find decent songs up and down the charts.
 

Cap Capello

Always @ Ur Service
Dec 14, 2006
3,178
75
Saratoga, NY
www.imadj.com
Perhaps one's approach to class reunion pricing might change dramatically is one decided to provide more service than the average two-legged jukeboxes.

Follow along with me on this and see if any of it hits home.

At the gig:
1) the timeline given you completely blows up;
2) half the group is classmates, the other half significant others;
3) some of the group are very young 50-year-olds, while some 30-year-olds are in their 80s;
4) five different members of the committee are telling you what they want to hear "next" while five other committee members are telling you to "turn this crap" off;
5) classmates chatting tell you to turn it down while non-classmates want you to turn it up;
6) those giving speeches go far beyond the allotted time;
7) raffles and prizes are excruciatingly long and discombobulated;
8) "Play a slow song next, we're leaving soon" "No more slow songs, the place is dying."
9) Five people are left and they want another "HOUR" !!

And you're only charging $300 to $500 ???

I won't go into why or how it should be double that. Suffice it to say, there are proven methods of eliminating all potential problems and becoming the hero of the event.
37377
 

steve149

Veni, Vidi, Lusi
Staff member
Sep 26, 2011
35,025
Prospect, CT
Perhaps one's approach to class reunion pricing might change dramatically is one decided to provide more service than the average two-legged jukeboxes.

Follow along with me on this and see if any of it hits home.

At the gig:
1) the timeline given you completely blows up;
2) half the group is classmates, the other half significant others;
3) some of the group are very young 50-year-olds, while some 30-year-olds are in their 80s;
4) five different members of the committee are telling you what they want to hear "next" while five other committee members are telling you to "turn this crap" off;
5) classmates chatting tell you to turn it down while non-classmates want you to turn it up;
6) those giving speeches go far beyond the allotted time;
7) raffles and prizes are excruciatingly long and discombobulated;
8) "Play a slow song next, we're leaving soon" "No more slow songs, the place is dying."
9) Five people are left and they want another "HOUR" !!

And you're only charging $300 to $500 ???

I won't go into why or how it should be double that. Suffice it to say, there are proven methods of eliminating all potential problems and becoming the hero of the event.
I guess I haven't seen the vast majority of that. At reunion events I've done, there was never a raffle, little in the way of requests, little in the way of dancing (a bit at the end), and most people of similar age (+/- 10 years at most). Basically a jukebox on pre-planned play for most of the event with a smidgen of activity at the end. There have been speeches, but it's a mingling event in general .. rarely do guests feel they are out to party .. at least around CT.
 

dunlopj

DJ Extraordinaire
Aug 14, 2008
4,529
60
Belair MD
It just seems like with streaming and satelite radio and the way people get their music and have it at their disposal...music isn't as generational as it once was... and people want it all...
Well said! As always, blame technology...or be thankful for it as I am!
 

DJ Ricky B

DJ Extraordinaire
Mar 9, 2015
3,993
37
Well, I have not done a high school re union in a real long time. The last TEN times I have quoted a high school reunion, My quote was between $800 and $1,050 on 9 of them, and $750 on 1 of them.

I booked ZERO out of all 10 last reunion quotes. To put it bluntly. The public does not look at a re union DJ as a "Specialist" of any sorts. ...Which is kinda sad because it does take experience and knowledge to create a journey through music with many of these older age re unions.

They will always go with the cheapest quote they receive on reunions. OR, someone who was a student at the time step up and provide the music for "Free" or "Throw me a hundred bucks to do it". ...It doesn't matter the venue on these re unions. Actually most of these were either a country club, or a hotel, and food at these venues is not cheap.

I rarely get re union requests these days though. Have not had a re union DJ inquiry in maybe 2 years.
 
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DJ Ricky B

DJ Extraordinaire
Mar 9, 2015
3,993
37
I take that back....I did have a re union request earlier this year. It was a referral. I think I made a post about it. The ended up hiring a real old band that has been around forever called "The Gigs". The BAND which is like 5 or 6 members was cheaper than my quote. ...I have seen them before. They play Beatles, Steely Dan music, some other various 60s and 70s songs, and some irish songs.
 

Ausumm

Day Late and a Dollar Short
Oct 21, 2008
10,743
55
Bethlehem PA
www.mikefoxx.com
1) the timeline given you completely blows up;
2) half the group is classmates, the other half significant others;
3) some of the group are very young 50-year-olds, while some 30-year-olds are in their 80s;
4) five different members of the committee are telling you what they want to hear "next" while five other committee members are telling you to "turn this crap" off;
5) classmates chatting tell you to turn it down while non-classmates want you to turn it up;
6) those giving speeches go far beyond the allotted time;
7) raffles and prizes are excruciatingly long and discombobulated;
8) "Play a slow song next, we're leaving soon" "No more slow songs, the place is dying."
9) Five people are left and they want another "HOUR" !!

Suffice it to say, there are proven methods of eliminating all potential problems and becoming the hero of the event.

I'd be interested in how YOU eliminate the problems you listed.
(unless it's a "CAP SECRET")
 
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wifedj

DJ Extraordinaire
Mar 20, 2008
1,991
I'd be interested in how YOU eliminate the problems you listed.
I cannot speak to Cap 's predictably effective practices, but I eliminate, limit or otherwise mitigate the listed issues with clear, unified pre event planning based on more than a moments experience and serious concern and attention.
 

Ausumm

Day Late and a Dollar Short
Oct 21, 2008
10,743
55
Bethlehem PA
www.mikefoxx.com
I cannot speak to Cap 's predictably effective practices, but I eliminate, limit or otherwise mitigate the listed issues with clear, unified pre event planning based on more than a moments experience and serious concern and attention.
Please explain how you eliminate or mitigate these BEFORE the gig.

1) the timeline given you completely blows up;
2) half the group is classmates, the other half significant others;
3) some of the group are very young 50-year-olds, while some 30-year-olds are in their 80s;
4) five different members of the committee are telling you what they want to hear "next" while five other committee members are telling you to "turn this crap" off;
5) classmates chatting tell you to turn it down while non-classmates want you to turn it up;
6) those giving speeches go far beyond the allotted time;
7) raffles and prizes are excruciatingly long and discombobulated;
8) "Play a slow song next, we're leaving soon" "No more slow songs, the place is dying."
9) Five people are left and they want another "HOUR" !!
 
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Reactions: ittigger

wifedj

DJ Extraordinaire
Mar 20, 2008
1,991
Please explain how you eliminate or mitigate these BEFORE the gig.
Mostly mitigation but not all;

1) the timeline given you completely blows up; UBER RARE OCCURRENCE/HIGHLY UNLIKELY TO HAPPEN WITH MUTUAL UNDERSTANDING WITH CLIENT THROUGH PROPER PLANNING . (If your desire is to debate rare occurrences, leave me out)
2) half the group is classmates, the other half significant others; THIS IS NOT A PROBLEM NOR DOES IT REQUIRE ANY SUBSTANTIAL ATTENTION. BE POLITE TO ALL GUESTS .
3) some of the group are very young 50-year-olds, while some 30-year-olds are in their 80s; FOR A WORKING PROFESSIONAL ENTERTAINER, THIS IS A COMMON CIRCUMSTANCE AND DOES NOT REQUIRE ANY ATTENTION OTHER THAN THE EXPECTED, PROFESSIONAL MANAGEMENT OF AN AUDIENCE
4) five different members of the committee are telling you what they want to hear "next" while five other committee members are telling you to "turn this crap" off; EFFECTIVELY DEALING WITH SUCH "CRAP" IS ONE THING THAT SEPARATES PROS FROM NOTS. I REITERATE IT IS UNLIKELY TO ESCALATE TO ANYTHING WORTHY OF CONCERN WITH MUTUAL UNDERSTANDING WITH CLIENT THROUGH PROPER PLANNING. (If your desire is to debate rare occurrences, leave me out)
5) classmates chatting tell you to turn it down while non-classmates want you to turn it up; EFFECTIVELY DEALING WITH SUCH MATTERS IS ONE THING THAT SEPARATES PROS FROM NOTS. I REITERATE IT UNLIKELY TO ESCALATE TO ANYTHING WORTHY OF CONCERN WITH MUTUAL UNDERSTANDING WITH CLIENT THROUGH PROPER PLANNING. (If your desire is to debate rare occurrences, leave me out)
6) those giving speeches go far beyond the allotted time; PROPER PLANNING AND ESTABLISHMENT OF THE WHO, WHEN, WHY & HOW OF ANY SPEECHES PROVIDE SUFFICIENT RECOURSE TO EFFECTIVELY ELIMINATE ANY SUCH CONCERNS. ONLY APPROVED INDIVIDUALS ARE EVER GIVEN THE MIC AND ALWAYS WITH AWARENESS THAT THERE ARE LIMITS.
7) raffles and prizes are excruciatingly long and discombobulated; HIGHLY UNLIKELY TO HAPPEN WITH MUTUAL UNDERSTANDING WITH CLIENT THROUGH PROPER PLANNING . HOWEVER, IF CLIENTS WANT A PROLONGED PRIZE/RAFFLE PROCESS, I CAN FACILITATE A MORE ENTERTAINING VERSION THAN THE "EXCRUCIATING...DISCOMBOBULATED" RESULTS TO WHICH YOU REFER.
8) "Play a slow song next, we're leaving soon" "No more slow songs, the place is dying." REALLY, YOU WANT TO DEBATE/ARGUE/DISCUSS THE PROFESSIONAL METHODS FOR HANDLING REQUESTS FROM GUESTS?
9) Five people are left and they want another "HOUR" !! HOW IS THIS A "PROBLEM"? OVERTIME SHOULD BE ADDRESSED IN THE CONTRACT . IF THEIR BUDGET ALLOWS , I' CAN DECIDE TO CONTINUE THE PERFORMANCE WITHIN THE PARAMETERS OF OUR ESTABLISHED AGREEMENT. NO ISSUE HERE.
 
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MIXMASTERMACHOM

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 16, 2011
1,203
61
Not trying to be funny here. What do you have to offer? In other words can you offer more then what you mentioned? If so offering more then that could increase the price a bit. I get that someone refereed you and you don't want to price yourself out of the gig. Still just come up with a price you're comfortable with and see what they say. I agree with Steve. Don't look for too much dancing. The people attending a class reunion are usually there to catch up with each other. Who's there and who didn't come. How are they doing if they know. Also a there may be a small tribute to those who have gone on to glory.

You can also google DJs in that area doing that type of event to see what they offer and how much they charge to get an idea of what you should look to charge. Just a suggestion..