On Average, How much time prior to event start time do you leave your house?

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How much time prior to an event start time do you typically leave?

  • Actually, I usually am able to set up the night before an event!

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • My events are usually very local to me, and I only leave 1 hour to 1.5 hours prior to start time

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • I leave 2 hours prior to start time with most of my bookings

    Votes: 3 30.0%
  • I leave 2.5 hours prior to start time with most of my bookings

    Votes: 1 10.0%
  • I leave 3 hours prior to start time with most of my bookings

    Votes: 2 20.0%
  • I leave 3.5 hours prior to start time with most of my bookings

    Votes: 1 10.0%
  • I leave 4 hours prior to start time with most of my bookings

    Votes: 2 20.0%
  • I leave 4.5 to 5 hours prior to start time with most of my bookings

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • I leave 5.5 to 6 hours prior to start time with most of my bookings

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • I leave over 6 hours prior to start time with most of my bookings

    Votes: 1 10.0%

  • Total voters
    10

DJ Ricky B

DJ Extraordinaire
Mar 9, 2015
6,854
5,125
39
Just as it says. On Average, how much time prior to your events do you typically leave your house to travel to the event?

This question popped up in my head yesterday as I was sitting in a 60 minute Traffic Jam at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge yesterday headed to the wedding I was doing. It was the 2nd worst traffic jam I have been in at the Bay Bridge in hundreds of times of traveling over it in my lifetime. Because most of my events are 60+ miles away, and traffic in MD/DC/VA just sucks, and has increased at least 3 fold over the last 20+ years I have been deejaying, I find myself leaving especially early just to get to events so I have that 90-120 minutes of time to set everything up and be ready at start time. Yesterday, I should have left at least 45 minutes earlier than I actually did which would have meant that I should have been leaving 4 hours and 40 minutes prior to start time yesterday in order to get there at the time I wanted to arrive which I think is just getting to be ridiculous! I had left my house 3 hours, 55 minutes prior to start time to drive 66.5 miles.
 

TwinSpinDJ

Up-lighting
ODJT Supporter
I allow 2 hours plus travel time: 1/2 hr. for Load-in, 1 hr. for setup and sound check, 1/2 hr. for cool-down and change of clothes. I wear tux vest/matching bowtie, tux shirt, black dress slacks, and black walking shoes. I am also my own "roadie".
If room lighting is involved, add additional set-up time.
 

MIXMASTERMACHOM

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 16, 2011
11,952
1,546
63
It all depends on the location of the venue, what we plan to bring to do the event, how early are you allowed to get to the venue to getup and so on.
 

TES3S

DJ Extraordinaire
Sep 18, 2016
615
471
Los Angeles, CA
the better question is how much time do you allow when you arrive to set up. My answer for that is 3 hours. I DJ all over, so what time I leave ranges a lot but I leave with tons of time to spare in case something happens on the way.
 

DJ Ricky B

DJ Extraordinaire
Mar 9, 2015
6,854
5,125
39
the better question is how much time do you allow when you arrive to set up. My answer for that is 3 hours. I DJ all over, so what time I leave ranges a lot but I leave with tons of time to spare in case something happens on the way.
I actually made a thread with "What time do you usually arrive at a venue to set up" a few years ago. At least I believe I did. So I made this one to see how early people typically leave to go DJ in their market for their typical event.
 

djtaso

DJ Extraordinaire
Apr 4, 2017
3,983
8,012
34
NJ
www.djtaso.com
I actually made a thread with "What time do you usually arrive at a venue to set up" a few years ago. At least I believe I did. So I made this one to see how early people typically leave to go DJ in their market for their typical event.
I add 1/3 time for traffic on top of what gps says. So 1hr is 1hr 15/20 min ahead
 

Ausumm

Gold Plated Productions
Oct 21, 2008
11,653
13,843
57
Bethlehem PA
I picked FOUR hours, but I am including an hour for drive time
(though it's usually much less)
But I do like having a solid 3 hours to set up.
Especially if you have to clean yourself up and put on yer fancy duds.
 

DJ Ricky B

DJ Extraordinaire
Mar 9, 2015
6,854
5,125
39
I add 1/3 time for traffic on top of what gps says. So 1hr is 1hr 15/20 min ahead

I sort of do that too. I usually add 20 minutes to what google maps tells me it will take. I usually print up the Google Maps directions the morning of the event OR the day before, but if I do it the day before, I print them up during evening rush hour when there is a lot of traffic so the time will be increased because of evening traffic, and I still add about 20 minutes to that travel time estimate.
I picked FOUR hours, but I am including an hour for drive time
(though it's usually much less)
But I do like having a solid 3 hours to set up.
Especially if you have to clean yourself up and put on yer fancy duds.

I would take a sharp pay cut off my typical rate to book weddings under a 30 minute drive from my house.

I also agree, 3 hours is a nice amount of time to load in, set up, and relax before guests arrive. Sometimes I feel like that is too much time for me if I am only setting up a sound system for reception, and ceremony. BUT, I want 3 hours if I am setting up 3 sound systems, light show, and Up Lighting. Now that traffic is back, and CRAZY down this way I will likely start leaving 4.75 to 5 hours prior to start time for most of my upcoming weddings later this year even though that just sounds ridiculous to me. August 22nd and September 4th are down in D.C. so those will be real long days. I only have one wedding remaining this year that is under a 80+ minute drive. That one is about 35 minutes north of me.

I have one scheduled next year down at Luray Caverns in Virginia. That one is a 2.5 to 3 hour drive. I might actually get a hotel room down there the night before and make a weekend trip out of it! Would at least be less stressful that way.
 

MIXMASTERMACHOM

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 16, 2011
11,952
1,546
63
the better question is how much time do you allow when you arrive to set up. My answer for that is 3 hours. I DJ all over, so what time I leave ranges a lot but I leave with tons of time to spare in case something happens on the way.
There's one problem with that and that is how much time will the venue allow you to setup. Some venues don't open till a certain time and depending on what time the event starts can be a big problem. Myself I like enough time so I can relax before starting to do an event. That's after getting dressed depending on the type of event it is.
 
Last edited:

Albatross

DJ Extraordinaire
ODJT Supporter
Sep 7, 2016
2,746
7,058
I tend to plan on at least 2 hours on site before guests arrive. But I will often add about 50% to the drive time as a buffer. So if it's an hour drive normally I'll give myself 90 minutes which tends to add to my set up time.

If I know I have a tricky load in or parking situation I'll pad it further.
 

Scott Hanna

DJ Extraordinaire
ODJT Supporter
Oct 25, 2006
7,654
10,595
55
Cleveland, OH
www.djincleveland.com
I plan on arriving at the event site 2 hours before event starts. It usually takes me about 30 minutes to load in and set up, then do my sound checks, double check everything. Then I go over my planner again so I know what’s going on. I like to be fully ready with an hour to spare to so I can chill. I like to be relaxed and ready to go when everyone arrives.

Some situations don’t allow for that and we make it work.
 

Jeff Romard

Administrator
Staff member
ODJT Supporter
Sep 4, 2006
20,449
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Sydney, Nova Scotia
You could give yourself a few minutes extra for a pee stop Rocky ;)
 

TES3S

DJ Extraordinaire
Sep 18, 2016
615
471
Los Angeles, CA
There's one problem with that and that is how much time will the venue allow you to setup. Some venues don't open till a certain time and depending on what time the event starts can be a big problem. Myself I like enough time so I can relax before starting to do an event. That's after getting dressed depending on the type of event it is.

I don't work at venues that don't allow 3 hour setups.
 

Albatross

DJ Extraordinaire
ODJT Supporter
Sep 7, 2016
2,746
7,058
There's one problem with that and that is how much time will the venue allow you to setup. Some venues don't open till a certain time and depending on what time the event starts can be a big problem. Myself I like enough time so I can relax before starting to do an event. That's after getting dressed depending on the type of event it is.
How much time does your contract require the client to give you?
 
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MIXMASTERMACHOM

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 16, 2011
11,952
1,546
63
How much time does your contract require the client to give you?
I never put that in a contract. I just never thought of that good suggestion. Now for Tess how do you know if a venue will allow that much time or not? Do you find this out before you agree to do an event?