Weddings Some DJs Have QUIT Doing Weddings And I Understand Why

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Jeff Romard

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Although I've never been a big fan of his videos I respect what Brian has done and is doing in the business. I hope he recovers in full

Artistic Integrity

If you want Artistic privdleges the wedding business isn't for you bottom line. It's the couples day not your time to shine with the"mad skillz"


Bad clients, guests Planners

Most times it comes down to being able to handle people. I can count on one hand with fingers to spare the amount of times I have had trouble with a client. Communication is key tell them straight up what you can and will do and what you can't and won't. Sometimes you'll lose a client most times you won't

As for guests again it's managing people. All of us get "the bride said". I call their bluff and say OK I'll just check with her and we will get that on soon. Most times they back down on the demand. With drunks well if you don't like drunks or can't handle them you probably are in the wrong business

I gladly work with planners IF they work with me. If it's something the client has told me to do and they tell me not to I do it. Planners don't run my business I do


Time

I see Brians point to a point. You miss most family events and lose a lot of time with your family but as far as 40 hours to plan an event? 60? 80? Give me a break. Even at a 10 hour event 40 hours is 4 hours for every hour of performance. If it's taking 40 hours the problem is in the mirror


Stress

What job has no stress?


Compensation

If you feel you aren't fairly compensated charge more. If you feel raising your rates will cost business then you solved your time and compensation problem and maybe stress too
 
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DJ Ricky B

DJ Extraordinaire
Mar 9, 2015
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This Post has been moved to another Thread in The Private Show for COMMENT. See thread.

Ricky, two weeks ago Saturday, I did an EMERGENCY Quincenera here in Florida. DJ was unable to perform to personal issues. Some budge event representative texted me on that Saturday as I was driving for haircut appt. Got a few details in text. I then while sitting in my car called the number. This "dj headhunter" was calling around trying to find a DJ who would help them out. Show time was 4:00 pm - 9"00 pm with setup prior to start. It was then 11:45 am and I hadn't even left for home to receive the email attachments. Once I received the attachments (Program, Special songs (Latin), and sample playlist and timeline it was already after Noon.
I have a goodly amount of Latin, they wanted Salsa. Merengue and Pop, so dance music wasn't a problem. However, each of the Program Special Dance songs I had to download prior to leaving for the gig. Oh, did I mention the gig was Formal. The venue was 1/2 hour away. I arrived at 3:00 pm for the load-in and 4 PM start.
If you are reading this and did not know that this kind of event is just like preparing for a Wedding Reception; Grand Entrance of the Court and Quince, Special Dances, and Sweet Sixteen party. Buffet meal. I normally prepare "cue cards" for each segment of introductions and program music. None of this was possible. Here I am reading from an outline that was poorly spaced and hard to read. Fortunately, the mother of the Quince gave me a time line and sequence of events by "minutes." Do this at this time and that, etc.
Now for the most interesting aspect of the entire event. The pay was $50/hr. and $50 for short notice. Paid by PayPal.
I can tell you that most likely I will NEVER do an EMERGENCY like this one for less than $1500. Its not worth ruining my reputation. Which brings me to another irritation. No advertising of any kind of my DJ service. No bus cards, logo skirts, visual references to my business.

I would be interested in what you would have done given this situation? Keep in mind it is always an unwritten rule that we never let a DJ burn in an emergency. I could have said NO, but I have feelings. I also had the Latin music necessary to do the job. As it turns out the Quince, her parents, grand-parents, aunts and uncles, you get the drift, really enjoyed the music. Salsa and Merengue were big hits, same for Line Dances. Even had a request for the Macarena.

What would you or any of ODJT members have done under the circumstances and timeline imposed?

I commend you for being willing to drop everything on your day off, and go and do the event. I would have said that I am NOT AVAILABLE.

When this happens, it is because the client hired a cheap DJ service that either has no back up plan in place, or a terrible back up plan in place when a DJ can't make it to an event. The compensation to you for being the sub contracted DJ is Obvious evidence of this. Pay was only $50 per hour, and an additional Fifty bucks for it being last minute. In order to get a DJ booked on the day of, they should have been willing to pay out 90% of what they charged the customer, and take the hit on on it IMO.

If I would have even considered doing this event, I would want to know exactly what they charged the customer, and if I am going to drop everything on my day off to go and do this party...they are going to pay me 90% of what they booked the event at.


Honestly, I have made my plans and I am sticking with them if I am off on a Saturday. I am not dropping my day off to go fill in for someone. Emergencies happen, but the company in question should have had access to a back up DJ, and if not, they should be willing to pay handsomely for an outsider DJ to come save the day for them so they don't get sued by the client.

I also would not have left my drive way for $50/hr plus an extra fifty dollars, but that's just me. And considering it's a Quince...That makes it even less desirable for low pay knowing what is involved.
 

sawdust123

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Nov 10, 2006
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two weeks ago Saturday, I did an EMERGENCY Quincenera here in Florida. DJ was unable to perform to personal issues. Some budge event representative texted me on that Saturday as I was driving for haircut appt. Got a few details in text. I then while sitting in my car called the number. This "dj headhunter" was calling around trying to find a DJ who would help them out...

Now for the most interesting aspect of the entire event. The pay was $50/hr. and $50 for short notice. Paid by PayPal.
I can tell you that most likely I will NEVER do an EMERGENCY like this one for less than $1500. Its not worth ruining my reputation. Which brings me to another irritation. No advertising of any kind of my DJ service. No bus cards, logo skirts, visual references to my business.

I would be interested in what you would have done given this situation? Keep in mind it is always an unwritten rule that we never let a DJ burn in an emergency....

What would you or any of ODJT members have done under the circumstances and timeline imposed?
IMHO, you got scammed by a gig whore. I used to get calls like this 20 years ago although rarely on the day of. There was always some lame hard-luck story about why the guy couldn't show such as a funeral out of town, broken leg, etc. They would offer about $250-$300 if I could cover. In reality, there never was a DJ. The gig whores would advertise in every market, sell a $600 gig and then try to find anyone they could willing to work a gig for half of that. There is no way in hell that I would support that kind of business. Most of the local DJs here know each other pretty well. They would have no qualms helping each other out and would compensate fairly.
 

logisticalstyles

DJ Extraordinaire
Nov 7, 2018
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They would offer about $250-$300 if I could cover. In reality, there never was a DJ. The gig whores would advertise in every market, sell a $600 gig and then try to find anyone they could willing to work a gig for half of that.
Sounds like The Pros aka American Wedding Group. Yeah, I used to fall for that trap about 15 years ago. I quit after a year.
 

sonic-vision

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Thankfully...true. I really enjoy his videos!
Brian has another video on reception order of events that the time line is very similar to my 90% time line.
Don't how the forum feels about posting his videos.
 
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Proformance

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Nov 6, 2006
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The video simply dances around the obvious. The wedding DJs of the 1980's and 90's have all aged out of the profession. The profession itself has evolved into something very different than what it was 30 and 40 years ago.

A teenage haircut does not mask our age.
The service industry is not a place to find "artistic integrity."

People don't hire wedding DJs to commission some form of "art." They hire a service with an explicitly stated expectation and the full right direct how they want that service delivered. Disc jockeys who don't get that fail to stay centered on what really matters with respect a service industry and to their own success. They ultimately drift off onto some notion that they have personally "evolved" into something no one else can understand. Others, who may have found a niche serving wealthy or elite clients begin to confuse their own identities with that of the clients they serve - which can leave the DJ quite sour as he ages out of the role as preferred entertainer.

I still do weddings - but, I've largely moved on from DJing to a more broad based production role. "Wedding Disc-Jockey" is a service business in the entertainment sector. Entertainment has and always will be an age relevant field. We may have been a great break dancer in the 80's but even if you can still pull off those moves it's simply not what people want to see a 50 or 60 year old doing at their event. At that point it's just a novelty. Likewise, no one really wants to explore EDM or Hip-Hop with their grand-dad.

There's also far less demand for DJs across all sectors because live entertainment has had such a resurgence in the wake of reality star search TV shows. Live bands today are more often better equipped and more talented than in prior decades. Sports has also grown much larger and more central to our entertainment and displaces many venues that were once centered around a DJ. People are getting more for their money than ever before in nearly all forms of entertainment.
 
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Jeff Romard

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The video simply dances around the obvious. The wedding DJs of the 1980's and 90's have all aged out of the profession. The profession itself has evolved into something very different than what it was 30 and 40 years ago.
While that may be somewhat true not al of us are gone and some are busier than ever...
 

dunlopj

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Aug 14, 2008
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My hair cut has stayed the same for over 35 years . I'm bald!!
Chemo did a number on my hair 16 years ago. If I try to let it grow, it looks pitifully goofy, so I bought a scalp shaver and keep it smooth myself...hence my profile pic. And I'm OK with that....can't b*tch about what you can't change.:soldiersmile:
 
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sonic-vision

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Chemo did a number on my hair 16 years ago. If I try to let it grow, it looks pitifully goofy, so I bought a scalp shaver and keep it smooth myself...hence my profile pic. And I'm OK with that....can't b*tch about what you can't change.:soldiersmile:
Is that pic a thumbnail ? LOL
 
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sonic-vision

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No we haven’t I did 32 wedding events this year
Nice! Younger DJ would have not had the stamina to do that many events . At the least without the help of an old veteran to keep his head in the game. LOL
 

Proformance

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Nov 6, 2006
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No we haven’t I did 32 wedding events this year
Compared to what standard? Part time selectivity is not an effective measure of the DJ business itself.

While in my 30's and 40's I did well over 100 each year. I doubt there's many DJs in their 50's doing that today. Most are probably making YouTube videos to complain that bride's don't appreciate their "artistic integrity." Those who did this part-time still have their full time careers and 2 or 3 gigs a month seems like a lot. Ideal full time schedule is 4 each week for 45 weeks. (That's 2 weeks vacation, plus major Holidays off.) Most full timers I know averaged 150 gigs /yr and capable of handling anything from a bar mitzvah or wedding to corporate events ("specialist" is a code word for "part-time.")

Full-timers who didn't simultaneous grow into a post DJ career are probably belly-aching the most. Either way the reality is younger DJs have more curb appeal in the entertainment biz, and DJing is easier to do than ever before in every facet. Music, mixing, sound systems, lighting, FX, etc. have all benefited from technology that produces quick results with a very short learning curve, and with far more bling than what was used just 20 years ago.

DJs have, and always will need to have one eye on their NEXT career. Today, instead of cramming a 4 day work week into each weekend I can work any of 7 days a week in A1, A2, or V1, and V2 roles, and at a higher level of theatrical production than anything being done in the mobile or wedding DJ biz. The DJ business WAS a great way to move on to something else - but, I'm not sure that's true anymore. Today, the DJ role has moved more and more into an extension of consumer and personal electronics. Your DJ is more likely to be a moonlighting IT guy than a production or music person.
 
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