Weddings Some DJs Have QUIT Doing Weddings And I Understand Why

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djtaso

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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.
What counts as a full time DJ? Is it level of income or the amount of gigs? I can just about guarantee you I’m at the top 5% (I have a feeling it’s closer to 1%) in terms of net revenue of solo op djs with just 70-75 events a year.

This isn’t a career that you can do forever though, so I’ve been financially planning/investing for a fulll retirement in my 50’s… but if I can and want to go longer, I have no issue with it.
 

sonic-vision

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Use to be a full-time Dj. Now that I'm a single opt. I just work sat for the most part by choice.
My goal at one time was to shoot for three events a week for myself. Casino event parties happened all days of the week and weekend.
maybe I am just getting old .
 
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Proformance

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What counts as a full time DJ? Is it level of income or the amount of gigs?
Neither.
It has nothing to do with unzipping anyone's pants.

I'm pretty sure you know the difference between a side gig and a career. An elementary school teacher and a college professor both hold teaching careers - but the numbers and life choices are very different. The cost of living varies quite a bit across the country and globe.

By and large - if you need to be somewhere else Mon-Fri and report the greater portion of you income on a W-2 then you'r not a career DJ. It's a side gig.
 
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Jeff Romard

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What counts as a full time DJ? Is it level of income or the amount of gigs? I can just about guarantee you I’m at the top 5% (I have a feeling it’s closer to 1%) in terms of net revenue of solo op djs with just 70-75 events a year.

This isn’t a career that you can do forever though, so I’ve been financially planning/investing for a fulll retirement in my 50’s… but if I can and want to go longer, I have no issue with it.
- if you need to be somewhere else Mon-Fri and report the greater portion of you income on a W-2 then you'r not a career DJ.
Loosely translated he is saying it's income. Up until 2020 the majority of my income was from DJing does that make me a career DJ?
 

djtaso

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Neither.
It has nothing to do with unzipping anyone's pants.

I'm pretty sure you know the difference between a side gig and a career. An elementary school teacher and a college professor both hold teaching careers - but the numbers and life choices are very different. The cost of living varies quite a bit across the country and globe. By and large - if you need to be somewhere else Mon-Fri and report the greater portion of you income on a W-2 then you'r not a career DJ.
Your previous comment just made it seem like it was the quantity of gigs. But the clarification you provided is right in line with what I’ve always believed.
 
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MIXMASTERMACHOM

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Oct 16, 2011
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Bob stop putting us all in one category due to age. Why are you mostly so negative!? Please do us all a favor. Take your ego down a few notches and on your next post please post something nice for a change.

Now a friend of mine is 71 and doesn't look it. Him and his mentor are doing a dance together this Saturday in Kenilworth, NJ at the Kenilworth Veterans Center. I will be there providing lights taking pictures and videos at the event. Before the shutdown he was pretty busy. He just agreed to do private events he was good at doing. He knows some events he's not the right DJ for the event and sometimes he will pass it on to us because he knows my partner is good at such events.
 
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Proformance

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Nov 6, 2006
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Your previous comment just made it seem like it was the quantity of gigs. But the clarification you provided is right in line with what I’ve always believed.
Well, quantity of gigs might be a clue because 30 gigs on average is less than one per week. That's great as a part time job - but without some other role (like stay-at-home parent, etc.) filling in the remaining week - that person as a DJ would be clearly under-employed. No one requires 6 days of prep to DJ for a single wedding.
 

Proformance

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Nov 6, 2006
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Loosely translated he is saying it's income. Up until 2020 the majority of my income was from DJing does that make me a career DJ?
Could you live solely on the DJ income? There are countless ways to look at it, and people will self identify in whatever way makes them happy.
I think there's at another NJ disc jockey on here who probably self-identifies as a life-long career DJ. :)

I suppose if someone is making $90k /yr as a weekend DJ and $15K as a grocery clerk during the week - then that grocery store job is the actual side gig.
 

rickryan.com

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Could you live solely on the DJ income?
Not just survive, can you prosper on your DJ-only income? I know lots of musicians who will proudly proclaim "This is my full time job." when, in reality, they're just BARELY scraping by. That's not being a professional, that's being lazy.
 
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MIXMASTERMACHOM

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What it comes down to is how much it cost for your livelyhood and how much do you make per gig if you're to make it as a full time DJ. That includes how many events you do each year. Bob Carpenter mentioned how some people think because he charges a premium price and the amout of events he does each year that he's got it made. He said there are times he worries if people will come in his office and book him. So it's up to each DJ how hard they work to get bookings and what they consistently get paid from each gig. Also it depends on the type of gigs they do and who they target their business to.
 

tunes4046

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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.
You generalize a lot. My gig count for the year barring any additional bookings should finish at 91, plus owning and running two other businesses.
 

Proformance

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Nov 6, 2006
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You generalize a lot. My gig count for the year barring any additional bookings should finish at 91, plus owning and running two other businesses.
The gig count I quoted is the one you posted, which you cited as the number of weddings - the type of gig for which the thread is titled.
Nothing 'general' about that.