The Do Not Play Challenge

Welcome to ODJT
Wanting to join the rest of our members? Sign up today!
Sign Up

Jun 26, 2018
112
80
30
32
#1
I've had an increasing number of couples with do not play lists blocking popular line dances etc. I always give fair warning and generally suggest a workaround like "hey I see you're going out for sunset pictures at 8 - if your guests request it, would you like me to work in the line dances during that time?". Regardless of the outcome of that dialogue, I can usually find some crowd getters.

I met with next weekend's bride tonight and her fiance is adamant about their do not play list. Seeing some of the things on her DNP, I had a long dialogue with her about music selections. Here's some of the restrictions I am working with:

-Absolutely no line dances in any way, shape or form (no wobble, cha cha slide, cupid shuffle, ymca, chicken dance, electric boogie - you get the idea)
-Absolutely no "singalongs" (no Journey, Sweet Caroline etc.)
-No rap (including Pitbull, Lil Jon, Flo Rida)
-No AC/DC
-No "standbys" (specifically no Footloose, Isley Brothers Shout, Earth Wind Fire etc.)
-For the most part, nothing on the Top 200 most requested/played wedding songs (except for the B52s Love Shack, Brown Eyed Girl, anything by Rihanna/Beyonce and a few others)

I've warned them they have essentially blocked a lot of what their guests will want to hear and they are ok with it.

They like alternative and EDM.

I had a wedding like this a couple years ago that was pretty successful, I'm going to dust of my old laptop and look at what I used then.

I already started staging some songs - I have about an hour and a half worth so far.

If you were working within these confines, what would your "floor fillers" be? Any takers on the challenge?
 
Likes: Ausumm

djtaso

DJ Extraordinaire
Apr 4, 2017
1,765
3,614
115
31
NJ
www.djtaso.com
#2
I've had an increasing number of couples with do not play lists blocking popular line dances etc. I always give fair warning and generally suggest a workaround like "hey I see you're going out for sunset pictures at 8 - if your guests request it, would you like me to work in the line dances during that time?". Regardless of the outcome of that dialogue, I can usually find some crowd getters.

I met with next weekend's bride tonight and her fiance is adamant about their do not play list. Seeing some of the things on her DNP, I had a long dialogue with her about music selections. Here's some of the restrictions I am working with:

-Absolutely no line dances in any way, shape or form (no wobble, cha cha slide, cupid shuffle, ymca, chicken dance, electric boogie - you get the idea)
-Absolutely no "singalongs" (no Journey, Sweet Caroline etc.)
-No rap (including Pitbull, Lil Jon, Flo Rida)
-No AC/DC
-No "standbys" (specifically no Footloose, Isley Brothers Shout, Earth Wind Fire etc.)
-For the most part, nothing on the Top 200 most requested/played wedding songs (except for the B52s Love Shack, Brown Eyed Girl, anything by Rihanna/Beyonce and a few others)

I've warned them they have essentially blocked a lot of what their guests will want to hear and they are ok with it.

They like alternative and EDM.

I had a wedding like this a couple years ago that was pretty successful, I'm going to dust of my old laptop and look at what I used then.

I already started staging some songs - I have about an hour and a half worth so far.

If you were working within these confines, what would your "floor fillers" be? Any takers on the challenge?
I get alot of these... but from a different perspective... they don't tell me what I can't play, but rather they tell me what the atmosphere they seek is. Naturally that starts to exclude lots of music. I NEVER play line dances, I rarely do hard rap at weddings, seldomly do i play corny wedding songs like celebrate or we are family or brown eyed girl or love shack. My clients tend to be more modern with lots of top 40, house or dance music, and older music sprinkled in here and there if at all.
 
Likes: Albatross

DJ Ricky B

DJ Extraordinaire
Mar 9, 2015
4,633
3,448
115
36
#4
It all depends on the couple, and their crowd.

The wedding I just did was an older couple...her in her late 40s, and him in his mid 50s. They wanted no line dances. But they wanted a lot of Yacht Rock, and did love the Bee Gees. Lots of slow dance songs were played as well at that one. ...They did not want ANY newer music to be played EXCEPT the song "Happy" and they did have Michael Jackson on their list so I worked some of that in.

You can certainly perform, and have a great wedding turn out with their restrictions! ...More than likely their closer friends have similar music tastes as they do!

Hopefully you won't have Aunt Betty and a bunch others asking for line dances though.

In the end, it's different strokes for different folks! ...I personally love a wedding atmosphere with a great sing along song. ...Nothing like singing along to Don't Stop Believin' 5 hours into a wedding after consuming 9 Yuenglings, a couple shots of Bourbon, 2 or 3 Titos and Sodas, a Captain and Coke, and that champagne they had for the toast! ...The Best! :cheers::cheers2::headbang: So great, you probably don't remember singing along to it the next day! :rofl:
 

steve149

Urbane Legend
Sep 26, 2011
20,823
29,572
115
Prospect, CT
#5
There are also Trap, Dub and other remixes of popular songs you might be able to mix in ..
 
Jun 26, 2018
112
80
30
32
#7
Your DNP list cuts out 90% of what I would play in my area, but the idea of doing an EDM show sounds interesting.
Same here...it cut about 75% of my "go-tos".

This isn't necessarily a bad thing though - not only will it make me think outside the box, but I also believe this is just something that needs to be "mastered" to get into some of the higher end Cleveland halls and their associated younger more affluent clientele. This is probably more along the type of hall Taso might be used to performing in. It is new, modern and has a wait list through the year 2020...
 

djcrazychris

DJ Extraordinaire
Jun 12, 2018
613
953
95
45
#9
yeah...so just take each song on that list and find 3 or 4 similar songs to each of them...complete a playlist... and just go with it...

im done fighting with B&G's who want to hijack their guests with bizarre music choices... i try and embrace it and make it work...and slide in several announcements that subtly blame them...lol... like... The bride and groom knew you guys would like this iggy pop b-side...lets all get on the dancefloor and celebrate their big day in style!!!

cc
 

dunlopj

DJ Extraordinaire
Aug 14, 2008
4,386
3,967
115
59
Belair MD
#10
Now that virtually anyone can amass a huge music library (i.e. Spotify), they think that makes them music experts...ummm no.

Experts in what THEY like, not to anyone else...

Years ago, it was only DJ's that had a huge music library...
 

rickryan.com

DJ Extraordinaire
Dec 9, 2009
14,994
11,059
115
54
Hendersonville, TN
www.RickRyan.com
#11
I despise DNP lists (but will accept them). They're effectively tying your hands, then daring you to still make a party for them. When I run into these, I make sure I've got a printed copy and when guests come up I show them the list. I normally don't throw a client under the bus but if they're going to do it to me, I'm going to do it right back.
 
Likes: azdeejay

wifedj

DJ Extraordinaire
Mar 20, 2008
662
592
95
#13
I prefer not to work with/for individuals that selfishly have ZERO concern for the entertainment, enjoyment and expectations of their invited guests, specifically and especially at milestone family celebrations like a wedding reception.

If such clients and/or newlyweds do not embrace the unique opportunity to share, with the special individuals in attendance, in the complete celebration through unselfish behavior and choices, I am not the right person for their event.

A polite declination is acceptable.

Often enough, that simple but clear push back is enough to change the ill considered edicts and exclusionary selfishness. We are all, to some degree, selfish animals but the better part of us is the ability to acknowledge and change that when appropriate.
 
Last edited:

Albatross

DJ Extraordinaire
Sep 7, 2016
1,486
3,384
115
#14
Same here...it cut about 75% of my "go-tos".

This isn't necessarily a bad thing though - not only will it make me think outside the box, but I also believe this is just something that needs to be "mastered" to get into some of the higher end Cleveland halls and their associated younger more affluent clientele. This is probably more along the type of hall Taso might be used to performing in. It is new, modern and has a wait list through the year 2020...
This is the right attitude to have. I get the sense that a lot of wedding DJs play very similar sets at almost every wedding. Forcing yourself to get deeper is a good thing! And, you'll find that there is a lot of other stuff that people will dance to.
 

wifedj

DJ Extraordinaire
Mar 20, 2008
662
592
95
#15
This is the right attitude to have. I get the sense that a lot of wedding DJs play very similar sets at almost every wedding. Forcing yourself to get deeper is a good thing! And, you'll find that there is a lot of other stuff that people will dance to.
A lot of deeeeejays, regardless of event or venue, are lazy and artless....like a jukebox, feh!

I know and trust several performers that embrace the art in the mix AND provide the audiences with a soundtrack that includes familiar and unique programming.
 

adj2ent

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 20, 2006
485
796
95
58
Long Island NY
#17
Pretty much clients tell me the way they would like their event to go music wise. Sometimes there may be a few DNS. But since I work with so many different types of clients I always have a discussion about the way they would like things to go. I used to getting all types of requests. I had one weddings were they selected every song played, the only thing I had to choose the order. Another was a wedding where they had all the music from "Pulp Fiction". At first the guests looked like WTF then the whole Bridal Party, Bride & Groom pulled everyone on the dance floor. Another wedding was at a chef's private townhouse location in NYC. Entertainment was supposed to be the food, music was and afterthought and they gave me a list of everything to play. All were very successful even with all the crazy restrictions. Generally I reassure the client that I'm going to do exactly what they wish but if that doesn't work I am well prepared to change it up if they wish.
Weddings were actually pretty easy. The hardest events are the college semi-formals were I am asked the play 10 or more different types music in a short space of time or being told to play something contradictory to people in attendance. The funny part is I will still usually play many of the line dances (although not the original version ) even at colleges or high schools after I play all the new stuff. They still pack the dance floor even after all these years. There is one thing I found out after my father passed. Now I am doing a wedding and my mom comes up and asks me when am I putting on the electric slide. Now I am puzzled why is she asking me for a song when she knows I working and the floor is packed. Her response made me really think. She said some of us don't have anyone to dance with and the electric slide & a couple other line dances are the only songs they will be able to dance to without a partner. Up until at day I never even viewed it that way.
 

Jas

DJ Extraordinaire
May 22, 2013
1,500
1,742
115
#18
There was a DJ at a fundraiser the other day playing some of the same songs he played 15 years ago. Being challenged by clients might be a good thing for DJs that keep relying on the same old songs.

Many of these clients just wanna avoid the cheesy music they've heard at other weddings. But there are also those that just don't give a hoot about their guests when it comes to music.
 

rickryan.com

DJ Extraordinaire
Dec 9, 2009
14,994
11,059
115
54
Hendersonville, TN
www.RickRyan.com
#19
Many of these clients just wanna avoid the cheesy music they've heard at other weddings. But there are also those that just don't give a hoot about their guests when it comes to music.
From what I read in the original post, and of the times I've run into these types of clients, my bet is that it's the groom driving this discussion. The times I've seen it, it was an over-bearing groom, just being an arsehole and demanding to have things exactly HIS way with no regard for guests. Keep in mind, the guys usually don't care that much for dancing. The girls typically do and they know this kind of stuff is not going to be conducive to a dance party. I respect Ross' notion of keeping a good attitude but there really are times where you need to recognize what's going on and walk away. Unfortunately, you often don't find out about these little stipulations until it's just a few weeks out (long after the contract was signed) and then you're stuck with no way out. Whenever I run into these I'll try to setup an in-person meeting, get eye-to-eye with the couple and tell them exactly what's about to happen at their wedding. If they still want to proceed it's their choice but I'm not hearing any of it when they come whining to me, after the fact, about how sucky their party was.
 

Albatross

DJ Extraordinaire
Sep 7, 2016
1,486
3,384
115
#20
The girls typically do and they know this kind of stuff is not going to be conducive to a dance party. I respect Ross' notion of keeping a good attitude but there really are times where you need to recognize what's going on and walk away.
I'm walking out the door in about 15 minutes for a wedding that is not going to be a fun dance party. The couple is very conservative, wants predominantly slow dances, and some older motown stuff. There will be zero party rocking going on. I'm not pumped about it, but I can deliver what they want. And the planner knows me, and knows what the client asked me for.

Not looking forward to it, but sometimes it's just work. If they want to pay me to take their instructions and execute them, and they know what the effect of their choices are... I'm fine with it. Bring on the snoozer!