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DJ vs Live - which is best?

When booking entertainment for an event or a wedding, finding what you need at times can be difficult and overwhelming. From the sheer numbers of options available, to knowing how to tell if they’re actually going to be any good, and much, much more.


In this blog, I’ll give some key information about the DJ and Live options out there. Hopefully this is a helpful resource to assist you in making the right choice when it come to finding the perfect entertainment for your event.


DJ’s


DJ’s are the most common form of event entertainment. With their smaller set-ups, they are able to accommodate for most small-medium sized events. Certain DJ’s will have options to expand their set-up, to include larger PA and lighting systems to cover bigger events.


A good DJ will be responsive and reactive, able to read your audience and make good song choices, as well as including requests and meeting the clients needs. In one sense, you know exactly what you’re getting - you’ve heard the songs before as they are, and that can be a great thing (especially for dancing!).


Why not just use a playlist or Spotify?


Whilst a great option for events on a budget, using playlists or Spotify is usually not recommended for events, for a few key reasons. A good DJ will not only be able to take requests and read the dance floor, but will also add elements of surprise with song choices and interesting mixes. Experienced DJ’s come with a wealth of knowledge about music. Not just about songs/artists, but also about which songs will work, and keep your dance floor full all night. Pro DJ’s usually come fully self contained with PA and lights, which makes the music sound better, and adds to the ambience of the event.


Live Acts/Bands


Another great from of entertainment for events is live bands or artists. Mostly for medium-large wedding and events, booking a band for your special event can really make it stand out. Good bands are able to take requests to play songs live, but will also have tried and tested setlists that they know will work.


Bands can be impressive, especially if they’re good. Nothing beats live music, and the visual aspect bands can be a real talking point amongst guests. Many bands are able to seamlessly mash-up and medley songs, switching between genres and decades. This adds a real wow-factor and can leave lasting memories with your guests.

DJ & Live Instruments


Here we have the best of both worlds, able to provide an all-in-one entertainment package that can cover all sizes of events. Weddings and events over the last few years have seen a huge influx of this kind of entertainment, and continues to grow in popularity. With this option, you not only have the original music that your audience knows and loves, but also adds an unforgettable live element. Many of these services also offer roaming musicians, who perform alongside a DJ, creating an interactive experience. The only drawback; these services can often be expensive.


Checklist

No matter which kind of entertainment you choose for your event, there are a few key considerations you should make before making a final decision:


Can you see them live?


By far the best way to judge if the entertainment is right for your event. Not only will you get a chance to see the performance for yourself, but you’ll also have a chance to talk to them and see how they interact with the audience.


Do they have good communication?


Communication is key. Creating trusting relationships between an artist and client can help reassure clients that they’ve made the right decision, and that everything is clear and under control.


Appropriate pricing?


There’s a lot of options out there. How do you know what you’re paying for? Comparing quotes from similar acts/artists can help you make an informed decision. Although pricing varies greatly from act to act, the general rule of thumb applies - that you get what you pay for. You should have a general idea of your budget before enquiries are made, which will help you keep expenses to a minimum. On the other side, be wary of an act charging too little - they could be inexperienced or part time DJ’s/musicians.


Do they have promo available?

Great promo is the easiest way for acts to show what they’re about. Whether through photos, videos or music, it’s the quickest and one of the most important aspects to give clients more information on an act. Serious acts & artists care about their businesses, and will often re-invest in it to make it better, and good promotional material is one of the key indicators of this.


Do they have reviews?


Reviews are another great way to give the client more peace of mind about what they’re actually booking. Not only can you read about the positive (or negative!) experiences past customers have had with an act, but you may also have questions that you can find the answers to in peoples reviews.

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