16 Questions to Ask a DJ (Part 2)
by Thomas Ohlendorf
9 - Will the DJ host the event and interact with your guests? The DJ should do more than just play music and should be prepared to handle any announcements and special events throughout your event. There are many options for specialty games and crowd participation dances which can enhance any event. Whether you prefer wild or mild, you should be able to decide exactly how interactive the entertainment will be before the event takes place.
10 - Will your disc jockey be suitably dressed for the occasion? It is important that your DJ looks the part by dressing in formal or semiformal attire, depending upon your preference. Be sure to specify the type of apparel that your DJ should wear. There should be no added fee charged for formal attire.
11 - Is your disc jockey willing to discuss musical selections ahead of time, and are they willing to play requests, particularly if they are suitable for dancing? It is important for your DJ to know exactly what type of musical preferences and entertainment needs you have for your event. They should be willing to listen to your ideas and suggestions. They should make themselves available prior to your event to discuss selections. They should be earnest in accepting the songs you have chosen to be played as well as those you have chosen not to be played. Special requests should never be a problem and your DJ should be willing to play them where they are appropriate.
12 - Will your disc jockey arrive on time? Punctuality is a necessity, and as professionals they should be aware of their responsibilities to their clients. Normal time spent setting up and removing equipment is not a part of the entertainment fee.
13 - Can your disc jockey provide a written contract? It is extremely important to have your booking confirmed in writing. All terms of the agreement should be in writing to avoid any complications at a later date.
14 - Will you play my CDs? Honestly, there is no guarantee that your CD is in playable condition. If it skips, who gets blamed? Instead, talk to your DJ about the songs that you want; many times if your DJ does not have a particular song he/she will get it if it available.
15 - Is there backup equipment on hand? Murphy's Law is always present, so it is important to know whether your DJ has extra components, or hopefully another entire sound system available to them. Any number of circumstances may arise between the time you book your Disc Jockey and the date of your event. Booking a reliable Disc Jockey is a very important decision for the success of your event.
16 - What is the DJ's music source? Many DJs are using Computer Playback Systems (CPSs) these days. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this. However, the music they play from their CPS could come from unlawful downloads; this is a problem. Ask your DJ where he obtained his music. If he said it was downloaded, ask where because there are pay download sites available. If he uses one of the music sharing services, RUN FORREST RUN. Even with the legal download sites, still be suspicious because the quality cannot always be guaranteed; that is, degradation may have happened in the transfer, the encode may have been bad on the site, the encode may have been at an unacceptable bit rate, etc. If the DJ indicates that he did the encode, find out the source of the original encode.