Music can often make or break the success of an event.

Let’s explore the reasons for hiring live music or a DJ for your next event.

When planning any event, one of the first decisions to be made is to decide if hiring someone to play music is necessary. Whether you are having a family party, a friend get-together or company party, it may benefit you to  hire someone to play music and would definitely suggest for someone who is planning or wedding or a large birthday party. Not having to worry about music as you host your event can be a big weight off of your shoulders. Hiring a professional to handle the music for your event could be one of the most important decisions you will make as music can ften make or break an event. If the you are hosting the type of event where music will likely play an important role you will have to make an important decision – should I have live music or a DJ?

    1. Reasons for hiring a DJ – Despite being a musician myself, there some very compelling reasons to hire a DJ. The ability to play a wide variety of music and the flexibility to change it up on the fly is probably the biggest advantage for DJ. With the dawn of the internet and people having access to millions of songs in your pocket has completely changed the landscape of what type of music people enjoy. 30-40 years ago, you could look at a crowd and be able to have a good sense of what genre in general people listened to. Nowadays, people listen to all kinds of music so it is much harder to “read” a crowd for their music tastes. Being able to play a wide-variety of music is becoming more important than ever at events due to most people liking a wide-variety of genres. Events like weddings often need the widest variety of genres given the fact that the guest are from all ages young and old. Having completely volume control also is important for most events. DJs often cost less, take up less space, and can be easier to deal with in general because you are usually only dealing with one person. A good DJ will look to play the right songs at the right time.
    2. Reasons for hiring live music – While it is true that DJs usually cost less, take up less space, are less flexible than a band, there is still something very unique and special about a live act that a DJ just can’t touch. The excitement, interaction and feel of band is like the difference between going to a concert and listening to a studio-recorded version of a song from phone. Good event bands should be able to play a wide-variety of songs and genres for the same reasons listed above. A good band will know what and when to play to depending on the type of event, time of the night etc. Make sure you check their playlist before hiring and make sure they fit the crowd you will have for the event. They should also have recordings online where you can see the quality and the musicianship.
    3. Can you hire both? – While you can hire both, many bands and live music acts are able to provide DJ music as well. Some DJs will offer some sort of live music. For example, as a solo musican, I have performed live during cocktails at a wedding and then would DJ and perform live as the night went on depending on the requests of the couple. This can be the best of both worlds. Many bands now offer DJ music in between there sets to “keep the party going”. The are also solo and duo acts that use backing tracks to give their sound a live feel but still have many benefits of having a DJ.
    4. Can you just play music yourself? – If you have an event, you could cook all the food, take all the pictures, play all the music, etc. Depending on the event, this may make sense, especially for smaller family events. However, as soon as you guest list starts to grow so will need to hire people. Just as it might be tough for you to cook for 100 people, it will likely be tough for you to play your own music . For the same reason a cooking, you will likely not have the equipment and the experience to provide the music for larger groups.  If you want to enjoy the night, you don’t to be stuck with the pressure of providing music for the entire night as well.
    5. Sound Equipment & Stage – Whether you choose a band or a DJ, make sure you ask about equipment. Just about all DJs have their own equipment these days, but make sure they enough sound equipment for the number of people and space. Some bands have smaller sound systems for practice and smaller gigs, but they need additional sound which could lead to the added costs of hiring sound and a sound guy. Also, make sure you discuss the amount of space need for a stage area.

Before you decide between live music, a DJ, or both, research your options, watch videos on their performances, and ask a lot of questions to make sure you get the right music for you next event.

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