[Dixielandjazz] DJ woes
Larry Walton Entertainment
larrys.bands at charter.net
Tue Oct 11 13:15:10 PDT 2005
Sorry for those who don't like the whole post but I found it all
interesting. Tom and I usually agree pretty much on things but the wedding
shows are not really productive and have gotten really expensive (in St.
Louis) running between $1500 and $3000 for a booth. That's pretty pricey
for a band. The DJ's do it because they aren't paying the same overhead and
can often send out 6-8-or 10 dj's on a single night. I know a guy that had
ten setups and could beat me any day of the week on advertising and price.
For them the price tag worked out.
When wedding shows were a fairly new thing we negotiated with the largest
one to be the runway band for the show. We did this for 5 years. That way
we got a crack at the whole house before the DJ's. We would book about 5 or
6 gigs. Not bad for an afternoon but when they wanted $1200 (1985 dollars)
so we could play their show we backed out. We were doing two others but
they rapidly caught on to the big buck fee too.
In the hall you can't play, you can only make presentations and pass out
(then it was tapes) CD's.
We got just as many jobs by putting flyers on the windshields of the
attendees of the shows. One DJ wanted to start a fight when he found out
what we were doing. That was a close one.
So far as wedding planners are concerned I prefer to be as far away as
possible from them. They tend to want to dictate every tune, move, break
rather than let us use our expertise in doing the music. The trouble with
over planning is that it almost never works out. You need someone that can
make the evening go smoothly and that's almost always an experienced band
leader. About two weeks ago the band leader that I do a lot of weddings
with almost had a brawl with a wedding planner who had never talked to him
one time before the wedding and came up with an exact list of tunes, length
of time for each, breaks and when the various events would take place. The
photographer was equally surprised by the whole thing too. What a mess.
That wedding planner was charging $3000 for the whole thing. She told the
band leader that all of "my bands" worked that way.
Having said all that weddings are very profitable but you need to charge
approximately double because some of these people are really difficult and
high maintenance to work with. The leader will spend about 6 hours outside
of the wedding dealing with the bride, getting the job and setting it up.
We used to make the mistake of pricing weddings the same as dances.
Talk to the wedding show guys and try getting a rate or free if you play the
----- Original Message -----
From: <tcashwigg at aol.com>
To: <dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com>
Sent: Saturday, October 08, 2005 1:54 PM
Subject: [Dixielandjazz] DJ woes
> Hey folks: I am posting this for two reasons, to show that DJs are now
> having the same problems getting gigs and price wars as Live musicians,
> Secondly: To show you guys who don't know how to price the value of
> live music on your band so you can compete with the DJs in your market
> that are stealing all those fat Wedding Gigs by telling the Brides that
> they are cheaper than a band.
> Wanna crash back into the real gig world, go start buying a booth at
> the Wedding Fairs and play live at a few of them and get seen and heard
> by all those brides and wedding planners like the DJ's are doing, most
> of them total nerds but smart enough to steal YOUR gigs.
> Some of those Weddings pay more money for a band than A Jazz Society
> does for a festival for all the bands.
> I know I just did one, Barbone Street does a few of em too.
> Tom Wiggins
> RE:::HALLOWEEN SPINNING ...COMPENSATION: $175.00 5HRS..HAHAHA (san jose
> To the DJ who wrote this rude reply to the original ad:
> YOU GOT TO BE KIDDING!!!
> TRYING TO HIRE A PROFESSIONAL DJ FOR $175 5HRS = $35/HR...
> BETTER GO TO TARGETS AND PICK UP A BOOM BOX AND PLAY YOUR OWN CDS!!!
> FOOLS...ITS NOT APRIL FOOLS IS IT???
> GET A FUCKING LIFE AND OR GO BY A BOOM BOX AND DON'T INSULT THE DJ'S
> . . You are clueless. Why don't you just worry about yourself? Sure,
> this may seem like a ridiculous offer to you. And I certainly would not
> work for that price. But there are plenty of DJ's who would. I would
> imagine that this listing had replies from at least 10 or 15 DJ's who
> would jump at the chance at doing that job for $175.00. To some people,
> that is good money. And also consider, to some of these DJ's, it's not
> about the money. They might just like going to parties or just like
> showing off their skills. They might even meet a hot chick there. I
> would put money on it that the original posting had multiple replies.
> I make over $1000 a night but I am not going to rip on others because
> they want to pay a lower fee or rip on DJ's who want to work for a
> lower fee. There will always be a market for lower-end DJ's so you need
> to deal with it. There's a beautiful world out there. Try enjoying it
> instead of spreading your negativity.
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> Dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com
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