We asked DJs who are performing at events in 2020 — is the money the same as pre-pandemic?
If less, how come?
DJ John Pilisigno, Jas Productions, East Bridgewater, MA: This is such a difficult time in a territory of uncharted waters. I always say “Let your reputation be your guide” and what I mean by that is, every event is different, some have rescheduled several times due to new restrictions and such.
In reality we have spent so much more time on one event than ever before, does that mean we’re working for less? I don’t know, but the paycheck is received only when the job is complete. My reputation is worth more than an upcharge on rescheduling, inconvenience fee, whatever you may call it.
I have a wedding that was originally a day wedding, now rescheduled to an outdoor night tent wedding. I could sell them on uplighting, or accommodate the bride for all the troubles she has had — remember, we are not the only ones struggling right now, brides have thousands at stake, regardless how valuable we are to the event, we are just a small piece of budget.
My reputation will sell 10 times the dollar, than an upsell with additional $$$ to the client. Those uplights are going to be sitting in the trailer, in the parking lot, at the wedding anyways.
Am I charging less — no. Am I getting paid accordingly — no. Will I get repeat business because my decisions to support the bride and groom YES!
Sometimes money isn’t the answer.
Michael D. Perry ll: In my case it’s more money.
Kim Louise Wood: Our regular venues are back booking us. We have left them the same.
Stuart Harrison, Retro Go: There are only a few DJs back in my area of the U.K. I know. Normally DJs are the first to bang on how successful they are—nothing has arisen on our local Facebook pages yet. Places can have music, but it can’t be loud so people have to shout. Venues have to social distance and groups attend in social bubbles. All makes it very impractical for venues to pay out for entertainment, and functions aren’t worth hiring DJs as the limit is 30 people. Oh, and no dancing or singing by non professionals.
Angie Loudermilk Jordan, An A-mazing DJ Services, Columbus, Ohio: I’m back on every weekend through Thanksgiving, with the same pay.
Eric Scott Swanson: For private events I’ve raised rates.
Gregg Hollmann, New Jersey: Here in New Jersey the rules are still very tight towards indoor dining and weddings. Some couples have switched into smaller outdoor “Micro Weddings.” We’ve been offering lower rates for Micro Weddings for 2020 dates, because 1) there’s less lighting, production and staffing involved, and 2) it’s helping us to generate much needed cash flow to pay overheads and stay afloat. Sure, it’s about the same amount of work to DJ a wedding for 40 guests as opposed to 150, but clients seem to respond well to the lower prices.