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hi, im new to this dj forum stuff, im just gettin back into d.jing after a five year break, i was a dj for 20 years in Liverpool, and loved it, and hence im back! just in process of gettting my gear sorted again, and wondered if you or anyone could give me an indication about prices to charge, etc as when i finished mt 20 year stint we were pulling in good money for a wedding, ( we were a three man outfit), just dont want to under sell myself, thanks (i was a "wedding dj, before the term was utilised, i think ha ha ) but did any kind of adult do, anythin above 18ths, cheers, im based in widnes now.

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Weddings/private doo's from say 8:30 till 11:30 - 12pm probably about £175 regular spots for same hours £100-£120 I calnt really tell with them any more because my regulars dont involve bringing my own lights and stands, exept for speakers of course!!

Chalet to let - PM me for details!! see here: www.freewebs.com/eastchalet
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7.30-midnight i START at £250 for a 1.5KW rig, smoke machine and 1 X T bar.

 

Lighting gantry full of lights is an extra £50, hour before is extra £30, hours after are £50 per hour.

www.longweekendmusic.co.uk

60s to present day rock and pop live covers band. Birthdays, Weddings, Partys based in Witney, Oxfordshire.
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How much to charge.

 

prices which members on the forum charge vary quite a lot dependant on equipment etc.

Prices that part time DJ's charge are often lower than full timers.

 

Prices that have been stated on the forum in recent month seem to start a £120 per night (£30 per hour) for the lowest ranging to £3500 per night.

My son who is a part timer and gigs for friends 18th etc with small light show and small sound system charges £185 per 4 hours, where as my starting rate is £375 + VAT. having said that you will still come accross the £50 a night DJ.

 

Your Rates should be "What your client is willing to pay for your service".

 

My rates have usually been quite high but when take equipment cost, repairs, PLI, PAT testing,insurance, van / car running costs, fuel costs etc spred out over a year this needs to be taken into consideration when planning your charges.

 

 

Professional DJ Since 1983 - Having worked in Clubs, Pubs, Mobile and Radio in the UK and Europe

29 Years Experience and still learning.

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  • 2 weeks later...

A very appropriate thread just now for me.

 

Played a Birthday party on Saturday night, 90 mile

round trip, four hour set and cleared less than £100 (that's before

the tax man gets his hands on his slice!!!) :djurant:

 

Driving home at 1.30am it didn't feel worth it. Although it was a good night.

(That's what happens when its for a friends relative!)

 

So, I'm about to revise my prices, me thinks. :omg:

Particularly, now that I have a few 'local' gigs coming up for the same or more money.

 

I'm only a one-man band with a modest set up, so my starting price for a four hour set will be £140 with another £30 on top if they want a bit of Karaoke thrown in . (I just have a limited catalogue - for Uncle Joe to do his Sinatra, etc.)

 

Weddings start at £180.

 

Obviously, if you get back up to a three-man operation, the setup would command considerably more.

 

Best of Luck

 

Kev

(a fellow Scouser - although I'm also exiled as well, but in North Wales) :dukesy:

 

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I think its been mentioned that the price you charge will vary according to many factors;

-Area

-Reputation

-Marketing (nice website/good photos/well written introduction etc)

-How much people want to pay..

 

If you consider that you'll always find someone cheaper, and also more expensive - you need to work out where you fit in...

 

If you're paying Tax, have legal music/car insurance and provide equipment (ie amp/speakers/lights etc), then £100 is too cheap for a 5hr gig.

For a "walk in" gig where the equipment is already set-up (ie pubs/bars etc) then £100 is not bad.

 

I'm "mid-priced" for my area, I occasionally get "how much!!!", followed by comments that they can get someone for £70... I also sometimes get the feeling that I'm under charging on some gigs.

 

If you're at the point where your gigs are good, people have a good time, then you should increase your price as you are getting a good record for gigs.

If you can sell yourself, and deliver the goods, then asking £150 is a good start. You'll still get the "how much!!" comments from some people, but its not much more than £100, and a much more reasonable hourly rate.

If you take a booking fee, ask for £40 and then £110 on the night...

 

I too have done "mates rates" for 2 gigs, so don't feel too bad - providing this is a "special price".

If you've had to purchase music for that night, you may have only just cleared your costs.

 

You should be charging for the travelling in some form- about 40pence/mile is a good start - so £36. This should provide for wear n tear and fuel, so even that isn't profit... (without considering your time whilst travelling!)

 

If you think about what you would ask for a 5hr local gig, and work out how to achieve that. I have a figure for my lowest hourly rate, and do not go below that - I'd prefer to stay at home or go down the pub!

As I am part-time, I have less need for the money.

This does not mean I'll provide a night for £100, but I will do my local pub for £150 for 4 hrs (end of my road, free water & lemonade and good advertising!)

 

 

 

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Whether the venue are suppling the equipment or I am, shouldn't mean too much of a variation between the actual fee. At the end of the day they are paying for our experience.

 

It takes me around 45 minutes to set up and the same to pack away, also allowing for some wear and tear on the equipment, should mean that where the gear is built in, I would offer them a discount equiv to 2 hours labour + perhaps a small discount for the convenience factor.

 

Those charging say, £200 with gear and £100 without (just a random example) are devaluing themselves and their talents by 50% or it might be considered that the inclusion of their own equipment makes them worth 50% more.

 

If you compare other trades, such as Electricians, there is only a narrow margin between those who are working for a contractor or construction company (Tools, Materials, Test Equipment, Insurance, Ladders etc) included and those who turn up with a van full of gear.

 

Current average rates in these trades are around £18 / hour (tools / ins provided) and £25 / hour (self employed).

 

If we were to take a similar route to the example, then a 5 hour gig would basically attract a maximum £35 discount off any usual rate where equipment was provided by the venue.

 

Other than the flexibility of not having to set up the gear, and a little bit of wear and tear what other savings are made through the venue providing the gear?. We still pay the same in tax and n.i, we still have to pay silly prices to keep our music up to date, we still need our own pli and we still need our car / van to drive to the venue. In fact there are more fixed costs than variable in this situation, so why such a big discount being offered by some DJ's?.

 

If the venue are covering your insurance costs, providing new music and a taxi to get you to the venue and back, then that is more worthy of a bigger discount. Better still if they take you on the payroll and handle the tax and n.i for you, in reality this never happens, and why? because the venue knows that in the current situation with Dj's effectively creating their own dutch auction and with such big discounts on the table, the venues have the better end of the deal.

 

Really the only saving to us personally, is not having to lug the gear around, but in real terms and physical monetary value, exactly what IS that worth?

 

All I can suggest, is that to offer a 40% or 50% saving to a venue on a DJ Only basis, would have to mean a like for like 40% or 50% saving on your own expenses, and I don't see how that is possible, meaning that you are subsidising the difference from out of your own pocket - effectively paying the venue to employ you.

Edited by McCardle

"The voice of the devil is heard in our land"

 

'War doesn't determine who is right, war determines who is left, and you wont win this war.'

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Whether the venue are suppling the equipment or I am, shouldn't mean too much of a variation between the actual fee. At the end of the day they are paying for my experience.

 

It takes me around 45 minutes to set up and the same to pack away, also allowing for some wear and tear on the equipment, should mean that where the gear is built in, I would offer them a discount equiv to 2 hours labour.

 

Those charging say, £200 with gear and £100 without (just a random example) are devaluing themselves and their talents by 50%

 

If you compare other trades, such as Electricians, there is only a narrow margin between those who are working for a contractor or construction company (Tools, Materials, Test Equipment, Insurance, Ladders etc) included and those who turn up with a van full of gear.

 

Current average rates in these trades are around £18 / hour (tools / ins provided) and £25 / hour (self employed).

 

If we were to take a similar route to the example, then a 5 hour gig would basically attract a £35 discount where equipment was provided.

 

Other than the flexibility of not having to set up the gear, and a little bit of wear and tear what other savings are made through the venue providing the gear?. We still pay the same in tax and n.i, we still have to pay silly prices to keep our music up to date, we still need our own pli and we still need our car / van to drive to the venue. In fact there are more fixed costs than variable in this situation, so why such a big discount being offered by some DJ's?.

 

If the venue are covering your insurance costs, providing new music and a taxi to get you to the venue and back, then that is more worthy of a bigger discount. Better still if they take you on the payroll and handle the tax an ni for you, in reality this never happens, and why? because the venue knows that in the current situation they have the better end of the deal.

 

Really the only saving to us personally, is not having to lug the gear around, but in real terms and physical monetary value, exactly what IS that worth?

 

I have to (respectfully) disagree with this.

It also takes me about 45mins to set-up/packup, but apart from the time -its also physically hard work, and with a danger of damage (or wear n tear)/theft to equipment. Ideally, this should be budgeted for.

It also takes time to load up at home, probably about 20mins at either end, with the unloading done in the dark and some early hour.

 

Those with a trailer & secure storage won't have this problem, but I need to empty my car as the local scroats are pretty dammed efficient :-(

 

Compare this to picking up a few CD cases and walking out the door..

 

Looking at the construction business, not many guys on £25/hr will have fragile and expensive kit.

Possibly a £300 chop saw, a 110V transformer and a few power tools, so ~£1K worth, possibly £2K at most.

Very different skills and equipment required from DJ, and so the price structure is very different, their employer will normally be a contractor (major, or small scale), and the work will last probably a few weeks at least.

There are also a few ways of charging - day rate, or by the job. Day rate is usually basic, but guaranteed. Being paid by the job is a bit of a gamble, but is usually much better rate as you'll be committed to getting it completed on time.

My best friend runs his own construction company with a few guys working for him, so I've picked up the above from him.

 

Back to the £200 with Gear and £100 without.

For a 5hr gig, this would be £40/hr. Assuming 2hrs set-up & packup, a calculated reduction would be to £120 (£200 - 2 x £40/hr).

I wouldn't discount 2hrs, probably 90mins, bringing the total to £140.

For the sake of £60 I'd personally be happy to leave my kit at home and just bring CD's, knowing that I'd be in bed over an hour earlier and would have over an hour extra at home.

This also brings to mind that we'd be charging only £60 for supply and install of pa and lighting kit..

 

Using venues equipment would also eliminate any need for spares/back-up kit, and a blown amp/speaker/mixer is not directly your problem. (although I'd muck in to try to get something working for the party)

 

To Maurice and Kev, I guess between the posts you can see its a complex subject with no right answer. We've all got varying abilities, experience levels and areas of trade - if the cost of living is low where you live, then a "mid price" DJ will be lower than a "mid price" DJ in an area of high cost of living.

 

 

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Very different skills and equipment required from DJ

 

Good point, and taking it forwards, so how does the mobile DJ expect to complete with those who do nothing but work a residency in the venue, and themselves have not purchased / invested in £1000's worth of kit. In my mind, somebody who has no gear of their own can always undercut mobile DJs who occasionally cover venues with their own installed gear but still have to buy and maintain their own kit for the mobile work.

 

This is why resident DJ's can possibly afford to charge the token example given above of £70, because they have no equipment overheads. If a Mobile DJ is occasionally asked to cover such venues, there is no way that he can work for the same figure realistically because his weekly / monthly overheads are higher and have to be met, and they need to claw back those £1000's initially spent on gear and to justify its existance. The only way to compete toe-to-toe would be to sell the gear and become a full time resident him / herself.

 

Possibly a £300 chop saw, a 110V transformer and a few power tools, so ~£1K worth, possibly £2K at most

 

You've missed out the expense of those individuals getting qualified in the first place. Those 5 years spent at University and attending several courses to keep up with current and ever changing legislation. They are still essentially working as freelance and still have to have the qualifications and do their own self assessments, the only difference between the two rates is that at £18/hour no physical tools are required as these are provided on site. The margin difference here is narrow because the industry recognises that both examples are qualified and skilled, and the £7/hr difference is only the renumeration for the provision / hire of tools and insurance extension, and not an acknowledgement that their actual labour is worth any less or their experience level is any different. Some people in the quoted industry prefer to buy their own tools and earn the additional £7 pr hour, others are happy not to fork out for tools (or can't afford the outlay) and in doing so take the cut in the hourly rate. Beyond that, the two groups are often just as experienced and have the same qualifications.

 

Personally, and because I am already working on the most average of margins I choose to work on the equation that I can only afford to give / pass on to a client any physical discount that I can obtain in a like for like saving myself, and that anything above this eats into my side of the pie.

 

So for example, if I was saving £30 off my expenses / labour, purely by the equipment being provided and nothing more, then realistically I can afford to give the client a £30 discount. If I can find a way of saving beyond that figure on my own expenses (legally) then I would happily pass on the same difference.

 

However if I was giving the client a £60 discount, but worked out that I was only physically saving £30 off my fixed expenses myself, then technically i'm handing the client £30 to book me, as thats when i'm footing the difference beyond any real saving on my actual expenses for no other reason than them having their own gear fitted and whilst I am more than happy to break even on the difference for convenience sake, i'm not going to pay out of my own pocket in return for it.

 

Whether i'm working in a venue with gear supplied or not I still have to fund the expense of new music, running a vehicle, pli, and the IR still wants 20% of my profits, those expenses don't change regardless of who provides the equipment situation.

 

But thats just me, and I fully accept that there is no set right or wrong way to approach most things in business and that everybodies models and requirements are different so I wouldn't expect everybody to agree.

Edited by McCardle

"The voice of the devil is heard in our land"

 

'War doesn't determine who is right, war determines who is left, and you wont win this war.'

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I have just received a booking for a wedding reception in September.

 

When i told the lady how much i would charge her i could sense a breath of relief from her, she later admitted that i was the cheapest by far..

 

(Literally a 4.5 hour Disco, very local - Purely a Wedding reception with stand up buffet, bar and Disco - No speeches apparently and nothing else other than a Disco and good time)

I will charge £195 for my services.

 

Should i be ashamed that i was the cheapest out of all the quotes she got?

Not a chance!!

My Disco work counts for 50% of my monthly income, I pay my taxes, i have a legal music database and put on a great show - times are tough for everyone at the moment.. and it did make me think how many DJ's added extra ££'s to the quote due to the fact that the word "Wedding" was mentioned?

 

 

 

oohh

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I have just received a booking for a wedding reception in September.

 

When i told the lady how much i would charge her i could sense a breath of relief from her, she later admitted that i was the cheapest by far..

 

(Literally a 4.5 hour Disco, very local - Purely a Wedding reception with stand up buffet, bar and Disco - No speeches apparently and nothing else other than a Disco and good time)

I will charge £195 for my services.

 

Should i be ashamed that i was the cheapest out of all the quotes she got?

Not a chance!!

My Disco work counts for 50% of my monthly income, I pay my taxes, i have a legal music database and put on a great show - times are tough for everyone at the moment.. and it did make me think how many DJ's added extra ££'s to the quote due to the fact that the word "Wedding" was mentioned?

 

 

 

 

I think if she simply wanted a traditional disco and expects simply a big party, then its a fair price.

 

Its when they want face-to-face meetings, and lots of background work, then the price has to increase to cover your time and costs.

I don't think you would charge the same if they wanted venue meetings, and lots of up-front effort.

I've done a wedding for a similar price, and would do again providing only a standard disco (ie, Family Party) was required.

 

I've also taken a higher priced wedding, and will be meeting them at the venue at the end of this year, its only 1hr, and fairly local to me.

Its best to keep flexible, and listen to what is required - those DJs that were quoting £££ for a simple wedding may be sitting at home losing money when you're out earning!

 

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In my experience, the 'wedding' suppliers who add lots of £££'s to their services are not DJs. No :cense: way.

 

I would never dream of asking for the whole fee up front - SIX MONTHS in advance and keep the lot if the client cancelled within 6 mths of the gig - but other wedding services do.

 

A couple of years back, I decided to focus more of my time on wedding entertainment and additional wedding services, to be able to offer more than just a disco - because I wanted to.

I've increased my Wedding fee, but in the same breath, I've also increased the time and effort I have put in to my Wedding services.

 

Worth it? Well, last year, on just one odd occasion, after a long, long day, I admit I asked myself when I got home: WHY DO I DJ?!.....but of the other occasions, the results and great positive feedback outweigh negative feelings!

You obviously get out what you put in.

 

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Prices seem to be all over the place this year.

 

Top end weddings from 5pm - midnight involving greater travelling and regular client contacts has been up to £430.

 

Local 4 hour 'in and out' 4 hour functions around £200-£250.

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