How Much Does it Cost to Hire a DJ?

  • On April 28, 2019

You’re gearing up to throw a party or function, and there are endless questions circling your head. What music should you include? Should you opt for a live band? How much does it cost to hire a DJ?

In actual fact, the answer that’s the most important to note down may not even need to hit your wallet hard at all. Essentially, there are three main ways to incorporate music into your big event (unless you count getting Uncle Marty to sing, that makes four).

Whether you choose a band, a DJ, or a jukebox, there’s a lot to consider when it comes to the preparation. So, we’re breaking down the costs for you…

How many pineapples will your music options cost you?

  • Live bands: The cost of a live band can vary dramatically, but it all hinges on how many musicians you would like, how long they will be playing for, and the genre. Many of these need to be discussed with the party planner beforehand as well, in order to avoid going off brief (if it’s a complex event).
  • DJ: The cost of a DJ may vary, but it is usually limited to how experienced the DJ is, rather than how many people are involved. When it comes to price due to skill, you have a much better idea in the ability of the person spinning the discs. More often than not, DJs charge an hourly rate, rather than how many sets they play, making them a cost-effective way to get those tunes going.
  • Jukebox: A jukebox is a static piece of equipment that comes with pre-loaded with songs. They’re a little on the old-school side of things, and while they’re often the cheapest option, it still requires someone to operate it and keep it going. The price is not usually a sign of quality either, so it’s hard to make good judgments.

But money isn’t everything

Sometimes, ditching the focus on your hip-pocket will give you a better solution at the end of the day. For each of these crowd-favourites, here are a few other things to consider in the lead up to kicking off the event on the day.

  • Live bands: A band will need time to set up and they would have to arrive early before the guests are due. Often, a warm-up is required, which may involve some distracting noise being played while you finalise your event. With more people, there are the possibilities of more problems, and while you might account for the musicians, there may need to be extra people you didn’t expect – such as a setup crew. Remember to ask for these details when you book.
  • DJ: A DJ will usually set up all their own equipment and are most likely limited to one or two people attending the event. They can arrive and set up within minutes, as testing of equipment can be completed before they even show up. Usually, only a final test is needed before you kick-off.
  • Jukebox: Most jukeboxes will require a delivery person and a power outlet. Delivery can be arranged when it suits you best, but you are likely to be paying for the time that it arrives until the time that it leaves. Also, you may be liable for any damage sustained while it is in your possession, so check the rental agreement before signing anything. We also suggest taking photos of its condition before your gig is in full-swing.

Need a guide to the cost of hiring a DJ?

DJ Hire costing chart When it comes to your standard birthday party or corporate event, we can quote you based on the size of the venue and the time required to play. The number of people can go hand in hand with the size of the venue and this determines what kind of sound equipment we will need.

If the party is at a venue that can have a playout system patched in then it may not be such an issue. But if we are needed to set up in an empty space with nothing but a power source then this could mean more equipment which translates to more costs on our end.

For a wedding, we will often need to run to a specific running sheet and maybe even perform MC duties again which are extra. As a rough guide, we would quote around $550.00 for a standard no-frills package, then add extra for lighting, effects and additional sound gear.

For a wedding in a metro area, we could go as low as $1200.00 but this could take some negotiating with our pool of DJs.

For smaller events or simple background music type occasions, we could go under $500.00 but we need to be clear on each party’s obligations and expectations to make sure no one is left disappointed. At the end of the day if the client is not happy then no one should be.

Remember, it’s your party

Hiring a DJ means it’s often not too cheap to question, and not too expensive to be turned away. Meeting you in the middle, these professionals often give you more peace of mind than other alternatives and can ensure your event goes off without a hitch.

They’re not automated or equipped with a full team, so you save on costs and don’t have to rely on manual operations (like a jukebox) to keep the tunes going.

At the end of the day, consider what you would like to get out of the music you’ll play on the day, and work carefully around your budget. If you’re in doubt, get in touch with our team to help you choose the right option for your needs.