So why do we do it?
In the first instance, nine times out of ten it doesn't cost as much as a DJ, I know this for a fact as I have been working as a DJ for the past 25 years in pubs, clubs, hotels, bars and on the mobile circuit. We all know a certain hotel or two that advertise their own personal DJ to a client at a fee of, lets say £350 and actually pay the DJ £200. Then there is the classic DJ agency who hype up the cost of a DJ to accommodate their 15 - 20% commission, oh and don't forget the VAT!!
So, I hear you say, are you not shooting yourself in the foot?
The answer is yes and no. At the end of the day if somebody cannot afford my fees as a DJ, I figure I have two options, one is to drop my fee, which is not good practice or two, refer the customer to a colleague who works at a lower rate, both options result in a loss of revenue. I stick to my fee and don't drop it for anyone, after all this is my living, plumbers have their standard rate, as do electricians, as does this DJ! Referring the customer to a colleague also has its pitfalls, a lost customer for future bookings or your colleague somehow manages to ruin the whole event for whatever reason etc.
Around five years ago, I had a call from a client who didn't want to hire a DJ, he just wanted to hire some speakers so he could play some music from his ipod for a very low key wedding reception, now as I have numerous sets of equipment and I was only going to be using one set myself, it seemed like a good idea. That night I earned my usual fee plus another extra fee for hiring out two small active speakers and some room up lighting.
Over the last five years, my client base who just want to hire disco equipment or DJ equipment has dramatically increased and I now find myself hiring out the equipment to people who want to do their own disco more often than doing a mobile roadshow, just as well I have a residency!!
So why is this happening? are DJ's on the decline or just pricing themselves out of the market? or are there other factors involved, pubs and social clubs closing at a dramatic rate, reluctance from certain venues to hold certain events, namely 18th's and now 21st's or are there no more good DJ's out there anymore?
Now I know my last statement is not true, I know lots of excellent DJ's who know everything there is to know about our fine art, not just what to play, what works and what doesn't but also how to read the audience and how to set up their equipment correctly (believe me there are a lot who don't!)
So what is the main reason for the increase in clients just hiring the equipment instead of the complete package?