Questions to Ask When Interviewing DJs or Live Entertainment
Pricing and Other Business Details
- What is your pricing? Does this include setup and breakdown between ceremony and reception locations?
- How much is the deposit and when is it due? When is the final payment due?
- If the event lasts longer than scheduled, what are the overtime charges?
- What is the continuous music charge? NOTE: For bands, bookings traditionally run for 4 hours divided into 4 sets, each lasting 45 minutes with a 15-minute break. If you want “continuous music,” i.e. with band members trading breaks, there is usually an additional charge.
- When can I expect to receive my contract from you?
- Are there any additional fees that could accrue that I am not taking into account, like travel expenses or charges for special musical requests? (One performer was asked to prepare an entire set of songs from Phantom of the Opera! Yes, he charged extra.)
- What is your refund policy if for some reason I need to cancel or alter my date?
- Do you carry liability insurance? Note: This usually only applies to production companies that also supply lighting, effects, etc.
- If I hire musicians for the ceremony and want them to play at the wedding rehearsal, what is the extra charge?
- Do you have a DVD of your music or a video from a prior wedding where you performed?
- Can you assist me in choosing the music for my processional, recessional, Father-Daughter Dance, etc.?
- How extensive is your music library or song list? What genres can you cover? Can I give you a specific list of songs I want or don’t want played?
- Are we guaranteed to have the perfomer(s) of our choice at our event? See number 3 above. As mentioned, many bands hired by an agency are made up of members who may not play together regularly. Even set bands often have substitute players. If there are specific performers (singer, harpist, guitarist, etc.) that you want, make sure that your contract includes them. Of course, illness or circumstances beyond their control may still preclude their being able to perform at your event.
- If the DJ or one of the band members scheduled for my event is unable to perform for some reason, do you have a backup replacement ready to go?
- Can you provide us with wireless mics for the ceremony?
- Does any of your equipment require special electrical outlets that I need to inform my wedding site about?
- Do you bring backup equipment?
- What kind of space or stage do you require for the DJ or band? If my site doesn’t provide what you need, will you make arrangements for the stage or am I responsible for renting it? NOTE: a band will require a specific amount of square feet per band member.
- How much time will you need for setup, sound check and breakdown on the day of the event?
- What music will be provided during the breaks? NOTE: If you have a preference, make it known. If you want them to play your home-burned CD mix, be sure to test it on their equipment first because not all CDs will play on every system.
- How many people will you staff for my event?
Filed under Expert Advice, Music and Entertainment, Planning, Questions To Ask Your...
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