Month: March 2010

Quantity versus Quality – from the D.J.’s perspective

Jim Pierce – Event Director, Pierce Events

Since the introduction of MP3 players, file sharing networks, Wi-Fi, and every other form of accessories that has accompanied these great advancements in personal technology, it seems as though the market has been flooded by amateur DJ’s (termed used loosely) willing to do 8 hour weddings or 72 hour dance-a-thons for prices that are too good to be true.

I recently spoke with a woman who booked a 5 hour wedding DJ for $150. After I hung up the phone there was a sinking feeling in my stomach. I didn’t feel as If I had lost a job, but as if this woman had truly put her once in a life time event in jeopardy for the lowest bidder. I tried to explain, not for my financial gain, but for her benefit and peace of mind, the danger of entrusting her event to an inexperienced D.J. I got the response that I have been hearing a lot of these days- “ Well he has 75,000 songs and if he doesn’t have it he has wireless access and can download it on the spot. “ Do you? I wished her the best with her choice of DJ…

In actuality I have more than 75,000 songs, and yes I have wireless capability, but it is not something I advertise. First of all, a DJ is much more than set of speakers and an internet connection. A DJ’s job is to play the right song at the right moment to create a feeling, a mood, and ambiance. Often, it is just as important the songs I chose not to play as the ones I do. And those that advertise on-site downloads leave themselves in a very curious position. If they choose not to play a song, it is solely a personal choice that puts them in an adversarial position with the person making the request. I have the ability to apologize for not having an offensive song at your Grandmother’s 75th Birthday party and asking if there is anything else they would like to hear. Also, they have a much more difficult time guaranteeing the content and integrity of just downloaded material.

How many times have you been jamming out to your iPod when a minute and 38 seconds in to “Walking on Sunshine” you have been startled by that mp3 screech? And maybe you added Coolio’s Fantastic Voyage to your playlist to relive some of the top 40 hits of your youth, only to realize that you don’t remember that many cuss words on the radio version.

I won’t even speculate as to the legality of many of the downloaded songs being played for public performance but I would venture a guess these folks aren’t all using pay sites.

To be a Great Disc Jockey takes more than a library. It takes time, dedication, and money. Staying current with the hits and making sure you have clean, appropriate, radio edits takes a hefty investment from a DJ.

I’m not implying that these things can’t be valuable tools in the arsenal of talented and experienced mobile DJ’s, but I fear that this surge of amateur Jocks holstering IPods and fueling up on Limewire are endangering the integrity of our business. For every Job an inexperienced DJ bombs at, they hurt all of our reputations.

Pierce Events offers complete event planning, production and management services for corporate, social and non-profit events. For more information and other helpful tips visit our website at</STRONG