The Cost To Hire a DJ

Why is there such a price difference to hire a DJ? Why do some DJ cost more to hire?

The cost of hiring a DJ can vary significantly based on the type of DJ service you choose. Within the Mobile DJ industry, there is a diverse range of providers catering to different markets.

It’s important to note that entry into this industry is relatively easy, leading to a mix of low-budget and low-quality firms. Some of these may use inexpensive equipment or cut corners, such as using pirated music.

When considering hiring a DJ, you should prioritize factors other than just the price. A high-quality DJ firm may have higher rates, but these higher prices often reflect the following:

  1. Public Liability Insurance: To protect against unforeseen incidents during your event.
  2. Working with Children Checks: Ensuring the DJ is suitable to work with all age groups.
  3. Music Licensing: Ensuring that the music played is legally obtained and licensed.
  4. Electrical Safety: Proper testing and tagging of all electrical equipment, complying with Australian legal requirements.
  5. Reliable Transportation: A dependable vehicle to ensure punctuality and reliability.
  6. Backup DJs: Preparedness for emergencies or unforeseen circumstances with backup DJs.
  7. Consistent Packages: Offering consistent service packages to ensure quality across events.
  8. Experienced or Quality DJs: Higher pay for experienced or top-quality DJs who can deliver a superior performance.
  9. Operational Expenses: Costs related to maintaining a website, among other business expenses.

So, while high-quality DJ services may come at a premium, they provide a level of professionalism, reliability, and legal compliance that can make your event more enjoyable and stress-free.

DJ Hire prices Melbourne

Why you should never choose a DJ based on cost alone. 9 Steps To Help You Get the Best!

DJ prices

9 Steps For Finding The Right DJ For Your Event

When selecting a high-quality DJ for your event, follow these nine steps to ensure you make the right choice:

  1. Check Reviews: Start by checking reviews on various platforms like Facebook, Google, Word of Mouth, One Flare, and others. Look for consistency in feedback and avoid reviews that seem overly clustered, as they may be from friends or family.
  2. Social Media Presence: Examine their Instagram and Facebook profiles. Regular posts from events can indicate they are in demand for a reason.
  3. Ask for Referrals: Seek referrals from forums or friends who have hired the DJ in the past. This can provide insight into their reputation among former clients.
  4. Communication Responsiveness: Assess how responsive the DJ is to your inquiries. Timely and clear communication is essential for a successful event.
  5. Review Terms and Conditions: Ensure the DJ has proper terms and conditions in place. These documents are vital for your protection in case of an emergency.
  6. Check ABN (Australian Business Number): Verify the DJ’s ABN to confirm they are a legitimate business. Active ABNs are a sign of professionalism.
  7. Ask for PLI (Public Liability Insurance) or PII (Personal Indemnity Insurance): A professional DJ should be aware of and have these insurance policies in place, ensuring your event is covered.
  8. Full-Time DJ: Determine if the DJ solely works as a DJ for a living. A full-time commitment indicates their dedication to your event.
  9. Inquire About Outsourcing: Find out if the DJ outsources work to contractors. Be cautious, as lower prices may indicate lower-quality DJs, as commissions and other expenses are factored in.

By following these steps, you can confidently select a high-quality DJ who will help make your event memorable and stress-free

These steps can be applied to other vendors too. For more information please click HERE to go to our vendor selection page.

If you’re after a quality DJ get in touch with us! We know that we are the DJ for you!

Do You Need A Specialised DJ?

The Price of a Niche DJ is more

When seeking a DJ with expertise in a specific niche area such as Greek, Arabic, Italian, or any specialized genre, it’s important to be prepared for a premium price. Here’s why:

  1. Limited Availability: Specialized DJs often have limited availability due to their expertise and the cultural nuances they understand. This means they may only be able to service a limited number of events in a week.
  2. Premium Cost: Specialized DJs charge a premium for their exclusive services. This cost reflects their in-depth knowledge and ability to curate music tailored to the cultural or niche preferences of the event.
  3. Avoid Last-Minute Surprises: Booking a specialized DJ ensures that you won’t end up with a DJ who needs to message friends from that culture or ethnicity on the night to request songs. This can lead to last-minute surprises and disruptions.

It’s important to invest in a DJ who genuinely understands the nuances and requirements of your event’s specific cultural or niche context. This ensures a seamless and authentic experience for your guests.

We do have some Djs contacting us requesting assistance with Greek music when they do not understand or know anything about it. On such an important day it isn’t worth the risk of saving money on someone who doesn’t understand the culture.

Why Are Booking Fees non-refundable for the main DJ companies?

When you book a DJ most have a non-refundable policy in regards to this payment. Most people wonder why this is the case.

We will explain this for you. Firstly all businesses have operating costs as we have already mentioned.

We don’t just charge for the time that we spend performing. Our full fee covers:

  • Insurances
  • Registration/licencing fees
  • Vehicle expenses
  • Tagging & testing
  • Music purchases
  • Utilities
  • Internet
  • Website hosting
  • Phone bills
  • Our time and effort
  • Tax & Super payments

A DJ business is a service-based business. A DJ service can only work at most 3 nights a week. If a client cancels and we are unable to fill the empty date that is time lost. Because of this, most service-based companies employ a non-refundable policy to ensure they receive some funds to cover their expenses.

What is the difference between a low-cost DJ and a quality DJ?

Dj hire prices Melbourne

A quick comparison with Only DJ’s and budget DJ’s

If you take a moment to look at the first image on your right, you’ll notice a meticulously arranged DJ setup where cords are discreetly hidden, with only a power lead subtly tucked away in the background. Our DJ consoles are equipped with top-of-the-line equipment, featuring speakers such as the EV Evolve 50, valued at over $2500 each. EV speakers are a subsidiary of Bosch, known for their quality.

With our basic DJ package, you can expect approximately $15,000 worth of equipment to enhance your event. What sets us apart is our commitment to consistency, as all our DJ consoles are identical, ensuring a uniform and high-quality service. Additionally, we offer live tracking on the day of your event for added peace of mind.

Only DJ’s takes pride in compensating our DJs with the best wages in the industry. This means that we exclusively employ top-tier DJs who are 100% dedicated to making your event a success.

It’s worth noting that some DJ firms pay inexperienced DJs as little as $22 per hour. When DJ fees are meager, there’s a higher risk of DJs lacking loyalty to your event. Such disloyalty is common with low-paying DJ companies. They might book a DJ at a low wage, but if that DJ gets wind of a better-paying opportunity, they may cancel last-minute, leaving you stressed and disappointed.

That’s why our team is always compensated fairly and above industry standards, ensuring that your event receives the dedication and professionalism it deserves.

Is the cost to hire a DJ the only difference between the two? Why is there a big difference in price to hire a DJ?

Indeed, the cost to hire a DJ isn’t the sole distinguishing factor. Let’s take a closer look at the second image, which represents a lower-cost provider. If you’re a frequent Kmart shopper, you may recognize one of their lights on the left-hand side of the table. These lights are readily available at Kmart stores.

The speakers used here also fall into the budget category and are from JB Hi-Fi’s private label, Audioline. This specific speaker range has been discontinued due to poor reviews and quality concerns. Notably, this setup lacks professional lighting and a subwoofer.

Furthermore, the DJ relies on CD technology, which limits their access to a limited selection of songs. Lastly, the tablecloth appears to be arranged in an unflattering manner, further highlighting a lack of quality or attention to detail.

At Only DJ’s, we prioritize quality above all else. On average, the cost of our basic console exceeds $15,000. We’ve made substantial investments in top-notch sound systems and have curated a collection of the highest quality music to ensure your event’s success.

Mobile DJ prices

The reason why you should NEVER hire a friend, cheap or free DJs for your event

It’s crucial to avoid seeking out entertainment that is:

  1. Cheap: Lower-cost options may not provide the quality and professionalism you need for your event.
  2. Free: Friends or acquaintances offering their services for free might not have the necessary experience or commitment.
  3. Family Friends: Entrusting family friends who are not experienced professionals can lead to complications and disappointment.

We’ve emphasized this earlier, and on average, we receive 5-6 calls a week from individuals who are stressed because their DJ backed out. This often occurs when a better-paying opportunity arises for the DJ.

This situation is especially common for weddings when individuals opt for a friend or acquaintance who has little to no experience in wedding DJing. As the wedding approaches, these inexperienced DJs may become anxious and back out, leaving you in a tough spot.

A real incident in March 2022, where a bride booked a friend who got the date wrong and didn’t show up, serves as a stark reminder of the risks involved in choosing non-professional options. This incident occurred in the Facebook group “Melbourne Brides,” and the emotional distress experienced by the couple is unimaginable.

To ensure the success and smooth execution of your event, it’s crucial to hire a reputable DJ business that can provide the necessary expertise, reliability, and professionalism.

DJ hire price

What Can I Expect To Pay On Average For A Typical 5 Hour Event?

The price of a Wedding DJ

The average price of a wedding DJ will range from:

  • $1195-1995 for a 5-hour gig. This price fluctuates based on the day of the event, how big of a sound system will be required and if you require a specialist DJ in a specific genre or culture eg Greek or if you also require MC duties.

The price of a Party DJ

The average price for a DJ for events will range from:

  • $890-1390 for a standard 5 hour booking. This price will fluctuate based on the day, nature of the event, and sound & light requirements.

Remember that the pricing should be factored in per head not by the hours the DJ will play. If you are planning an important event you should focus on the quality of the service you receive on the night.

Why does it cost more to hire a DJ good quality DJ?

When you take into consideration a number of variables you will discover why.

  • A legitimate DJ firm will not do cash jobs and pays tax on every booking.
  • A firm that values their customers will have a neat and clean set up with excellent cable management.
  • The average commute to an event is 45-50 minutes, both ways.
  • Our DJ consoles weigh approximately 130-140 kg in total. We lift our consoles 4 times over the duration of the day of your booking.
  • The DJ will arrive an hour early to set up, which is included in the price.
  • The DJ will buy music for your event of the highest quality.
  • The DJ pays for Public Liability
  • The DJ firm has invested tens of thousands of dollars into speakers, lighting, microphones and their music collection.
  • Working with children checks require a substantial payment.
  • The best firms will always reply to your email in a timely manner will not leave you waiting, dedicating significant time to get to know you and what you would like for your event.
  • Some DJ firms even offer a meet and greet, for example, weddings.
  • DJ put hours of time into researching new music.
  • If the DJ is also MC-ing they will spend hours practising to make sure they get it right.
  • Equipment is regularly maintained.

cost to hire a DJ

Price Breakdown

The price to hire a DJ doesn’t just reflect the hours that the DJ performs. It includes the all-round service that you get as part of a fixed cost.

  • The DJ isn’t just working the hours they DJ. They have honed in their skills over the years to master what they do and create an atmosphere for you.
  • The DJ will spend up to 2 hours either procuring any specified music before the event.
  • The DJ will spend hours liaising with you by email, phone and/or meeting you to understand your needs.
  • The DJ pays between $4-5 each to have a cord, speaker and other electrical items tested annually. Most DJ’s have in excess of 25-40 electrical cables for a basic setup.
  • The DJ will spend 1-2 hours testing equipment before your event and then loading it into their vehicle.
  • On average the DJ will spend between 45-50 minutes commuting to the venue, each way.
  • The DJ will spend between 2-2.5 hours of just setting and packing up.
  • The DJ, if they are MC-ing, will practice any scripts to ensure they get it right.
  • The DJ may spend between $30-50 on music for your event, if your requests are not on the listed music selection provided.
  • A professional DJ who works every weekend between 2-3 times a week will replace their speakers on a 2 year rotation.
  • Public liability and other insurances are taken into consideration when a price is given.
  • The DJ takes many years mastering their skills to read a crowd, to MC and to learn to think and act quickly under pressure. This takes a lot of commitment and those who have been performing for many years deserve fair remuneration.
  • Lastly, all legitimate DJ firms will be paying taxes. Any cash jobs run the risk of unsafe practices or not even turning up. We are GST registered and with the progressive tax system with the GST and tax bracket we fall into we are paying over 42% in tax.

Additional information

In addition, if you would like to see our mobile DJ team in Melbourne in action please follow us YouTube & Instagram. We are sure you will be impressed by all the happy people dancing their feet off!

Finally, if you would like to see some of our song recommendations please click here. You can check out our top 10 songs for different genres. We always appreciate any comment or feedback you may leave on YouTube. Our wedding DJ has prepared a special list of recommended songs for the first dance, father-daughter and many more!

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