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Music Please

Music PleaseMany types of parties require music of one type or another. The two most common types of music at parties are either live bands or disc jockeys. Determining whether to hire a band or a DJ depends a lot on the budget that you have as well as the mix of guests that will be at the function or event. Traditionally more formal events have a live band or orchestra whereas more casual events have a DJ. This pattern is changing however and now more formal events such as wedding receptions and even Christmas parties and New Year's parties may also feature DJ's instead of live bands.

There are several pros and cons to hiring either a band or a DJ. In order to make the determination which form of music is better for your party or event consider the following points:


There are many benefits to having a band or orchestra at your party or event. These benefits include:

- The atmosphere and energy created by a live musical performance
- The excitement of having a live band
- If the band is well known people will be more likely to dance and enjoy the music
- The party or event becomes more memorable
- Ability to work with the band to develop a song list or recommend the type of songs you would like to have performed
- Specialized music for the event

As with all options there are also some more challenging aspects to having a live band at a party. These may be:

- Bands require more space and may even need special lighting and room requirements
- Bands may not be allowed in hotels or banquet facilities if there are several events held at the same time due to sound issues between party rooms
- Bands are usually more expensive than DJ services
- Bands may have a limited style of music that they perform
- Bands may not be able to play all requests from guests
- If the band has to travel you may be required to pay accommodation and travel expenses in addition to the performance costs
- Bands will take breaks throughout the evening so additional music may be required at these times

DJ Services

As with hiring a live band there are also positive and problematic issues with hiring a DJ service to provide your music. The following are some positives to hiring a professional DJ:

- Very good selection of music
- Most DJs will allow the host or hostess to set the play lists well in advance
- Most DJ services allow requests and have a wide variety of music in addition to just what is on the play lists
- Require very little space to set up
- Often are very good at getting the crowd up and on the dance floor
- Usually charge much less than the cost of a band

The drawbacks to hiring a DJ are:
- If the DJ doesn't read the crowd well or doesn't have a variety of music the guests may not respond and start dancing
- The DJ may not have professional equipment so the sound may not be clear
- The DJ may not be prepared

Generally the professionalism of the DJ has the biggest impact on the event or party. If the DJ is not professional, has poor quality equipment or doesn't have the right music there is little that can be done to correct the issue. With a bit of advance planning this should never be an issue.

Considerations When Hiring A Band Or A DJ

Whether you decide on a band or a DJ for your event or party there are several things that you should do in advance to make sure that they are the group or individual that you want to have at your party. The following should be determined before you decide on the band or DJ:

- Get some references and talk to people about the band or DJ before you agree to hire them. If at all possible make sure it is someone that you know and that you trust their opinion. 
- Talk to the band or DJ and clearly itemize the kind of music that you want. See if you can drop in on a party they are performing at to see what they really act or sound like at an event. 
- Make sure that they are willing to put all the issues for performing at your party in writing. If they are professional they should have contracts. Don't sign or agree to anything unless it is what you really want. 
- Talk to other friends or coworkers and find out if they have any recommendations if you don't know a band or DJ yourself. 
- Avoid just picking a name out of the phone book or from the internet. 
- Ask about their cancellation policy, and be sure this is clearly stated in the contract.

Hiring a band or a DJ for your next party can be simple and easy if you use the strategies listed above. Remember that music is an important part of setting the tone of an event or party so be sure you get just the band or DJ that you want.-----------------------------------------

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