Depending on event themes, mood and other considerations, a formal event might center around a night full of music and dancing, or the music might play more of a background role. It’s important, then, to take some time to decide first exactly what role the entertainment will have in your plans for the evening.
From there you can decide whether a live band, DJ or student-run CD system will fill the bill the best. DJs probably will give the best variety, including combining the popular with the classic. If a DJ seems right for your event, you’ll just need to figure out if you want someone who will quietly play song after song, or hire someone who’ll play an active part in the entertainment. For many themes, though, there are musical genres that naturally match: Jazz with Mardis Gras and some city themes, Doo-wop for 1950s themed parties, etc., where a live band with a specific style might be preferred. So be sure to work this out before starting the search.
Many DJs advertise in the phone book “yellow pages,” so that may be a good place to start. Look under “Disc Jockey.” Other places to check are entertainment agencies, other schools, friends and relatives who have had weddings or other big parties lately, and of course the Internet. Don’t discount your own experiences with bands in the past, either.
If you start as early as possible, request demo tapes and check references, you’ll end up on the right track to select the right entertainer. Also check out live performances for the serious candidates.
When interviewing potential entertainers, here are the most important questions you need answered:
• Agent/contact name
• Type of music – ask to see a song list, and how they feel about/handle requests
• Number of band members
• Rate per hour
• Rate for overtime
• Whether there are travel charges to and from the dance venue
• How many breaks they take, and how long they are (long breaks are mood-killers)
• Type of dress
• References you can call
Hope this helps your search! Meanwhile, be sure to check out our fringe curtains, string lights and other decorations great for jazzing up your DJ station or stage!