What are the DJ’s Responsibilities?

July 23rd, 2010

I’ve been a DJ and Master of Ceremonies for over 19 Years now, and have worked in both Los Angeles and Utah. I started young and learned pretty much everything I needed to know about the DJ Profession on my own.

I remember the first Event that I did clearly.

It was a small wedding for some friends, and I imagine it was also the first time the parents of the bride had ever planned a wedding (as is often the case).

I was new to the business and they were new to the experience. I remember there being times that I was thinking to myself, wow I wonder who’s responsibility was it to make sure that didn’t come out the way it did; you know, to make it flow better or come out better. It certainly wasn’t my responsibility, I’m the DJ… Right? I mean I had all the music they asked for and they provided me with a CD for all their dances. Why is it taking soo long to do the toast? What time will the cake needs to be cut? What do you mean I have to do announcements, I’m Just the DJ I’m not supposed to do that? Oh, you wanted the radio edited version? Oops…

A few of these things you learn by trial and error, which is scary, especially since most people spend a whole lot of money on an event.

The things that you don’t learn by trial and error, you have to learn by taking the role of leadership and being the person RESPONSIBLE for making sure that everything comes out flawless.

See, MOST DJ’s assume that their sole responsibility is to make sure that they have the correct music and make the correct announcements at the right times…

Are they right in assuming that?

I know a lot of my competition, or who try to classify themselves as my direct competition, are reading this and thinking, yes… that’s all our responsibility… the rest is left up to the bride and groom, parents of the bride and groom, or quinceanera, or the coordinator, if they had it in their budget to hire one.

Well, let’s just assume that they did not hire a coordinator, as most events that I do DO NOT have one, or the parents of the bride and groom, or party planner, do not know the ins and outs of planning and running their event, as is OFTEN the case…

Then what?

As the DJ, do you just allow those awkward moments to happen? Like when you announce that the bride and groom are ready to do their first dance, and they are no where to be found? you announce the Father daughter dance and Dad is in the Restroom? SOMEBODY SHOULD HAVE LET HIM KNOW… right?

Well, as I stated before, some things you learn by trial and error, and others you have to take the RESPONSIBILITY ahead of time to make sure that those awkward moments do not happen.

What if just before you announced the bride and groom’s first dance, you went up and told them, in these exact words, or similar words…

We are just about to do your first dance, I need you to stand next to the dance floor, and as soon as this song is over, I am going to get everyone’s attention and announce your first dance…

As soon as, you get the bride and groom next to the dance floor, what if you went one step further and let the father of the bride and mother of the groom know that as soon as the bride and groom are done with their dance, that you, as the DJ, would like for them to be standing next to the dance floor because their special dance with their daughter or son is coming up…

Would you not avoid that void, that awkwardness, that moment where everyone is saying, oh… he’s in the rest room…

Even if there is a coordinator present, who’s job is it to make sure you don’t make an announcement at the wrong time?

The way I see it, it’s falls under the entertainer’s responsibility that HE does not look bad.

So Here are my top 10 Responsibilities that I think the DJ should make his:

  1. Make Sure that he has the correct version of the songs for the Traditional Dances, Cake Cutting, Bouquet & Garter Toss, Grand Introductions, and any other highlighted events. And that he has them in order on his computer or burned off in order on a CD.
  2. Learn all the names of the people that he has to introduce. There nothing worse than having your name mispronounced or said unclear.
  3. Get EVERYTHING prepared in advance! Learn the Itinerary so that you can make sure that you stay on time.
  4. Look ahead of what the worse case scenario is, and do everything possible to avoid it. The example of getting the bride and groom near the dance floor, or back at their seats is a perfect example. What about the cake cutting, toasting, bouquet and garter toss, etc. What can you as the DJ do to make sure the worse case scenario does not happen.
  5. Have an Introductory Speech to welcome guests and a Farewell Speech to wish the guests and guest of honor farewell.
  6. Have Radio Edited Versions of all the popular and top hits.
  7. Have a clean, presentable area. Hide all cables, get rid of cluttered mess, etc.
  8. Love your Clients, Do everything possible to ensure that the bride and groom or the quinceanera has the most amazing time of their life. This may seem like it should not belong on this list, but how can you care about your client, and then go off to other DJ’s and call them Bridezillas and ungrateful… I will never understand that. If a person is ungrateful or pissed off, it’s because they are not getting the service they paid for.
  9. Have a Positive attitude, 100% of the time, even when nobody is looking. (Or you think nobody is looking)
  10. Have fun, enjoy yourself, how can your client’s guests have fun if you are sitting down the whole night, and not dancing or cracking a smile at all.

So these are the ten Responsibilities I would say, that you as a DJ, or Entertainer should assume, always.

As you can tell, most of them have nothing to do with music. Music is the easiest part of the Job, In my opinion. Mixing Music does take some practice and knowledge, but nothing will kill the party more than guests, feeling awkward, uncomfortable, or even that they don’t know what’s going on. Not Bad Mixing, Not bad music selection (in the sense of going from one genre to the next, inappropriately), Not playing the music too low, Etc.

And MOST IMPORTANTLY if you are going to make announcements over the microphone, make sure that everyone can hear you and understand you. Some DJ’s have this muffled voice that nobody can understand. It sounds as if their equipment has static or their microphone is malfunctioning. Or buy a name brand microphone that works good.

So if you are a DJ and would like to improve his events, these are some guidelines to follow that will take your performance to a whole other level. If you are a bride looking to book a DJ, then now you have slight idea of what to expect from a GOOD DJ that will make sure everything, and I do mean EVERYTHING, not just the things the DJ thinks are important.. flows smoothly.

Happy Planning and just know that all of us at Festival Sounds have the experience to make your event PERFECT!

Wedding Season is here…how about some warmer weather!

April 6th, 2010

wedding-rain-kissWell, wedding season is here for 2010, and i just cleared frost off my window! I guess this is a good chance to talk about alternate plans for your wedding reception. I have been performing at weddings in and around St. George for over 10 years, and with very few exceptions, all the weddings have been a huge success. Contrary to popular belief it does actually rain in St. George (even a little snow too) and in the spring and summer, it can happen quickly. You may be setting up your chairs at noon thinking what a beautiful day this is, and then suddenly 10 minutes before your ceremony or reception you hear the lighting and thunder coming!

There are a few thing you can do to minimize the impact of such experiences. The most important thing is to have some sort of back-up plan. It doesn’t have to be great, or expensive, but a plan of attack in case of inclement weather is always appropriate. Even a tent can help! Both Forevermore Events and Superior Party Rentals can help with that. Tents can also help with the sun, so they are a good thing to have either way.

Now some venues already have built in alternate locations, so check with your coordinator or location manager to see what they can do (or have done) in the event your location becomes unusable.

The good news is you probably won’t have to use it, but you never know. Out of the 1000’s of weddings I’ve been to, less than 5% of them had a problem, but wouldn’t you rather be ready just in case?

Now we at Festival Sounds are always happy to help in any way. We have lots of good ideas and ways to make sure your day is perfect, so don’t hesitate to ask.

Now Offering Video Walls

February 14th, 2010

Did you ever with you could have a dance with music videos playing during the event…well now you can with Festival Sounds new VIDEO PACKAGE! Over 400 music videos and most new and old hits on a rear projection screen 10′ x 7′. Our new video all is great for movies, dances, proms, and and anything where video is needed. We also rent it out for any event in St. George.

Video Wall 10' x 7', rear or front projection. Our Setup with video wall on left.

Dixie College Dance

February 10th, 2010

We were happy to put on a great dance at Dixie College last night for their Theater group from all over the country here visiting. Here are a couple pictures from the event.Video Wall and LightsDancingThe Set Up

Recording Your Wedding Ceremony

January 31st, 2010

Many clients over the years have requested that we record their ceremony for them toe replay at a later time. Well, we are proud to announce that we can now record, and convert your ceremony to an mp3 file for you to replay for years to come. If you are interested in this feature, please request it when you book your date and we will try to accommodate. We only have one recording computer, so request it early before it is taken on your date.

click to listen to wedding ceremony

Ultimate Wedding Show 2010

January 24th, 2010

Another great wedding show came and went at the Dixie Center. Over 200 brides and their entourage came to see us. We were again chosen to provide sound for the event by the planner of the show. We provided 4 speakers in the front of the show for the main announcers and the fashion shows and 2 speakers in the back of the building (wireless) to add additional sound to the booths in the back of the room. As you can see we can provide a wide range of sound reinforcement for any venue, even the Dixie Center. The whole show was very productive for us, we booked quite a few weddings on the spot with our wedding show specials. If you missed the show or are still in need of our services for an upcoming date, just let us know and we are happy to help. Mention the wedding show specials, and we are still happy to honor them.

Our Booth at the Show

Our Booth at the Show

Shawn Denevan and Chris Noel, two of our Dj's watch the stage and run the music for the fashion show.

Shawn Denevan and Chris Noel, two of our Dj's watch the stage and run the music for the fashion show.

Our booth at the show

Our booth at the show

Married At Home Plate!

January 10th, 2010

As the Dj for many events that are over the top wedding receptions, I get to see many events that are quite unique. This one was definitely a unique wedding, as it happened at HOME PLATE at Bruce Hurst Stadium. Complete with Baseball announcer, baseball wedding ceremony, and a seventh inning stretch sung at the end of the ceremony, this is one wedding no one will soon forget. If you ever need ideas for cool wedding receptions, just ask, I’ve probably seen it all!

wedding at home plate

wedding at home plate

First Dance at Bruce Hurst Field

First Dance at Bruce Hurst Field

Happy New Year from Festival Sounds

January 1st, 2010

It has been our best year ever for weddings and parties. Thank you to all who have had us perform at your event. We went out with a bang on New Years Eve 2009 with 6 separate events ranging from a huge party at Ruby’s Inn in Bryce Canyon to First Night Karaoke in St. George. We also performed at Cedar Breaks Lodge in Brian Head, the Institute in Cedar City, the Eagles in Hurricane and the Playhouse in Cedar City. Needless to say, it was a busy night. Here are some picture of the Ruby’s Inn party in their brand new banquet hall. Over 400 people were in attendance, and a great family fun night. video and lights at Ruby's Inn in Bryce Canyonhappy new year at ruby's inn

Merry Christmas!

December 10th, 2009

Another year of weddings has almost come to a close. Believe it or not this year we performed at 84 weddings, and a total of 134 special events events not including our weekly events. We are obviously committed to what we do, and take great pride in the level of service that we provide. So to all of you who are planning a wedding for next year, good luck, and remember…the soundtrack to your event is more important than you think!

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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Festival Sounds!

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Busy Month of Weddings

October 25th, 2009

It has been a really busy month for weddings. One of our busiest ever if you can believe it. Here are some pictures from the last few weekends and the events that we performed at.

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10/24/09 Nicole and Chris Naude at Cliffrose Lodge in Springdale. Wedding Ceremony and then reception at Switchback Lodge. Perfect weather!

Ceremony In Zion

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10/17/09 Ashley and Jacob Deegan. At a home in The Cliffs in Ivins, UT. Beautiful backyard reception, and ceremony.

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10/11/09 Roberta and Ben Williams – At The Gardens in Toquerville. Ceremony and Reception.IMG_4788IMG_4789IMG_4794

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10/10/09 Christy and Chantry Abbott – Red mountain Spa and Resort – Ivins, UT.

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