How to Hire a DJ

twine hire a dj

Whether you’re hiring a wedding DJ, a party DJ, or figuring out how to book a band for an event – it’s hard work knowing how to hire a DJ.

We get it – it can be daunting reaching out to people who work in a different industry to you:

Where should I look? What should I ask for? How do I know who to trust?

These are the thoughts that will be racing through your mind when you’ve spotted a potential DJ for hire – and, for any first-time buyer, this could sound like more stress than it’s worth.

Maybe, you think you could cut a few corners. Why not ask your uncle Bill to do it for you – I mean, he did such a good job at your dad’s 60th last year, right?

Now, we don’t doubt that your uncle has talent, (not one bit), but if you want to make this a day/night/weekend to remember, a professional DJ is one way to truly get the party started. So how do you go about finding a DJ?

Luckily for you, we’ve handled this part. Without further ado, here’s our complete guide on how to hire a DJ – no mess or fuss, just one simple hiring process.

How to Hire a DJ: Things to Consider

#1 – Experience

One of the more unfortunate mistakes any buyer can make when hiring a DJ, is picking someone completely inexperienced for the job.

Whether it’s for a costume party, or a traditional wedding – you need a professional DJ who can read the room. That’s right, DJ-ing isn’t just mixing tracks and playing Vengaboys on repeat, it’s also about figuring out what the crowd of dancing bodies want! And that is a harder skill than you think…

Plus, hiring someone who’s new to the profession could mean that they’re not familiar with standard protocol. You don’t want to put a dampener on your event by hiring a DJ who can’t remember which playlist you sent over.

#2 – Too little, too late

#3 – Location, location, location

Everyone’s needs are different, but the chances are you probably want a DJ in your local area.

Professional DJs will have a personal website, so start with a Google search for results in your area. Of course, depending on your event and budget, you may be able to arrange for a DJ to travel to you.

There are many websites that list DJs and some even allow you to book directly through the site. For example, Find a DJ lists NADJ approved DJs by region (UK only).

Classified pages and websites are worth a look, but can sometimes be hit and miss. Be sure to ask to see your DJs’ previous work before your book. Some classified sites are; Craigslist, Gumtree, and Backpage.

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Online DJ Hotspots:

Other places to look are places where DJs go to share their music. There’s an absolute glut of music distribution platforms online, so here’s our breakdown of the most useful ones:

SoundCloud: The place for sharing your music online. SoundCloud has every type of musician in every location around the world, so you’ll have to do a bit of searching to find the perfect DJ. Try searching for your genre and location, for example ‘EDM Manchester’ to find results near you.

MixCloud: MixCloud is the perfect platform for DJs, as it caters to mixes. Search for a location to see MixCloud members in that region.

Mixcrate: Mixcrate is a platform and network for finding and following DJs, so get stuck in. It’s great for browsing music and finding DJs that you like, but not so good for finding DJs in a specific location.

Chew.tv: Chew.tv is a revolutionary platform that lets you watch DJs performing anywhere in the world via live streaming. It’s more of a tool to help other DJs learn new skills, but check it out anyway. You can live stream shows that are happening now, or watch previous shows. Every DJ has a profile, so if you find one you like, you can get in touch with them.

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Find out what’s happening near you. If you live in a town or city check out what’s happening in the DJ scene where you live. Scout out local bars and clubs and go and see DJs for yourself. There’s nothing better than meeting in person before you decide to hire them, you’ll get a much better idea of what they’re capable of in real life and whether you’ll be able to work together.

If you’re on a budget, try contacting your local university, college or music school. A lot of educational institutions run DJ and music production courses, and there are plenty of students who are looking for a chance to showcase their talent. You never know, you could end up working with the next big thing!

Look out for our article on how to work with DJs – coming soon!

Joe Scarffe

Joe is the CMO at Twine.

When he’s not moaning about the state of the music industry or public transport in Manchester, he works with the Twine community and handles social media, the blog and partnerships with companies and institutions.