YaY! I Booked My DJ!...or Did I?

Why You Need a Written Contract with Your DJ in Central Florida

You’ve got a wedding, a party, or some other special event coming up, so you booked a DJ in Central Florida to provide entertainment. Or did you?


I regularly get calls from folks who found out at the last minute that the DJ they thought they had reserved will not be showing up. When I get those calls, I always ask, “How did the DJ respond when you said you had a signed contract and had confirmed the booking with a retainer fee?”


The answer is almost always the same: Dead silence.


Then it comes out: They didn’t have a contract, they hadn’t paid a retainer, and so they didn’t have a DJ booked at all.


I don’t know why the person they thought they booked didn’t come through for them. Maybe he got a higher-paying event and, because he wasn’t legally obligated to do theirs, he took the other gig. Maybe he’s gone out of business. Maybe he just forgot. The reason doesn’t matter – what matters is that you’re days or even just hours before the start of your event, and you don’t have a DJ.


The DJs in Central Florida who do this type of thing are usually friends or friends-of-friends, or they advertise on sites like Craigslist. They operate on a part-time basis and often feel no sense of obligation to their clients because they’re not really serious about their business.


Whenever I get a call from someone in this situation, I do my absolute best to help. Sometimes I simply can’t, because we’re booked. Sometimes I’m able to perform a miracle, like I did last month. As we expected, Nov. 11 (11/11/11) was one of the busiest days we’ve had in years and we were sold out for the entire weekend. At 5 p.m., I got a call from someone who just found out that their DJ wasn’t going to show at their wedding reception that evening. One of our DJs, Brenda, had just finished a wedding rehearsal at the Orange Country Regional History Center; she had worked all day, was also booked for the next day, and was exhausted. I asked her if she could do the last-minute reception; she said she’d left her gear at the History Center because she was going back there the next day and she wasn’t dressed for a wedding reception. We had a sound system available—not as powerful as our primary systems, but it would do. I explained the situation to the client, and her response was, “How fast can Brenda get here?”


As tired as she was, Brenda headed out to Mt. Dora and absolutely rocked that wedding reception! She went an hour and a half over time and was thanked with a very generous tip.


A pause for some blatant self-promotion: This is the kind of job that all of us at Marc Burgess Productions do. We know how important your wedding reception or other event is to you, and we want to help you make it perfect.


Let’s get back to the issue of a contract: It’s absolutely essential that you get it in writing. You need a written agreement that outlines everything the DJ in Orlando is going to do for you, how much it’s going to cost, the payment terms, and anything else related to the event and service you expect. Until you have a signed, written contract, you don’t have a DJ – or any other event service provider – booked.


I always shake hands with my clients, but I do business on a contract. So should you.

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