Why do some DJs cost so much?

Have you shopped for a DJ lately? If so, you know that fees can range from substantial to “will work for beer.” As one of the leading DJs in Central Florida, I can tell you upfront that we are not likely to ever come in as the lowest bidder for your event. I also want you to know why our fees are reasonable compensation for the services we provide.


I am well aware that often when people are trying to justify their rates, it comes across as whining. That’s not what I’m doing – but if it sounds like that to you, please leave a comment and let’s discuss.


Let’s begin with this reality: Marc Burgess Productions is a business and, like any business that wants to stay in business, we have to be profitable. To be profitable, we have to provide consistent, high-quality, reliable service so that our clients will call us again and refer us to others. That means we have to invest in our operation, so our rates have to cover expenses such as:


• Wages. Our DJs need to be fairly compensated for their time.

Insurance. This includes liability (on the unlikely chance that something happens at your event); property and casualty (to protect our property and equipment from damage or theft); health, disability, life (insurance benefits for our employees).

• Music rights. We have built a large, legally-acquired music library, which means we pay the appropriate fees and royalties to the artists and have the legal (and moral) right to play the music you want at your wedding reception or other event.

• Equipment. DJ equipment is not one-size-fits-all – we have a broad range of equipment so we can deliver quality sound in any venue. It costs money to buy and maintain.

• Vehicles. We have reliable vehicles that we can count on to get our DJs and our equipment to your wedding reception or other event.

• Clothes. Our DJs invest in professional wardrobes so they can dress appropriately for your event.

• Training. As professional DJs in Central Florida, part of our mission is to make it look easy – but while it helps to have natural talent, training is essential. We invest in attending seminars and industry conferences so that we can deliver the performance you want, and so we know what to do when things don’t go exactly as planned.

• Marketing. We have to spend money on advertising and marketing – otherwise, how will you know about us? This includes our website, printed materials, participation in bridal shows, and so on.

• General overhead. This includes our office, storage for equipment, phones, utilities and other administrative costs.

• Retirement. Yes, we love what we do – but we don’t want to do it forever. At some point, we’d like to retire and we need to set aside some money for that.

Stacie Tamaki’s article, How Much Should Your Wedding DJ Cost?, goes into even more detail about DJ fees and what you should be willing to pay. It’s long, but if you’re shopping for a DJ, it’s worth taking the time to read.

Could you save money hiring a part-time DJ who isn’t serious about the business? Sure. But is the risk to the success of your event worth it?

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