How much to charge.
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  1. #1
    Tech Wizard
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    Default How much to charge.

    So after a slew of unpaid house parties, 1 school disco, and a battle of the bands DJ set, I'm now getting approached to do gigs, and I'm going to start asking for payment (the recession is hitting us all hard, and mothers day is coming up...)

    Problem is, the school I go to is offering a bunch of kids to go on special learning courses in other countries. These courses require a biiig amount of funding and discos seem to be the way these kids are wanting to make their money.

    So the parties are sort of for charity, and to top it off these are my acquaintances and school friends.
    What would be an acceptable amount of money to ask for, if I'm going to be doing a 2 hour set on a already hired PA system?
    And what about if I don't know the people, and it's not for a charitable cause of any sort?

    Really I just need tips on how much money to demand for a DJ set.

    Cheers guys!

  2. #2
    Tech Mentor Midi Kids's Avatar
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    I have the same problem... i have no idea how to start asking for money for gigs i do??? I started out doing them for free cause i wanted to get my name out and start getting more gigs but now that im getting gigs offered to me left right and centre i have no idea how to approach them on asking for some exchange for the work iv done?
    Gear: Macbook Pro 13" , Traktor Scratch Pro, VCI-100 Arcade, PIONEER HDJ 2000, CDJ 400's, Audio 8, Midifighter

  3. #3
    Tech Guru jakeintox's Avatar
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    I do a lot of mobile work, but my area is rather pricey. Shop your local mobile DJs and see what their prices are, and what equipment and extras they offer. My prices vary substantially depending on the type of event, who it's for, and what gear I'll need as well. I may charge $750-$1000 for a wedding, $450-$700 for a corporate party, $350-$500 for private parties and less for schools or non-profit groups. It also depends on your PA. To dj through someone else's I might charge half as much.

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  4. #4
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    Well it depends on so many things...

    I'm not from US, so I really don't know about the numbers there, but here are some factors to consider.

    It is more important to do the gig or winning money?
    If you're starting you probably want lots of gigs to get known and get experience. It's important to not ask much or they won't pay you.

    How long are you going to mix?
    A 2 hour mix? All night long? Every weekend? At an after party sunday morning at 8am?

    Is the event a big venue or a small bar?
    Big venues have a budget for local djs, small bars is more personal you have to talk with the owner and negotiate (if they are willing to pay something). Small bars usually have a local dj that works all nights and get paid a monthly/weekend fee. In that situation the bar says how much they are willing to pay.

    Is it an illegal rave party?
    Those do not pay. They don't win money at all so I think it's unmoral to ask them to pay you. They do it for the love, you should too.

    Is it a huge summer festival?
    If they are calling you you can fix your price as they pay most artists. But remember, is it more important to get known or win money? If you're not known I'd say go low.

    Some times events have a budget and they simply make an offer to dj there. So here no problem.

  5. #5
    Retired DJTT Moderator DvlsAdvct's Avatar
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    I'm assuming you don't really have costs to cover, so that isn't a good starting point. They are your friends, though, so a good conversation could be a way to start this. Something to think about would be to say "Hey, I know it's for a cause and all, but I need to start getting recouped for my time to rock the house as well as I can." They are friends, I'm sure they'll understand.

    Obviously this isn't the professional end like Jake is talking, but I'd say between $50 and $100, personally.
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  6. #6
    Tech Wizard
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    Quote Originally Posted by pier View Post
    Well it depends on so many things...

    I'm not from US, so I really don't know about the numbers there, but here are some factors to consider.

    It is more important to do the gig or winning money?
    If you're starting you probably want lots of gigs to get known and get experience. It's important to not ask much or they won't pay you.

    How long are you going to mix?
    A 2 hour mix? All night long? Every weekend? At an after party sunday morning at 8am?

    Is the event a big venue or a small bar?
    Big venues have a budget for local djs, small bars is more personal you have to talk with the owner and negotiate (if they are willing to pay something). Small bars usually have a local dj that works all nights and get paid a monthly/weekend fee. In that situation the bar says how much they are willing to pay.

    Is it an illegal rave party?
    Those do not pay. They don't win money at all so I think it's unmoral to ask them to pay you. They do it for the love, you should too.

    Is it a huge summer festival?
    If they are calling you you can fix your price as they pay most artists. But remember, is it more important to get known or win money? If you're not known I'd say go low.

    Some times events have a budget and they simply make an offer to dj there. So here no problem.
    Well, getting a bit ahead of ourselves when we start mentioning CLUBS, let alone festivals and underground raves. I'm not from the US either. And I think I've just gotten past the point where I can start charging for gigs, I live in a pretty small, but party-active town, and I'm the only young DJ playing this sort of music, so I'm "the guy" people go to when they want a DJ, problem is I haven't a clue what to charge them. For house parties for friends I'm thinking VERY low payments, a fiver and 2 bottles of beer and that kind of thing.

  7. #7
    Tech Mentor Midi Kids's Avatar
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    Im from New Zealand and i think we are one of the stingiest countries for paying dj's hahaha the sad but true story... tiny country and night life is decent but not massive like overseas so its hard to make a wage of djing as most places dont even make that much well thats what they tell you anyways lol maybe its just all a trick not to pay you
    Gear: Macbook Pro 13" , Traktor Scratch Pro, VCI-100 Arcade, PIONEER HDJ 2000, CDJ 400's, Audio 8, Midifighter

  8. #8
    DJTT Moderator Dude Jester's Avatar
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    $400 and an open bar.
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  9. #9
    Tech Mentor Midi Kids's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JesterNZDJ View Post
    $400 and an open bar.
    dude no way.... you seriously have to teach me your ways... how do you go about making money in NZ???
    Gear: Macbook Pro 13" , Traktor Scratch Pro, VCI-100 Arcade, PIONEER HDJ 2000, CDJ 400's, Audio 8, Midifighter

  10. #10

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