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  1. #1
    Tech Mentor Calzone's Avatar
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    Default Djing a Charity Event, Pro Bono. How do we protect our rights?

    I've found myself as the DJ for a run for cancer type charity event in a few weeks time in Toronto. The event is fairly low key and they basically just need me as an ipod to play top 40 stuff and other family friendly music that goes well with working out. Any suggestions on music types/artists? (Don't worry I've got the Top 40 figured out.)

    On a more interesting note; this is the first gig I've done that I'll have done for free, and its getting scarily close to the "pay to play" scenario when I factor in gas (although they are likely covering that.) So from that stems my question; when volunteering your time as a DJ, how do you ensure your rights are protected? Where do you guys draw the line between doing someone a favour (I should note my friend's brother is the organizer) and the dreaded "pay to play" situation?
    Lenovo P580 || TSP2 || Traktor Z2 || 2x Audio-Technica AT-LP120 || Pioneer HDJ 1500 || Behringer B212D || http://www.mixcloud.com/Calzonetti/

  2. #2
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    can't you "donate" your fee for a write off in these types of cases?

  3. #3
    Tech Mentor Calzone's Avatar
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    That's something to look into but I'm not entirely sure the exact charity its being run through. The whole thing is not for profit but good idea.
    Lenovo P580 || TSP2 || Traktor Z2 || 2x Audio-Technica AT-LP120 || Pioneer HDJ 1500 || Behringer B212D || http://www.mixcloud.com/Calzonetti/

  4. #4
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    For ALL events, I use my standard contract. For free events, I note a "$0" fee.

    Having a contract puts the event "on the books." My liability insurance requires that I have a written contract - but says nothing about the fee. It allows me to write off the hard expenses (mileage, other travel, consumables, etc) against other DJ income (the accounting is not "event by event" but "year by year").

    There are charities that I choose to support, and others that I do not. If I decide to play for free, then I have made the decision that whatever I am getting out of the event is worth my time to perform. I have gotten a handful of referrals from free events in 20-ish years....they are about as common as live unicorn sightings.
    Traktor Pro 2 & Kontrol S2 & Maschine Mk1 (retired VCI-100 Arcade (Signed #198/300))
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by soundinmotiondj View Post
    For ALL events, I use my standard contract. For free events, I note a "$0" fee.

    Having a contract puts the event "on the books." My liability insurance requires that I have a written contract - but says nothing about the fee. It allows me to write off the hard expenses (mileage, other travel, consumables, etc) against other DJ income (the accounting is not "event by event" but "year by year").

    There are charities that I choose to support, and others that I do not. If I decide to play for free, then I have made the decision that whatever I am getting out of the event is worth my time to perform. I have gotten a handful of referrals from free events in 20-ish years....they are about as common as live unicorn sightings.
    This is really interesting to me. There are millions of forum posts about "how to DJ", but in my opinion this is the real "how to DJ" shit. Not enough is spoken about insuring your gear & yourself or doing right by the IRS. I think more should be done to educate new DJs about this side of DJing, however boring it seems. It's the most important shit in the world to me.

  6. #6
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    It has been said that if you own a small business that 1) Works with the public, 2) Has employees, and 3) Carries inventory, then about 80% of what you do is in common with everyone else who is in that situation - it doesn't matter if you are a landscaper, selling ice cream, or running a bookstore.

    While not all that applies to businesses in the "service" sector....at least 80% of what I do is "running a small business"....EVERYTHING related to music, DJing, etc is wholly contained in the other 20%. I am not sure I knew that when I was starting out, but I know it now.
    Traktor Pro 2 & Kontrol S2 & Maschine Mk1 (retired VCI-100 Arcade (Signed #198/300))
    BFM 10x DR200 & 10x Titan 39

  7. #7
    Tech Mentor Calzone's Avatar
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    Interesting advice guys, I'll likely just ensure none of my own cash is spent and enjoy the gig. Can't complain about a laid back gig like this popping up every once in a while.
    Lenovo P580 || TSP2 || Traktor Z2 || 2x Audio-Technica AT-LP120 || Pioneer HDJ 1500 || Behringer B212D || http://www.mixcloud.com/Calzonetti/

  8. #8
    Tech Guru guiltyblade's Avatar
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    I actually create quotes, invoices, and contracts to save myself any trouble pay or no.
    2 x X1 MK2, DJM 900, RMX-1000, Macbook pro 17", Pioneer XDJ Aero, IPad, Rokit 5s, HDJ 2000,2 x technics 1200 mk2. Mackie SRM350.
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