• DJ & MC Price Explained: A Comprehensive Guide


    DJ Cost and MC Cost, when planning a special event, be it for a wedding, corporate, private or public celebration, is a consideration for most. Unfortunately, there is a lack of understanding on how DJ (Disc Jockey) and/or MC (Master of Ceremonies) cost is determined and how a price for services is set.

    In this blog, I will provide details of the majority of factors that need to be taken into account by your prospective DJ or MC when setting their DJ service fee or MC pricing in order to run a sustainable business.

    DJ & MC Price can vary. The better ones all charge more for good reasons.


    In the realm of music and entertainment, the majority of people often perceive a DJ as an individual who selects and plays recorded music for an audience. DJs are commonly associated with events such as parties, weddings, and clubs, where they use their skills to create a seamless and enjoyable musical experience. They are expected to have a good understanding of different music genres and the ability to read the crowd to keep the energy high.

    On the other hand, an MC is generally seen as the host or presenter of an event. The MC is responsible for engaging with the audience, making announcements, and facilitating the overall flow of the event. In some cases, an MC may also have the role of introducing performers or those speaking and ensuring the event’s schedule is followed.

    While these are the general perceptions, it’s important to note that the roles of DJs and MCs can vary, and individuals in these positions may take on additional responsibilities based on the specific event or context.

    Pre-Event Perception:

    Often those organising private events have not had any previous experience in arranging a celebration such as a wedding, milestone birthday, corporate event or any other festivity. Accordingly, most are under the perception that all a DJ does is play music and an MC, make announcements. Consequently, they obtain quotes and tend to secure the cheapest option available.

    Post Event Reality:

    It is a common observation in the event industry that the impact of entertainment, including the services of DJs and MCs, is often underestimated by event organisers. Many express that, in hindsight, they would have been willing to allocate a higher budget for entertainment had they realised the significant influence it has on the overall success and enjoyment of an event.

    Entertainment plays a crucial role in shaping the atmosphere, engaging the audience, and creating lasting memories. The satisfaction and positive feedback received after an event often highlights the importance of investing in quality entertainment services.

    A DJ & MC needs to account for all their expenses in determining price

    Price of DJs and MCs:

    Some are often very surprised at just how much the price of DJ and MC services can vary. There are many factors that go into how a DJ or MC sets their price. But to start, those organising events need to realise that besides being entertainers, they are also running a business.

    In Australia, as elsewhere, DJs and MCs charge varying fees influenced by a multitude of considerations. It’s crucial to comprehend all the factors that contribute to their pricing.

    In this article, I will aim to unveil the many factors that contribute to the pricing of each DJ and/or MC service, providing insights into the true investment required if you are after an extraordinary and unique event experience. At the same time, permitting the DJ or MC to keep their business sustainable.

    Factors Influencing DJ and MC Costs:

    1. Skill and Experience:

    Experienced and highly skilled DJs and MCs often command higher fees due to their ability to read the crowd, seamlessly mix music, and engage the audience effectively.

    2. Equipment Costs:

    Investing in quality sound and lighting equipment comes at a price. Professionals opt for top-notch gear, contributing to the overall cost of their services.

    3. Preparation Time:

    Crafting a customised playlist, planning the event timeline, and rehearsing all require time and effort. The more effort put into tailoring the performance to the client’s needs, the higher the cost might be.

    4. Travel and Logistics:

    If the event is located a distance from the DJ or MC’s base, travel expenses may be included. Setting up and dismantling equipment also contribute to the overall cost.

    5. Demand and Reputation:

    Popular and in-demand DJs or MCs often charge higher fees. Their reputation and the demand for their services contribute to their pricing.

    6. Event Type and Size:

    The scale and type of event can impact pricing. Larger events may necessitate more extensive setups, additional equipment, and a longer performance time.

    DJ & MC Cost influenced by many factors.

    Additional Expenses in DJ and MC Services:

    7. Music Licensing Fees:

    DJs often need to pay licensing fees to use any digital copyrighted music in their performances.

    8. Backup Equipment:

    Professional DJs and MCs may carry backup equipment to handle unforeseen technical issues during an event. This ensures a smooth and uninterrupted performance but adds to their overall costs.

    9. Time Spent in Consultation:

    Meeting with clients, discussing event details, and understanding specific requirements take time. DJs and MCs need to  charge for time spent in consultation.

    10. Customisation and Personalisation:

    Creating custom mixes, editing music, incorporating specific announcements or creating personalised moments tailored to the event may require extra effort and time, contributing to higher costs.

    11. Emergency Planning:

    Being prepared for unexpected situations, such as sudden changes in the event schedule or dealing with technical malfunctions, may require additional planning and resources.

    12. Special Requests:

    If clients have unique requests, such as specific genres of music, themed playlists, or special announcements, fulfilling these requests may involve extra work and time.

    13. Talent Fees for MCs:

    In some cases, professional Master of Ceremonies (MCs) may charge additional fees for their services, especially if they are well-known or have a significant level of expertise.

    14. Venue Requirements:

    Some venues may have specific technical requirements or restrictions that DJs and MCs need to adhere to, potentially leading to additional costs in meeting those specifications.

    15. Ongoing Professional Development:

    Staying updated with the latest music trends, equipment advancements, and industry standards may require continuous education and training which can contribute to the overall cost.

    Customers can expect to pay more for DJ & MC that runs a professional business

    Operational Costs:

    Operational costs are significant factors that contribute to the overall pricing for DJs and MCs. These costs cover the day-to-day expenses of running their business. Here are some operational costs that may affect their pricing:

    16. Transportation:

    Traveling to and from events involves fuel or transportation costs. DJs and MCs may factor in the distance they need to travel and the associated expenses when determining their fees.

    17. Equipment Maintenance and Replacement:

    Regular maintenance and occasional replacement of equipment such as mixers, controllers, speakers, and microphones are essential to ensure high-quality performances. The costs of maintaining and upgrading equipment contribute to overall operational expenses.

    18. Insurance:

    Professional DJs and MCs carry Liability, Professional Indemnity, Personal Accident and Equipment insurance to protect themselves, their equipment and the client. These costs are reflected in their overall fees.

    19. Marketing and Promotion:

    Advertising, creating promotional materials, maintaining a professional website, and other marketing efforts incur costs. DJs and MCs may include these expenses in their pricing to sustain and grow their business.

    20. Software and Music Subscription Services:

    Access to music libraries, DJ software, Accounting Software and other digital tools involves subscription fees. DJs often invest in premium services to ensure a diverse and up-to-date music collection and a more seamless experience for their clients.

    21. Business Registration:

    Operating a legitimate business requires protecting the business name and meeting associated requirements dependent on the business structure. These fees contribute to their business costs.

    Having fun because you booked a professional

    22. Professional Memberships:

    Joining professional organisations, attending industry conferences, and participating in networking events may be part of ongoing professional development. Membership fees and industry event attendance costs contribute to operational expenses.

    23. Utilities and Studio Costs:

    Maintaining a studio, office space or working from home for administrative tasks, meetings, and rehearsals involves rent, utilities, and other overhead expenses.

    24. Taxes:

    DJs and MCs are responsible for paying taxes on their income. Factoring in tax obligations is crucial when determining pricing to ensure they can cover their tax liabilities.

    25. Administration and Bookkeeping:

    Time spent on administrative tasks, bookkeeping, Accountant fees and client communication contributes to operational costs. DJs and MCs may allocate a portion of their fees to cover these essential business functions.

    26. Legal Costs:

    Having terms and conditions which protect both the business and clients, and kept current with ever changing requirements may require the utilisation of a legal professional. This cost needs to also be covered in the DJ or MCs fee.

    27. Sustaining The Business

    Lastly, the pricing includes a fair profit margin to sustain and grow their business. This ensures that your chosen DJ or MC professional is not only dedicated to your event, but also committed to providing exceptional services for years to come. If any DJ or MC business is not sustainable, it may mean that the business can no longer remain in business, and able to deliver on its obligations. This will mean that those who have booked for future events are likely to face event cancellation, financial loss, legal complications and emotional impacts along with potential associated stress.

    You can enjoy your event and the lead up.


    Selecting a DJ or MC for your event involves understanding all the tangible and intangible costs associated with creating and delivering an unforgettable experience.

    So, when you are seeking a DJ or MC for your event, understand that it is not just about selecting someone to play music or make announcements – it’s about entrusting someone to curate an unforgettable experience JUST FOR YOU. The pricing is a reflection of the dedication, expertise, and unique offerings that your chosen professional DJ and MC brings to the table and all the associated business costs incurred to deliver them.

    By understanding these factors, you gain insight into the true value of your investment and the commitment your DJ or MC has to their profession, to you and in making your event extraordinary!

  • Booking A DJ Or MC Solely On Price

    Image Courtesy of Netflix

    I’m constantly amazed at the number of enquiries that I receive from couples who “just want a price.” A number without knowing what you’re getting, or if your needs can be met, has absolutely no value. If you care enough about your wedding celebration, then you should at least speak with your potential DJ or MC.

    Booking solely based on price, somewhat increases the possibility that your entertainer;

    1. is not able to deliver on your needs and wants due to inexperience,
    2. does the exact same thing at every wedding and no effort is made to uniquely personalise to each couple,
    3. is no longer in business (believe it or not, nearly every DJ or MC has received desperate calls because their entertainer just cancelled on them),
    4. just announces and has no knowledge as to the complete role of an MC or flow of a wedding,
    5. has no backup equipment or contingencies in place,
    6. never invests in themselves to improve their skills, and/or
    7. does not have insurance to cover you, the venue and themselves in the event of a mishap.

    If your wedding is important to you that you wish to meet with a true wedding professional, someone who constantly undertakes training to deliver the best possible outcome, someone who genuinely cares about you and and your celebration, someone who is able to make many suggestions to create your vision, someone who can help make your wedding day an extraordinary experience for you and your guests, then you should make time to speak or meet with your DJ or MC.

    If you “just want a price”, then there will be DJ or MC Entertainers that just won’t be the right fit for you. Here’s wishing you the best of luck for a truly beautiful wedding and hoping that you have a strong risk tolerance.

    Your wedding day only happens once; make sure you hire a DJ or MC who gets it right!

  • To Dance Or Not To Dance – Is Not The Question

    With the recent pandemic and wedding receptions being put on hold, or only being permitted with limited numbers, whilst observing restrictive social distancing parameters, I have noticed that there has been a significant number of couples commenting in various Facebook Wedding Groups that even if they fell within the restrictions, they would not consider having their wedding reception, because of the “no dancing” restriction. No or limited dancing appears to be the biggest ‘deal breaker’ in proceeding with their wedding.

    The reason for this is obvious! A wedding reception is a celebration of love. Communities, religions and individuals world-wide celebrate marriage as it is a rite of passage, the joining together of two people who’ve decided to turn two lives into one. Many couples have already pictured their wedding filled with smiles, laughter, fun and the creation of much joy and excitement (after all, isn’t this what timeless memories are made of?), and accordingly, are not prepared to compromise on their dream wedding.

    Image Courtesy of The Loved Ones

    Why are they not willing to compromise? One of the major elements of any celebration is dancing. People just love to dance! In some cultures, it is ingrained in their heritage. Dancing is the single greatest opportunity guests will have to collectively express the happiness they hold for the couple and when they all join together on the dance floor and create an energy that can only be generated by those that are endeared by the couple, it is quite the moment, plus lots of fun!.

    The Facebook Wedding Groups are filled with comments such as; “What’s a wedding without dancing? 😭”, “A wedding is not a wedding without dancing.”, “Now we can have all our loved ones at our wedding but no dancing? It’s not a wedding without it. 😢”, “No wedding is complete without dancing.”, “I’m not having a wedding without dancing 😑” and many more similar posts by couples who in the midst of a pandemic, are realising the real impact that entertainment has on a wedding reception and it is far, far greater than many thought it may have been prior to having been placed in a position where they now need to choose between having a wedding with no dancing or postponing until they are permitted to have dancing.

    Over the years, numerous surveys conducted with couples following their wedding, have unanimously revealed that couples, would have spent more money on quality entertainment, if they had known the true impact that it would have on creating wonderful wedding memories prior to the wedding. Sadly however, it is the element which, except in the most minor of instances, is not given the priority warranted and left to very late in the planning process, by which time, they find that the majority of the budget has been depleted and many, are subsequently potentially constrained to a low cost and/or less experienced option.

    Image Courtesy of The Nook

    One major reason that couples have not appreciated the value that professional entertainment brings to their wedding, I feel is largely due that for far too long many wedding publications, venues, wedding planners and coordinators have referred to wedding entertainment as “the music” which has led to most couples undervaluing the importance of exceptional, personalised wedding entertainment. However, the reality is that music cannot create a successful reception by itself and is just one element which factors into the entertainment equation, otherwise couples would not be reacting the way they have been, in regards to the no dancing restriction.

    Some of the other elements for providing great entertainment include setting the tone, ensuring the smooth flow of proceedings, seamless transitions, keeping the guests engaged, constantly reading the crowd, programming skills, room layout, knowing how to create special moments, excitement and much more! If all these elements are executed correctly, couples are much more likely to have a dance floor filled with family and friends celebrating with them actually creating those wonderful memories they envisioned.

    In conclusion, my hope is that this pandemic will shortly be a distant memory and that all couples who have had their wedding plans disrupted can proceed with the wedding celebration of their dreams. I also hope that future couples will now better appreciate the real impact that entertainment has on the success of their wedding celebration and prioritise securing the entertainment, be it an MC, DJ or Live Musicians, not only far earlier in the planning process, but also allowing a more appropriate percentage of the budget to secure experienced and professional, seasoned entertainers who will ensure that their dreams are realised.

    Image Courtesy of Jack Chauvel Photography