Down here in the South, at Bunn DJ Company (I’m in NC for those of you that don’t know me), we pretty much always just have a one man show, regardless if it’s a wedding, prom, corporate event, or whatever. I don’t know if it’s that way because I always started out that way and trained my guys to do it on their own, or that it’s more of a Southern thing. I know my buddies up in Jersey like Jason Jani and Mike Walter usually have 2+ folks with them at their shows. Let’s talk about the pros and cons of each in this blog post.
The pros and cons of a one-man show:
One of the best reasons to go out and do a gig solo is that you keep all the money! That’s a no brainer for me. In addition, I go out alone because I simply don’t trust someone to set up my gear the exact way I want it. We do some gigs 30 minutes to an hour away. I’m supposed to just show up with my laptop and hope everything is perfect? What’s the setup guy supposed to do during the four hour gig if we are two hours from Raleigh? I know he’s going to want to get paid. I’ve got my gear and setup so dialed in that I can be in and out in less than 30 minutes (it’s more like 20, 30 if I have uplights to drop). Why pay someone? I’m able, in good shape, and I actually don’t hate that part of the job! Ok, so the negative is that if you have several services in different areas (ceremony audio in the courtyard, cocktails in Ballroom A, dinner and dancing in Ballroom B), you’re gonna have to work and hustle your butt off. I can see needing a second guy for that show, but I still do it alone.
The pros and cons of a multi-person show:
I think one of the biggest advantages of the two man show I kind of touched on above…it’s simply help. To get the gear in and out, to mix a couple of tracks if you need to use the restroom or want to grab a quick bite of food. However, in some markets the second guy is a big part of the show. Mike Walter at Elite uses the guy as the “music mixer” or DJ, and the main talent is the MC who does all of the intros, guest interaction, etc. Jason Jani at SCE Event Group uses his second and third guys for things such as content capture (just check is social media out for examples), to run lights, set up/strike, etc. When used properly, extra staff are obviously worth every penny. The negatives are bigger payroll and sometimes it looks like you brought an entourage.
In conclusion, it’s really up to you as to how many people you want to take to a show, but in the end, if it’s two or more folks, then make sure they have a purpose for being there. Someone just standing there is a bad look. It doesn’t look professional at all. It looks like you brought one of your homeboys to hang out. Also, your staff needs to look the part. If it’s a wedding, they need to dress the part! In my opinion, a company logo on a polo shirt isn’t the move.
Good luck DJs! Hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions!
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