Tips for Successful School Events

September 1, 2016 by Jason Rubio

It’s back to school time for all students! Schools often have numerous events throughout the school year, such as fundraisers, back to school dances, holiday parties, proms, etc. Whether you provide DJ services, photo booth services, photography, video, or any public/private event service provider, this is an opportunity for bookings! Mastering school events isn’t complicated, but there are some things to remember.

Consider the Audience

Consider the age of the students. Be sure to speak to the person who is hiring you and find out exactly what their needs are. If it’s a K-12 event, you absolutely have to play edited/clean versions of music. With elementary events, you’ll probably even have to play the Kids Bop versions, too. Many DJs avoid these gigs for that reason. We do them because at the end of the gig, the money is the same! 🙂

Screen Your Music

We’ve all seen songs in the record pools labeled as “clean,” but I’m sure you already know, they aren’t always clean. Basically, if you’re not sure, find a “super clean/squeeky clean version,” just to be on the safe side, or know your music well enough to know exactly when to censor words. The quickest way to never get hired again with a K-12 school is to play explicit songs!

Consider the Content

Many songs are clean, but make obvious sexual or drug references. They may be using different words, but we all know what they’re really saying. If you know what they’re saying, so do the teachers, parent-volunteers, and students! It’s best to play it safe and keep the music very clean!


This is the hardest part about school events. Kids will bombard you with requests, guaranteed! You can either take requests or not take them. I simply get ONE piece of paper and a pen, and leave it nearby, but NOT on my table. I make the announcement that requests go on the paper, and when it fills up, no more requests. Every 15 minutes or so, I’ll pick up the paper and see what they wrote. Most of the time, I’m already going to play what they want, but it’s good to see it in writing, too!


The bottom line: Know your music, your audience, and the expectations! Our goal is to keep everyone having fun and dancing, all night! It isn’t a great night for us, if this isn’t the case!

Jason Rubio Jason Rubio (18 Posts)

Jason Rubio is the co-owner and founder of Austin’s Best DJs, a professional DJ company which provides music and entertainment for approximately 250 public and private events per year, in the Austin and central Texas area. Jason started his DJ career as a mobile DJ, at age 13, in 1991, and has since DJed thousands of events, providing music and entertainment for clubs, bars, radio, and various other events. Austin’s Best DJs currently also provides DJs for numerous major events in the Austin area, including: SXSW, Austin City Limits Music Festival, as well as Formula 1 and other events, at the Circuit of the Americas race track. Jason is also a graduate of Texas State University with a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Education, as well as a Master’s of Public Administration, from The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. Though Jason worked in the education field since 2003, he continued to DJ public and private events, and later founded Austin’s Best DJs, with his then girlfriend, now wife, Diana, in 2012. Austin’s Best DJs now has 8 DJs, in 5 central Texas cities. Jason and Diana also created Austin’s Best Photo Booths, in 2015, adding photo booth services, and have 4 photo booth staff, providing DJ and/or photo booth services for events in Austin and central Texas. Visit us:

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