“Will you play my favorite song?!” – Handling Requests 101

September 13, 2017 by Jordan Nelson

We’ve all been there; a drunk bridesmaid proclaiming to be the bride’s best friend stumbles over to your DJ booth, flops her hand on your shoulder, and slurs something like “Hey, can you play Call Me Maybe now? It’s the bride’s favorite song and we really wanna hear it.” You search your mind for a response as she stares intently awaiting your answer. You’re now faced with a conundrum that most likely occurs at every event you work; how do you respond to requests in a way that pleases the clients, keeps the crowd happy, doesn’t ruin the flow of the event, and doesn’t send away the requester away in a huff?

Here are my go-to responses for handling requests:

1) “What a great song! I’ll definitely get that in as soon as I can!”

I use this response whenever the request is a song already on the playlist, a song that fits the current mood of the dance floor, or a song that I know rarely fails to get a good response. Notice I didn’t promise the track would be next; NEVER promise that unless you can 100% deliver, and don’t deliver unless you know the request will keep your current set going smoothly. Broken promises lead to angry guests.

2) “Ah man, I don’t think we’ll be able to get that one in tonight, because _______. I wish we could! Is there another song you’d want to hear?”

I use this one when I have a legitimate reason to not play a track. “It’s on the bride’s Do Not Play list,” or “That one isn’t quite clean enough for a school dance. Your teachers probably wouldn’t let me come back!” are examples of sentences that could fit in the above blank. Always be polite, even if they’re hammered and annoying (I know it’s hard). Use this as an opportunity to create a friendship and not an enemy.

3) “Oh yeah, I know that song! I’ll see if I can fit it in.”

This is my catch-all for any weird, off-the-wall requests that I really have no intention of playing. Metallica request during a hip-hop set? Yep. The 2nd single by that obscure indie band that played at Sasquatch in ’04? Yep. This response is so neutral that I can’t really think of a guest that has ever objected. Another variation: “Ooh sounds like a good track! I’ll see if I have it with me tonight.”

So what are some of your favorite responses to requests from guests?

Jordan Nelson Jordan Nelson (16 Posts)

Jordan Nelson is the owner of SLC Mobile DJ in Salt Lake City, UT. A native of the tiny southern Utah town of St. George, Jordan began his mobile DJ journey as a junior in high school in a similar fashion to many other DJs, with a pair of cheap speakers, a dual CD mixer, and a few sound-activated lights. After traveling to Salt Lake to attend the University of Utah, Jordan completely revamped his business and invested heavily in sales and master of ceremonies training, turning his $400/event company into a $1,200/event company in under a year at 22 years old. Jordan is currently a pre-med student at the U while he continues to run his successful business delivering high-quality entertainment to couples, schools, and corporations along the Wasatch Front. He developed a strong passion for lighting and lighting programming during his early years and has written 2 books for mobile DJs on the subjects. When he is not spending his weekends at weddings and events, you can find him at the local gun range or hiking with his beautiful wife.


Filed Under: Digital DJ, Events, Performing, Weddings