My Not-So-Obvious Event Essentials

May 2, 2018 by Jordan Nelson

When packing our vehicles for events, there are certain things that always end up being loaded for every event: our music source (usually a laptop), speakers, controller or mixer, cabling, and maybe a table. We can consider these our “DJ Essentials.” A lot of us, however, also keep our DJ bags loaded with other things that we know might come in handy or save our butts should things go south (extra batteries for our microphones or a spare hard drive with music, for example). With time and experience, our list of essentials grows to include some things that may not be as obvious to newer DJs, and today I present to you my personal “not-so-obvious” DJ bag essentials.

USB Light

Even thought I bring dance lights to almost every event, they’re usually aimed at the dance floor and once the room gets dark I’m stuck with a dark keyboard and controller surface. This light comes in under $10 and has saved me from fumbling in the dark more times than I can count (and on top of its easy touch button can even be dimmed so it’s not blinding).

Medicine Pouch

You know what sucks? Headaches. You know what’s worse than a headache? A headache while you have lighting flashing and loud music pumping with no escape. I keep a little pouch filled with Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Tums (for when dinner isn’t as good as you thought it would be), and fast-acting allergy pills handy for when I can feel something coming on at an event. Toss in a few band aids for good measure. You could throw it all in a plastic bag, but if you’re a neat freak like me a bag like this keeps it organized and looks good too.

Chargers… For Everything

Hauling a few extra XLRs and power cables is a no-brainer, but do you also carry spare chargers for your other devices? I keep a spare charger for my laptop in my bag along with a phone charger and a spare power supply for my controller. It would suck to have your show crippled by a short in your charger or power supply, and this is a super common point of weakness. I use this 3 pack of lightning cables for my iPhone because they’re long, braided, and cheap (under $15 for 3 of them!).

Good Earplugs

Depending on the type of DJ you are, you may not see the need for earplugs. 90% of the time I am doing a wedding and the volume at the booth is never at a level that I worry about my hearing (even though I should). Last weekend, however, I was doing a school dance. About 2 hours in, my ears started to kill and boy was I grateful I had my set of trust earplugs in my bag. Our ears are our job, so if you do rowdy events (bars, clubs, schools, colleges) a solid set of earplugs are a good investment. I’ve already raved about my V-Moda Faders before, and think they are one of the greatest cheap pieces of DJ gear I own. They look good, fit under headphones, and keep the music sounding good while lowering the volume. If you find yourself at an unexpectedly long party or one that turns up more than you originally planned, you’ll be glad you had these babies with you when your ears aren’t ringing later that night.

*Bonus: The backpack in the picture is the one I use as my DJ bag, the Solo Transit. It’s slim, durable, sleek looking, and fits everything mentioned above along with my laptop, notebook, iPad, headphones, and more.

What no-so-obvious things do you consider “essential” for your events? Let me know in the comments!

Jordan Nelson Jordan Nelson (62 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. 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 $1,500/event company in under a year at 22 years old. Jordan developed a strong passion for lighting and lighting programming during his early DJ 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: DJing School Dances, DJing Weddings, Event DJ Tips, Mobile DJ Misc