Smart DJ Tips: How Much Should You Charge to DJ New Year’s Eve Events?

November 13, 2018 by Jason Rubio

A question that often comes up is “how much should I charge for New Year’s Eve gigs?” This is a very common question, and not a question that is easy to answer. The real answer is, it ultimately depends on you and how much you want to charge. A lot of DJs that are brand new will DJ for next to nothing, just to get gigs and get their name out there. I get it, you’ve got to get your name out there to get more experience, but to be honest, doing gigs for next to nothing gets old, very quickly. We’ve all been there at one point, but my advice is, don’t stay there.

Walmart has made a huge business out of being the lowest priced option. Everyone knows that you can save money buying from Walmart, but now, even Walmart is suffering since someone beat them at their own game. Ever heard of Amazon? 🙂 These businesses are not service oriented businesses, like the DJ business is, so don’t take a page from their playbook, just to be busy. You’ll be the lowest priced DJ out there, but guess what, people will still happily pay double or even triple your rates for one of your competitors. If you’re working just as hard as they are, why do they deserve hundreds or even thousands more than you? If you don’t know the answer to this, you should. Why do you deserve just as much as, if not more, than they do? Your clients will want to know this and you should always know why.

Let’s get back to the original question. How much should you charge to DJ NYE events? This is tough. Halloween and NYE are two of the busiest nights for DJs and other entertainment options. Everybody wants to throw their own party and hire entertainment. Of course bars and clubs want to cash in and they’ll need entertainment, too. If you live in the larger cities then there will be hundreds of options for NYE events, which means the demand for DJs will go way up! I won’t get into an economics lesson, but the supply and demand rule ALWAYS affects pricing and for NYE, you better believe DJs and DJ companies take full advantage of this.

The first thing to consider is, where are people finding out about your services? Most people will simply Google DJ Austin to find a DJ in our Austin/central Texas market. Remember, over 75% of people don’t make it past page one of Google, so if you’re not on page 1, you may not be able to charge as much. We are on page one for this search query. How we got there is an entirely different blog. 🙂 So before answering the question about how much you should charge, find out where people find you.

So now that you know where people are finding you, and you know that DJs are in higher demand, what do you do when you get an email or call, asking if you’re available? My advice is to charge whatever you think is worth your time to not spend this holiday with your friends, significant other, or family. Most people will not think of this, but this is always what it comes down to. What will it take for you to give up another holiday? Can you charge more than your normal rate? Yes, and you should for this very reason. Can you charge double or triple? Maybe, depending on the supply in your area. Read more about why this is possible, in my article “How Much Do New Year’s Eve DJs & Photo Booths Cost?”

The hardest part for us is always doing the math and finding out how much the bars will make with what they charge. For example, we did a New Year’s event a few years ago, and charged them a little higher than normal rate, again, because we had to make it worth us giving up our holiday for. Then, we did the math and saw that they were charging $85 – $100 per ticket. The capacity was 250 people, so we realized that they were making around $21,000 – $25,000 just off ticket sales!! We were like wow, we DEFINITELY need to charge more. 🙁 So when we were called again, we did charge more. This is tough because you’ll always know that you’ll rarely make even close to what they will. We struggle with this, every year. At the end of the day, we always decide on a rate and if we get it, we work. If we don’t we take the night off. It’s that simple. 🙂

So again, what you should charge is totally up to you. Keep in mind how much they’ll charge and always make it worth your time. Not just for NYE, but for every event that you do. Do this, and you’ll be much happier! What are your thoughts?

Jason Rubio Jason Rubio (97 Posts)

Jason Rubio is the co-owner and founder of Austin’s Best DJs, a professional DJ & photo booth company that provides music and entertainment for hundreds of weddings and events in the Austin and central Texas area. Jason started his DJ career as a mobile DJ, at age 13, and has since DJ’ed thousands of events, providing music and entertainment for clubs, bars, radio, concerts, festivals and various other events. In addition to writing for Mobile Beat, Jason also writes “The DJ Insider,” and has been featured in Canadian Special Events Magazine, Wedding Planner Magazine, and numerous other sites and publications. 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. Contact Jason Rubio at www.AustinsBestDJs.com


Filed Under: Digital DJing, Event DJ Tips, Mobile DJ Business, Mobile DJ Sales & Marketing