Travel Charges When Hitting the Road for Shows

March 28, 2017 by Joe Bunn

I don’t know about you, but about once a month, I have to leave my “home base” area and hit the road for a show. I used to go pretty much mountains to the coast of NC if the price was right. Now that we opened a franchise office in Western NC, I usually only go about 2 hours west and 2 to 2.5 hours east. For the most part though, I stick around what we call “The Triangle” which is Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill (and of course the smaller surrounding towns).

So what do you charge when you hit the road? At Bunn DJ Company, I charge the client $35 an hour each way. So, for example, Wilmington NC is pretty much two hours door to door. That’s two hours there, two hours back so we would add $140 to the client’s contract. In addition, most of the time I add a hotel room fee of $150 to the contract. This makes it much easier than the client trying to secure a room for my DJ and them paying for it. It seemed like every time that happened, I would stagger into a hotel late a night after a gig, ready to check in and crash, and there was some issue with the reservation. I now just add the $150 as a line item to the contract. I can get a room for that price somewhere near the venue or even drive a little ways back home and get outside of the city and get something cheaper and pocket the overage.

As for being the owner of a multi-op, when I pay the DJs Mondays, the travel money ALL goes to the DJ. So in the example above, they would keep the $140 (4 hours driving time) and the $150 (for the room fee). Now, if they decide they want to man up and drive back to Raleigh, then they just pocked the $150. I don’t recommend doing that, at all, especially as I get older. There have been way too many times with me driving up and down I40 fading out and getting out and running laps around the car, or doing jumping jacks or rolling the window up and down on a cold night. Not smart. It’s actually as bad or worse than drunk driving from what I’ve read. Just get a room, crash, sleep late and enjoy a few minutes of peace and quiet. It’s always the better move! Now hit the road Jack!

Joe Bunn Joe Bunn (52 Posts)

Joe Bunn started his DJ career at the age of 14 in his hometown of Wilson, NC. He did shows all throughout high school, college at UNC-Chapel Hill, and eventually moved to Raleigh, NC in the late 90s where he started Bunn DJ Company. The company grew from a couple of DJs to 15 of the area’s best mobile DJs. Over the past few years, Bunn DJ Company has expanded to Charleston, SC, Charlotte, NC and Richmond, VA. The company performs at over 800 weddings a year and another 400 private, corporate and charity events. Joe has been on the board of both ILEA (International Live Events Assocation) and NACE (National Association of Catering & Events). In addition, he is a writer for many national DJ publications such as Disc Jockey News, Mobile Beat Magazine and DJ Times. Joe still DJs almost every weekend, but in recent years has been helping other DJs across the country grow their businesses. He has given seminars at Mobile Beat Las Vegas, Wedding MBA, DJ Times Expo, local/regional organizations, NC State and UNC-Chapel Hill. He has also been hired by DJs all over the world to help their businesses in every aspect from branding to sales.


Filed Under: Mobile DJ Business