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The Ultimate Guide to Booking the Perfect DJ for Your Event

The key is to strike a balance between musical prowess and audience engagement.

Welcome back to HOSTED by POSH!

In Issue #002, and our final conversation with the Co-Founders of We Belong Here, we crafted the ultimate guide to finding the perfect DJ for your next event.

Every DJ varies widely in the genres they play and the settings they flourish in. The key is to strike a balance between musical prowess and audience engagement. But, finding the perfect DJ isn’t all that simple.

Let’s break it down.

The Ultimate Guide to Booking the Perfect DJ for Your Event

“Who’s going? Where is it? Who’s playing?”

Creating a truly differentiated experience requires a tight-knit community, an unforgettable setting, and a DJ who knows how to complement your event with a relevant musical element.

We recently sat down with the Co-Founders of We Belong Here Music Festival, Justin Dauman and Charles Hochfelder, to discuss their top tips for booking the right DJ. As they mentioned in the full podcast episode, the key is to strike a balance between musical prowess and audience engagement.

Through scaling from hosting 200-person club events with local DJs to executing a 10,000-person music festival featuring world-renowned acts like Kaskade and Purple Disco Machine, they’ve learned everything about finding the perfect DJ.

After reading their tips, book a time with us here to speak with our resources team about getting referred to 1 of over 2500 DJs in our network, from local talent to touring acts.

Research DJ Skills & Music Styles

To ensure your DJ matches your event's vibe and keeps your guests entertained, consider these tips:

Online presence:

  • Check out potential DJs' websites and social media profiles to gauge their style, experience, and audience engagement. You’d be surprised by what you might find.

  • Read reviews, testimonials, or press coverage about their previous performances. The more you know, the better.

  • Last but not least - give their music a listen. Obvious, right? More on that later :)

DJ Experience & Equipment:

  • Found someone you like? Look into their past gigs. Ask if they have a mix or EPK (Electronic Press Kit) that they can share. This will ensure that their past performances are in-line with what you’re looking for.

  • Inquire about their preferred DJ software (e.g., Serato, Rekordbox, Traktor) and equipment (e.g., Pioneer, Denon). Most DJs will expect you to provide speakers, Pioneer CDJs, and a Pioneer Mixer. A lot of club venues will provide the equipment you need, but private venues will require you or the DJ to supply what’s needed. DJs accustomed to private events such as weddings, birthday parties, etc. usually own this equipment and will provide it at an additional cost.

  • General equipment rental costs depending on event size:

    0-100 people - $500

    100-250 people - $750

    250-500 people - $1000

    500-1000 people - $1500

    1000+ people - Dependent on artist rider.

Genre expertise:

  • Identify the DJ's preferred music genres and whether they align with your event's theme and atmosphere. Ask yourself: “Would the majority of our guests enjoy this music?”

  • Discuss any specific music requests or guidelines to ensure the DJ can cater to your event's needs. Be clear from the beginning, but also let them be creative - after all, this is their art form.

Evaluate Audience Engagement & Community Building

Just as important as being able to play a stellar set, a good DJ must engage your audience while also helping you grow your community. Remember, it’s the community that creates strong events. To guarantee a DJ will make repeat fans hungry to come while also bringing new faces to your event, look for these indicators:

Social media engagement:

  • Check out their social media presence to see how they interact with fans and promote past events. A good DJ will post multiple stories, create tour graphics for their feed, and make sure that the ticket links to their upcoming gigs are easily accessible. Here’s an example of a DJ who has a great social media presence: https://instagram.com/kywilliammusic

  • Look for exclusive content, such as behind-the-scenes videos or live streams, that showcase their personality and dedication to their craft.

Streaming presence:

  • What separates a DJ from an artist is their presence on streaming platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, and SoundCloud. DJs who are dedicated to their craft will have taken the extra step to learn music production and release music similar to what they will play at your event.

  • Countless amazing DJs don’t have original songs released on streaming platforms, but the ones that do will typically charge a higher fee to account for their increased knowledge as a music tastemaker. To properly assess a DJ without original releases, make sure to ask for a previous mix, usually hosted on SoundCloud or MixCloud.

  • DJs with thousands (or even millions) of streams will usually cost more, but they are always guaranteed to add legitimacy to your event and help you sell more tickets.

  • Spotify streams actually have a very linear association with potential DJ costs. Here’s a general scope of pricing:

    0-10K total streams - $200-$500

    10K-100K total streams - $500-$1000

    100K-500K total streams - $1000-$3000

    500K-1M total streams - $3000-$7000

    1M-5M total streams - $7000-$12,000

    5M+ total streams - Usually managed by an agent, pricing varies depending on city, time of year, and more. Reach out to us here to get referred to the agent of your favorite artist!

Artist & event brand affiliations:

  • Determine if the DJ has experience hosting or participating in local events that align with your event's size and style.

  • Consider DJs who collaborate with other artists or event promoters, as they may bring a fresh perspective and diverse audience to your event.

Hear what Justin Dauman, Co-Founder of We Belong Here Music Festival, looks for when booking DJs:


Thoughts on DJ skills vs community 👀 Check out what @webelonghere.world had to say #eventplannerlife #eventspodcast #hireadj #djskills #ni... See more

Conduct Interviews & Trust Your Instincts

After you review their skills, styles, and community, it’s time to interview and trust your gut! Follow these steps to make the right call:


  • Interview potential DJs to assess their professionalism, communication skills, and enthusiasm for your event. Remember, it’s YOUR event, so you want to make sure they understand your vision!

  • Ask about their experience with similar events, their approach to reading a crowd, and their flexibility in accommodating last-minute changes. You may have created an impression from your research, but hearing how the DJ thinks through these things is key.

Trust your instincts:

  • Choose a DJ who not only meets your event's requirements (music style, audience preferences, etc) but also shares your vision and enthusiasm.

  • Trust your intuition when selecting a DJ - sometimes you’ll pick up on a certain vibe once you meet in person or over the phone. Go with it.

Remember, finding the perfect DJ for your event means researching their skills, evaluating their audience engagement, and trusting your gut. With the right DJ, you can create an incredible event that will leave your guests talking. Now get out there and start finding your perfect DJ.

Need help finding the right DJ for your upcoming event? Hit us up here and we’ll help you find the right talent from our network of over 2,500 DJs around the country.

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Read our quick guide on how to setup Ticket Chaining on your Posh account