A disco is just a disco isnt it?
This is probably the most common question we hear. The misconception that a mobile disco is just someone that has some lights, big speakers and some music is a common trend of thought. That is the illusion that some DJ’s like to ensure the public see and the less questions the better. After-all you call round, email and Facebook the DJ’s and you ask the question how can one DJ charge £120 and one charge £300+ for a disco.
So I am going to try and explain why prices differ and what to look out for when making that important decision. YES IT IS IMPORTANT! You have booked a venue, you have paid a caterer, and you have ordered your balloons and any other extras. The invites have gone out and your guests are excited about coming to your party. Oh I never mentioned the disco, well it’s just a disco isn’t it?
So what is a Mobile Disco?
The answer should be pretty clear, but its not, the most common thought is "ah it’s a blokey up on a stage or on a floor with some flashing lights, some heavy speakers and plays some music."
It’s not as simple as that unfortunately!
How many parties have you been to and the DJ and Disco has been rubbish? I can guarantee everyone has experienced it. A mobile disco is your entertainment for the evening, it’s the one thing that can make or break a party. It’s the one thing that EVERYONE remembers if it’s good or bad. By entertainment I don’t mean a DJ that loves the sound of his own voice and talks over every song, thinks he is a comedian or jumps up and down waving his arms in the air like Calvin Harris. By entertainment I mean a DJ that knows his or her music, who knows how to read a room and the guests in attendance, which can adapt to cater for everyone. Is willing to take requests.
The equipment they use should be in good condition, clean and most importantly safe to use (Be PAT Tested). The lights should be working, up to date and suit the venue. After-all if you are holding a 60th Party, a laser light show might not be the best option.
I have rambled enough, we now know why getting the DJ/Disco is important. So back to the question why do the prices differ?
We at Starlight Party run a legal business, so because of that we have overheads and trust me we have a lot of them. Here is a rundown of what we as a company have to deal with.
- A business bank account, as this is a business account we get charged on all incoming and outgoing transactions.
- Our online store, which can safely accept Credit and Debit cards (This includes the SSL security certificate, which requires a business credit check)
- HMRC registered, we have to pay our Taxes and National Insurance contributions.
- Transport, we have to pay for first our transport, we have to ensure it’s in good condition and not going to break down on the way to a venue. Our insurance band is the highest, because DJ’s are deemed the highest risk insurance group. Yes we don’t hide that we are DJ’s to our insurance company. Then we have to pay for fuel to and from your venue. When a van or car is full of equipment fuel goes down fast.
- Insurance, we have £10,000,000 public liability insurance. All DJ’s should have this by law, after-all if a speaker falls over and damages a dance floor, the venue will bill YOU! You made the booking, it’s up to you to check that the DJ has insurance. Even worse, if someone gets hurt because of an accident they could claim against you, you could claim against the DJ, but if he has no insurance then what’s the chances he would have the money to pay a claim?
- PAT testing, this is not a legal requirement. We at Starlight Party annually PAT test all of our electrical equipment. This helps us ensure that it’s safe to use. This is not cheap, costing around £1 per item and when you think we have over 500 cables and pieces of equipment.
- Equipment, this is when things start to get expensive. We renew everything at least once every two years, that’s every light, mixer, speaker, amps, decks, microphones, cables, stands, smoke, bubble machines, star-cloths and we replace our laptop every year. We can take to one event up to £10,000 worth of equipment.
- Music, yes this is the one that people forget about or they say oh I know a DJ he just downloads it all from the internet. We at Starlight Party have over 2,000 CD’s and download from paid legal DJ only websites, so that the artists get their cut. We know that our sound quality is always going to be fantastic as we are not using illegally downloaded music.
- Time, if we do a 5 hour disco, we can be traveling up to and hour there and back, we can take up to 2hours to setup and an hour to take down. That’s 10 hours in total!
- Websites, Advertising & everything else. Business cards, Flyers, T-Shirts, Banners, Advertising, stationary, accountancy etc. Too much to mention to be honest.
So if you take all that into account, how can a legal disco operator or DJ really charge £120? If we charged £120 for an adult disco we would be making a massive loss.
We charge what we feel is a fair price for an outstanding service. We don’t cut corners! We refuse to cut corners to cut our fees. We like to think we offer a fantastic service from start to finish and our clients would agree.
So finally, when choosing your disco ask the following questions if they apply to you?
- Are you a legal registered business (HMRC registered)?
- Can I pay into a business bank account?
- Can you issue me with a proper receipt?
- Can you issue me with a booking contract?
- Can I see your insurance documents and PAT test certificates?
- Do you use legally sourced music?
- Can I see pictures or videos of your setup?
- Can I make song requests?
- Do you have real recommendations & reviews?
If they do not want to supply this information then you have to weigh up how important is your party/function to you?