Why Do Discos Cost So Much?
A question we’ve grown quite familiar with over the years and one we never seem to be able to explain fully. It seems many people are just out for a ‘cheap disco’.
“It’s a bit more than we expected.”
In fact, quite frequently we don’t even get asked the question at all, the sighs and despondent tone of voice on phonecalls are obvious indicators that the skills of many entertainers are being well undervalued. Many people expect to pay £100 for a disco and we’re aware that this can be achievable, but what’s the difference between us and your average £100 DJ?
Skills & Experience
While this might not even be a consideration for a child’s party or an event where clients just want some background music, it’s a quality rarely considered by many who assume all DJs are the same. Experience counts for a lot. Believe it or not, it’s not an easy job, and it’s a whole lot more than pushing buttons! Music choice, programming a night and reading a crowd are key skills of a great DJ. Being able to play the ‘big hits’ at the right time is essential, as well as having a depth of knowledge about genres and styles to ensure each party is different. We love those moments when a song we play is welcomed with a resounding cheer!
With the abundance of new technology and the ever-decreasing cost of home DJ equipment, there are many outlets you can acquire decks, lights and speakers, but professional gear doesn’t come cheap. Brands like KAM, Citronic and HomeDJ are readily available in places like Maplin Electronics or in white goods outlets but are lower build quality than pro brands like Pioneer, CVA and Peavey. While a lot of varying quality brands are all manufactured in East Asia, there are vast differences in the design, components and reliability. A cheap PA system may achieve the same volume (output) as it’s professional counterpart, however the clarity of sound is likely to be sacrificed. Budget lighting can also look quite outdated and many low-cost effects look very ’70s’. The light output can also be dimmer on cheap imports, compared to branded units that offer striking beams of light and can operate in synchronisation for maximum impact. Add to that the safety assurances of pro equipment.
We have a minimal amount of vans ourselves, preferring to rely on hire vehicles when for much of our work. Not only is this cost-saving for us in the long run, but it means that every vehicle is properly maintained, roadworthy and reliable and gives us confidence that we’ll avoid breakdowns.
Wherever possible, we’ll use unbranded vans to transport our equipment as we feel it can cheapen the feel of the event arriving on prestige sites with bright decals and advertising.
Public Liability Insurance
This means that should any incidents occur at our events, we’re covered by £10m worth of liability cover. Not only does this protect us, but it’s a guarantee of our competence and professionalism. Many hotels require us to have a minimum of £5m insurance as part of their licensing so having liability insurance is a sure sign that you’re hiring a legitimate and responsible trader.
The maintenance of equipment is so important. Cheaper discos may not properly store and transport their PA and lighting, which leads to knocks, bumps and breaks. These not only hamper the correct operation of fixtures, but can be dangerous if not properly rectified. We’ve witnessed ourselves the effects of improperly wired equipment, unsafe loading of sockets and the impact and danger that faulty equipment can bring. That’s why we PAT test our equipment every 6 months as required by law. There’s a cost involved of course, but we believe that safety is paramount.
We pay tax. That means that every booking we take costs us 20-40% in HMRC contributions. While your £100 DJ might look like a good option, you can be certain that their wages aren’t being declared and they won’t have all of the above costs to consider either. Our fees incorporate everything from travel time, distance, number of hours worked, insurances, maintenance and of course the skills and experience of the DJs who we value more than anything.
So there you have it. Any good service is worth paying for, and although we’re not the cheapest, we’re certainly not the most expensive either. We believe in a fair price for a great event and after booking our team, we’re sure you’ll agree!