The home of disco entertainment since 1971

What is the real cost of running a professional disco

Is it worth the risk for the sake of your peace of mind?

Most prospective clients don't know the real costs of running a disco. Why would they?  However, most DJs don't have a clue either. This is the only industry I know of where the DJ is paying at least £200 for the privilege of doing your party. Absolute insanity.

 

So you think you have secured a DJ for your event for £200 or less. So unless you have been given a legally binding signed contract, DO NOT expect them to turn up and do your event. Most will, but there are a many who will sell you out for another £25 and you will have no recourse without that contract or at least confirmation in writing.

 

Focus on service, not cost.

 

One of the main reasons this happens is that most prospective clients want to pay vinegar prices for fine wine. Since most DJs have no idea how much it costs them to do a show, they pick a figure out of the air that sounds reasonable to them and hope for the best. When you book cheap you may be lucky and get a good DJ, chances are that will not be the case.

 

Many brides will pay more for their shoes than for their evening's entertainment. Get a bad disco (usually a cheap one) and everyone will remember that. I will say here, not all cheap discos are bad but you will not get much for your money.

 

Below, you can see the true cost of doing a disco. It's based on doing 40 shows per year with a very basic setup of £5000 made up of low budget equipment and at least 2000 music tracks. Realistically, this would be just about sufficient for 50 guests, many more and the system would be totally inadequate for the event.

 

Most 4 hour shows are 8 hours of chargeable labour, from the time you leave your base of operation to the time you return. Even at basic minimum wage that's £70 per person (DJ & Roadie £140) and you haven't allowed anything for equipment hire or any of the fixed operational costs. Would you work for less than National Minimum Wage? Then why expect your DJ to.

 

Below, is a conservative estimate, broken down into yearly fixed costs, spread over 40 shows with wages and equipment hire in the mix. I've added a profit margin of 30%, which would be a fair and reasonable sum to expect to pay for this type of business. You will see how it all adds up to a point where £200 is a totally unrealistic fee to pay for a show. You try to hire £5000 of disco equipment from a hire company and see what you get charged. It won't be £200.

 

Look at any other service within the event's industry and you can break them down into two categories:

 

  • Companies who know their running costs, charge enough to pay staff and make a fair profit to survive and invest in their business.
  • Those who don't know their running costs, don't charge enough to pay staff, make no profit, who don't invest in their business. That's the majority of DJs in the UK.

 

We fall into the first category and have been in business for 50 years in August 2021, with over 5000 gigs to our name. Need I say more?

Fixed Operational

Costs

Description

 

* Transport costs  (Tax, Insurance, Servicing, MOT, etc)

** Transport Depreciation on £10,000 over 5yrs

** Equipment Depreciation £5000 over 5yrs

Administration

Insurances (PLI, Equipment)

Music

*** DJ Wages 8hrs

*** Roadie  Wages 8hrs

Gear Hire on £5000 of kit (very basic setup)

 

Fixed Yearly Running Cost

 

Fixed yearly cost divide by 40 gigs

Hire fees & wage per gig

TOTAL COST / GIG (excluding profit)

 

30% fair profit

TOTAL COST / GIG (including profit)

Per

Yr.

1450

2000

1000

2000

700

1000

 

 

 

 

8150

203

240

443

 

133

571

Per

Gig

36

50

25

50

17

25

 

 

 

 

203

Hire

Fees

 

 

 

 

 

 

70

70

100

 

240

Note:

          * Incl. mileage 25 av. per trip x 40 gigs @ 45p / mile (fuel/oil/tyres, wear & tear)

        ** Items where the price will not increase yearly

      *** National minimum wage @ £8.72/hr.

If you pay for vinegar don't expect fine wine

 

 

 

Let your event be remembered for the right reasons...

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We'll keep your party rockin'

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© 2021 OnStage Entertainments .

The home of disco entertainment since 1971

What it really costs to run a disco

Is it worth the risk for your peace of mind?

We'll keep your party rockin'
The home of disco entertainment since 1971

Most prospective clients don't know the real costs of running a disco... Why would they?  However, most DJs don't have a clue either. This is the only industry I know of where the DJ is paying at least £200 for the privilege of doing your party. Absolute insanity.

 

If you think you have secured a DJ to do your event for £200 or less, unless he has given you a legally binding and signed contract, DO NOT expect him to turn up and do your event. Most will, but there are a lot who will sell you out for another £25 and you will have no recourse without that legal contract. Over the years, I have had to save many an event who's organiser decided to go down the cheap route.

 

Don't focus on cost, focus on the level of service.

 

One of the main reasons this happens is that most prospective clients want to pay vinegar prices for fine wine. Since most DJs have no idea how much it costs them to do a show, they pick a figure out of the air that sounds reasonable to them and hope for the best. When you book cheap you may be lucky and get a good DJ, chances are that will not be the case.

 

Many brides will pay more for their shoes than for their evening's entertainment, and who is going to remember those. Get a bad (usually cheap) disco and everyone will remember that. I will say here that not all cheap discos are bad but you will not get much for your money.

 

Below, you can see the true cost of doing a disco. It's based on doing 40 shows per year with a very basic setup of £5000 made up of low budget equipment and at least 2000 music tracks. Realistically, this would be just about sufficient for 50 guests, many more and the system would be totally inadequate.

 

Most 4 hour shows are 8 hours of chargeable labour, from the time you leave your base of operation to the time you return. Even at basic minimum wage it's £70 per person (DJ & Roadie £140) and you haven't taken equipment hire or any of the fixed operational costs into account yet.

 

Below, is a conservative estimate, broken down into yearly fixed costs, spread over 40 shows with wages and equipment hire in the mix. No profit margin has been added, but 30% would be a fair and reasonable sum for this type of business. You will see how it all adds up to a point where £200 is a totally unrealistic fee to pay for a show.

 

Look at any other service within the event's industry and you can break them down into two categories:

 

  • Companies who know their running costs, charge enough to pay staff and make a fair profit to survive and invest in their business.
  • Those who don't know their running costs, don't charge enough to pay staff, make no profit, who don't invest in their business. That's the majority of DJs in the UK.

 

We fall into the first category and have been in business for 50 years in August 2021, with over 5000 gigs to our name. Need I say more?

Fixed Operational

Costs

Description

 

Transport Running Cost (excl. fuel/oil)

Transport Depreciation on £10,000 over 5yrs **

Fuel - 40 gigs at average 50 mile round trip

Equipment Depreciation £5000 over 5yrs **

Administration

Insurances (PLI, Equipment)

Music

* DJ wage 8hrs

* Roadie wage 8hrs

Gear Hire on £5000 of kit (very basic setup)

 

Fixed Yearly Running Cost

 

Fixed yearly cost divide by 40 gigs

Hire fees & wage per gig

TOTAL COST / GIG (excluding profit)

 

30% fair profit

TOTAL COST / GIG (including profit)

Per

Yr.

1000

2000

215

1000

2000

700

1000

 

 

 

 

7915

Per

Gig

25

50

6

25

50

17

25

 

 

 

 

198

Hire

Fees

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

70

70

100

 

240

198

240

438

 

131

569

Note:

         * Incl. mileage 25 av./trip x 40 gigs @ 45p/mile (fuel/oil/tyres, wear & tear)

        ** Items where the price will not increase yearly

      *** National minimum wage @ £8.72/hr.

If you pay for vinegar don't expect fine wine

 

 

Let your event be remembered for the right reasons...

We'll keep your party rockin'
The home of disco entertainment since 1971
We'll keep your party rockin'