Playlist Tips & F.A.Q's
Music and the way it's presented is obviously very important in creating a successful party, so having a well-prepared playlist can make a big difference in making it a memorable event.
To give you the best service possible we need to arrive at your venue fully briefed on what will make your party perfect for you and we will work with you to build a playlist unique to your event.
It sounds very simple and in many ways it is, you tell us what music you like, and we play it for you, but remember this is a party and not everyone will share your excellent taste in music.
Not to worry, after decades of experience we know what works and just as importantly when to play it so between us we should be able to get it spot-on, having said that how much input we have is entirely up to you, some of the most successful events we have ever played have been when we are told to “just do whatever you think will work” and it usually does, on the other hand some of the least successful events have been when we are given a long playlist and told “Do not deviate from the list” which can be really frustrating when we know things could have gone so much better if we had a free hand, a good analogy would be, if you were going to a top-class restaurant would you tell the chef how to cook your meal ? probably not you would trust their reputation and experience.
So, which is the best approach, play what you ask us to, or play what we think will work?
Well, honestly… both, we ideally like to work on a mixture of the playlist you provide to us, with added requests taken at the event and then we fill in the gaps with tracks we know will fill the dance floor, this way hopefully we make sure to include the best of all worlds.
Another thing to be aware of if your event is a wedding, this is the music request equivalent of a "Photo Bomb".
We get these at almost all weddings, if one of your guests would like a request playing which shall we say doesn't quite fit the evening, they will approach the DJ and say "the bride says can you play this next, it's one of her favourite songs", now we don't always have the opportunity to go over and ask the bride to check if she really wants it playing, and it's nearly always a track that doesn't fit with what people are currently dancing to, resulting in a rapidly clearing dance floor and us having to start getting people up and dancing all over again.
If you have ever been to a wedding and thought "what are they playing this for, they've ruined it", which is what people usually say to us (not always quite so politely), I can guarantee this was the cause, sometimes if we are not playing a request there's a good reason for it.
We do therefore ask brides and grooms to come directly to us for requests, we will always be happy to play them for you however unique they may be, it could be something that brings back memories of the hen night or a past holiday etc... and it usually goes down very well, but we don't want someone else to clear your dance floor by being a bit selfish.
So, brides beware, and help us avoid the "Request Bomb" !!
Here are a few frequently asked questions and answers which may help in creating your perfect playlist, and remember we are always on hand if you need us.
Where do I start?
The first thing to do is set aside an hour or two when you are free to sit down and prepare an initial list, set out three sheets of paper headed: MUST HAVE, FAVOURITES & MAYBE, and start writing. These lists will quickly fill up and you can add to them as inspiration strikes over the weeks ahead.
To help get things underway we have prepared a simple playlist or Music Request Form for you to download and print to help get you started.
How many songs should I include?
This is where it gets tricky!
We need to leave room for requests taken on the night, so around 25 to 50 is generally about right, that means a lot of cutting back on that playlist which you have worked so hard on and could by now run into many pages but this is a good thing, because it helps us to focus down on what you really want to hear, if your playlist is really long we will inevitably have to cut it down to fit the time available, and in doing so this often results in us playing a track you weren’t really too concerned about, and omitting tracks you really wanted to dance to.
We do have limited time so can only fit in a finite number of tracks, no matter how good they may be, and there is less time than you might imagine, take an average wedding celebration for example, you may think “we have the whole night, plenty of time to get through our list”, well yes... and no, there may be the whole night ahead of us but to get the best out of a playlist we need to break it down into segments, for instance you don’t want your all-time favourite dance track playing in the middle of the buffet when everyone is eating, you want it at the heart of the night when the dance floor is already full.
When we receive your finished playlist we will arrange it so that you have general background music as your guests arrive and settle into the night (we have pre-prepared background music for any event but you can supply a separate list for this if you wish), followed by a mid-tempo section for the early evening, and we save all the good stuff for when the party gets into full swing where it will have the most impact.
In the case of our example wedding celebration, at a wedding your guests have a lot to talk about and a lot of catching-up to do, quite often the real party doesn’t get under way until after the buffet so don’t worry if people aren’t dancing at 7.00pm, this is quite normal for a wedding, in fact we would recommend letting your guests take a break and ease into the night slowly, a wedding can be a really long day so it does pay to let them recharge their batteries a little.
Can I ask for any type of music?
Yes, in fact we encourage you to give us an insight into your personal musical taste, this allows us to personalise the party a little and make it really special for you. However there are a few guidelines to remember, yes of course it’s your party and we really want to play all of your music but we aim for a great party for you "and" your guests, so we need to think about the music as it will transfer to the dance floor for everyone, for instance, and we get this one a lot “I want my party to be really cluby and charty” or "rocky and loud" that’s fine, and if that’s what you want of course we will make sure that you get it, but as soon as we hear that we know from experience (not always but mostly) that a large number of your guests will be bored, feel left out, and really not enjoy their evening, so try to take into account the age groups of your guests and think of the night as a whole, mix it up a bit for best results.
Also try not to include too many slow songs, these are difficult to fit in without losing the party atmosphere, although they can perhaps be added to a buffet section where they will fit quite nicely and the effect on the dance floor will be minimal.
Can I ask for my songs to be played in a certain order or at a specific time?
Absolutely… but we wouldn’t advise it, when you are creating your playlist in the cold light of day, try and remember things are very different on the night and sticking to timings or over planning very rarely works well.
The secret to a successful party is to be as flexible as possible and make sure everything happens at the optimum moment not when the list says it should, remember your guests don’t have a copy of the list and won’t know if things are not going according to schedule, so why add another thing to worry about, if you do have timed events throughout the evening we will make sure things go smoothly.
What if I don’t want a particular song or style of music to be played?
This is not a problem, we realise that "what we don't play" is just as important as "what we do play" and we will discuss this with you in detail as we build your playlist during the run-up to your event to make sure that we have things exactly as you would like.
Can you play extra songs if we want to keep going at the end of the night?
The answer to this in most cases unfortunately is No.
We are governed on timings by your chosen venue, and we do have to abide by their rules and instructions.
Some venues are more flexible than others and will allow an extra track or two if things are going really well, whereas some will actually cut off our power if we go over time.
Your venue's licence may be at risk if we play outside of their legally permitted hours or disturb close neighbours, so you can’t blame them for being strict.
This also applies if you have booked our services until 3.00am for example but your venue's licence is only valid until 1.00am, I’m afraid it is out of our hands if licensing laws apply and we will have to stop when instructed, if it was up to us we would probably play all night.
Please think of this as a guide only, none of the advice given here is set in stone and rest assured you are fully in charge of your own event, these are merely suggestions based on over thirty years' experience of thousands of events, we will of course be happy to abide by your wishes at all times. Ultimately we want... as I’m sure you do too, to make your event as successful as possible for all concerned.