Frequently asked questions
If you’ve never booked a disco before or never used my services, you’re bound to have questions.
So, here’s some of the most popular ones hopefully answered for you. Of course if your question isn’t answered below, please don’t hesitate to get in touch and I’ll be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.
Are you insured?
Yes I am.
I have Public Liability Insurance for £10million, meaning that if you or one of your guests suffers an injury or fatality due to my actions or omissions, you’re covered.
As a condition of the PLI insurance, my equipment is also annually PAT (Portable Appliance Test) checked to ensure electrical safety. All equipment is also checked prior to leaving my storage facility for safety for each and every party. The safety of you and your guests is paramount.
Should your venue need proof of my Public Liability cover and PAT schedules, I’m more than happy to provide them on request.
Do you provide children's parties?
Sorry, I don’t provide kids parties anymore and haven’t done for a couple of years now.
Whilst I’m happy to provide a mini-kids party during an adult event, I no longer offer them as a separate type of party.
Do you need a deposit and do you provide a contract?
Yes and yes.
All bookings require a £50 deposit and a signed booking contract at the time of booking to secure your date. The contract assures both you as a customer and me as a business of certain things such as when we’ve agreed I’ll arrive to setup, how long the disco is there for, what type of package you’ve booked etc. It also legally obliges me to actually turn up to your party on the day so you won’t be left worrying about not having a DJ.
Does your price include setting up and taking down the equipment?
Yes it does.
The prices on my website are for the actual performance time…the amount of time the disco is working and playing music. Included in that price is an hour each side of the party to allow me to setup and take down the equipment. So for instance if your party was from 8pm to midnight, I’d be on site from 7pm to setup and be looking to leave by 1am, and you’d only pay for the four hours.
Sometimes though (particularly with weddings), I’m required to set up earlier in the day before the guests arrive for the wedding breakfast. I’m happy to do this, but do unfortunately have to stay “on site” with the equipment as a condition of my insurance. Because of this, I do have to charge a minimal hourly rate of £20 per hour for each hour before the party starts. Note that this is only for setting up early and doesn’t include things like background music during the wedding breakfast etc. For those services, please consider looking at my All Day package.
How far do you travel?
I’ll travel to wherever I’m needed within reason.
My prices cover the cost of entertaining in Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk although I regularly travel all over the UK. Please bear in mind though that the further I have to travel, the more I will have to charge because I obviously have to include fuel costs and travel time into the price.
Do you provide lights and sound, or are you just a DJ?
I’m the full mobile disco package.
Whilst I’m aware that some charge extra for lights, speakers and sound systems, when you book me, you also get the required sound and lighting equipment to provide your party.
How loud is the disco?
In short, as loud as you want it to be, dependant on factors such as venue sound limits.
I work on various functions for different age groups. Some parties require the sound to be loud and shaking the building, whilst others require something a little more sedate – and I’ll happily work to accommodate whatever those needs are.
In general though, the disco tends to run at around 95-100 decibels on the dance floor area, and obviously gets progressively quieter the further away you move from the speakers. This allows guests who don’t necessarily want to dance the chance to sit and chat, whilst those who are on the dance floor enjoy the louder experience.
Can I provide a play list?
Of course you can!
I’m happy to accept playlists ranging from just a few favourite songs to the full evening’s track list if that’s what you want. The only caveats to this are:
- I won’t play songs in a particular order for the entire evening, because it doesn’t work and I’d much rather mix things up using the songs you’ve asked for at a time that’s right for what your guests are doing at the time. In short, there is no way you can possibly design a playlist with songs in a pre-determined order BEFORE the event – if it was that easy we’d do it ourselves and spend the evening sitting in the bar.
- Any tracks you request MUST be commercially available. Whilst I have a library of over 35,000 tracks there will be times when I don’t have a track you’ve asked for and I’ll happily obtain it at no extra cost. I cannot however play from the likes of YouTube or Spotify – it’s not legal for me to do so commercially.
Got songs you don’t want to hear? Not a problem – if you ask for something not to be played, it won’t be.
Do you take requests on the night?
Of course I do, provided you’re happy for that to happen.
From experience, a party works so much better when the guests have a say in what’s being played….they’re more likely to dance to it!
I don’t respond to aggressive requests and orders such as “play this next”, because nine times out of ten, the track being requested won’t fit in with the particular style of music being played at the time. I’ll certainly do everything I can to fit requests in at the appropriate time during the disco though.
However, if you’ve specified that something shouldn’t be played, then it won’t be regardless of who asks for it.
I have recorded messages from guests that can't be there - can you play these?
I most certainly can, and indeed welcome such things into the evening’s entertainment. It’s this sort of thing which helps to make the evening more memorable.
In cases like this, I’ll provide you with a link to a DropBox account so that you can upload the recordings before your party. I’ll then make sure they’re going to sound OK on the disco PA system and make any adjustments as necessary to ensure they’re as clear as possible on the night.
Do you use strobe lights?
By definition, all disco lighting is strobe lighting in that it flashes. However, when most people talk about strobe lighting, they tend to mean rapidly flashing lights which give the effect of stop-gap animation on the dance floor.
My lighting is computer controlled, meaning I have many different “scenes” of lighting at my disposal. Whilst some of those “scenes” contain rapidly flashing lights (for instance, they go very well with 90s dance and trance music), others are pure colour changes or fades.
I match the lighting scenes I use to the type of party, the age groups present and of course, to cater for medical conditions such as photosensitive epilepsy. So long as I’m aware before the party, I can make sure the lights are either programmed to be static or gently fade as opposed to flashing in the usual way if you or any of your guests are affected by such effects.
Can I come and see you working?
This is one of the rare times you’ll hear me say no I’m afraid.
All of my work is for private parties and as such, all of the guests are there by invitation. After all, how would you feel if I brought potential clients to your party?
However, there are some videos on my home page which demonstrate the sort of thing I do, and these are updated regularly as and when I create them.
Do I need to provide food and drink for you?
No you don’t. Its always nice to be offered but it’s certainly not a requirement of booking me.
For evening only functions I tend to eat en-route or on the way home, and for all day functions I usually bring a packed lunch which I can eat discretely away from your guests. I also carry a large supply of water with me (I don’t drink alcohol whilst working) and on occasion have been known (in colder venues) to have a flask of hot coffee behind the booth!
I've also hired a band - can they plug into your speakers?
My PA systems (speakers and amplifiers) are designed for the playback of recorded music and all levels are strictly controlled before they get to the speakers – I find it helps the equipment to perform at it’s best and doesn’t damage it that way.
Any band worth their fee will provide their own speakers and amplification equipment.
Can you play "Happy birthday to you" before the cutting of the birthday cake?
Of course I can!
The cutting of the birthday cake and the blowing out of the candles is one of the more important moments during a birthday party, no matter what the age of the birthday boy or girl, and I’m more than happy to work with you to make the moment just that little bit more special and important.
Whether that’s playing “happy birthday to you”, creating a build up to the big event or playing messages from absent guests, just let me know what you want and I’ll do my very best to make it happen on the night!
What happens if there's a power cut during the party?
Can you sing?
I’ve only actually been asked this question once in many years of being a DJ.
Power cuts happen….not very often thankfully, but they’re a fact of life depending on where the party will be held. In fact this situation has happened only once during my entire DJ career! (that’s how rare it is!)
Unfortunately there’s not an awful lot I can do about this situation. I don’t have a generator because in most situations it wouldn’t actually be practical to use. I could use a UPS (uninterruptible power supply) to keep things going, but it would literally only last for 5-10 minutes. From experience of living in the Cambridgeshire Fens most power cuts last for well over an hour.
This is probably a question which is better asked of your venue. If the power dies, it’s not only the disco that will stop working….ambient lighting in the venue will fail and the beer pumps at the bar will stop working. What is your venue’s back up plan?
Do you play songs with explicit lyrics?
This one’s a continuous issue.
Most modern music unfortunately contains swearing to an extent…it’s unavoidable.
Happy, there is normally a “clean” edit of the song which can be played and it’s these versions which I favour.
Whether or not I play songs which contain explicit lyrics depends very much on who’s at your party though. I’m not going to play expletive laden tracks at a party where a lot of minors are present – it just wouldn’t be ethical.
If however your party is strictly adults only, then I’ll play whatever songs you want regardless of the lyrics.
Do you use a "DJ" voice?
Not as strange as it sounds. Remember the “alright-not ‘alf” tones of Smashy & Nicey?
It’s actually a question I’m asked a lot and the answer is definitely NO. I talk in my normal voice when I’m required to use the microphone (I’m not a cheesy DJ that talks at every opportunity). The only difference I make to my normal speech is that I talk slower to enable the amplified sound to be understandable.
Can you send me a copy of your playlists?
I don’t have pre-determined “sets” of music which I play at every party, and unless you’ve specified a playlist for the evening I’ll use my musical knowledge to determine what to play and when as the evening progresses, reacting to how your guests are responding and changing the music styles accordingly.
Whilst there are DJs that will happily turn up and press play on a pre-determined set of music they use at every party, I’m not one of them I’m afraid. Every party is unique and I believe the music played on the night should be as well.
What happens if you're ill?
It’s a valid point….there’s only one of me and I’m only human after all.
I belong to the UKs biggest network of DJs via trade association memberships and personal friendships. Despite some DJs thinking we’re all bitter enemies, the groups I belong to work differently and work together. We do our very best to help each other where needed and I’ve personally provided such cover for trusted colleagues in the past.
In the very unlikely event that I can’t get to your party (and believe me, it would literally be a case of me being in hospital or worse), I have trusted contacts who can and will arrange to cover your party at my own expense.
I'm a DJ - can I have a go during the evening
This is a question which arises far too often – there’s always at least one DJ at every party.
The equipment is insured for my use only. If you’re a professional DJ, you’ll understand the reasons for not allowing you to have a go – enjoy the night off.
If you’re a “bedroom DJ” that doesn’t do this job professionally, please understand that the type of equipment you’re using at home is completely different to that which is used “on the road”, and which needs to be used correctly to earn a living.
Thanks for understanding
Can I use your microphones?
A question which can send a shudder of absolute terror down a DJs back.
The answer…it depends what you want it for. If it’s something pre-arranged such as speeches etc, then yes – no problem.
If it’s not a pre-arranged reason, I’ll take the decision on the night and my decision is final.
Please appreciate that in this line of work, we very often have (usually very drunk) people that suddenly think they can sing, want to shout obscenities over the speakers / embarrass somebody at the party, or even commit the worst crime of all – perform a mic drop (which by the way…you WILL be charged for!).
Can you play a song from my phone?
The simple answer is no I’m afraid.
I don’t carry the necessary leads to connect to mobile phones, and all of the USB inputs on the disco laptops are already in use for running the sound and lighting.
Add to this, the music I play can only be sourced from locations licensed for commercial use (for example – I can’t use YouTube, Spotify, Deezer or even iTunes in a commercial sense).
I've also hired a band....do you reduce your prices to take this into account?
I’m still on-site with the equipment during your party whilst the band are playing, I still put in the same amount of preparation for your party and I still give the same professional performance that I would if the band wasn’t there. In fact, I work harder when a live band is present to work with them and to synchronise the types of music we’re both playing.
Can you perform at my charity event for free or at a reduced rate?
Sorry – no.
I support two local charities which mean a lot to me several times a year, and that’s all I can do.
Whilst I appreciate the good work that many charities undertake, I also have to earn a living from what I do and charitable donations don’t put food on the table or provide a roof for my family. I also appreciate that many charities have multi-million pound head offices and staff who don’t work for free…..why should I?