Dj hire prices guide

DJ hire prices guide 2021

25 Oct 2021

We get lots of emails every day asking us how much a DJ costs to hire for a set. We've decided to add a guide to help you work out DJ prices. It's not always easy to work out a DJ set price so we aim to help you with our guide. There's lots of things to consider so let's make a start below.

If you would like to hire a DJ we can help you.

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  1. How much does a DJ cost per set?
  2. How much does a DJ cost per hour?
  3. 7 factors to help you work out DJ prices
  4. Will a DJ near me cost less?


How much does a DJ cost per set?

Answer: Between £50 and £15000 per set. But will depend on the stature of the DJ.

  1. A local DJ with a few gigs under their belt may charge you between £50 and £150 per set.
  2. Experienced DJs who play sets around the UK may charge you between £200 and £500 per set.
  3. Well known DJ producers who gig around the world may charge you between £500 and £15000 per set.


How much does a DJ cost per hour?

Answer: Between £50 and £5000 per hour. But will depend on the stature of the DJ.

  1. Typical event DJs may charge between £50 and £150 per hour.
  2. Well known DJ producers may charge between £500 and £3000 per hour.
  3. Celebrity DJs may charge between £500 and £5000 per hour.

It's quite common to pay a fixed price for the first 1 to 2 hours. Then pay an hourly rate for any extra hours. It's always worth checking if prices include VAT or not. If VAT isn't included you will pay an extra 20% more on top of the quoted fee.



7 Factors to consider for working out DJ prices

Please see below for 7 factors that may impact DJ hire prices.


1) How long will the DJ set be?

The amount of hours you want the DJ on the decks will naturally impact the overall cost. Unlike wedding DJs you will not have to factor in set up time. Most DJ sets are between one to two hours. Although it's common for bar or corporate events to play sets up to 6 hours. A DJ will usually charge a fixed rate for the time you agree. Although some DJs charge per hour. If you agree a flat price - for example £400 - always confirm exactly how long their set will be. Otherwise you may end up paying for extra hire costs. Make sure you get all the facts before you sign a contract.


2) Is it a local gig or does the DJ have to travel?

Most local DJs will not charge any travel costs if the gig is near to them. For example: A DJ in London will usually travel anywhere inside the M25 without costing more. This is why so many people search for "DJs Near Me" now. A local DJ will typically cost less.

Our agency deals with lots of national and international gigs. If you were to hire a DJ for this type of gig you will have to pay expenses. It shouldn't be costing the DJ to play at your gig. Before hiring a DJ for a national gig ask for their full price (that includes all expenses). In addition to travel expenses you will usually need to pay for a night at a hotel. Especially if they have a long way to travel home.

If you are hiring a DJ for an overseas gig you will need to pay: The DJs airfare, hotel, airport picks ups and sometimes VISAs.


3) What is the venue capacity and door price?

The size of your venue and what you charge on the door may affect the DJ cost. Most DJs will work out a price by:

  • Venue Capacity
  • Door price
  • What time they are playing

If you have a 100 capacity night club with a door price of £5, a good DJ will adjust their fee accordingly. If your venue capacity is 2000 with a door price of £15, expect to pay more. Especially if the DJ is on at peak time. The status of a DJ will impact their fee. A warm up DJ will be cheap at around £50 whilst a headline DJ may cost up to £15000.


4) Is it a one off gig or a DJ residency?

Most DJs will charge less money is they are going to be your resident DJ. This is because they are getting regular gigs and income. Being a resident also helps a DJ build their name and gig CV. Which will help them get more well known and gain higher paying sets in the future. If you're hiring for a one off gig, go through the other sections of our guide.


5) How well known is the DJ?

It may seem obvious, but how popular a DJ is will affect the overall hire cost. For example, if you were to hire a celebrity DJ like Calvin Harris he's likely to cost £200k plus. That's the price you pay for a global name, celebrity or massive music producers. However, the vast majority of us cannot afford such names! Anyway, back to the real world... There are 3 tiers of DJs:

  • Local DJs
  • Experienced / Well known DJs
  • Celebrity DJs / Producers


6) DJ Hire fees

Something people forget about when hiring a DJ is their agent fee. This can really raise the hire price of a DJ. If you are paying £1000 for a DJ using an agent, expect to pay at least £150 on top. This is because DJs usually have to pay a 10-15% fee to their agent. So they may well top their DJ hire price to make up for the loss. This is something you will only worry about with more well known DJs. Your typical local DJs won't do this. Neither will mobile discos or wedding DJs. We are happy to say we do not ask for a commission. This means you will only pay the cost of the DJ and nothing more.

Top tip: Always find out the "All in price" when hiring a bigger name.


7) The DJs rider

A DJ rider? What's that? We get asked about this one all the time. A bigger name DJ will usually give their agent two riders. These are basically lists of requirements in order for them to perform at your event. You may receive a tech rider and a personal rider (aka as a hospitality rider) .

1) A tech rider is a set list of equipment the DJ wants you to have ready at the gig. It's quite common for DJs to ask for certain types of decks and mixers. Most DJs will ask for Pioneer Nexus CDJs and mixer. If you're hiring a techno DJ there's a good chance they'll ask for an Allen & Heath Xone mixer. Aside from decks and mixers, DJs will insist on having at least two monitor speakers. Some DJs will even insist on certain sound systems.

2) A personal rider is a set list of items the DJ wants you o supply them at the gig. This can include things such as food and drinks. Some of the more well known and celebrity DJs have massive personal rider lists. For example, if you were to hire a DJ like Calvin Harris for a gig, his rider may ask for:

  • Bottle of hand sanitiser
  • Gluten free snacks
  • Fruit
  • Starbucks coffee
  • Other drinks
  • Bath towels
  • Flights
  • Hotel
  • Driver

This was an actual Calvin Harris DJ rider (credit - Mixmag).

As you can see from above, riders can really drive up the overall cost of a DJ. If your venue doesn't have equipment or the type they want, it will cost you to hire it.



Will a DJ near me cost less?

Question: Will a DJ near me be cheaper to hire?

Answer: Yes. If you find a DJ for hire near you they will not have to factor in travel costs. This means they can keep their overall price down.



Ready to start getting DJ prices?

If you would like to hire a DJ for your event: DJ Hire

While you're here, would you like to know how to get DJ gigs?

Thanks for reading.

The DJ Hire Team

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