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Thread: The eternal playlist conundrum

  1. #61
    ukpartydj's Avatar
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    I had a new record for the number of requests made for last nights wedding coming in at 285. These were from all the guests though so none of them were must play. I wasn't too bothered, just quite impressed.

    Dorset DJ - Dorset based DJ service
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  2. #62
    Dinosaur Excalibur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony Murphy View Post
    It's a sad situation when a guest can't make a song request on the evening because the Dj has been given a strict list of what to play.

    I never use a list, most of the time I don't know what track I am going to play next until I see the crowd reaction to the track I am currently playing. It works for me as I am alway's booked, sometimes 2-3 years in advance.

    If it got to the stage where I was just given a list to play I would give the job up, because I wouldn't enjoy it.
    First up, you can't argue with success, and if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

    However, in my humble opinion, you're missing a trick here. By definition, if you have to play the first few tracks blind, you're already half an hour behind a DJ who has a list of song requests in front of him. And if that list is predominantly say Rock and Metal, you're going to waste time trying Soul and Motown.

    I must agree of course that it is indeed sad if guests are banned from requesting songs, and rigid playlists can be a nightmare. I always ask for requests on the night, yet am still amazed that guests appear to think that we don't take requests.

    Extremes are usually bad, and steering a middle course tends to pay dividends.
    Excalibur. Older than the average DJ.

    www.excaliburmobiledisco.co.uk

  3. #63
    Imagine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Excalibur View Post
    First up, you can't argue with success, and if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
    I must agree of course that it is indeed sad if guests are banned from requesting songs, and rigid playlists can be a nightmare. I always ask for requests on the night, yet am still amazed that guests appear to think that we don't take requests.
    I hear you brother!

    I've done nights where the entire playlist has been specified (and been a roaring success...the client has selected their guests and their music choices wisely), and nights like a couple of weeks ago where it was a strict playlist and the groom had to eventually give in to me accepting requests due to guest pressure (sorry...I threw him under the proverbial lorry and rightly so on that occasion). A party is to be enjoyed by all....and not just the tastes of the host (be that a wedding, a 40th, an anniversary....)

    There's no hard and fast rule on what's going to work - and I LOVE the challenge at times.

    I'm starting to avoid the ones where "no requests are allowed" though. Sorry - but if guests are allowed to request music (within reason....Big Shaq still clears the floors here), they're more likely to interact with the songs and actually throw shapes on the floor.

    Surely our job is to entertain EVERYBODY at the party, and not just to pander to the whims of the host's selections? Or did I miss that memo somewhere along the line?

    But you're right (as always....pffft!). You have to repeat endlessly over the mic (when actually allowed to USE said instrument) that requests are accepted. For some reason, people assume that I have a "set playlist" ? (yes....brides have asked to see said non-existent document before now!) and won't deviate from it.

    What has this industry come to. Please, bring back the 80's

  4. #64

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    Technically we're employed by the customer to do their bidding. If they want to sabotage their own event & make it a chin stroking misery fest that's entirely their prerogative but then if we're lucky we don't have to go through with the gig.

    Out of hundreds of gigs I've been luckier than some & only met a few customers who had strange ideas about what would work. The last time this happened I had 4.5 hours worth of playlist populated by stuff that made very heavy going. I mean Wish You Were Here & Great Gig In The Sky might make great fireside listening when you've got the recreational cigarettes on the go but at a party? Oh if those were the only 2 'difficult' tracks. Insert a load of epic rock ballads & leftish field indie rockers & you're getting there but what floated the guests' boat were the likes of Dirty Dancing tunes, Spice Girls, Usher, Five, 90s dance...

    I found it very telling too that everyone including the bride's own sister referred to her by a name different to what she called herself. It was so funny - people were railing against the list. I tried to resist the urge to throw the list under a bus but after 3 hours I couldn't take anymore. The guests even resorted to lying to me to get me to ignore the list. "they won't know, they've gone to bed!" said one. I begged to differ because I could see them sitting down on their own at the back.

    Next time I get one of those I'm exercising my right to cancel.

  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Excalibur View Post
    First up, you can't argue with success, and if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

    However, in my humble opinion, you're missing a trick here. By definition, if you have to play the first few tracks blind, you're already half an hour behind a DJ who has a list of song requests in front of him. And if that list is predominantly say Rock and Metal, you're going to waste time trying Soul and Motown.

    I must agree of course that it is indeed sad if guests are banned from requesting songs, and rigid playlists can be a nightmare. I always ask for requests on the night, yet am still amazed that guests appear to think that we don't take requests.

    Extremes are usually bad, and steering a middle course tends to pay dividends.
    Thats an amazing answer and what makes you an wonderful moderator *.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nakatomi View Post
    boat were the likes of Dirty Dancing tunes, Spice Girls, Usher, Five, 90s dance...
    And thats the problem with this. We meet clients and assume that their friends will be the same, but more often than not i get greeted with guests that don't want anything like what the B&G want. I too am steering clear of heavy playlists now, unless they can convince me that 70% of guests will be into the genre. I have lost count of the hard rock wedding I have done with everyone sat down all night.

    I love a nice playlist different from the next and a client that knows what they want (vs a drab couple that don't care one way or the other and wont be on the dance floor).

    A Bride this year did not want requests as a few of her friends basically took over (apparently in her words they thought that esergoode and stuff like that was the best thing ever and were really rude to DJ's - They did not bother me once LOL). She was uber fussy and banned Maroon 5 (the cheek), but her playlist was very well thought out and I stuck to it about 90%. I may run the risk of being snotty (god forbid), but I find the bespoke playlist clients might be better higher up the social scale as they are often not just thinking of themselves and through their education or job can be a bit controlling, but also understand that everyone deserves to hear what they like, rather than Drake all night "as they are the princess that day". From my clientele (very middle class) I don't mind them having control and actually like the challenges of having a different playlist and putting myself on the limits for the night.

    * And I have not hole to dig this time.
    Your DJ - Mobile DJ The New Forest, Southampton & Hampshire. Toby
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  6. #66

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    So with an upcoming booking on 6th November for a wedding, the client emailed to say it seems there's a limit of 40 songs in my online request system.

    Yes, I said - because I don't work with extensive playlists, sorry.

    And she's cancelled

    In our initial chat on the phone I thought I'd managed to get across the whole thing about experience showing that huge lists being a pain in the wossname for everyone concerned.. but apparently not.

    Now, I know there are members who happily advertise that they'll take playlists, even right up to the very hilt. That's ok for you. It's still money whatever. I don't find that fun, or rewarding in any kind of way & I'm better off without those customers - so.. more for you, and they're welcome to using you as their overpriced iPod. Sure you'll be there to pick up the pieces when their 5 hour programming of epic prog rock album 'favourites' goes South but meh.. I'd rather not thanks.

  7. #67
    Dinosaur Excalibur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nakatomi View Post
    So with an upcoming booking on 6th November for a wedding, the client emailed to say it seems there's a limit of 40 songs in my online request system.

    Yes, I said - because I don't work with extensive playlists, sorry.

    And she's cancelled

    .
    Well if you're looking for sympathy, there's none from me. Customer pays, customer gets. Simples.
    Excalibur. Older than the average DJ.

    www.excaliburmobiledisco.co.uk

  8. #68

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    Quote Originally Posted by Excalibur View Post
    Well if you're looking for sympathy, there's none from me. Customer pays, customer gets. Simples.
    No, not looking for any sympathy. It's a midweek in a small venue with poor access anyway. I do this for money it's true but if it's not fun aswell, it's just another boring job - and I've already got one of those. Been there before, sheaf of A4 in hand, ticking items off as I go. Not my idea of fun.

  9. #69
    Ezekiel 25:17 funkymook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nakatomi View Post
    So with an upcoming booking on 6th November for a wedding, the client emailed to say it seems there's a limit of 40 songs in my online request system.

    Yes, I said - because I don't work with extensive playlists, sorry.

    And she's cancelled

    In our initial chat on the phone I thought I'd managed to get across the whole thing about experience showing that huge lists being a pain in the wossname for everyone concerned.. but apparently not.

    Now, I know there are members who happily advertise that they'll take playlists, even right up to the very hilt. That's ok for you. It's still money whatever. I don't find that fun, or rewarding in any kind of way & I'm better off without those customers - so.. more for you, and they're welcome to using you as their overpriced iPod. Sure you'll be there to pick up the pieces when their 5 hour programming of epic prog rock album 'favourites' goes South but meh.. I'd rather not thanks.
    Sound like you haven't quite got the knack of dealing with clients yet, donít worry, itíll come with experience.

  10. #70
    Imagine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Excalibur View Post
    Well if you're looking for sympathy, there's none from me. Customer pays, customer gets. Simples.
    Afraid I must concur with our wizened friend.

    Yes, it's a pain in the backside when everything's prescribed at times, I really DO understand where you're coming from (believe me..my biggest list this year ran to 19 hours!).....BUT

    The customer is paying my wages (soon to become my main income), and they get what they want. Although I'm fairly lucky and don't get too many gigs where the entire playlist has been dictated to me, they DO happen and sometimes you just have to stand there, smile politely, get on with the job and count the pennies landing in the bank account.

    If the customer wants to pay for me to be in iPod shuffle mode....so be it (I don't limit requests but absolutely WON'T take lists in a specific order of playing). If it's a bad gig, the guests haven't got a clue who I am (I don't give out my company name or display it anywhere)....no harm done. If it's a bad one, they're certainly not going to be asking the host who I was because they want to hire me (or are they?) and would I want to do it anyway?

    Look at it from the customer's side of things though (because that's how I look at EVERYTHING I do)

    Unfortunately everyone has experienced what they perceive to be a bad DJ during their lifetime at weddings and parties (OK - possibly where the playlist has been dictated...who knows?), and don't want that repeated at their own event so they're playing safe. They're investing what they see to be a lot of money for someone to play music and flash lights...they may as well have a big say in what's played.

    Not everyone is going to agree with that, but if I was paying my fee for an evening and didn't actually do this job...I'd certainly want a big say in things. After all, supposing the DJ played the tracks he/she had limited me to and then suddenly went into full on Country & Western or Hip Hop for the rest of the evening? (both genres I absolutely detest I might add).

    A couple of other examples...

    * I wouldn't expect to order a chicken Korma and be given a prawn vindaloo because the chef knows best
    * I wouldn't expect to go into a computer shop to buy a Mac only to be sold a Windows PC because my choice of computer didn't match the preference of the salesman

    Yes, you could swing that around and say you wouldn't tell the chef how to make said Korma, or tell the computer salesman how to do his job (actually on the latter.....I would and indeed HAVE ....because I DO know best!)

    Controversial I know, and it's not how it's supposed to be done, but as I've already said....the customer is paying my fee so they get what they want I'm afraid. It's not going to change anytime soon either.

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