Why are DJs so expensive

A breakdown to explain why good DJs are worth more than minimum wage

Why are DJs so expensive Are they greedy ?

Do you believe there are great photographers and mediocre photographers, or perhaps stunning cake makers and standard cake makers.

To answer ‘ why are DJs so expensive ‘ we have to look at what actually goes into preparation, investment and skill development.

Required DJ Investment

These are the main categories:

  • Sound equipment (speakers/amps)
  • Vocal kit (mics / radio mics)
  • Lighting (FX and uplighting)
  • Booth / Tabling
  • Decoration covers
  • Public liability insurance
  • PAT certification
  • Equipment loss/damage insurance
  • Transportation costs
  • Music library purchases / additions

Annual Expenditure

  • Public liability insurance – £60.00
  • PAT certification (equipment testing) – £65.00
  • Equipment insurance – £60.00
  • Travel expenditure 45p per mile
  • Music purchasing £500.00 (10 tracks per week)
  • Web hosting cost £55.00
  • Business card set £50.00

DJ Upfront Expenditure

Equipment purchase cost to cater for events with guest attendance of up to 80 people:

  • Pair of active speakers e.g. Opera DB 605D – £1,300
  • 4 medium quality lighting effects – £800.00
  • 4 LED par uplights – £260.00
  • Good quality long lasting speaker stands (pair) – £180.00
  • Good quality lighting stand & t-bar (powerdrive) – £95.00
  • DJ screen and lycra panels – £100.00
  • Small platform (4ft) table – £40.00
  • Mid range laptop (music) – £600.00
  • Reliable licenced DJ software – £200.00
  • Mixer control deck (mid range) – £600.00
  • Lighting scrims 2 sided (3 sets) – £90.00
  • Radio mic (mid range) – £250.00
  • Various power and sound/light cabling – £75.00

Minimum cost for DJ to perform 1st gig

If a person had to purchase an entire setup along with the peripheral costs of a DJ business, this is how much they would be expected to fork out just to be able to perform in the first year.


This figure is based on a medium range set of gear, not the very high end equipment.

How many gigs would a DJ perform, just to break even ?

This evaluation based on a small rig designed to serve up to 80 persons

Criminally Low Rate – £175.00

A DJ would have to perform 36 gigs just to pay off the expenditure. This is before any kind of salary is paid back to the DJ for their hours of effort (usually 8 per event, including setup, performance and dismantling)

Low to Medium Rate – £265.00

A DJ would have to perform 22 gigs just to clear the cost of outlay. Within the East Midlands area, this is the low cusp of what you should expect to pay for a competent DJ with adequate, maintained equipment.

Full Time DJ Rate – £345.00 / £395.00

This price range is attributable to the East Midlands area for a DJ who performs every week, having built up a considerable range of experience and a fully comprehensive music collective to suit diverse tastes. This type of DJ tends to invest more on their kit, refining their rig to offer a more impressive show befitting of their increased talents and skills.

Elite & Premiere Rate – £475.00


Expect to pay this kind of fee for mobile DJs operating a full time business. The extra costs incorporate much more client / DJ liaison sessions along with refined trimming and extras for the event. DJs in this category are well respected and in demand through positive word of mouth recommendation.

Would you like a quote from a professional DJ company ?

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