Charlotte Balbier
Brides Up North Wedding Fairs

the big debate: live band vs dj

April 5th, 2017 | Julia Braime

Earcandy (1)

It’s an age-old debate that many couples come up against when deciding on their wedding entertainment – whether to hire a live band or DJ to keep the reception dancefloor full all night long.

Here to give their expert opinion and advice on the subject today, is entertainment agency Earcandy. With some impressive record industry credits and a fabulous collection of live entertainment and bands on their books, these guys know exactly what it takes to make a wedding rock…

earcandy say: You need music at your wedding to break the ice and create an atmosphere that provides for conversation and lots of fun, but what do you choose; a band or a DJ? While the best option would be to hire both, you may not have the budget to make that happen, so if you have to decide on one or the other, here’s a few tips to help you make a solid decision that you and your guests can be happy with on the big day.

Things to take into consideration…

style

The genre of music that you decide on should enhance the theme of your reception. What’s your favourite? Rock/pop, classic jazz or soul music? Settling on the right genre is important, think about the guests you have invited and what they might enjoy, as well as your own preference.

A DJ can play anything you like and they have an extensive archive of any song you could want. On the other hand, a band is locked into one style and rarely crosses over to include multiple styles and sounds.

When it comes to the impact of the artists, live bands will always be the best. A band is able to engage the crowd in a way that a DJ simply can’t. Live bands provide an audio and visual experience that provides so much more than just music. A live band will have experience on stage and with handling crowds to get the best engagement from them. They are constantly watching the audience and they have their fingers on the pulse of the crowd’s reaction to their songs.

budget

The critical factor that will determine your choice is the budget. DJ’s generally cost a lot less than a live band. Live bands have a few members and everyone needs a piece of the action, including their agent. The season also determines the pricing, summer is the most popular time for weddings, so you can expect to pay premium rates for either a band or DJ.

Earcandy (4)

season

If you are getting married in the summer or spring, then make sure that you enquire well in advance and secure your booking, or you may be disappointed as good live bands and DJ’s tend to get booked up six months in advance during the summer season.

The winter is a different game, you may be able to secure a better rate at this time of year. This is handy for those with a tighter budget and you may be pleased to discover that you could hire both a live band and a DJ for your reception for the same price as just one of the acts in the summer.

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Supplier Showcase: Spirits High DJ

January 14th, 2011 | Julia Braime

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This Featured Supplier lifts Brides Up North’s spirits on a daily basis with his amusing tweets! Rumour has it he’s quite nifty with decks and dance floors too! 

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Introducing, Spirits High Entertainments.  Brides – get him booked pronto, this man is in demand!

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Spirits High

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Tell us a bit about Spirits High Entertainments, what services do you offer ?

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I offer a Dj service individually tailored to each client where they get the exact music they want and Dj’d in a style they want. If they want "No chat, no cheese" they can have it. Musically I have over 25,000 tracks in  digital format ranging from 1940’s right up to pre release tracks that are currently being played on the radio. It’s all done via the client area on my interactive website where the client makes a list of "must" plays, play "if possible" and "do not" plays! They’re also given a link for their guests to login and choose some songs. However, the beauty of the system is that it emails the Bride & Groom when a guest makes a request and if they don’t like it they can delete it!

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What about dance floors and uplighting?

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As well as Dj’ing I can also supply starlight LED dance floors, full 70’s style LED floors and even a black & white chequered floor. Something that looks really special is the venue uplighting service where I can
match the colour of the room to the colour theme of the day. Uplighting can make such a difference to a room – you wouldn’t believe it was the same place and for a lot less than you’re probably thinking of too!

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Spirits High

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Spirits High

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Before and after the Spirits High Entertainments treatment…

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Spirits High Spirits High

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Do you offer any additional products?

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Yes, more on the venue dressing side of things where I can supply LED starcloths in black  or what does look good is the Ivory "twinkling" starcloth to go behind the top table. If you wanted to go for the WOW factor then I can also get ice sculptures. I don’t make these personally (!) but have some very good contacts within the industry to get the best deals.

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How did you get into this industry, what is your background?

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Well, I spent 24 years in the Army, leaving in April of 2009 as a Sergeant Major! The way I got into Djing is a great story. Whilst serving in Northern Ireland in 1992 I was the Squadron Barman for a month (everyone did it!). Our disco night in the bar was a Friday where we’d have a DJ (again another Soldier) play and it would be a great night. Unfortunately one Friday night I got a call from my DJ at around an hour before opening time saying that he had to go to Belfast and defuse a bomb so couldn’t gig tonight! I thought it couldn’t be that difficult so would do it myself. I do have a passion for all types of  music so this made it a bit easier but that first night was "manic" to say the least as it was still in the days of vinyl and turntables. It
just grew from there really. I had a bit of a DJ’ing break for a bit that saw me go to such exotic locations as Bosnia, Iraq & Germany, then in 2005 I was posted back to Northern Ireland and decided that I wanted to get back into it so Spirits High Entertainments was born on a part time basis around the day job. I gigged some great venues in Northern Ireland including the Europa Hotel and a few on the North coast. In 2007 I moved to Derbyshire and went full time from April of 2009 and have never looked back.

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Spirits High

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What song is guaranteed to fill the floor at a wedding disco?

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I could name a few…in fact I will! Currently “I Gotta Feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas is a banker.  As a definite 100%er The Killers and “Mr Brightside”. If you’re looking for something a little bit older then I’d say Robin S with “Show Me Love.”

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What song is guaranteed to clear the floor at a wedding disco?

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That’s actually a tricky question as by the time I get to do the gig I’ve already spoken to the Bride & Groom and found out what they do and don’t like so don’t really have any floor clearers. Although you do get
the occasional request from the drunk uncle that can sometimes do it, the trick here is to get the uncle’s name and tell  the guests who requested it!

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Spirits High

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What is the most popular first dance song at the moment, in your opinion?

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In 2010 it was definitely Michael Buble’s year so anything by him!

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(Brides Up North currently cringing since my first dance song was indeed a Michael Buble number!)

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What was the most spectacular wedding that you have provided dance floors/ music/ products for?  Why?

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Two spring to mind both from last year. I did a wedding at Ringwood Hall where the client had hired me for Dj’ing, uplighting and a 14×14 white starlight dance floor but also had a Bangra dance troop, two breakdance crews and a Michael Jackson tribute act, that was some night! Then this NYE just gone I was at Shottle Hall for a Winter Wonderland  themed wedding where I put in ice blue uplighting and again a 14×14 white starlight dance floor an absolutely lovely couple who’s guests didn’t stop dancing all night. 

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Spirits High

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Spirits High

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What celebrity wedding, past or present, would you like to provide your services at?

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Think it would have to have been Ant McPartlin’s wedding as I could imagine that would have been some party!

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Any advice on a first dance song for Kate and William?

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Choose whatever you want, not what you think your guests want to hear it’s your special moment that no one can take away from you.

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Any amusing wedding Dj stories that you want to share?

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In the days when payment was cash on the night at the end of the night  the Groom came over to say "thanks" and asked if the Best man had paid me. He looked a bit concerned when I said no and went off to find said Best Man. It turned out that the Best Man had been buying drinks for everyone all night with my cash!  The Brides father had to dash off to a cash machine to get my money!

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You are getting a reputation as a bit of a comedian on Twitter @spiritshighdj – tell Brides Up North a gag…

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Really? Ok, it’ll have to be a fairly clean one though! Did you ever hear about Neville the brown nosed reindeer? He was the one behind Rudolph who’s brakes were not quite up to scratch.

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Spirits High

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What areas of the UK do you cover?

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I’m based in Chesterfield right near the M1 so can get to just about anywhere, I tend to try and limit my travel time to 1hr 15 minutes max so that’ll probably take me as far as York, definitely up through Manchester but I’ll always quote each event individually so will travel further if need be.

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Can you give Brides Up North an idea on price?

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As a ball park figure prices go from £395 for the disco service. Dance floors and uplighting depend on sizes etc but if you’re looking for an all in package of Dj, dance floor & uplighting then it’s from £1250 depending on location, floor size etc.

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Spirits High

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How far in advance should Brides Up North book?

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As soon as possible! To give you an idea I’ve got 48 weddings booked in for this year so far and 5 for 2012 so don’t hang about.

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How can Brides Up North get more information/ contact you?

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The best way is through the website, there’s a lot of information, photos & videos on there to let you see what you’ll be getting and the service I provide. I’ve also got a Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/spiritshighuk that gets regularly updated with photos and info and of course Twitter – @spirtshighdj

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Spirits High Entertainments is a Brides Up North Featured Supplier

Contact Brides Up North to submit your business as a Featured Supplier

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