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How much does a DJ cost? 2024

The average price of a DJ is
£250 - £350

per set, depending on the event type, how long it is, and the DJ's experience.

What can you expect to pay for great music? Our DJ price guide has all the answers, so you can set your budget and hire a brilliant local professional.

From filling the silence at an otherwise awkward business event to keeping the crowd alive late into the night for a party, a great DJ can make or break your evening. But how much should you pay for a DJ, and how do you know who's right for your budget?

In this comprehensive guide we'll explore the cost of hiring a DJ in 2024, dissect what drives these prices, and help you find the perfect DJ without making a (too big) scratch on your budget. (And when you're ready to hire the perfect maestro for your event, we'll connect you to brilliant local DJs and quotes for free.)

Are DJs worth the price?

woman DJ

Whether it’s a birthday, hen do, anniversary, or corporate event, if you can afford a DJ, they're usually worth the cost. Yes, you can blast a playlist from from your phone, but what about taking requests, reading the mood of the room, and making sure the music doesn't do deeply off-track when your playlist ends? A DJ has the expertise and experience to read the room and entertain an audience. They’ll be able to judge the crowd to make sure that every song following on from the last is a hit, make announcements, and provide extra entertainment.

A DJ will also have the necessary equipment to make sure the music sounds high quality and professional. A muffled or quiet speaker is the ultimate mood killer - don't let it spoil your party. With a DJ on hand to make sure your guests are having the time of their lives, you can stop worrying about them and focus on enjoying the party. 

How Much Does a DJ Cost?

DJ deck

Parties come in all shapes and sizes, so the cost of your Disc Jockey really depends on your requirements. To make it easier, we’ve put together a rough breakdown of prices based on local UK professionals:

Average cost (in total)£250 - £350
Minimum cost (in total) £200
Maximum cost (in total) £500+

There's a reason why hiring a DJ for a wedding is usually more expensive - for more information, check out our deep dive on wedding DJ prices.

As you can see, the national average in the UK now stands at a £250-£350 for each gig, with premiums for longer sets or specialized gigs.

What About Hourly DJ Rates?

To set the mood just right DJs also commonly charge by the hour. There's a wide spectrum of costs, typically depending on how well-known your DJ is and how much experience they have. This is how much is typically costs per hour for a DJ, depending on their experience and how in-demand they are:

Lower end£50 per hour
Typical£50-£150 per hour
Expensive£200+ per hour
Celebrity£500-£3,000+ per hour

Let's take an example - how much does a DJ cost for five hours? If you're paying at the lower end, you might expect to get a set for £250. At the higher end for a typical DJ, you're looking at £750, although this is a rate more likely to be acceptable to large or corporate events.

Why Hourly Rates Matter

Your event's type and length directly affect how much you'll pay. For instance, a wedding DJ might usually play between 5-7 hours, while a club set might stretch into the small hours of the morning. Knowing these hour-by-hour figures can set you on the path to a cost-effective booking.

What Changes the Cost of a Professional DJ? 

DJ wedding

The cost of a professional DJ can vary depending on several factors, including:

  • Type of event

  • DJ’s Experience 

  • Additional equipment

  • Timeframe

Type of Event 

One of the largest factors affecting the price of hiring a DJ is the type of event. Hiring a DJ for a large-scale event with 200 guests or more, for example, is going to cost more than hiring a DJ for a children’s birthday party of about fifteen people. 

A DJ playing for a wedding is going to need far more preparation time - crafting the perfect playlist for milestone moments like the dinner, speeches, and first dance, as well as ensuring all of the equipment is suitable for the venue well in advance. This requires a lot of planning, which will inevitably bump up the price. 

Here’s a rough guide of how much DJs charge for different events in the UK: 

Type of event Average cost (in total)
DJ Wedding £300 - £800+
Birthday party £200 - £300
Corporate event£300 - £400

DJ’s Experience 

When it comes to hiring a quality DJ, experience counts. If your DJ is new to the world of music, their knowledge of different genres and what works for certain crowds won’t be as impressive as someone with years of industry experience, and their prices will probably be lower.

An experienced DJ will have performed at countless venues and parties, so they’ll know exactly how to get your guests moving, as well as how to deal with any issues that may unexpectedly arise. You'll pay more for a DJ with an excellent track record like this, but you're probably getting more peace of mind, too.

Basically, with an experienced DJ, you can rest assured that they’ll deliver a successful event - but expect to pay more for the higher-quality service you’re receiving. Here’s a rough breakdown of average DJ hire costs based on experience: 

DJ’s experience Average cost (in total)
Junior level£200 - £300
Experienced£250 - £350
Highly experienced £300 - £500+

Remember, an experienced DJ could easily charge up to £1,000 or more, depending on their reputation. While you shouldn’t expect to pay much more than £900 - £1,000 for a local celebrity, you would expect to spend much more for a nationwide celebrity to play a set. 

Additional Equipment / Features 

Most DJs can provide additional equipment to accompany their music set, like lighting or sound systems. This either comes as part of a package deal, or as an additional cost. 

With package deals, the general rule of thumb is this: the more equipment, the higher the price. 

A standard sound and lighting system may come at an additional cost of £100 - £800 per DJ, depending on the size and level of sophistication. 

Here’s an idea of how much your price package could cost based on additional equipment thrown in: 

Package typeIncludesAverage cost (in total)
BronzeStandard sound and lighting, DJ hire for five hours £250 - £350
Silver More sophisticated sound and lighting - mood lighting, personalised spotlight, etc, DJ hire for five hours£350 - £450
GoldThe same lighting as a silver package, also including giant light up letters, confetti explosion, smoke machines, bubble machines, etc, DJ hire all evening£400+

Timeframe 

It should come as no surprise that the cost of a DJ will change depending on how long you need them. The standard amount of time for DJ hire is around 5 hours, but depending on your requirements, your DJ can be available for much longer.

If you need your DJ throughout your wedding day, for the ceremony, reception, dinner, etc. the price will increase based on the timeframe and the preparation needed in advance. 

Location 

If you live in a big city like London, expect prices to increase. DJs in London charge more in the capital simply because the cost of living is higher. You’re more likely to find a more experienced DJ in London, as it’s the music hub of the UK, which is another factor affecting price. 

How to Keep Costs Down When Hiring a DJ

DJ setup

Hiring a DJ doesn’t have to cost the earth! Here are a few tips on keeping costs down: 

  • Be picky with your date - If you hire your DJ during off-seasons and on weekends, prices will be considerably lower as demand will decrease. 

  • Keep hours to a minimum - a simple way to cut costs is by reducing the number of hours. Your DJ doesn’t have to be there for the whole evening, especially as guests tail off. 

  • Don’t be afraid to haggle! - Some DJs may be willing to negotiate when it comes to pricing. If their asking price is higher than your budget, don’t be afraid to try and negotiate to come up with something more manageable. 

Why Are DJs Expensive?

Beyond the social scene cachet, several factors explain DJ sticker shock.

The Mix Behind the Markup

Technical prowess, music curation, and being the life of the party are intangible assets but add undeniable value. Some DJs invest in high-end equipment, which reflects in their price points. Similarly, celebrity, renowned skill, and personal connections can inflate DJ rates, but the amplification of your event's experience may well justify such expenses.

Specific Types of DJs and Their Prices

Not all DJs are spun from the same vinyl; specialized DJs bring specialized costs.

Genre-Specific and Celebrity DJs

Conversely, celebrity or genre-specific DJs may quote prices that double or triple the national average, a reflection of their unique appeal and prowess. These are the stars of the DJ world, whose appearances not only ensure a good time but also come with their constellation of followers and financial expectations.

How to Save Money on a DJ

There are beat-savvy methods for economizing without corner-cutting.

Rethinking Event Timings and Expectations

Simply reshuffling your event timeline can shave costs. For instance, a DJ might charge less for a morning wedding set as opposed to a peak Friday or Saturday night. Similarly, managing your expectations on equipment and set length can also lead to a reduction in price.

DIY DJing and the Digital Route

Today's technology allows for more DIY options; a Spotify playlist can sometimes substitute but at the cost of atmosphere and the dynamic interaction a good DJ brings. Going digital with a less experienced and technically equipped DJ can also unlock savings, but remember that quality is still paramount to satisfaction.

Choosing a DJ Based on Your Budget

wedding dj

Balancing quality and budget is a dance in itself, but it's feasible with the right approach.

Set Your Price in Stone

Knowing your budget and sticking to it gives you a strong position to negotiate. Communicate with potential DJs early, and don't be afraid to ask for a breakdown of costs. Consider newer talent, as they often charge less, seeking to build a portfolio, and the familiarity that comes with playing at various events.

Test the Sound with a Prior Performance

Before the final booking, it's always a good idea to review a DJ's performance, if possible. Live sets, even if recorded, can give you a clear impression of their style, reliability, and sound quality, ensuring that the cost meets your expectations.

Ready to get the sound sorted for your event? Make it a hit - find your DJ on Bark today.

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