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Specialist mobile disco entertainment

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Is a deposit for a function required and when is the balance due?

We usually require a small deposit when you return the contracts. The balance is paid on the night of the event.

What back up systems do you have?

Spare equipment is always available, just in case. Also spare bulbs and fuses are carried. So short of a power cut I should still be able to fulfil any commitment to you.

Will I get a written contract?

I insist on having a fully binding legal contract between both parties. That way no one is left in any doubt as to what their money will get them and what you expect me to provide for your event.

How far in advance do I need to book?

No date is too soon or too late (within reason, of course calling 30 mins before you need a DJ is unreasonable). Providing I am free, I can be there for your event if contacted with a day or two notice, but please bear in mind that I do get booked up very quickly, and being only myself and not a agency I just can't be in two places at once.

Do you charge for setting up and taking down, and how long will this take.

No. Any price quoted includes this. Set up takes between 40 and 100 minutes depending on the amount of equipment I need to use for each particular venue and the event type.

How will the DJ dress?

For weddings and formal occasions I prefer to wear suits. Birthdays would be smart trousers and shirt. All dress is suitable for the function, although for setup and takedown some safety wear may be necessary until the start of the event.

Do you do Karaoke?

Sorry but I am a purely a mobile disco and do not carry equipment for Karaoke. However, if you need a Karaoke spot, I will contract a DJ to perform in the set. The cost of this and all details will be in your written contract.

Do you play requests?

I will make a point of finding out exactly what you want musically and don't want to be played well in advance of your event. Any requests on the night will then be reviewed on merit and played if suitable. You are not contracting a Juke box. I will choose appropriate tracks based on reading the guests. If it's a wedding I will at least need to know your choice of first dance; there is nothing more embarrassing than a DJ who has not got your special song! After that you can have as little or as much input (in advance) to the play list as you want.

Which areas do you cover?

We are based just outside Worksop in Nottinghamshire but have travelled far and wide, so please feel free ask. Distance and times may preclude or include your event in my catchment so please do enquire if you are unsure.

How much room do you need?

I can tailor my set up to most venues but as a rough guide an area of about 4M X 4M minimum should be ok. It is also helpful to have at least two 13amp mains sockets within close proximity of the area you want me to set up in. Reducing any available setup space may reduce the amount of equipment available for your event. Bigger venues need more setup space as more equipment is used. This will be part of enquiries during my consultations to ensure we all know what we need.

 

Anything we haven't covered? Let me Know

 

Health & Safety

In order to protect their staff, venue staff, customers and their guests, Caroline Stereo Disco operates a strict Health and Safety regime as part of a day to day activity. This takes the form of a Method Statement (sometimes called a "Safe System of Work") which describes the procedures and processes for temporarily installing, operating and removing mobile disco equipment and ancillary devices (including COSHH governed chemicals such as smoke fluids, pyrotechnics etc.).

Redress and Guarantees

We hear so many stories of unscrupulous DJs who back out of jobs at short notice when a better paying offer comes in. Almost invariably these situations involve "lower priced" DJs and almost invariably there is no written contract in place, effectively granting the original DJ carte blanche to walk away without consequence. All bookings will involve consultation and a written contract will be given. A small deposit (non refundable) is required to cover admin costs and any special requirements (banners printed etc).

PAT Testing (electrical safety)

PAT is a testing regime which inspects and tests portable electrical appliances to ensure they are safe to use in a public setting. Most DJ equipment has a hard life - bounced around in the back of a van, in and out of venues in all weathers week in, week out – so it is essential that equipment which may come into contact with the public is regularly tested, checked and serviced. When PAT testing generally costs relatively little, what does it say about a DJ who does not get it done? Under the latest regulations, the frequency of PAT is not defined. However, at Caroline Stereo Disco I insist on an annual test as an absolute minimum. I will also inspect every piece of equipment and lead as it is commissioned during setup to ensure safety.

 

MUSIC LICENCES

 

ProDub….

ProDub is a licence issued in the UK by PRS for Music, which governs the copying of music from any format to a digital format. For example, if a DJ copies CDs to a hard drive in order to play them using a laptop. Or changing the format of a downloaded track. Or changing the structure of a digital file in any way. Unfortunately there are a lot of common myths surrounding ProDub, especially amongst ill-informed venue managers who consider that all digital DJs require a licence. This is not necessarily the case. Caroline Stereo Disco DJ Michael Ginda holds a valid ProDub licence to enable music to be legally transfered to a suitable medium for playing at your event.

PLI (Public Liability Insurance)

PLI is designed to protect you, your guests and your venue in the event of an accident involving the DJ or the DJ's equipment. Many venues now insist on a minimum level of PLI before granting access to the venue, and this requirement is often driven by the venue's own insurers wishing to offset risk. The worst case scenario is if your DJ cannot produce a valid PLI policy, your venue may refuse access in order to protect their own rights. Caroline Stereo Mobile Disco holds a valid combined PLI for £10,000,000.00 and this is renewed annually and can be viewed / produced on request.

 

SOME ADVICE Selecting the RIGHT DJ for your function

 

For many, their choice of DJ will make a dramatic difference to the success of their event - in a lot of cases possibly one of the most important (and expensive) days of their lives. For others, where the music is just incidental and being provided to entertain a minority, a basic service is often all they need.

The biggest deciding factor in ensuring the quality of the DJ service that you hire is usually the BUDGET.

We urge you to consider this very carefully as an overall percentage of the cost of your event.

Don't shop around for a DJ purely on price, because many excellent well-priced DJs will actively avoid clients who appear to not value the service and focus only on cost.

Instead, shop around on the suitability, reputation and level of service being offered - then once you have a shortlist of suitable DJs you can then review the pricing.

REMEMBER - IT'S YOUR EVENT!

Be very clear about your expectations for the event and TALK to your DJ about them. Don't be afraid to walk away if you're not confident in his/her abilities to deliver.

ASK for feedback or references, and follow them up. It's very easy to forge internet references - ask for originals.

 

A few points to think about and consider..........

 

• Do you want a straightforward same-as-everyone-else mobile disco, or are you looking for something a little more unusual or unique? • Insist on a face-to-face meeting if you prefer, but expect to pay for this in the final fee

 

• Do you need equipment to be set up earlier in the day and will your DJ do this?

 

• Are you looking for neat, discreet equipment or will you be happy with masses of untidy boxes and cables in your function room?

 

• Are you looking for a party DJ who can rapidly switch genres to suit the guests? Or would you prefer a club-style DJ with excellent beatmatching skills?

 

• Would you be happy with a silent DJ or would you prefer someone with microphone skills and the right presence to confidently make important announcements and keep your guests informed?

 

• Is you DJ knowledgeable in all the musical genres you are likely to need to satisfy your guests? Does he/she have access to a wide enough catalogue, and more importantly, do they know how to use it? Anyone can download hundreds of thousands of tracks, but in a typical evening party you only need about 60!

 

• Are the DJ's equipment specifications of interest to you? Do you care whether they have a few flashing bulbs or the latest club-style laser effects? Discuss their capabilities to avoid disappointment.

 

You HAVE to use our Resident DJ...

Being held to ransom by your venue?

Of course, venue owners and managers have a right to dictate who they allow onto their premises, who can connect equipment to their electricity supply etc., but more and more you are hearing stories of private hirers being forced to use a nominated DJ or agency usually by unscrupulous venues who then make a profit on the arrangement.

Most venues will back down rather than lose a significant booking altogether, so it's important that you insist from the very beginning of your dealings with the venue that you wish to bring your own DJ.

Even then, some venues will try to charge you for the privilege (actually, what they're doing by imposing a charge is covering their loss). If you find that you are already locked into using the recommended DJ, you should bear in mind that in many cases the DJ will probably take home around 50% of what you are charged.

Once the VAT is paid and the hotel and agent have their commissions, you'll likely be left with a DJ of a standard much lower than the cost might suggest.

The vast majority of DJs are not VAT registered due to their limited turnover, so their customers are not charged VAT.

However, if you book through a hotel or other events venue they almost certainly WILL be charging VAT - so 20% of the amount you pay is tax!!!

 

Remember Talking is FREE, always ask about what you will get for your money.