Dear Guestlist grabbers,
Now don’t get me wrong, everybody loves a freebie. It only takes the amount of times we leave the supermarket with double the amount of biscuits we intended to buy thanks to the BOGOF offers that we can never refuse, to solidify the fact that yes, free things are nice.
But you see, supermarket giveaways are usually there as a tool to get rid of extra, unwanted stock – of which places on night-time guest lists are certainly not.
Do you not think we’ve heard it all before, ‘mate?’ Strange how you become chatty again all of a sudden as soon as we announce that tickets are on their final release, and their highest price, reminding me of how close we are and how you should definitely be at my party.
Real friends, they buy their tickets, as they’ve seen all the work and effort that has gone into making each night happen, alongside, sadly the costs that come with it. Costs that need to be paid off if we are to keep on running, which strangely, is what the ticket price is there for. As much as we hate to admit it, running an event is a business model, and money has to be made somewhere to keep everyone ashore.
As the social nature of the business goes, a fair amount of those attending each event are considered friends, which is a beautiful thing, but if this yearning for free entry was granted to all of them then there would be no next party to look forward to.
Lets say your average ticket price is give or take £10 – £20. So it costs that much for one night of fun. All the time people complain that this is extortionate pricing for greedy promoters, but have you ever stopped to think where the money is actually going?
Firstly you have the venue – venues don’t normally come for free, usually at an upfront cost, meaning a huge wad of the income is gone immediately.
Depending on the venue, to allow a quality night, a sound system or some kind of equipment can be hired to ensure the audio is on point, and as any bedroom producer who has enquired into purchasing such equipment knows, the techy gear can hike up quite a price.
Most DJ’s have an agent to help hold everything together and provide a go to between promoter and artist, of which comes with a fee, alongside the negotiated cost of the headliner you book.
Once you have a headliner, sound system and venue; depending on the nature of your event, more help may needed with lights and decoration, which again means more out of the bank unless you have some kind creative friends.
And then, promotion is required. Many think this is a non-cost part of the night thanks to social media, but even Facebook is virtually worthless without some kind of money pumped into it. Physical methods such as leaflets, posters and people to distribute all add up to a tidy wage, but one that cannot be sacrificed in order to breed a success.
So you have your event, your branding, you’ve pushed it as much as possible and the time has come to dance! This doesn’t mean the end of the action for your wallet however.
Flights and trains are payed for to get your DJ from A-B, and then taxi fares make up the B-C from station, to hotel, to venue and back again the next day.
Once they arrive, a fun and exciting part of a promoter’s job is meeting and greeting the headliner, often a personal hero to them (why would you book them if not), and treating them to dinner beforehand. An unnecessary frivolity some may say, but it is certainly not out of the question for a DJ to require food before a long set – unless you take the artists to a fast food chain before hand then again, prices outside of happy hour for many decent eateries all add up.
So you see, it is a great job, and by all means more exciting than many other industries; but just because we are planning a party doesn’t mean it comes without serious considerations, and wages to pay.
I’m not saying that there is no guest list – but more often than not this is offered out to those who have helped in the smooth running of the event – you don’t pay to go to work do you? But it hardly seems fair either if you are given the reward for simply doing nothing for those who are part of the hard working team.
I realise that being on guest list, and being able to tell your crew that you are in-fact ‘on the list’ does amazing things for your street cred, granted. And to be honest, if you are a regular face, supporting through loyalty then we are very very happy to see you there, but please, don’t ask us again and again.
Like any gift, be gracious and wait until we offer you, it will feel much nicer trust me.
Professional Party Planner
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