DJ vs Live Music: How To Decide Between The Two

We know it can be tough choosing which entertainment is best for your event; you want to ensure the music is going to be a perfect fit, but you also have a budget to think about! To help you decide, we’ve outlined some benefits of both DJs and live music below…

The Music

DJs will have a playlist with thousands (if not tens or hundreds of thousands) of songs, so you can be sure there’s going to be something for everyone’s tastes! DJs will also allow you to have lots of input into what songs you want to hear – and what songs you don’t – so they get a clear idea of the style of music to be played at the event.

Professional live bands will have an extensive repertoire of songs that they continually update, so for the most part, they will have all the current favourites! Live bands won’t offer you as much input into their setlist, however they are happy for you to view their repertoire and highlight any songs you really love so they can make sure they play it.

With DJs, you will hear the original versions of songs, exactly as they were recorded. We’ve found this can be a very important factor for couples who have learnt a special dance routine for their first dance at their Wedding – they want to hear the exact version they have rehearsed to.

Of course, if you book a live band and wanted to hear the recorded version of one of your ‘special moment’ songs, the band will always have the capability to play an iPod/phone through their speakers.

Taking live requests from guests on the night is lots of fun, however, it really depends on your DJ or live band as to whether they are comfortable with it – If this is something you’re interested in, be sure to ask the question when booking.

The Performance

The best part about having a live band performing at your event is that they are LIVE! They bring life and energy to the stage, and add their own sound, style and personality to the songs. You can’t go past a live act for great crowd interaction, and encouraging guests to party, sing along, and dance.

For both DJs and live entertainers, some will prefer to work their song selection completely off the audience’s energy, and will choose moment-to-moment what songs to perform. However, you are able to give some guidance as to what style of music you want in each set, e.g. chilled out songs for the Dinner set, and party/upbeat songs for the final set.

While DJs will only take one set break, live entertainers will need breaks throughout the event. During this time, they will play background music through a streaming device, or you can opt to supply your own iPod/phone with a playlist you’d like to hear.

The Timeframe

DJs will generally be able to play music for a minimum of 5 hours with little to no breaks (other than for the event formalities), while the standard performance time for most live entertainers will be 4-5 hours including breaks, depending on the act.

Live entertainers have the ability to be fully set up with background music playing up to 1-2 hours prior to their first live music set. This works quite well for functions involving a lot of mingling and chatter at the beginning of the evening, saving the live music for dinner and dancing later on.

The Cost

DJs are almost always going to be more budget friendly than live music, generally starting around $800 – $900 (minimum), with additional fees for any extra upgrade options.

Live music comes at a wide variety of prices, depending on the size of the act (solo, duo, trio, band) and level of performance live music options can be anywhere between $800 and $4000.

Think you’ve made your decision? Get in touch with our friendly Functions Coordinator to start your Wedding, Corporate, or Private Party booking!