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DJ Contract basics

By using a DJ Contract, you are more likely to get paid if you are a DJ. If you are the planner or promoter, you can better trust that the DJ will not cancel their gig and that they understand what is expected of them.

Use the DJ Contract document if:

  • You're a venue booking agent needing a DJ contract.
  • You're an event planner who needs a DJ contract.
  • You're a DJ who needs a professional contract for your clients.
  • Your DJ business needs a contract to provide customers.

DJ Contracts are simple to make using Rocket Lawyer and include the provisions required to ensure that everyone is on the same page. The agreements include information about pay, deposits, the time and location of the event, and light equipment expectations.

Other names for this document:

DJ Contract Agreement, DJ Services Contract, Contract for DJ

Do I need a DJ Contract?

The short answer is yes. If you have ever not been paid for a gig or if you've ever had a DJ not show up to an event, you know the importance of having a DJ Contract. A DJ Contract helps protect both the DJ and the venue. It outlines the basic expectations and payment information as well as cancellation policies and legalese such as indemnification, warranty and contract default information. Making a DJ Contract is easy and well worth your time.

Advantages of a DJ Contract

For the venue or event planner

  • You can lock the performer into a date and prevent them from accepting a competing gig
  • By signing, the DJ agrees to their time slot
  • Indemnification from claims, losses and other expenses
  • Protection from "Acts of God"
  • An enforceable cancellation policy (return of deposit)

For the DJ

  • An enforceable cancellation policy (retainment of deposit)
  • Payment requirements and protection from non-payment
  • Protection from "Acts of God"
  • Helps show the venue that you run a professional business

Other details to consider in addition to the DJ Contract

Experienced DJs and venue owners know that many things can go wrong in the chaos of planning an event. However, if you try to address issues in advance, problems are easier to mitigate during the event. It is better to err on the side of over-communication than under.

Besides the contract, here are some other details to consider:

  • Invoice for the deposit as well as addition payments
  • List of equipment the DJ is bringing
  • List of equipment provided by the venue, including power sources
  • An explanation of provisions in place to protect equipment
  • List of songs and styles from the hosts, if necessary
  • A schedule if there are planned interruptions, breaks or announcements
  • Proof of DJ and event insurance
  • Agreement about who the venue will allow the DJ to bring to the event (equipment loaders, merchant salespersons, subcontracted DJs)
  • Parking information, load-in/load-out instructions, parking passes if needed
  • Benefits to the DJ such as meals, drinks, dressing rooms and so on
  • Contact information for all necessary parties (booking agent, DJ, stage manager, promoter)
  • Travel details if the DJ is traveling from out of the area

Tips for hiring a DJ

If you are not a full-time event planner and tasked with hiring a DJ for a wedding, family event or corporate party you likely do not have much experience hiring DJs and could benefit from a bit of research. Just like bands, DJs offer different experiences from one another so unless you already know the one you want to hire, you should talk to a few to decide which one would be best for your event. You can find contact information and samples of their music online or you can talk to an event planner or music promoter for suggestions. Remember, like most services, you get what you pay for. While inexperienced DJs may cost less, you may not get the level of quality that you want. Also, try to book well in advance. If you wait until the last minute, the best DJs will likely already be booked.

Once you settle on a list to contact, ask each DJ:

  • Is this your full-time business?
  • How long have you been a professional DJ?
  • Are you comfortable playing from our set list, or would you rather make your own?
  • What equipment can you bring and what do you need us to provide?
  • Do you have backup gear?
  • What are your power requirements? (Especially important for outdoor events).
  • If playing outdoors, do you need us to provide a canopy?
  • Will you personally be playing or will the DJ be a member of your hired crew? Do you have samples of their work?
  • Can you also provide a light show if needed?
  • What are your transportation requirements? (If hiring from out of your area).

If you are a wedding planner or event planner, we provide contracts for service providers in numerous industries including contracts for bartenders, caterers, venue rentals, vendors and limousine services. If you are looking to build your DJ business we can help you incorporate and write your Business Plan.

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Sample DJ Contract

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