James Donnan

(07867) 508804

james@jamesdonnanmusic.co.uk

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions...

 
How much do you charge?

For 2018, my charges start at £195, but depend on the type of occasion, the approximate hours, the travelling and loading-in time, and the amount of preparation work involved. As every occasion is different, please contact me and tell me what you're looking for, and I'll give you a fixed price before you agree to anything. For more information about the cost of a DJ, have a look at my blog post on the subject by clicking here.

 
Whereabouts do you work?
I'm based in Cheshire in the UK.  I'm more than happy to travel, but obviously this adds to the cost, so the majority of my work is around the North West of England.
 
Why should we call you?
At the risk of sounding conceited, I like to think I do a good job! - and thankfully lots of my previous customers agree.  Aside from that, I have full public liability insurance and all my equipment has regular electrical safety (PAT) tests - most function venues will insist on this and I can email copies over to them in advance.  I have also had an enhanced Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check - more recently called a DBS check.
 
Can we see you working before we book you?
The majority of my work is for private functions such as weddings and birthday parties, and for obvious reasons I can't invite you along to these. But I do play in public venues occasionally; to find out when my next publicly-accessible gig is, please contact me.
 
How far in advance should we contact you?
I would recommend getting in touch as early as you can, as I'm booked up well in advance of many dates.  I'm happy to put a provisional date in the diary for you and you can confirm it once your other arrangements are in place. On the other hand, perhaps you've been let down elsewhere and you're looking for someone at short notice - you're welcome to give me a try.  If I'm already booked, I should hopefully be able to recommend someone else.
 
Will you work alongside other entertainment?
Definitely - I love working with others. If you're on the lookout for a band, musicians, magicians, dance floor hire, a photo booth, venue dressing, etc etc - please get in touch and let me know what you're looking for - I'll almost certainly be able to recommend someone.
 
How do we book you?
Firstly I need to check my diary and make sure I'm available for you, and give you a price. You can contact me any way you like for me to do that. After that, I'll always ask you to send me an email or text message to book, and I'll reply to confirm the date is in my diary. This minimises the possibility of any misunderstandings... but if something needs to change unexpectedly, I will do my best to help. I'll always be in touch a week or two before the occasion for a final confirmation and to check timings.
 
Our chosen venue has a sound limiter; is this a problem?
Not to me. Sound limiters cut off the electrical supply if the maximum volume permitted by the venue's entertainment licence is exceeded.  Many entertainers refuse to work in venues with these devices, as they can be very unpredictable, and can damage our equipment.  All I ask is that you ensure that you're happy with the restriction before booking me, as this is completely out of my control.
 
What equipment do you use?
Sorry, I don't believe anyone's asked that!  Surely nobody cares?! Just in case anyone is even remotely interested, my normal play-out system consists of Shure microphones, Sony & Toshiba PCs, a Formula Sound mixer, Yamaha DXR & DXS active loudspeakers, and Plano and Martin Wizard DMX-controlled lighting. I carry spares of all critical equipment, in case of emergency. I'm also happy to use equipment installed in your chosen venue, if it's appropriate.
 
How long do you need to set up / take down your equipment?
I usually need about an hour to set up and about 40 minutes to get out, but this can vary depending on the distance between the car parking and the function room. Please let me know in advance if timing is important - after a wedding breakfast, for example - and we can work out how best to do things. 
 
Can we give you a playlist?!
Unlike some DJs, I love getting playlists - they can be really useful, as they help me get an idea of what music you like. I always suggest splitting your list into two.  Firstly, choose a few songs (perhaps up to 15-20) that you feel are your "must-have" songs. I'll definitely need to know things like your choice of first dance for a wedding reception, for example. After that, you can choose a second list as long as you like, and I'll pick as much from it as I can - and of course you and your guests can still come to me on the night and say "...please can you play this?!" Please discuss music choices with me before booking if you have any particular concerns / likes / dislikes!
 
How and when do we pay you?
For popular dates and/or for bookings made some time in advance, a small non-refundable deposit may be necessary to secure your booking. If this is the case, I'll let you know when you enquire. Whether a deposit is taken or not, I ask that the full balance is paid in cash or by bank transfer before I begin on the night. The main reason for this is that I don't like to disturb customers at the end of an occasion, as they may still be busy talking to their guests. If you wish to make alternative arrangements, this must be discussed and agreed between us at the time of booking.
 
Can you stay later if we're having fun?!
I am definitely not a "clock-watcher" who starts to pack up immediately a set time is reached, but please bear in mind that it is usually the venue management, not me, who decide what time the music has to stop.  
 
How can we ask you another question and/or book you?
If you have any questions not answered here, or want to check my availability for a particular date, please get in touch - my contact details are on every page. I promise that I will reply to all emails and texts, or call you back if I miss your call and you leave me a message... even if I can't help you.  If you haven't had a response to your message within a day or two, it's likely that for some reason I didn't receive it. Please don't assume I just haven't bothered replying - try again!