(07867) 508804

james@jamesdonnanmusic.co.uk

  

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Here are the answers to some of the questions I am most frequently asked - if your question isn't answered here, or you'd like to check my availability for a particular date, please get in touch. I promise that I will reply to all messages as soon as possible. 

 

What sort of music do you play?!

I'm happy with a wide variety of music, and I love getting an idea of what music you like. I always suggest to customers that they send me up to about 15-20 "must-have" tracks, but it's always better for me to have some room on the night to take requests and see what your guests are enjoying. Please discuss music choices with me before booking if you have any particular preferences.

 

What will my venue need to know about you?

I bring all my own equipment, plus spares of all critical equipment in case of emergency - all I need at the venue is power. Alternatively, I'm happy to use equipment installed in your chosen venue if it's appropriate. The venue will usually want to know that I have full public liability insurance and all my equipment has regular electrical safety (PAT) tests; you can find my certificates here. I have also had an enhanced Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check - more recently called a DBS check.  

 

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. In any event, if I'm already booked, I should be able to recommend someone else.

 

Can we see you working before we book you?

Much 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.

 

Will you work alongside other entertainment / suppliers?

Definitely - if you'd like to hire a band, ceremonial musicians, a magician, a dance floor, a photo booth... (etc) - please let me know what you're looking for. Again, I'll almost certainly be able to recommend somebody.

 

Do you work through entertainment agencies?

I do work for a few agencies in my area - most notably Rumour, AEG Events and the DJW Group - but to be truthful I'm just as happy dealing with the customer directly, so if you've found this website, feel free to get in touch using my contact details (on every page).

 

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 other message to confirm your booking, 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 stay in touch regularly from then until your occasion.

 

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 and we can work out how best to do things.

 

Our chosen venue has a sound limiter; can you perform there?

Yes, no problem. Sound limiters cut off the stage 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 equipment. All I ask is that you ensure that you're happy with the volume restriction at the venue before booking it or me, as this is completely out of my control.

  

How and when do we pay you?

Occasionally a small deposit may be necessary to secure certain dates. 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, or at any point beforehand that suits you. The main reason for this is that I prefer not to disturb customers at the end of an occasion, when 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?

Please feel free to ask me! I am definitely not a "clock-watcher" who starts to pack up immediately a set time is reached. However, please bear in mind that it is usually the management at the venue who decide what time the music has to stop, and they are usually strict, as they may have licence conditions and/or need to get their staff home on time. Sometimes, therefore, I will announce 'the last song' a few minutes early, so that I have the time to play 'one more song' and keep everyone happy!

 

Do I need a DJ at all?!

As most people own a device that can find and download virtually any piece of music ever recorded, it's perhaps only natural that people sometimes wonder whether or not to book a DJ, suggesting that they could set up a playlist on Spotify or Apple Music to play their chosen tracks instead.

 

Perhaps it'll surprise you if I tell you that in certain situations, I think this is worth considering - if you have a band playing for the majority of the evening, or if you really only want background music throughout a more laid-back occasion. But there are a few things you need to think about.

 

Firstly, you'll need something to plug your device into. Your venue may have a suitable sound system, or a band may let you plug background music into theirs, although some may charge extra to do this. You can hire audio and/or lighting equipment, of course, but in many cases, this will cost as much as hiring a mobile DJ, who will provide all their own equipment and do all the work for you. A DJ will also act as your master of ceremonies, which makes the occasion flow more smoothly. And finally, however well you know your family and friends, the five hours of music that you choose in advance for your playlist won't follow the progress of the evening as actively as a DJ should be. They should be considering the direction of their playlist constantly, based on requests and on their audience's reactions.

 

A DJ should add the value of their fee to your occasion. If you're not sure that they will, then you might be considering the wrong one!

 

 

Back to top