Timing is everything!

Choosing the songs is one thing, deciding WHEN they are played is another. Do you trust your DJ enough to make that decision or do you want TOTAL CONTROL?

Like lots of others, you might want some level of control over the music played at your party. I’ve been allowing clients to give me a list of their favourite songs for many, many years it’s one of the main reasons why people book.

You get some who will go with the flow and are happy to have any style of music played on the night, others who have a short list of favourites after that anything goes and then you have those who want to specify each track played on the night.

Over the past few years, however, I’ve noticed a new trend in folk wanting not only to choose every song played at their party but also the time it’s played.

On paper, it all looks good. Start with the 60s, 70s, Rock n Roll and Motown for the oldies, then into the 80s, and 90s and finish with the current chart. That would work for probably around 20% of my parties, it may differ for other DJs but for me…I get a very low success rate with that format.


A bride and groom making shapes on the dance floor

At every party I DJ at there are on average 80-120 people. That’s a load of people all with different tastes in music who all react in different ways to music played at different parts of the night.

If I turned up at a party with the idea that between 7:30 and 9 pm I’ll aim for the oldies, then from 9 pm to 10 pm I’ll do 80′s and so on, it might work…or it might not. If I played Dancing Queen at 7:45 pm, am I likely to get a different reaction if I played that track at say 10:30 pm? Am I going to get people doing The Conga at 8 pm, or is that more likely to work at 11:30 pm when they’ve had a few shots?

Do you see the point I’m trying to make here?

Timing is critical, far more critical than you think. This is why I’m not afraid to admit that I make it up as I go along. I go where the people take me. If they’re not ready for Time Warp at 8 pm then I’ll play it when I think they want it and are ready for it.

Some songs generally work better in different parts of the night. Such tracks are sing-a-long songs such as Sweet Caroline, YMCA, Hey Big Spender, 9 to 5, etc. These are all (traditionally) best left towards the end of the night, however, if the crowd are up for it at the start of the party then why keep them waiting?

A man wearing a wig at a wedding celebration

A long time ago when I first started I used to work out the night on paper before I even left the house. I had my clients’ playlist in one hand and my version of it in the other. Each track was meticulously arranged in the order they best went together. As I came from a radio background where every song is arranged in a similar sort of way it kind of made sense but I soon discovered that out on the road…that was not going to work, and it didn’t.

What’s the best option?

The ABSOLUTE best way to have a great party is to let the DJ do his own thing. By all means, give them a list of tracks but don’t fall into the trap of organising it. Any DJ worth their salt, backed by years and years of party experience will be able to arrange your favourites and play them in a way that your friends won’t be able to resist the lure of the dance floor!

Why not give me the opportunity to rock your party?  To get started just fill in my short contact form.  You can also email me directly at hello@ianforest.com or call/text or WhatsApp me at 07799 782764!

I look forward to hearing from you!