How To DJ A Themed Event

Questions to ask before you DJ a theme party.


how to dj theme party

As much advice as there is out in the world on the topic of ‘how to DJ’ very few sources offer specific advice on how to DJ certain types of gigs. Sure, you can find thousands of pages about how to DJ a wedding and even tips and tricks to make club DJing a lot easier. But what about those themed parties that everyone seems fond of hosting?

Theme parties can be a DJs worst nightmare because so many different factors can influence your playlist. Today we’re going to talk about some of those factors to help you understand what is and can be expected of a DJ during a themed party of any variety.

Keep reading to learn more.

What Are ‘Oldies’?

This is probably the biggest dilemma newer DJs face. For most people ‘oldies’ generally refers to music from the 50s and 60s, but obviously the younger generations may consider grunge music oldies. So, how do you decide?

The easiest answer to this question is to ask the party host. They can tell you the general age group of the crowd or what decades of music they want represented in your playlist. The party host can be your best resource and give you the best chance to make the night unforgettable.

The good news is that most themed parties are specific to a certain era so that can make your choice much easier. If the theme is a ‘Sock Hop’ or ‘80s’ then you know what music to play.

When in doubt, ask.

Theme Music All Night

Another question that many DJs have about how to DJ a theme party is, do I have to play theme music all night? This is where things get tricky and again where you may have to defer to the party host or hostess.

No matter what the theme is, a good DJ has to imagine that at some point in time the audience will want to hear party favorites. Should you play all theme music for the entire night or set aside an hour to play current hits? Will the flow of the party be altered if you mix current tunes in with the old school hits?

When you plan your playlist for a themed party, have a set of current songs to play because at some point you will get requests for current party hits.

Do I Have To Participate?

If you’ve ever had to DJ in bell bottoms and a blonde afro then you already know how important it is to find out if the DJ is expected to be part of the theme. I’ve been to parties where the DJ was part of the theme; dressed in theme clothes and even using the slang associated with a specific era.

It’s important that you find out ahead of time if the DJ is expected to participate in the party theme. It’s better to know ahead of time than to disappoint the person paying you.

dj theme

Even if you are not required to dress the part, you may want to get into the gig. Put on the best show imaginable and you just might end up getting a few word of mouth recommendations.

Do It Yourself

One of the most creative ways in which you can take advantage of a theme party is to create your own mix that keeps true to the theme of the party. Find out the theme ahead of time and see if you can take some popular tracks and give them an old school feel. Or take some old school tracks and add modern beats and effects to them.

Of course this is a trick that you will have to practice in order to perfect, but small touches like this can really help you make a name for yourself in the DJ world. If you’ve been itching to put your skills and creativity to good use as a DJ, this is a perfect opportunity to give it a shot.

You don’t need to be at a high profile club in order to pull out a few cool tricks. Besides, even cool people attend theme parties.

Ask Around

Chances are good that you know at least a few DJs and they are a great resource for learning the do’s and don’ts of DJing theme parties. Everyone has their own philosophy and tricks when it comes to creating a set, but by getting a lot of input will allow you to decide what makes you most comfortable.

Get as much information from the party host as possible. Don’t feel bad about asking questions; it’s better to know the answers that do what you want and have it be the wrong thing. The more information you have about what is expected of the DJ, the better able you are to meet their expectations.

Theme parties may not be what new DJs are dying to do, but it does provide excellent practice for larger mainstream events. Every gig teaches you something about how to be a better DJ so use every gig as an opportunity to learn something new.

I hope I helped you learn how to DJ a theme party. Email in the box below to get access to Free video DJ lessons that will answer all of your questions on how to become a disk jockey!

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