Philadelphia Band Agency… and DJ???


There seems to be a new trend in Philadelphia… band booking agencies selling DJ services.  I think it’s worth mentioning that – for the most part – I’m on pretty good terms with my competition, and by competition I mean both the area’s larger and more prominent Disc Jockey companies, as well as the independent DJ who operates single operation outfits.  Of all of these companies, only one offers an option for a live band or orchestra, and that’s because the owner is in the band.  Otherwise, DJ companies do offer percussionists, an occasional bassist and a keyboard player for cocktail… but DJ companies in Philadelphia don’t sell bands.

We don’t need to.

So why is it then that the larger band booking agencies in Philadelphia are all offering DJ and Disc Jockey services on their websites?

Could it be because they need to?

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love… LOVE live bands, and I’m a DJ.  I have a great appreciation for live music and can clearly see why they have a place at weddings and bar and bat mitzvahs.  The energy created by live musicians is unique and exciting, and has a perception of sophistication and elegance.

So why is it then that these band agencies are scrambling to hire DJ entertainers of their own?

Personally, I don’t think they “need” to.  I think that they might think they need to … which could have to do with a lot of things.  The demand for quality and talented DJs hasn’t diminished in this economy, in fact it  has increased.  In speaking to my competitors, it seems that business is good, and the more reputable DJ companies seem to have weathered the storm of the recession.  Additionally, the DJ has become more and more popular in the past two decades . At a fraction of the cost of a band or orchestra, the DJ would understandably seem like an attractive alternative.

In trying to grasp this, I’ve looked at my own DJ company, as well as a handful of my competitors/colleagues in the Philadelphia area, and I have to give credit where credit is due. The DJ companies in my market, whom I compete with on a regular basis, have better DJs than the band companies.  They work more, doing their own events, they have more experience, a higher skill level and a better understanding of what it is to be a DJ than those that work for band booking agencies. The caliber of a DJ or MC working on his own or for a DJ company is reflected even more clearly in the fact that he or she doesn’t depend on the table scraps of a large band booking agency. Their skill, talent, and ability ensure that their calendar is full.

If you are looking to hire a DJ, we would be more than happy to speak with you  (and as counter-productive as it  might seem for me to say this )  so would a dozen other DJ companies in Philadelphia.  Disc Jockey services specialize in DJ entertainment, it isn’t something secondary that we also sell, it is what we do.

If a client asks us about booking a band or orchestra (which they ask fairly often), we give them a recommendation.   We don’t want to be in the band business, and we don’t need to be.

Craig Sumsky
Cutting Edge Entertainment

DJ Brain Illustration by Sean Gallo

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