October 10, 2013

How To Throw A Great Party At An Outdoor Marquee With A DJ

Posted By Vernon Francis

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Tags: birthday dance dj marquee music party tent wedding

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Most DJ’s are very happy playing in outdoor Marquees, but they do often require a little extra work, and as such, some DJ’s charge a small ‘Marquee’ supplement. Here are some things to keep in mind if you are considering hiring a DJ for our outdoor event.

Helping a DJ Setup for an Outdoor Event

DJ setup

A DJ can usually play in almost any outside location as long as there is a weather-proof cover (top and sides) ready to use in case of rain as almost all DJ kit is not waterproof in any way.

Setup can be done on most surfaces, but the DJ area for setting up needs to be solid and stable. This usually and ideally means NOT on a temporary staging or similar. Most of this type of staging is not designed to have the kind of tripod stands most DJ’s use put up on them. The setup area must also be on a level surface and not on a slope of any kind.

Temporary Dance floors

marquee party DJ

Temporary dance floors are often used in Marquees to make dancing nice and easy. Please bear in mind that these dance floors can be very expensive to hire and aren’t absolutely necessary. They are however wonderful to dance on of course!

Think about where the DJ will be setup in relation to the temporary dance floor. If a dance floor is put down, your DJ will need to be set -up off of it and somewhere behind it. Dance floors can be small depending on the size of the marquee and you will want to have as much space for your guests as possible.

Dance floors can also be ‘bouncy’, and if a DJ sets up on them, they can make the equipment and particularly the overhead light and speaker stands wobble and become unstable. Even a fairly solid temporary dance floor can move when a good number of people are dancing on it. Most DJ’s will need at least around 7ft or just over 2m of depth to setup behind the dance. Most DJ’s will normally setup to fit the dance floor’s width.

Space for the DJ Setup

To get the best out of a DJ and the kit setup, you will of course need to have plenty of space available at the marquee. An ideal minimum amount of space is typically around 2 meters (6 / 7 Feet) depth (front to back), and around 3.5metres (10 / 12Feet) width (side to side) to allow them to stand behind the decks facing out to the crowd and have room to set up and use a sound and light-show for the party.

The more room you give us, the more room they will be able to use and ‘spread-out’ to fill a larger space if it is available to fill. If necessary, a DJ can also ‘condense-down’ into a smaller space if you communicate with them early enough so they have plenty of time to prepare.

In some cases, the best use of space can be obtained if the dance floor is setup across a corner of the room at 45degrees. In this case, the minimum ideal corner allows for 4.5metres (15Feet) of frontage, and extending out around 3metres (10ft) along each wall from the corner of the room.

If the space you intend to setup in is less than the minimum, try to ideally provide 2metres / 6-7ft by 3.5metres / 10-12ft. There should be at least 2.3metres (6 / 7ft) of headroom at what would be the ‘front’ of the DJ setup area. Please bear this in mind if your venue roofs slope off to the wall.

Available Electrical Power in Marquees

As far as power requirements, most DJ’s will request access to two normal separate plug socket power points to plug in their equipment. Please note that this does not mean “double-plug adapter” on the end of a single cable, which will effectively be going back to one plug in one socket on the wall. The reason why a DJ will need two separate wall plug-ins is because the kits DJs use is too much for a single standard fuse to handle.

This is because the kit most DJ’s will use is typically a little too much for a single standard fuse in a single plug.

A professional DJ should arrive with plenty of extensions, but just in case be sure to communicate with them of what kind of setup they will need at the marquee. The marquee will need to be setup a short way from two power outlets at about 15 feet or 5 meters away. If informed in advance, this will allow the DJ to bring some extra extension cables if they need to bring them.

Noise and Neighbours

When you hold an event at a marquee or any outside or semi-outside venue, the noise will travel and the proximity of neighbours may be an issue. Check to see if the DJ can avoid using bass bins if noise will be an issue. The noise from the bass can really carry and could cause problems and stir up noise complaints. Ask the DJ if they can also turn the volume down as the night progresses and slowly-enough so your guests won’t notice.

Complaints about noise are rare and as long as you’re not playing loud music on a regular basis, people tend to be fairly easy-going about an occasional celebration. Especially on a Friday, Saturday or any day preceding a Bank Holiday.  Regardless, it’s always a good idea to forewarn the nearest neighbours. In the unlikely event that a complaint is received a professional DJ should turn the volume down as low as necessary for the party to avoid any complaints.
It may seem like quite a bit of planning, but if you communicate with the DJ ahead of time about the plans for marquee venue and how you would like to night to go, you should be set.

About Vernon Francis

I run City Nights Disco, a team of DJs serving South England with mobile discos, and I deal personally with allocating you a DJ, but not just any DJ, it will be the RIGHT DJ for you and for the type of party you’re having. We’ve been operating over 25 years and growing all of the time, and all of our DJs have one thing in common, we all love a GREAT PARTY!

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