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Summers End 2018

Hard to believe it is Autumn 2018 already. I’ve had a relatively quiet year to date, no bookings in February, for the first time in about 10 years, and only one booking in January, my second quiet January.

No bookings in February allowed me to extend my annual Summer holiday, which  I was not unhappy about. I went to the Splore music festival, my second time there. Splore is truly brilliant, outstanding music and outstanding production values. It is very valuable research for me as to what people are listening to outside the narrow realms of the charts and mediocre bars that dominate the NZ music scape. This might sound overly critical, and I enjoy a cheesy pop tune as much as anyone, but there is only so much auto-tuned vocals, sexist/misogynistic and nonsensical lyrics, that I can stand. Don’t get me started on the extraordinarily poor sound and lighting systems most bars (and their patrons) seem to be content with nowadays.

The location for Splore, in the very picturesque Tapapakanga Park, Orere Point, is perfect with great camping and swimming. Splore is set to become the centre of my Summer holiday for the foreseeable future and I’ve already booked my post-Splore campsite @Opoutere. To date, I’ve only had to turn one client away, that was to attend the 2016 Splore. I missed last year as I was booked to DJ a friends 50th and having DJ’d most of his Birthdays since his 40th, I really couldn’t say “no”.  It would have to be a very tempting, interesting, high value job to deter me from attending future Splore’s. – my life is decidedly not all about work and money … it is definitely about music, fun and sun

Post-Splore I went to stay at the Opoutere Coastal Campground and from there went to Auckland City Limits with Grace Jones being the primary draw card there. From Auckland it was 4 days in Mangawhai Heads. It was tough having to come home but I was booked for the March 10th WIPP after party.

My January Wedding was on Kawau Island and was a Wedding for friends. My first Island Wedding and my first visit to an Island in the greater Auckland region (strangely,  I’ve not even been to Waiheke). It was a beautiful, but very physical, experience. By physical, I mean it lots of lugging heavy equipment to and fro, including a generator into the Ceremony area. Thankfully there was help at hand from various bodies including the camp managers. Kawau is stunningly beautiful with superb swimming and fishing.

I’ve been busy the last few weekends with 50th birthdays being the function de jour and have 2 more booked Weddings in April and June, both at the fabulous Otaki Milk Station – if your looking for a great venue handy to Wellington, look no further!

I’ve spent yet more money on equipment upgrades this year and am now the proud owner  a HK Audio Soundcaddy, bought to simplify my Ceremony set ups. I’ve also upgraded from my HK Audio 600watt 18″ Pulsar series sub-woofer to a HK Audio L3 series 1200watt 1800A 18″ sub-woofer, it rocks a ‘mean as’ bass and I’m enjoying it immensely.

I’ve also added a Denon SC5000 Media Player, which is yet to leave the confines of my house whilst I work at mastering it’s many variables. At some point it will replace my Pioneer CDJ2000’s, but I want a lot more practice on it first.

I have a few interesting non-Wedding functions on the horizon, high value work for compelling clients whom I hope to form on-going working relationships with. It’s cool when clients return to you year on year and I enjoy those relationships. As and when these jobs become concrete, I may comment on them again in the future.


An Anecdote cont

… This same Auckland service has themselves text me numerous times over recent years seeking last minute DJ’s to service their clients. I literally saved the day for that couple and they were rapt at the quality of the DJ I helped them to secure (a very notable NZ musician). The warning signs were there from early on with said Auckland service. The most important sign being their constantly failing to respond to communications from the client. I pride myself on prompt and clear communication, this is one of the most important aspects of any good client and supplier arrangement

It turned out that they had told the client they had a DJ secured for them. Said DJ, whom I spoke to around getting this sorted, was an extremely nice and helpful bloke. He was being forced to apologise for the Auckland service whom he had told several times over several months, that he was not available

A good DJ is expensive, and this Auckland service was very expensive for what they were to provide. That they had also failed to talk to the venue, compounded their sins. This venue had very strict controls on any outside equipment and the Auckland service’s price included a whole lot of gear that would ultimately not have been permitted to be used, gear the clients had paid for


An Important Tip

Still not naming names! Weddings can be quite loud, especially by the time a DJ or Band gets rolling. The tip here is, talk to your venue about whether they have ever had any noise complaints made against them and will the noise you intend to make be a problem. What do they do, what conditions might they impose on you around this problem

Said venue above has tried to negate issues around noise complaints from neighbours by buying a shrieky $800 sound system from a low cost supplier. This is the only audio gear they’ll allow. Even then, the venue till won’t let the DJ turn it up due the neighbours complaining. I wonder how they cope with a band?! The Wellington based DJ working for the Auckland service had no knowledge of the imposition of the no outside gear rule, something I discovered after a single phone call. He would have turned up to find his gear disallowed, again, gear the clients had paid for. To conclude, It is said that “you get what you pay for”, which is oft true. Sometimes, you don’t get what you paid for and then you’ve been ripped off!- Auckland service paid a full refund, but not till after they had contacted the client asking that my DJ submit his invoice to them for them to pay MINUS THEIR CUT! My DJ was paid direct by the client. A happy ending, but lots of unnecessary stress for the couple, 2 days out from their Wedding

My Responsibilities to my Clients

My clients need to know that I take my responsibilities to them very seriously. If you book me, I’m yours. If I’m unavailable for your chosen date, circumstance dependant, I’m open to helping source another DJ. I have a few I refer work on to