One of the best parts of any event is the entertainment. When the after party or reception rolls around, it’s finally time for your guest to channel celebratory energy and let loose on the dance floor.  This naturally begs the question: should you hire a band or a DJ? 

A DJ, or live music, can set the tone for an event and communicates to guests what kind of experience they’re in for. Here are our tips to help you decide when you should hire a DJ verse a live band. 

Identify The Event Type

Some events work best with a live band. If your organization is hosting a gala or auction, or if you were having a black-tie affair, bands are more appropriate. For smaller, more intimate galas or celebrations, a DJ is perfectly suitable. A great DJ can read the room and create a real and inviting ambiance that goes with the flow of the event.

Venue Size

Depending on the size of the venue, bands may be more suitable for large spaces. DJs are also great for large spaces as long as they are well-prepared and equipped with the proper sound equipment to ensure the music sounds great no matter where you are in the room.

Entertainment Value

Bands and DJs with years of experience will know how to create the energy you want. Depending on the age group, DJs are popular with younger crowds and can play a number of top hits and mix songs that are not only catchy but get your guests on the dance floor. DJs are great at keeping your guests dancing for hours since they offer so much variety!


Generally, DJs are more budget-friendly than live music, with additional fees for any upgrades. As for live music, you pay for what you get. Depending on the size of the act (solo, duo, trio, band, small orchestra) and level of performance, you will be paying more for your entertainment. 


DJs will be able to play music for at least five hours with little to no breaks. Bands, on the other hand, may only be able to play a maximum of four to five hours including breaks. Depending on the timeframe of your event, one option may be better than the other


There are different types of DJs, so with enough research, you can easily find one that plays songs and music that suits your event theme. It’s easy for DJs to organize their own music, so even if you don’t know what kind of music you want to play, they can advise you. As for a live band, although they may play fewer songs, they can change their set-list to speed up the tempo or slow it down. The size of the band is also another option at your fingertips. You can work with smaller three-piece groups or larger ones with horn and brass players.

DJ or live band? Still, have trouble choosing? Both have their unique pros and cons and can bring the wow factor to each event they play. Whether you’re looking for your nonprofit gala or seeking the services of a professional and experienced DJ for your corporate party, whichever option you end up going with, make sure to consult a reputable event production company. Music can make or break your event, so don’t cut corners!