Here you will find a list of some of the most frequently asked questions. If your question is not among them, just contact me using the Contact Form.
Where are you located and how far do you travel? My company is based out of Pittsfield, Massachusetts and I regularly service all of Berkshire County. Traveling outside of this area is considered on a case by case basis. The type of event you are having, the timing of your event, and how you've come to decide on my company, are the biggest factors I'll use to consider working outside of Berkshire County. Travel one way from Pittsfield, Mass. is billed at $100 for each hour of driving and in some cases lodging is required. The package rates on this site include some travel time which you'll find specified within each package.
What happens if you get sick and cannot perform on our wedding day? In over 20 years, I have never missed an event. Never. But I understand and appreciate that you need a better answer than that. I have a network of DJs I would call upon if I suddenly found myself injured or deathly sick and unable to perform at your event. Furthermore, I would issue you a refund of all monies paid to date. Not only that, I will contact and secure another DJ for you. If you approve of this DJ, I will pay for it out of my pocket. Then I will hand over the entire plan for your event which we worked on together and had ready weeks before your event. How's that for reassurance? Your peace of mind is MY NUMBER ONE GOAL.
How much notice do you require? The best rule of thumb is to book your entertainment once you've settled on a date and a location. Depending on your date, more than 15 months in advance is best to guarantee my services. Short notice is okay of course, if your date is still available. Keep in mind, weddings require considerable planning and preparation for the job to be done right. Friday and Sunday bookings are less in demand, and generally require less notice (unless they fall on a Holiday weekend)..
How and when can we see you perform? Unfortunately, nearly all of my performances are private; nearly all are weddings which are highly personalized--from my attire to my music to my equipment. You might not like another bride's style and therefore mine that night. I would never invite people in to see me at your event. The best thing to do is to set up a time when we can meet. This will give you a better idea of what I'm all about, compared to peeking in at someone else's event. Plus I offer a ton of client testimonials that are worth reading.
You have these huge white things in a some of your pictures that look kinda like sails or teepees. Do we have to have those? No. They are called "scrims" and they're available at your request at no additional charge. They are used on speaker and lighting stands and are meant to offer a look that may be a better fit for your event.
What types of payments do you accept, and what does your typical payment schedule look like? I accept cash (although cash cannot be mailed), checks, money orders, credit and debit card payments, Paypal, and Venmo. For private events (including all weddings), a deposit of 1/3 is due when the contract is signed. The final balance may be paid anytime, even in installments, but must paid in full no later than the due date specified in your contract (typically exactly 4 weeks prior to your event). Corporate, public, and nonprofit entities typically pay 1/3 up front with the balance collected in person at the start of my performance.
Do you have backup equipment? Yes, and it is present at every event. As long as there is electricity the show will go on (and for an extra charge I can even provide that too).
How early do you arrive to set up? My arrival time depends on the amount and type of equipment needed for your event. No matter what, I always arrive at least one hour before guests arrive. This ensures that the music is playing when they get there.
What happens if we choose to include a portion of your services outside and it rains? If you have paid for additional equipment to be used outdoors and it rains, you are entitled to a refund for that portion of the contract. However, you must notify me not to put the outdoor equipment in place in order to get your refund. If the additional equipment takes a ride to your venue in my van, that's okay. But once it leaves the van and gets set up, you must pay for it (even if I don't use it). Notify me at least 2 hours before your event starts if you wish to implement a rain plan and save yourself some money.
Do we pay anything for your set up time? No. The time I spend setting up and removing my gear from your event is already worked into my rate structure (and not carved out of your total number of prepaid service hours).
We are considering using you for our ceremony as well. When does our set number of service hours begin? The single largest bit of music incorporated into a ceremony is known as the Prelude. This is 15 minutes of music that plays before your ceremony begins (while people are being seated). I offer complimentary prelude music. Your service hours begin at the time your ceremony is scheduled to start. Extending a performance beyond the agreed upon number of service hours specified in your contract is billed at $75 per half hour.
Do you take requests? Yes. All the music I have is present at every event. Many things are considered when taking requests, such as how the request fits in to the music styles we've decided on and, most importantly, your do-not-play list.
We want to put a spot on our RSVPs for guests to fill in song requests. Do you think this is a good idea? I think it's a great idea! Although the best approach to this takes a bit of work on your end. Remember, it's about giving your guests a chance to have their favorite song(s) heard. First, I would ask them to list their favorite 1 song. Or limit them to 3. When the RSVPs come back is when your work begins. In an ideal world (for me), you'd tabulate the results and email them to me. It's important when you make your list that you include a method of indicating that certain songs were asked for more than once (you'll see a lot of this--which is good--and naturally those should be ones that get played). But try not to toss any out simply because you're not a big fan (but rather give a thumbs down on paper and I'll do my best to honor your preference). The important thing to note here is that I won't be able to acquire new tracks during the party (I only purchase and download music from my office) so if some obscure song is going to cause your uncles to spontaneously break out in a choreographed dance they practice every year at a drunken reunion, I need to have it! If tabulating the results is just too much for you, then you can just stuff all the slips in a folder and mail them my way! A final note: a lot of those songs will be played during cocktails and dinner so don't worry if they aren't your idea of great songs for our dance party.
What if we want music that you don't have? During our initial contact we will discuss the music you'd like in general to determine if I am a good fit for your event. If we decide I am and you book me, during our planning process I will purchase any songs you think I need (at my expense). Regardless of the availability of an internet connection at your event I will not download music there (I do not allow my performance laptops to go online, ever). All song purchasing and downloading is done from my home office.
Do you have insurance? Yes. Each performance is covered by up to $1,000,000 of liability insurance. Your venue may require proof of this and wish to be "additionally named." Be sure to bring this to my attention at least 72 hours before your event if you need this to happen.
Do you have people or places who recommend your Company? The following people listed are positioned high in the leadership of each of the businesses/places listed. I feel these references are powerful because these folks' identities are tied to enterprises of various types who have used or otherwise been exposed to nearly every disc jockey and/or lighting company around throughout their professional careers.
For youth events:
My corporate clients include:
What sets you apart from the other DJs in your area? I rely primarily on the music to get the job done. I use no games or props or other corny antics or contests to get people involved and dancing. I spare you, your guests, and myself the embarrassment these "techniques" can cause. If any of that is what you are hoping for, I am not the professional for you. My use of the microphone is tasteful, and minimal. I appear in proper attire at every event. You will never see a sign or banner advertising my company at your event. My level of professionalism is evident at all times. I offer quality musical entertainment to achieve the results you are hoping for. The emphasis shouldn't be on WHAT a DJ offers, but on HOW they do it. Here is more about HOW I do it.
Well, what are you waiting for? Email me now!
MusiChris DJ & Lighting Service
DJ/MC Chris Plankey
Learn more about the dance floor lighting included in every DJ contract.