What Is A Mobile DJ? A Comprehensive Guide

What Is A Mobile DJ? A Comprehensive Guide

Have you ever thought about becoming a DJ, or even a mobile DJ? What is a mobile DJ anyway?

In this article we will look at what distinguishes a mobile DJ from other types of DJs such as nightclub DJs and radio DJs. We’ll also take a look at exactly what type of equipment a mobile DJ typically needs, the types of venue they are likely to be hired for, and how much they earn.

A mobile DJ is, almost by definition, someone who travels from venue to venue playing sets that are prearranged with the client. The mobile DJ typically provides his own equipment and charges either by the hour or a set rate for the entire night. Some mobile DJs specialize in certain venues, weddings, or bar mitzvahs for example, though most are willing to work various venues.

What Types Of Mobile DJ Are There?

Mobile DJs are usually broadly defined by the venues they play at as opposed to the type of music they play, as with their club DJ cousins for example. A typical club DJ, for instance, may be known for techno, house or garage.

With a mobile DJ, you have wedding DJs, house party DJs and birthday DJs for example. It is worth noting, however, that most mobile DJs are usually willing to work across different venues and occasions even if they are more well-known for a particular one.

mobile dj guy

What Types Of Venue Do They Typically Play?

There are a number of venues that mobile DJs usually cater to. These include:

  • Weddings
  • Bar mitzvahs
  • Birthday parties
  • Retirement parties
  • Wakes
  • Shopping malls
  • Store opening events
  • Charity events

The list could go on but I am sure you get the idea. A mobile DJ can play pretty much any venue where someone requires their services.

set up of a mobile dj

What Is A Mobile DJ’s Set Up?

Mobile DJs typically provide their own set ups. There will not usually be any preinstalled equipment at most of the venues that they play at. The other main reason that they provide their own equipment is to ensure that they have good quality equipment that they know they can rely on and get a good sound quality from.

Their set up might typically include:

Lighting

We are not talking about the cheesy 1970s style disco lighting here, although some mobile DJs may still carry such lighting to certain venues. Instead, we are talking about the type of lighting a DJ might typically use to light up his workstation in a darkened room for example. Some mobile DJs also carry spotlights and other types of mood lighting for use at specific venues during their set.

A Laptop

A laptop is absolutely essential kit for any modern DJ. Long gone are the days when a mobile DJ could get by with a rudimentary PA system and a set of decks. A laptop is not only essential during the event but it also necessary to take care of the business admin side of things. There are no special requirements really but you ideally want a laptop with a decent processor capable of handling multiple tasks.

Specialist DJ software

Having the right software is important to be able to streamline sets effectively and keep everything organized. Whilst even with the best software it’s not quite as simple as pressing play and forgetting about the set, the right software will pretty much take care of everything.

The PA/speaker system

If you decide to scrimp on anything in your mobile DJ setup, make sure it’s not the speaker system. As a mobile DJ, your speaker system is the backbone of your reputation. Your speaker system should produce a good quality sound and, above all, be reliable.

An amp

As with the speaker system, a good quality amp is essential along with equally effective subwoofers if necessary depending on the venue. You want the music to fill the venue you are playing at without it sounding like it’s blaring out or about to blow.

guy using dj controller

How Much Money Do Mobile DJs Make?

Technology has changed the way mobile DJs operate and reduced barriers to entry, which has made the industry a lot more competitive.

In the past, a mobile DJ usually needed lots of vinyl to deal with different tastes at different venues and special requests so on. That meant he also required special decks to play the vinyl of course. On top of this, vinyl is heavy and cumbersome and so a van was also needed to transport the vinyl and other equipment from venue to venue. Being a DJ certainly didn’t come cheap!

These days a mobile DJ can get started in business with little more than a laptop and a decent sound system which can usually fit into an ordinary family-sized car to start with. Fantastic news but it has made the industry more competitive and kept down the price a mobile DJ is able to command.

Mobile DJs set their own rates but charge too much and you will be lucky to secure a single gig. The amount you can charge also varies depending on where you live. The easiest way to determine how much you should charge is to canvass other mobile DJs in your local area. See what type of services they offer and how much they are charging for those services.

Some will charge by the hour and book a set amount of hours, for example, whilst others will charge by the night. Figure out what works best for you and start off by offering your services for comparable prices. As your reputation grows and business is picking up and you believe your services are worth more, you can always increase your prices or make other adaptions to your pricing structure.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, this article has given you a good insight into what a mobile DJ is, and an idea of what sort of equipment is required and how much you can potentially earn. With all the competition these days, being a mobile DJ is rarely lucrative enough to do full-time but it sure makes one of the most exciting and profitable side hustles out there.

Blake Gibbs

I have been a professional DJ for almost 10 years. In that time I've played a lot of gigs and gone through a whole bunch of equipment. My new goal is to spread my knowledge of DJ products with the world through this website!