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Planning for that special day and you are wondering Live Band or DJ.  HMMM…  You think back to all of those wedding you have been too and which is better?  The music you choose plays a significant role in the overall guest experience.  The following are a few things to consider with pros and cons of both.

The pros and cons of whether to hire a live band or a DJ:

See the pros of hiring a live band

  1. Motivation skills.A live band can get your crowd motivated. This is perfect for weddings, parties, and high-energy events with dancing.
  2. Better interaction. Talented band leaders can rally the crowd and switch gears on a dime. Bands can also alter the tempo for a variety of songs to accommodate the audience.
  3. Entertained for all.A live band is fun to dance, listen to, and watch. Even guests who don’t dance will enjoy the performance.
  4. ‘Wow’ factor.People creating music together is uniquely dynamic and exciting. Bands also deliver and evoke more emotional engagement, which is exactly what you want at a party or wedding.

See the cons of hiring a live band for your event 

  1. More expensive.Bands are costlier because you’re paying several members for their services. If you’re already working on a tight budget, this could stretch it thin.
  2. Less variety.No matter how amazing the band, they only know a limited number of songs. Plus, they likely play a specific genre such as rock, R&B, or country.
  3. More space.A live band takes up more space in your venue because they have more equipment. Do you have the space available?
  4. Volume. Most bands pump up the volume, which can overwhelm some guests—especially in smaller spaces.
  5. Last-minute changes. The lead singer wowed you. If they get sick, you could end up with a substitute.
  6. Keeping things on track. Lastly and most importantly, will someone in the band take charge and emcee your event. Think Intros, Announcements, etc. These are vital components to your event timeline and it’s a very important detail to discuss with a band you are considering.

Explore the pros of hiring a DJ for your event 

  1. Cost. A DJ typically costs less than a live band.
  2. Customizable setlist. A DJ has access to thousands of songs so you can customize the playlist to suit the event and any special requests.
  3. Easy replacements.If your DJ gets sick, they’ll (hopefully!) have a backup who can take their place. Spinning CDs is easier than hitting the high notes of an Earth, Wind, and Fire tune.
  4. Less space. A DJ and all of their equipment can fit into a smaller area than a full band requires.
  5. No breaks.Your DJ will keep the music going all night long. Even if they need to take a quick break, they can queue up a few songs to cover their absence.

See the cons of hiring a DJ for your event 

  1. No improv.A DJ can’t slow down tempos or play an extended solo to accommodate for time.
  2. Too much improv. Your DJ might think that cracking jokes will engage the crowd, but this could have the opposite effect.
  3. Volume control. While a DJ can control the volume to keep things reasonable at a small-to-medium sized indoor venue, large and outdoor venues pose a different problem.
  4. One-person show.A DJ is not as showy or flashy as a live band. And some prefer not to talk at all, silently spinning tunes as requested.

How to decide if your event would benefit from both a band and a DJ:

For large-scale events (and providing you have the budget), hiring a band AND a DJ lets guests enjoy the best of both options.

  • Hosting a wedding? Have the band play for cocktail hour, the first special dances, and through dinner. Set up a DJ for dancing through the night.
  • Planning an all-day corporate event? Use the services of a DJ during the day for casual background music and hire a band for the evening reception.
  • Use both a DJ and a band at the same time. When the band breaks, the DJ comes on for a few tunes. Or, let the DJ accommodate special song requests between sets.

At The Inn at Oneonta, we prioritize creativity above all else. Constantly seeking new ways to entertain guests, cherish bridal parties, and partner with brides and grooms, the knowledgeable owners and operators of The Inn are well versed in the many ways to add unique touches to your wedding. Now booking weddings for 2022 and 2023, visit to take a virtual tour of our property and to contact us for an on-site visit.

Northern Kentucky Catering
Outdoor wedding Venue Northern Kentucky