It’s officially holiday party season! Maybe you’re hosting your first ever Dallas/Fort Worth holiday bash in 2019? Or maybe you’re a seasoned party host who is looking to do something a little different this year? Either way, we’ve learned a few things through the hundreds of awesome events we’ve helped put on with live music, DJs, and lighting in years past, and we’d love to share them with you!
No party is complete without great music, and while Spotify playlists can be a great way to compile your favorite tunes, there’s really no substitute for bringing in a DJ or live musician for a proper entertainment experience.
Why? Because a party should be exactly that- a party. Not work. I’ve personally run around parties at my own home adjusting volume on the iPad, skipping tracks around, trying to field casual requests from friends, family, and kids…and then trying to refill the ice bucket on the drink counter, take out the overflowing garbage can, sweep up the broken glass that dropped on the floor, and then….oh $%&*, the party’s over and I never actually got to hang out and have fun. Lesson learned!
Music is just as much a part of any party as food, drinks, decorations, cleanup, and so many other things. Sure you could do it yourself, but you and your guests will enjoy things so much more if you bring in some professionals to do it the right way, and they actually get to enjoy the night with YOU!
So here we go, DQB Entertainment’s 7 Tips for Hosting the Best House Party in Dallas/Fort Worth!
Setup Space, Location, and Layout for The Best Party Flow
Homes vary in size. It’s important to work with your Dallas/Fort Worth DJ or musician to determine not only how much space they’ll need, but also to determine the best location for the party’s flow. Be sure that your DJ or Musician is willing to come visit your home or party space in advance of the event to help figure this out. If they aren’t willing to do so, this may be a bit of a red flag for the level of commitment to your party’s success.
I’ve personally played a few parties where I was setup on the opposite side of the house or event space from the food and the bar. It was not only tough to try to build any sort of energy or dance floor, but I wasn’t even able to read the guests reactions with each track that I would drop into the mix. Try to keep the music and food/booze in the same space. If you physically can’t, consider a pop-up bar, a cooler full of bottles & cans, or a table with self serve drinks if you want people to dance or listen to the music. A bar adjacent to a dance floor is always a winner!
Do you want the music playing in just one room or throughout the house? It may make sense to distribute individually controlled speakers in different rooms of the house. Unfortunately, home audio systems such as SONOS, Control4, or Bluetooth Speakers aren’t good for this because there is a delay between the input and output of the system. While great for slinging iPhone music around your house, this doesn’t work for DJs or live musicians as there will be a time lag between what the performer does and what is heard throughout the house- and that’s gonna get weird for everyone!
Be sure to consider the experience you want guests to have in each area of the party, and work with your DJ or Musician to create that- which may include some smaller satellite speakers that can be controlled wirelessly as a separate sound zone in your house.
While you may only want a high energy performance for the last 2 hours of the party, it’s important to consider that you don’t want a DJ or musician hauling equipment through your living room and disturbing guests at your party- it’s not a good look! Plan to have your talent setup early, make sure everything sounds and looks perfect well before your guests arrive. It will really impress them, and can make for some great photos as well! Even if your DJ or Live Musician is just playing some lower volume welcome music when guests arrive, first impressions are everything. The best parties start when guests feel welcomed, comfortable, and even excited by the first impression that they get.
For smaller house parties this isn’t usually a concern. But if you have a tent in your back yard with string lights and a caterer’s heat lamp, do you have access to a separate dedicated circuit for your musician/DJ? I once had a tent go dark as soon as I plugged in because the homeowner put me on the same circuit as BOTH the tent’s string lights and the caterer’s heat lamp. It led to some scrambling and running some long extension cords in order to fix the problem. Luckily, since I had arrived so early, we were able to solve the problem before guests arrived, but there was definitely a moment of panic that I wouldn’t wish on anyone! Once again, a simple site visit from your DJ or Musician should be able to take care of this- a quick look around for the best outlet locations, a conversation about who else will be needing power, and maybe a quick visit to the breaker box in your garage should have your party running smoothly and without any problems.
What lights do you have in your event space? Will they be off? On dimmers? What do you want the space to look and feel like?
A professional DJ or Musician will also be able to help you set the mood for your party with lighting- whether it’s just a few uplights to wash your walls and ceilings with color, or a more dynamic dance floor with lights that sync to the music. I recently played a 60th birthday party in a private home and adding uplights totally made the party that much more fun. Picking up some glow sticks, wands, bracelets, or necklaces can also add to the energy in a low-lit room- and makes for great photos! Order a bundle of these on Amazon Prime a week or so before your party, and you’ll find you have something else that comes with it- a great unifier! When guests of all ages with different musical tastes are wearing the same neon colored accessories, there’s a sense of unity and togetherness that occurs and even brings them together on the dance floor.
Noise, Neighbors, and Your Friendly Local Police Department
We’ve all heard the old trick about inviting the neighbors- but let’s be honest, this doesn’t always work for so many reasons. Maybe you don’t even know your neighbors- or like them! Maybe they have plans of their own that night, or just have kids that need to be in bed at a decent hour. So let’s talk noise…
If you’re hosting an outdoor/backyard party in a city or the suburbs, the question isn’t whether or not the police will show up, but rather WHEN they will show up. Even if nobody calls in a noise complaint, officers on patrol may still come check on a backyard with some oontz, oontz, oontz, oontz blaring from it!
This same issue can arise with indoor parties too.
Know your city/neighborhood rules. I’ve become a familiar face to a few local police departments (whats up, Southlake? Your Facebook posts are hilarious. Kinda hoping one of my parties gets included some time…) Don’t worry, you’re not gonna be in trouble . I’ve never seen a ticket issued for this. But we will be asked to shut things down. If you’re spending good money on a party that runs from 8 to Midnight, you’ll want to get your money’s worth. When the noise ordinance kicks in (10 PM is pretty common), consider moving the party inside, or maybe even renting a Silent Disco system!
Other Practical Items
There are so many things to consider (beyond music) when you want to host a great party- and whatever you choose to do with them, at least be sure to consider them and not ignore them.
- Parking– Do you live on a narrow street? Consider having guests Uber/Lyft to & From the Party (Maybe even get a group discount code) or if you know people will want to drive, consider hiring a valet company to make your guests arrival a smooth one.
- Catering/Bartending– Sure, it’s easy to reach into a cooler and grab a cold beer or bottle of water, but if you’re serving cocktails to a guestlist with diverse tastes, consider a professional bartender who will not only keep everyone’s drinks full, but keep the bar area well stocked and clean throughout the night.
- Coat Check– I feel like comedians have made jokes about this. Especially if you’re hosting a holiday party in cold weather, you probably don’t want a pile of coats on your dining room table, or may not want all of the guests in and out of your master bedroom all night. Be sure to plan for a good coat-check solution to make sure everyone is welcome and comfortable upon arrival
- Garbage & Restrooms– The stuff nobody wants to talk about, but will kill the vibe at any party. Be sure that you have adequate facilities for both!
All in all, you will never regret having a professional DJ or Live Musician handle the music at your next party in Dallas, Fort Worth, or anywhere in between. Your guests will be counting down to the next time you invite them over after having such a great time!
Planning a party? Be sure to reach out to us with our Contact Form and we’d love to chat!