Digital DJ Tips reader DA Willis writes: "I am DJing a benefit christmas party, where there will be at least 75 people ranging in ages from 35 to 75. I will be playing music from the 50s, 60s and 70s and some hits from today's music. How would you set up music for the night? It runs from 7pm to 12am on a Saturday. The ultimate goal is to get everybody on the dancefloor through out the night. What is the best set to put together to accomplish this?"
Digital DJ Tips says:
You can learn a lot from wedding DJs when you have gigs like this. Our Complete 21st Century Wedding DJ Guide is a bible for set planning and includes full playlists, so that may be worth a look. But the basic principle that most DJs approach gigs like this with is to play for the older crowd, getting progressively younger. So that means starting at 7pm playing for the 75 year olds, moving through the music becoming more modern as the night goes on. The older folk may leave early anyway, and the younger section of your crowd will have a drink or two and at that point will hopefully positively want to dance as the music moves more towards what they'd prefer.
By the way, you jumped from "70s" to "music of today" - don't forget the 80s and 90s too! That was once contemparary music for the 35-40 year olds in your crowd.
Over to you: Do you regularly play to older crowds? What's your "secret formula"? Are you in a mood for sharing? Please do so in the comments below.