DJ’ing in London … Heaven or Headache ?
Last month we headed to the The Union Club in Soho to rock the Wedding of Vicki and Dan.
Now we will be the first to say, that getting our first proper London DJ booking was somewhat of a cause for celebration.
I mean after all, it’s not every week an enquiry pops up in our inbox asking us to DJ at a private members club in London.
So naturally, we checked the diary, saw we were free, and jumped at the chance to get ourselves booked in.
Here at F&B, we believe in genuine honesty when writing our blogs.
I wouldn’t say we are overly opinionated on most subjects, so these blogs should remain relatively harmless and easy reading.
But honesty is a big party of who we are.
Consequently, we always to throw out the positive side of our business, as well as some of the more difficult situation we find ourselves in.
Firstly, a disclaimer.
The venue was amazing, we loved it.
Furthermore, all of the staff and the manager (Gabeen) couldn’t have been more welcoming and helpful in the build up to the event, and on the day itself.
Again, the The Bride & Groom, were an absolute dream to deal with from start to finish.
They provided us a great selection of music to work with, and an even better set of wedding guests to DJ to.
But the reality of doing a Wedding in London kicked in about 2 weeks before the Wedding itself.
This is when we start to really get down to the nitty gritty of planning routes, checking with venues about parking and access, and all the other logistical things we take into consideration when planning ahead.
Firstly, what time should we leave ?
Well, I typically I double my journey time when travelling to any event, this is to account for traffic and any unfortunate breakdowns (it has happened).
But this was London, who knows what road closures are going to be in place.
Or what crazy traffic jams would await us. Plus we weren’t just heading into the outskirts, this was deep central London !
Things were getting serious.
I doubled the journey time, and then added another hour for good measure.
Then we started looking at how we were going to get the equipment into the venue ?
I knew Soho well from my clubbing day (yes I used to actually go “Clubbing”).
As a London native, so already knew parking was scarce.
I rang the venue, and as I totally expected, there was no car park. No quiet area for us to unload.
This was going to be a stop and drop scenario.
But we couldn’t leave the equipment on the street ! So we devised a cunning plan.
Dan drives, he stops, looks for traffic wardens, and I unload and get the equipment just inside the back door of the venue. Then we would head off and find parking.
So I’ll skip to the bit where all of the above went relatively smoothly.
We made it to London.
Just about got the equipment in the for before being given a £60,000 fine and publicly whipped for stopping in the twilight zone, and then made our way to China town to park.
We threw out a few guesses on how much parking would be for the evening, Dan said £20, I said £30.
It was £50.
Ice cold beer – Nope
For £50 parking we were expecting a ice cold beer to be waiting for us in our parking spot, but this never materialised.
We also found out that they had forgot to spend any of the millions of pounds a year they make on any sort of signage to enable us to actually leave the over priced dungeon of doom.
Things were getting bad.
So we had to use our natural sense of direction to escape (we have none …. which is why it took us so long to get out).
By this point we were both quite hot, bothered and very stressed.
Not exactly what you want before Doing at someone’s wedding, which is stressful enough in it’s own right.
Getting the party started
A short, but not that short, walk back to the Union Club and it was time to get the equipment up the rather narrow staircase to the upper floor.
Lots of venues have stairs, so this is no issue really, but after the last few hours of traffic and the car park saga, this didn’t feel quite as easy as it usually does.
So with the equipment in place, and the dinner in progress, we were ready to get set up.
This, as per usual was a breeze. We have this down to a fine art, we both know who is doing what, so we just quietly crack on and are usually set up within 30 to 40 minutes.
After setting up, it was time to reflect in the open air court yard of The Union Club.
I never usually have even one beer before DJ’ing at Weddings, but I’ll be the first to admit, when Gabeen offered me one, the words “that would be amazing” just kind of fell out of my mouth.
And I savoured every drop whilst cooling down in the courtyard.
The wedding itself was immense. I personally think it was one of the best sets I have played this year.
This was in large, due to the fact that the crowd were so up for it, and gave me enough feedback to judge where to take the music.
The Bride & Groom seemed over the moon with their day and I for one loved every second of the set.
So on reflection this is what we found.
DJ’ing at Weddings in London is hard.
The restrictions on parking and the cost of it, make for some serious consideration when the next email pops into our inbox.
Instead of jumping at the chance without a second thought, we will be straight on to Google maps to check the road layout, the venue, restrictions, local car parks, and everything else we can possibly think of.
Dj’ing in London is also absolutely awesome.
We got a brilliant crowd at an amazing venue that treated us like we were members.
So on that front, it was worth every bib of the horn, wrong turn in the car park, and bead of sweat when unloading our equipment.
Would we go back.
An emphatic Yes !!! . In a heartbeat. We loved The Uniion Club, and are now (I believe), being recommended to future clients of theirs, which is amazing for us.
So, to The Union Club and to the Bride & Groom who allowed us to be part of their day. We thank you and we hope to be back soon !
Check out the full video below !!!