Three tips for creating an event playlist

We called in a pro for some expert tips on how to curate the perfect event playlist.

We don’t need to tell you how important music is to an event, because it’s a no-brainer – a good playlist will have your guests dancing and mingling into the night, while a bad one will have them out the door as soon as the food runs out.

Here, Sydney DJ James Jensen shares his three tips for creating a playlist your event guests will love:

1/ Know your audience

“This is the first question I always ask when booking entertainment for events,” says Jensen.

event playlist tips
James Jensen

“Finding out the general age bracket can help you determine what period of music is going to resonate the strongest with your audience.

“If your party has a wider age bracket, say 18-60, I often find a combination of 90s RnB and disco or rock classics caters to everyone’s tastes, and keeps them entertained throughout the whole night.

2/ Structure the night

“Don’t start with the bangers,” he says. “Keep the tempo slow at the start while guests are arriving and mingling.

“Once everyone has enjoyed some food and drinks, slowly start to push the tempo by throwing in the more well known songs of the generation.

“Do this by creating one playlist for the first section of the night, and a second playlist for the latter.”

3/ Prepare more music than required

“There’s nothing worse than doubling up songs throughout the night because you’ve skipped a few earlier on!”

“You may put together a playlist beforehand and find on the night, a lot of the songs don’t fit as you had hoped.

“If the event is a five-hour call, make sure to prepare enough music to encompass seven to eight hours. You’ll thank yourself later!”

As part of his eight years drumming for the Sydney heavy metal outfit Hand Of Mercy, James Jensen released two ARIA charting records and toured some of the biggest festivals around the world. He now works full-time as a DJ and you can find him playing at some of Sydney’s best venues including The Star Sydney, Hotel Steyne Manly and The Ivy Pool Bar

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