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The perfect party playlist: Juggling the ballads & the floor-fillers

Updated: Mar 18, 2021

Disco ball spinning, slow tunes overflowing the drag and shuffle of slow dancers on the rainbow-lit floor. The cheeseball DJ at your senior prom speaks into the mic as if he's broadcasting on the easy-listening radio station after dark "Another one for the love birds out there."

Speaking to High schools right now, but the problem rings true to any event for any occasion.

Ever been to a school dance, hoping for the best tunes to help carry the vibe for the night of your life? Ever been disappointed? I hear ya.

To kick off the right emotion at an event, you have to be tuned into the crowd; however, most DJ's are so concerned with boasting about the depth of their music library. "I have 200,000 songs!" Cool, bro. Will you know the 60-90 that will set off the best prom ever?!

There is no magic playlist. No perfect combo to electrify every crowd.

An experienced DJ will test and observe the crowd during every song to help hone-in on the perfect follow-up song to the previous one. Sure, the crowd on the dance floor is critical, but a real DJ is constantly dancing with them to make sure you aren't stepping on any toes or missing a beat!

Clients will always tell me the same feedback about the last guy - the one they didn't call back for this year. I hear similar feedback from students and their adult leaders & sponsors, "they were really nice, but they played too many old songs and a ton of slow dances!"

Diagnosis: Mr/Mrs DJ was playing a playlist, not a crowd.
Solution: Hire a DJ, not a radio.

If you have found yourself at a party and you are actually worried or wondering what song is up next, then you are stuck in limbo. Not partying/having the night of your life, and not dancing with the DJ.

Hire the right 'party engineer' to craft the perfect set for your event. A professional that will take your event to heart as much as you would, and that has the expertise to make it happen without letting you down.


Some easy tips if we are not your Event Production company of choice?

  • Decide how many slow songs per hour is your sweet spot. Be understanding, give a range then hold them to it.

  • If your DJ is playing too many oldies, then pay them a visit at their booth: they may not realize it, and MIGHT be able to salvage the event (if they haven't realized it, then your event just went into salvage mode!). "Oldies" can be subbed for any genre, type, or style that you feel is bombing the event.

  • When planning your event, please consider how long you expect people to dance. NOBODY wants to be on the dance floor for 4-6 hours! My personal feeling is 3 hrs - max. Some people might leave wishing there was more time, others might just be starting to feel it has peaked and needs to end. People will be tired, and your ears need a break!

  • If you MUST have a list of songs they might be required to play, consider the amount of songs vs how long your event is. Nobody can play 300 songs in 3 hours AND play enough of each song to keep people happy. See our blog post on required songs for more tips regarding this important element to planning an event.


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