Do you provide a contract?
Yes. A very specific contract is provided on your event planning site, which is made available as soon as you contact us to starting the booking process for your event. We will discuss the contract at our first meeting. This contract protects us both, and lists everything both parties are responsible to provide as part of the agreement which will engage Claddagh Productions Entertainment Services as your entertainment service.
Are you insured?
Most certainly!! We maintain a large amount of liability coverage. Some people are curious as to why we feel this is necessary. Some venues actually require it, but our main concern is your welfare, and that you would not be impacted in the unlikely and unfortunate event that something untoward happened at your event. We make every effort to avoid mishaps. We tape all exposed cables, secure speakers and light stands against idle hands, and so on. A mishap would probably not be any fault of ours and definitely no fault of yours. However, it is feasible that an individual would attempt to blame both of us, and do so in a manner that would necessitate liability insurance. A DJ without insurance is a lot like an automobile operator without insurance. If you are involved in an accident with this person, you will bear all the burden.
How do you price your services?
We price our services by the hour based on the event. A wedding, for instance, will be more expensive that a pool party, or a birthday party. This is because a wedding requires more pre-planning time than any other event we service. As with any other business, total cost depends on total time expended. Once a price is agreed upon, unless the circumstances of the event change drastically, the price is fixed. We do NOT charge for set-up or tear down.
Is there an additional charge for additional hours?
Yes and no. We will NOT kill a party. As happens quite often, when the contracted time expires, if the party is still hopping, we will continue for an additional 30 minutes free of charge. If, at that time, you, our client, wishes us to continue, we charge an additional fee STARTING AT THE ORIGINAL STOP TIME. Therefore, if the original stop time was 9 p.m. and at 9:30 pm you ask us to continue, the charge will be from 9 pm. Please be aware that WE are not the only concern when extending event times. You may have to coordinate with your venue as well!!
Is set up time included in your price?
Yes, in that we consider set up time to be integral to the service level we provide. Therefore, we do not charge extra for setting up. However, IF there are difficulties associated with setup due to unanticipated venue considerations such as facility access, we may start later than anticipated.
Is travel time included?
We are based in Waldorf, MD. Due to the cost of vehicle operation (i.e. gas), we are obliged to charge a per-mile fee for any venue over 50 miles from our location. This fee is $0.51 per mile.
How much is your retainer?
We require a 25% retainer, due upon contract signing. This guarantees your date. This retainer is not refundable.
How is payment arranged?
Payments may be by cash, check, or credit card via PayPal. The final payment is due 5 working days prior to the event. Payments may be made in any amount up to and including the deadline.
How early do you arrive to set up?
We arrive as early as is necessary to be set up, tested, and operational before you anticipate the arrival of your first guest. We will discuss this time during our planning discussions. We arrive no less than one hour ahead of our contracted start time. For some venues, we may arrive earlier. While we strive to be set up and operational before your guests arrive, we cannot foresee early guests. We have also found that venues place restrictions on our arrival. If this is the case, we will try our hardest to be set up on time but cannot guarantee it.
Can you explain how you conduct the evening?
Simply, with professionalism! The pre-planning we conduct with you, the client, will have already determined how you want your event handled. We simply execute our (yours and ours) plan.
What do you wear?
This will depend on your event. We tailor our choice of attire to your desires. For wedding receptions and other events with dress codes, we generally prefer to wear business suits. While there are some proponents of the wear of a tuxedo for wedding receptions, we tend to disagree. We are, after all, contractors charged with the success of the entertainment portion of your event. We are NOT part of the wedding party, and we would not presume to be mistaken as such. However, if your heart is set on your DJs wearing a tux or equivalent, we do know how to make them look good!!
Do you do announcements?
We are pleased to make any announcements you deem necessary. This may mean that we are the MC for the entire night, or just a friendly voice telling your guests where the bathrooms are. CJ is a trained public speaker, with an extensive background in both radio broadcasting and public speaking, so either end of the spectrum presents no problem.
Are you open to requests? From us? From our guests?
This is your party! As part of our planning process, we ask to you give us an idea of what you do and do not want to hear. We use both a “Top 200” list, and an interactive library to offer you the opportunity to “program” your selections of music. We are glad to take your requests and the requests of your guests during the event also. If a guest should request something that is on your “do not play” list”, we will conveniently not have that particular selection.
How large is your music collection, is it varied, and is it dependent on wireless access?
Several years ago, this question related just to the size of a DJs library. Today, with online access to practically every song in the world available at the touch of a button, it relates to the dependability of what a DJ can play at your event. What is it that they actually have with them, right there, locally, at your venue.
Our library is vast, and all of it is provided to you on the hand-built computer we use to provide music at our performances. We do not use wi-fi, mobile internet, or any streaming service to provide live music at events. While using mobile data may not seem a problem for consumer level listening, imagine your first dance being streamed off Amazon and there is a glitch in the wi-fi…
Do you have lights? Why do I need them? Or do I?
For most events, lights are a free add-on option. If you want them, and we think we can use them, we’ll bring them. Given a fairly dark dance floor, lighting can most certainly enhance the feel of the party. HOWEVER, quite frankly, some venues do not lend themselves to, or do not require lighting effects. We will talk more about this when we meet, since it is an event and location specific decision.
Are you the DJ who will be at the reception?
Claddagh Productions Entertainment Services is a family business. On occasion, we put more than one system “on the road”, staffed by one or more of our family. Weddings are only handled by CJ, who is our most experienced (30 plus years) entertainer. You will know, and plan with, your entertainer…there will be no last minute switches under normal circumstances.
What questions should I ask a DJ before I hire them (and our answers to those questions)?
There are a number of questions that a DJ should be prepared to answer:
ARE YOU FULL-TIME OR PART-TIME
Being a part time company is okay so long as it’s not apparent to the clients. Does the company answer their phones or return calls in a timely fashion? Is it obvious they’re talking on a cell phone with their children in the car? Can they only work with you outside of their 9-5 work hours? Professionalism is important!
DO YOU CARRY INSURANCE OR BONDING
We are fully insured.
WHAT IS INCLUDED IN YOUR PACKAGE / PRICE
We customize each program or package to our client’s needs. There are no pre-set packages to choose from, we allow you to put together the details of your special event with our assistance along the way.
DO YOU PROVIDE A CONTRACT
ABSOLUTELY! We are a professional company and want to ensure the security not just for us, but for our clients as well.
ARE THERE ANY ADDITIONAL CHARGES (LIGHTING, MICS, TRAVEL, ETC)
There are no hidden charges. Lighting, microphones, and travel will all be included within the package price. Should the travel require an amount greater than 50 miles we do apply $.51 per mile thereafter, however, we make sure you’re aware of the charges prior to committing.
WHEN DO YOU ARRIVE FOR SETUP
We guarantee to arrive a minimum of one hour before, depending on venue limitations. This may be longer depending on the sound or lighting system you’ve requested.
HOW DO YOU HANDLE GUEST REQUESTS
While any company can say they take requests, we take a bit further to ensure success. First, we offer you the option to have your guests request music in advance. Then, we’ll arrange your guests requests in a fashion so they blend with the evening. We will also ensure they are family appropriate for your type of event.
IS THERE A LIGHT SHOW INCLUDED, WHAT IS IT
We always have a light show available. However, it may not be appropriate for a given venue or event. We will discuss this during our event coordination.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN BUSINESS
Claddagh Productions, as an entity, has been in existence since 1988 and have served with success in multiple countries throughout the world.
WHAT TYPE OF EQUIPMENT DO YOU HAVE
While any company can explain to you the equipment using technological terms and model numbers, we keep it simple. Our systems are all professional grade mobile music equipment and are guaranteed to be in perfect working order. We’ll have a backup equipment system available at all times.
IS THE RETAINER/BOOKING FEE REFUNDABLE
The deposit placed is nonrefundable because this is a live industry. Once we accept your performance and deposit, we turn away all other prospective clients from there forward. This is common among the industry, we just like to ensure you’re aware from the start – prior to any commitments.
How many weddings have you done?
Because of the background of the company, quite frankly, we cannot honestly answer that question. This year, so far, we have assisted (i.e. entertained) at some 20 weddings. The year before that, the same. This number may seem low, compared to other companies, but we believe in quality over quantity. Less bookings means more time given to our clients. And, as a family, we do reserve some weekends for ourselves, which limits our availability. Going back further in time, because of our multiple moves, it’s hard to give a good number. Suffice it to say that we’ve assisted at many weddings in three countries (yes…countries) and five states.
What kind of equipment do you have?
I could name names, but at the risk of offending the people who know DJ audio suppliers, should you, the client, know, or care who these companies are? As with all professional (emphasis PROFESSIONAL) DJs, we use professional grade public address equipment. The difference is that pro-audio equipment is made to be loaded in the back of a vehicle, abused for 4 hours, loaded in the back of a vehicle, stored in a garage, then loaded in the back of a vehicle and abused for 4 more hours and still perform flawlessly. Home audio equipment is not designed to take this abuse. Suffice it to say that if you ask a DJ what equipment he or she uses and you recognize the name…
Do you bring back-up equipment?
Each critical component has an on-site back up.
How long have you been in business?
Claddagh Productions, as an entity, as been in existence since 1988.
Why don’t you have videos and pictures on your website. I want to see what your show looks like!
We have a limited set of pictures. There are several reasons for that. The first involves privacy. If I take a picture at a private event, I feel personally obliged to get the consent of everyone in that picture before I publish it on this website or on social media. Take a dance floor full of people and then multiply it by the number of release forms. The second is time. I don’t have time to be taking pictures and videos…I’m working, and Christy is generally coordinating. The third is unique to the NCR and the people who end up at my events.
Also, how we set up depends on the event. I have pictures of our setup from the Alzheimer’s Walk that I cringe at, but truth be told, we were about to get hammered by a thunderstorm. I have pictures from an event we did that got rained out, and we moved everything a good 300 yards through a monsoon to get going on a farm house porch.
Check Facebook for pictures and the stories behind them.