Prom DJs are put in a highly unique situation every time they perform. More so than with any other audience, they are responsible for a characteristically self-conscious group of young people who are there hoping to make fond memories that will last them a lifetime. Often they will receive requests from both the students and faculty and must consider each request with great care in an effort to ensure maximum entertainment for all present without offending, causing discomfort or discouraging anyone from dancing. Here are some of the most popular requests of modern prom DJs before and during the event.
Before the big event, the prom coordinator will have many requests. It’s common for them to ask to see a playlist from a previous prom, homecoming or similar event in which a DJ has performed for a high-school-aged audience. They want to make sure the music is both current and age appropriate. They’ll also want to know how the DJ plans on handling requests. Are requests just as welcome from faculty as they are students, will dedications be appropriate and how will the DJ decline a request that they know they cannot or should not play? Sensitivity is important, so a per-established plan for politely handling requests is essential.
Other common requests before the big event involve equipment. While the coordinator will give the DJ a ballpark estimate of how many students will be in attendance, the size of the venue and square footage of the dance floor, they may wish to see all of the equipment set up in its entirety before hand so they can be sure the sound will be powerful enough to fill the space and the lighting will cover the entire surface of the dance floor.
During the event it’s not uncommon for faculty or chaperones to ask for minor adjustments to sound and lighting, but the most popular requests a DJ will receive are, of course, song requests. Song requests from this age group are predominantly mainstream hits currently on regular rotation on the top Pop/Rock, Hip-Hop/R&B and Country FM Radio stations. Still, the occasional request for a classic from the past or a college radio hit will come up. Invariably a handful of the song requests a DJ receives will contain songs with offensive lyrics. While many of the Top 40 hits originally written with potentially offensive language have been re-recorded into cleaner versions, such as Cee Lo Green’s mega hit “Forget You,” most have not and those requests will need to be politely declined.
Perhaps the most popular request of all is mostly unspoken. The faculty members want safe, fun entertainment for their students while the students just want to have a good time. A terrific prom DJ is focused on the students and puts all of their energy into helping them make the most positive, unforgettable memories to last a lifetime.