Cost of hosting a Social Dancing event ?

Question by User pavizla

My friend and I have a family friend who is a friend with the owner of a dainty bar and grill type restaurant. Not too big, but we’ve seen places where the dance floors are smaller. Moreover, my friend and I are hosts of a couple of social dance network groups and personally know instructors who host socials around our area. In fact, my friend is an instructor to one of the studios. How much work does it get to start something going?

I’m pretty sure even the songs a DJ will play need to be licensed and it would help if he/she has their own set-up to pop-up on the spot. Then we just need to tell everyone about the event, after having the venue owner agree, or pay for a couple of advertisements. Am I making it sound too easy? Has anyone tried doing this once or maybe even on a consistent basis? Lastly, what stops people from just doing a social at a park, will our music need to be licensed?


User triplejreddit

Never done a salsa event, but had to do some large events in college a long time ago for some extracurriculars I did.

Any large public park event you’re going to probably need some sort of permit or okay from the government. Also you’re gonna probably have a hard time setting everything up — electricity, proper dj area, thinking about weather, public access/parking, etc.

I honestly doubt people bother to license music for songs.

If you hold it at a location like a bar or something, you’re going to probably have to clear some sort of bar minimum for it to be worthwhile for the owner, either that or charge cover. And keep in mind that depending on what type of bar or restaurant it is, if its not really the type of crowd that normally likes to eat or drink in a loud salsa environment (e.g. a sports bar where people show up to watch games) you will be driving some of their regular customer base out so you’ll have to prove you’re worth the trouble in terms of $$.

I don’t know about your area, but in mine, most latin DJs do not have their own equipment outside of maybe a laptop + basic mixer/CDJ, so you’d have to supply a lot of sound (and lights if you like them) equipment yourself unless the venue has them (in which case some venues charge a rental fee).

In terms of getting people out, again, probably depends on your region, but I can say unless you really truly have some serious pull and influence in your community, its not a matter of just “if you build it, they will come”. There will be other more established events you’re competing against most nights. Unless there’s good reason for it, people will not come to your event over other ones that they’re used to and know will have their standard group of dancers going to. I haven’t been dancing very long, but I’ve already seen multiple promoters try to branch off and do their own events, only to see them fail pretty quickly due to lack of people. If you have tiny crowds of like 10 people a night, your event isn’t going to last. That’s 5 songs worth of dancing (assuming 50/50 ratio) for the attendees before they run out of partners.

\Why might people come to yours? Maybe you’ll have really great instructors or high level dancers at your events consistently somehow. Maybe your venue will be really conveniently located or have the best floor quality or something. Maybe you can hook up with a local university latin dance group and be the latin dance event for that crowd. I dunno. You’re gonna need something to build off of.

User double-you

Music licensing, a.k.a. copyright “tax” depends on the country. Many countries probably have a “DJ license” which covers the costs of the music they play. They might need to list all the tracks they played. Restaurants might also already pay a fee for playing music which could cover it for anyone playing there.

Or just go pirate. Nothing probably happens.




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Podcast Where we interview Dancers, Instructors and Performers. Salsa, Bachata, Kizomba, Brazilian Zouk.

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