Louisiana DJ Hit by Hurricane Happy

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Baton Rouge, American Idol, booking gigs

It seems like a rival to the Big Easy has presented itself on the Louisiana map, because Baton Rouge has emerged as perhaps not Bigger, but Easier, with wildcat enthusiasm among clients for DJ bookings. Why? One word: Recession.

“In my opinion, and it seems to be true for all of my competitors, clients are changing their spending habits—at least when it comes to weddings,” says Larry Dewitt, the 22-year-old owner of The Music Source (not to be confused with The Music Sores, his crosstown competitor), and a student at Louisiana State University. “In the past, ‘high-end’ for a wedding meant spending a lot of money on a band. But with the economy hurting, it’s turned everybody to the more cost effective choice of a DJ. There is so much business out there, I don’t think anyone is hurting for work. If anything, I think the downturn has helped.”

So there you have it: the Big Easier, the hometown of American Idol’s Randy Jackson and an area where archaeologists have been able to date habitation back to 8000 BC (“Before Chubby”)—many, many first-dances ago.

“There’s plenty of money to go around down here,” says Dewitt, “and all the DJ companies are always bumping into one another, because there’s only a limited amount of facilities. But the competition is very amicable, very friendly, lots of cross-referrals…I don’t know if that’s how the real world operates…”

Booking in the Big Easier:

Weddings start at $500-$750 for four hours.

Interactive factor: Clients will pay more for an interactive DJ.

Competition: Ten major DJ companies serve Baton Rouge, a city of more than 220,000, with a dozen single-system operators, and many fly-by-nights, but, according to Dewitt, it’s all good. It’s all very very good.