The music in your venue can make or break the atmosphere. Here’s what I’ve found over the last few years in this industry that will help you create the right music genre that appeals to your clientele. In the words of Elton John, “Music has healing power, it has the ability to take people out of themselves for a few hours.” So, if you get it right, people will keep coming back.

Be smart about your music and analyse the results

Not surprisingly, many venue owners get the music wrong in their venues. I say not surprisingly because often people don’t realise how music can change people’s behaviour, and how powerful it is as a medium influencing people’s decisions.

You may need an industry professional to help you work out what’s going on in your venue if your revenue isn’t up to what you want. You don’t have to like or know much about the music you provide in your venue, you just have to understand why it works and be clever about analysing it.

If you’re not a nightclub or bar aimed at a niche genre of music (which rarely exist outside of largely populated centres), commercial music is generally the way to go. And once you’ve found the type of music you think would work, it will need refining by observation of the crowd and their behaviours.

I always recommend to my clients that they look at: 

– What live music acts are being booked in the area that are seeing successful results?

– Is there a lack of touring DJs being booked in the area?

Don’t assume your DJ knows what your clientele wants

Don’t leave the important decisions to your DJ or band. You’re the venue owner/manager and you know your clientele the best, probably more than you realise. The music, food and layout of your venue, all key aspects of creating an attractive space for people to visit and spend time, is largely your call. 

Depending on the age group, you may wish to vary the genres and decades to suit the clientele, which is often a decision left up to the DJ. This is a mistake which can cost your venue thousands of dollars a week in missed drink opportunities and driving people away at the wrong time, by assuming the DJ is in the know when quite often they are not. They are not the venue owner and they don’t understand the business like you do.

This is not taking away from the love and passion that good DJs put into their work. It’s about being aware that in a venue, the balance between good music, a dance floor, food and drink sales is a delicate one.

In my opinion, it seems that a lot of DJs and bands get into the scene for the wrong reasons. At the end of the day, they are not there for their own agenda but to work at the venue to make it as profitable and fun as possible.

Balancing music and who’s paying for drinks

Whether it’s a band or a DJ, they can choose the right songs and mix them appropriately, but a full dance floor isn’t paying for drinks. You must choose your times to give the crowd a break where they can play a song or two, send some of the crowd to the bar and then bring them back. Usually every 10-15 minutes is a natural cycle.

Take care playing back to back hits because this encourages people to sit on their empty drink for just that bit longer and potentially miss out on 1 or 2 extra drinks they would otherwise be purchasing. Multiply this by the few hundred people that are coming through the door on any given night, and you have a hefty sum of cash you’re missing out on.

Back to back hits also usually mean your DJ may run out of songs at some point (if they’re playing a long set). If this falls on your peak time, they may struggle to fill the dance floor too early in the night. You’re risking the night being over early due to poor planning and forward thinking.

Bands do this similarly with breaks and song selection but are usually catering for a more ambient crowd and only sometimes a dance floor, so there are different requirements when choosing a band compared to a DJ.

The power of music at a venue

According to OneMusic, who provide licenced bundles of music for commercial purposes, the right music at your venue has the ability to increase your revenue significantly.

Have a look at the following:

– Make 21% more money during the week at your pub

– Encourage your customers to drink more beer

– Encourage your customers to stay longer

So, time to get onto to the music at your venue and make sure it’s right!

H&L are here to help you succeed in hospitality

Whether it’s the music, the way you manage stock  or having to change your menus to meet social trends, we are hospitality people who live and breathe this industry daily. And we are here to help you succeed in hospitality over the long term. Call H&L Australia on 1800 778 340 for conversation about how we can help you make your venue more profitable.


H&L POS – working with you to help you grow your business
H&L POS has been delivering POS solutions with extensive back of house and staff management systems to the hospitality industry for more than 30 years. As hospitality people at heart, H&L understand the critical requirements for each food and beverage operation. We have staff in every state of Australia providing direction and advice as you grow and as technology changes.
Call us at 1800 778 340, email or fill in the form below to discuss your venue’s needs.