Music is an essential element to any live auction fundraiser. Whether it’s just playing in the background or comprises the main event of your fundraiser, it’s important to plan your music to be budget-friendly and engaging for attendees. Hiring a DJ or a professional band can be very pricy and sometimes a risk as to whether or not it ends up being worth the trouble. To ensure your music is exciting and fun for participants, you might choose from these five alternatives:


  1. Silent Disco

Silent discos are increasingly popular for being the perfect way to avoid a loud, chaotic event. It’s both a novel and effective way to engage participants of all ages because guests get to wear headphones throughout the event, listening to either the same music or a variety of music options on separate channels. This allows you to cater towards different musical tastes, as well as offer a unique experience, motivating ticket sales. You can usually rent headphones for about $10 per headset. Headphones are safe, too, because your guests can adjust the volume to their individual preference, and you can pause the music to make announcements directly to the headsets if necessary. Guests will be happy to donate to your cause to participate in this fun (and quiet) event.


  1. Themed Dance Party

Instead of worrying about making the perfect playlist that will please both parents and kids, you can center your fundraiser on a theme and turn it into a dance party. For example, you can have a decades-specific theme, a hoedown theme, or any theme that encourages guests to show up in costumes and dance to music that goes along with it. Themed parties set a clear expectation for participants and always promise to be entertaining.


  1. Music Talent Show/Battle of the Bands

If you’re fundraising in a community that loves making music, a talent show or Battle of the Bands event is the way to go. Not only does this save money on a hired performer, but it promotes your own people in your community and a playful sense of competition. Throughout the event, participants can perform songs individually or in groups, and in the end, judges can decide the winner. This kind of fundraiser ensures active participation, as well as a sense of anticipation for each act.


  1. Karaoke

Karaoke is another fun way to involve participants directly with the music while also saving money. Whether or not your participants are talented singers, they will enjoy the chance to get behind the microphone and belt it out. This option would work best for musically-engaged students or for a 21 and up event at which you can provide alcohol.


  1. DJ Apps

If you’re still looking for a DJ solution that doesn’t require you to hire someone with expensive rates, consider simply using one of the many DJ apps that allows you to mix music and apply transitions and fade in/out effects to the songs. With sound equipment, you can just hit “play” on a phone or computer and not have to worry about pauses in the music or having someone run it all throughout the event.


Music at a fundraising event doesn’t have to be expensive or the same old thing. If you find yourself lacking inspiration, switch it up with a themed event or a different, efficient way of incorporating music.