Who are we?
Hello there! Thanks for taking the time to visit our website and learn more about the DJ services we offer here at Silicon Forest Entertainment! We decided to start this blog portion of the website as a way to keep everyone posted on events we DJ as well as post some random tips for wedding and event planning. There are so many wedding and event venues in Portland which we’ll be experiencing for the first time this year that we felt it would be helpful to share our first impressions and honest opinions of the local vendors. We’ll be reviewing the local Oregon vendors through the “lens” of a wedding DJ/Photographer and let you know which ones are the most conducive to hosting a “dance-centric” wedding or which ones may focus more on aesthetics… or both, if we’re lucky!
To give you a bit of background, I (Craig Kraus) have been performing as a mobile DJ since 2004. I started as “iDigital Jock” in 2004 performing at weddings and parties as a solo artist in Phoenix, Arizona. I was one of the first mobile DJs to adopt the use of Numark’s iDJ controller utilizing two classic iPods instead of turntables. In 2007, Numark introduced the iDJ2, which consolidated down to one iPod with the ability to cue up to two different channels and use jog wheels for mixing. In 2010, Numark introduced the NS7, which was one of the first DJ controllers with motorized digital vinyl turntables. At this time, I got so busy with events that I brought on a partner (DJ Kayce) and started “AZHD Entertainment” in early 2010. During those 10 years of being a mobile DJ in Arizona, we performed at over 500 weddings and numerous other types of events. Our mission has always been to provide exceptional DJ services at a price that everyone can afford.
In 2014, my lovely wife, Dionne, and I decided to spend our anniversary visiting the Oregon coast for the first time! After 5 days of driving up and down the coast and exploring as much as possible, we were convinced that Oregon was the place to live! I updated my IT resume and within a few months, received a call from Nike. I was offered a position in their Technology Infrastructure Services department as a Virtualization Engineer. I moved up to Portland in November of 2014 to start working at Nike and brought the rest of my family up in December.
In March of 2015, I did a quick search of local DJs in Portland, OR and surrounding areas and found that they charged about 2-3 times what I used to charge back in Phoenix, AZ which was around $600 for a 4 hour wedding. DJing is always something that I’ve done on the weekends as a hobby because I love music and I’d do it for free if it wasn’t so expensive to keep up with the latest technology! It seems that every time we get a little money saved from gigs, it goes straight back into upgrading speakers or lighting! 🙂 So… when I saw what others were charging, I decided that Portland needed a quality mobile DJ who could show everyone that you can have a wedding of a lifetime without spending thousands of dollars for the music!
Why the name Silicon Forest?
The first order of business was coming up with a name. I’ve always been a computer nerd, so I liked the appeal of using the local term of “Silicon Forest”. If you’re not an IT person, you may not be as familiar with the term, but it refers to the area of Oregon from Hillsboro to Clackamas. Nike happens to be one of the companies with a datacenter in “Silicon Forest“. I chose to be Silicon Forest Entertainment rather than Silicon Forest DJ because I feel we encompass a bit more than just being a DJ. We’re on the cusp of revealing additional services like photography and videography as well.. so stay tuned! In the meantime, our mission is to be nominated Portland’s Best Wedding DJ by 2016 with the help (votes) of all those clients that we service this year! We hope they’ll recognize the bargain price they got by booking us in our inaugural year here in Portland.
Why are your prices so low compared to the other “Premier” DJs in Portland?
Our 2016 pricing starts at $600, which is about half of what DJs with similar services are offering here in Portland. The price goes up slightly and varies based on the day of the week or month of the year. Most brides book their DJ and Photographer about a year in advance, and those popular summer weekends fill up fast! Our first little bit of advice is this: Beware of any DJ charging less than $500!
We’re practically giving away our service at $600 but most others charging in that range won’t have 10 years of experience or quality lighting and sound equipment. They may not have dependable wireless microphones or don’t think about their overall presentation. You’ll see cords everywhere and their appearance will detract from the formal look you’re expecting at a wedding. On the other hand, if you meet with a DJ and they quote you above $1500, you’re basically paying for an ego! There’s nothing that a DJ will do at $1500+ that most other DJs in the $900-$1200 range can’t do (I’m not including Photobooths since decent Photobooths costs around $600 on their own. If another DJ includes it, then they may be worth $1500+). What it really boils down to is the amount of quality equipment that they own for lighting and sound. In a future blog post, I’ll likely break down those costs for anyone truly interested.