DJs Charge More for Bar and Bat Mitzvahs Than Other Parties, Survey Shows

The average price for a bar/bat-mitzvah DJ is $812, 32 percent more than average wedding price and 93 percent more than average birthday party.

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Nicki Minaj poses with eight teenage boys at Matt Murstein's Bar Mitzvah in New York in April 2015.
Nicki Minaj poses with eight teenage boys at Matt Murstein's Bar Mitzvah in New York in April 2015.Credit: Instagram / JTA Photo Service

DJs charge 32 percent more on average for bar and bat-mitzvah parties than for weddings, and 93 percent more than for other birthday parties, an analysis by the consumer service website Thumbtack published on November 10 found.

The average price for a bar/bat-mitzvah DJ is $812, according to the San Francisco-based company, which helps match consumers with professionals offering a variety of services throughout the United States.

Bar/bat mitzvahs are a time when many in America host lavish parties to celebrate the Jewish coming of age at 12 for girls and 13 for boys. In recent years, these parties have been known to sometimes cost a pretty penny, and can easily push a six figure tab.

Six figure bar and bat mitzvahs can include celebrity performers, like at Matt Murstein's bar mitzvah in New York this past April, where Nicki Minaj entertained guests of Matt and his father, millionaire taxi mogul Andrew Murstein, like N.Y. Governor Andrew Cuomo.

It is not uncommon for people to hire party planners to celebrate their gangly teenagers' coming of age. Harriet Rose Katz, once dubbed the "Bar Mitzvah Queen of New York," has been throwing the parties for 36 years, Business Insider reported

The president of the event planning company Gourmet Advisor Katz, noted that there are certain trends and expectations at bar and bat mitzvah festivities these days.

One is, for example, a mini movie staring the entire family that airs at the party. Katz told Business Insider that it's popular for parents to write scripts that resemble popular TV shows, like Modern Family that allow roles for all family members from children to grandparents.

These parties take place at popular and trendy venues, Katz added.

And they're are never far from the media's attention either, with the most lavish parties having been noted in Salon, Time, and Vice, among others.

Even for people who don't have a large budget for these parties will have to shell out for their DJs. Thumbtack explained the price hike by saying that DJs are required to do more at bar/bat-mitzvah parties than most other events.

“The job is to be the life of the party,” it said. “Thirteen-year-olds don’t have much practice on the dance floor and the DJ has to help them lose their inhibitions. They need a guide to show them how to limbo, hora, and electric slide.”

Bar/bat-mitzvah DJs also often lead games and contests.

DJ Mike Burchard of B_Entertained DJs told Thumbtack that working a bar/bat mitzvah requires a “different set of skills” than working other events.

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