Awesome Sweet 16 at Sterling Gardens in Matawan NJ

Sterling Gardens gives Hurricane Productions a creative space to design Sweet 16 and Wedding DJ entertainment.

Go beyond the 'preferred vendors' list at Sterling Gardens. You won't find Hurricane Productions on the venues 'preferred vendors' list of advertisers.

The Red Bank-based DJ entertainment company allows its prospective clients to have a choice when they shop for entertainment companies.

The day after the party a recent Sweet 16, Gloria - the mother of the Sweet 16 celebrant, sent us this email regarding our performance quality at her daughter's Sweet Sixteen:

Thank you so much for a great job! I had no doubt that you would make Erica's night the best it could be. I received so many compliments from the adults at the party about you and your company.

 

My older daughter remembers you from [St. John Vianney High School] and had only the nicest things to say about you, Thank you again for everything, as I told you when we met that I have never planned a party like this before and with your experience and help it made it possible for me to enjoy my daughter's special night.

 

I am enjoying the photos on facebook!
Thank you once again. --Gloria Gutierrez

You can stay current with recent Hurricane Productions' events by visiting the company's Facebook page at facebook.com/hurricanesocial

 

2009 Archive: Vincent Velasquez comments on Hurricane's 6th anniversary

Hurricane Productions New Jersey Wedding

I will say this about our six-year anniversary - These first five years of Hurricane Productions have been nothing more or less than research and development.

We've been able to learn about the DJ entertainment business in terms of what we like and what we want to change. All the while, we graduated high school and I recently graduated Rutgers University.

So here is my statement:  I don't believe that we've truly competed with our real competitors up to this point. Today is when we start.

Read more

Will the iPod Ever Replace the DJ?

Did the turntable replace the DJ? Then why should the iPod pose any more of a threat? Both are tools in which DJs use to orchestrate the perfect party. Whether you are throwing a Sweet 16 party or celebrating your wedding day, a good DJ will know what to play and when to play it. The DJs at Hurricane Productions entertainment in New Jersey specialize in finding the perfect balance between music genres and tempos for all events including Weddings, Sweet 16s, and more.

There are countless situations where a good DJ needs to make important decisions throughout any event. Decisions about song choice, volume level, guest requests, equipment failure, timing issues, and so on. If apple releases and iPod that can do all that, we're all in trouble.

The simple truth is that iPods CAN NOT fulfill all the abilities that a seasoned DJ possesses. However, some still argue that the iPod poses a true threat to the mobile Disc Jockey. For the most part, these people do not know what they're talking about and won't understand until they really try running an entire party off of an iPod.

The major negatives in attempting to replace your DJ with an iPod are as follows:

  • iPod will not mix your music for you!
    That's right! You'll have to listen to every second of every song on your playlist. That is, unless you run behind your makeshift booth and abruptly end the song by pressing the next song button.
  • iPod will not make good choices!
    A simple click of the shuffle button has very little chance of running a successful music set. And what happens if you accidentally added "Loving You is Easy Cuz You're Beautiful" to your dance playlist? How embarrassing . . .
  • iPod has no concept of flow or party rhythm.
    DJs are born with a 6th sense for music flow and rhythm. I don't think iPods ship with that feature.
  • Volume, volume, volume.
    Did you know that all songs are not recorded at the same volume level? Your iPod may try to compensate for this variability with its Volume Check function but this function is less than reliable, ESPECIALLY if you have pirated / stolen music on your iPod. The dirty people that rip original CDs don't care about your Sweet 16 and that Flo Rida is now bumping at half the volume the previous song was.
  • Feedback anyone?
    Without someone manning audio levels you can run into some real challenges if you plan on hosting a speech or toast at your engagement. The only thing worse than feedback is a bad DJ and with using an iPod you risk the chance of having both occur.
  • VALUE!
    If you STILL feel like an iPod is a viable solution to your party's entertainment needs then it must be a money issue. Please take a step back and think about what you will need to rent in order to supply your iPod with the necessary sound reinforcement. High quality audio equipment can cost as much as $500-$700 per day.Most DJ companies will supply experienced individuals to run your party, as well as all the equipment, for under a thousand dollars. Take a look at Hurricane Productions Super Sweet 16 Package for an idea of what true DJ entertainment value is all about. This package includes 3 staff members, web photo package, lighting show, high quality sound system and tons more. Your iPod certainly can't do all that.

For now the iPod will remain nothing more than a music storage tool and private music player. Not a DJ replacement device.

Check out Hurricane Productions LLC, an affordable DJ entertainment company based out of New Jersey that focuses on continuely adding value to their already fantastic product.

Related Content from other excellent entertainment companies:

<a href="http://www.discjockey.org/iPod.html"  title="iPod Wedding Guide"><B>iPod Wedding Guide</B></a> - Fourth Estate Audio shows you the pro's and con's of putting on an iPod wedding reception.<BR>

iPod Wedding Guide - Fourth Estate Audio (Chicago) shows you the pro's and con's of putting on an iPod wedding reception.

What to ask when hiring a DJ (Weddings Sweet 16s and more)

Planning a large scale party is not an easy process, especially if you've never planned one before. There are many different aspects of the engagement that must be taken care of such as which caterer to use, which venue to use, and of course choosing an entertainment company. Don't let all of this scare you though! Planning and executing successful party is a rewarding endeavor and the planning process can be made much easier with the help of qualified entertainment professionals. The professionals at Hurricane Productions DJ Entertainment, in New Jersey, hosts over one hundred events and parties per year and part of what makes them stand out for other DJ companies is dedication they have to their clients. Planning and entertaining such a large variety of events makes the DJ one of the most knowledgeable party-planning resources you have at your disposal.

So ask your DJ for help! It is their job to make your party run smoothly and they can offer great advice on ALL aspects of your engagement. Just remember one thing, not all DJs are created equally. The term "qualified entertainment professional" is an important one when picking a great DJ for your event. So how do you go about picking your qualified entertainment professionals? Well if you're in New Jersey, check out Hurricane Productions LLC for starters otherwise the following Q & A might be good to take a look at. Asking your DJ the right questions shows the dj company that you are serious and knowledgeable about the event you are planning while also weeding out the less-qualified entertainment options.

What to ask when hiring a DJ:

Is your DJ insured?
This is one of the most important questions to ask your potential DJ. Most upscale venues require the entertainment company to provide them with an insurance certificate or proof of insurance. This a is a particularly volatile situation because many venues will wait to ask the DJ for proof of insurance until there is only one week left (or less) before the event. That's right, after you've signed all your contracts and sent out all your deposits your venue could easily deny your DJ access to your hall at the last minute so make sure you ask this question. Hurricane Productions is fully insured.

Does your entertainment company use clean music / music edited for

radio?
Make sure you know where your DJ is getting his/her music from. There are many companies that offer legal, professional grade music (such as PromoOnly) that supply DJs with songs suitable for public radio and songs that are totally censored for unacceptable language. The last thing you want to do is offend your guests with dirty lyrics. Hurricane Productions LLC is 100% clean.

Who are the DJ's that show up to our event?
If possible, request to meet with (or at least speak to) the ACTUAL DJs that will be at your specific event. Details will often get lost if there is a middle-man between you and your DJ such as a sales associate. Hurricane Productions will always put you in direct contact with the DJ(s) supplied for your event. For the majority of Hurricane parties, the person you deal with throughout the entire planning process IS your actual DJ.

How many entertainers are included in the service?
It is highly recommended that you have at least two people at your event responsible for entertainment. This usually implies one person on the microphone motivating guests and organizing the flow of the party (master of ceremonies) and a person in charge of the music / sound system (disc jockey). Hurricane Productions sends a 2-man crew minimum to all events and will be as interactive as you want them to be.

Does your DJ use professional equipment, with multiple amplifiers and sub-woofer(s)?

There is a difference between the audio equipment you have at home and the equipment a professional DJ uses. Professional audio equipment is built to handle the abuse of taking the equipment on the road each weekend. Make sure your prospective choices use only professional equipment to ensure the music sounds as good as possible for your guests' enjoyment. There are a multitude of professional audio brands out there but a few of the popular high-quality companies include: QSC, JBL, Cerwin Vega!, Mackie. A strong sound system should include at least two satellite speakers (tripod speakers) and one sub woofer each having their own separate amplifier. The audio professionals at Hurricane Productions adjust their sound system differently for each hall and venue to ensure peak acoustic performance.

Can your DJ provide backup equipment and personal in case of emergency?
Even professional equipment can fail on occasion, so it is important to know whether your DJ has spare equipment available to them, ON SITE. Any number of circumstances may arise between the time you book your DJ and the date of your event. It is important to know if your DJ company has a backup plan in case of a problem, no matter how unlikely it is to occur. Hurricane Productions brings backup equipment to each and every event and has NEVER experienced a problem they could not fix on site, EVER.

What happens if it rains for our outdoor party?
Always coordinate a rain-date with your DJs so you don't find yourself without entertainment once the sun comes back out. Also, read your DJ contract thoroughly for any hidden fees. Some DJ companies will charge you extra for rain cancellations even after deciding on a suitable rain-date.

Can your DJ provide a written contract?
It is extremely important to have your booking confirmed in writing. All terms of the agreement should be in writing to avoid any complications at a later date. Typical retainer (deposit) should be at least 10-20% and no more than 50% of the total contract rate.

What do I as the client need to physically provide the DJ with?
It is important to make sure that you know what to provide. Most DJs request the following:

* One Sturdy Table for Equipment (6 Ft Preferred).

* Tablecloth / Table Skirt.

* Access to Two Electrical Outlets.

How long does it take you to set up?
This time will vary greatly on the size of the package you choose but generally most packages should take between 1 and 3 hours to set up. Hurricane Productions offers four main packages to choose from. Hurricane's smallest package (simple package) can be set up in 45 minutes where as their largest package (Hurricane Productions package) can take closer to 3 hours to set up.

Is your DJ willing to discuss musical selections ahead of time, and is he or she willing to play requests, particularly if they are suitable for dancing?
Professional DJs cannot possibly know everything there is to know about your specific musical preferences and entertainment needs without discussion. Your DJ should be willing to listen to your ideas and suggestions. They should make themselves available prior to your engagement (either by telephone or in person) to discuss music selections and other aspects of entertainment planning. Special requests should never be a problem and your DJ should be willing to play them for you. Hurricane Productions meets with all clients in-person and most of the time it will be with the actual DJ whom will be performing at that party. Click here to see Hurricane Productions' entire entertainment staff.

Do I really need a lighting package?

The need for a lighting package will depend on what your event is, and especially what time of day your event is taking place. If you event is during the day with a lot of windows a lighting package will make no difference. If this is not the case we suggest purchasing at least a simple lighting package. Many guests often do not like to be seen in full lighting while dancing. The DJ lighting will allow you to bring down the house lights while also motivating people to dance simply because the lighting enhances the entire party experience. Hurricane Productions uses professional intelligent DJ lighting which responds to the beat of the music.

Take your time when picking a DJ entertainment company to work with. Chances are you are planning a very special day so do it right. Remember, all DJs are not created equally; the more questions you ask the more confident you can be that you are making the right choice. It's up to you to make sure you get the entertainment quality you deserve.

Check out HurricaneProductions.com for more information about a great DJ entertainment company in Monmouth County New Jersey.

Hurricane Productions to provide entertainment for Chi Psi 500

chipsi500

New Jersey's leading DJ company, Hurricane Productions, continues its commitment to the Rutgers University community by providing entertainment for the 2008 Chi Psi 500.

The event, which will take place on Livingston Campus at noon Sunday October 12, 2008 raises money for the ALS Association.

Hurricane Productions entertains three philanthropic events at Rutgers University. Best know for it's involvement with Rutgers Dance Marathon, Hurricane Productions is the official DJ company for the Chi Psi 500 and Sigma Chi Derby Days.

About Chi Psi 500:

The Chi Psi 500 Push-Kart race started in 2006, when the Brothers of Chi Psi at Rutgers decided to honor a Chi Psi alumnus who passed away from ALS (commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease).

Since then, the event has raised thousands of dollars for the ALS Association and has united the Rutgers Community in the fight against the disease.

2008 Archive: Hurricane co-founder Vincent Velasquez reflects on the company's five-year anniversary

Robert Padovano, Vincent Velasquez, Guido Santiago - 2012

Hurricane Productions has done so much for me.

It has given me the ability to enjoy college life and work a second job that I love just as much as DJ entertainment. But most of all, its given the the opportunity to reach out to so many different people in so many different places.

We've been all over New Jersey. We've entertained in Philadelphia, Atlantic City, New York, and Brooklyn. Our videos and music have been seen and heard all over this great country and even in the Netherlands. I've gotten phone calls from companies in Cleveland, Los Angeles, Phoenix and emails from people overseas. And all of this is from a company that worked its first party in a backyard in Morganville, NJ five years ago today.

I'll never forget that party - an eighth grade graduation for a friend's sister. Strato and I worked three days straight beforehand building a small music library and making sure my dad's speakers and amplifier set from the 1980s still had some juice in them. My dad drove us to the party (we were 16 years old) and we played music for four hours. Strato liked changing the CDs in our two five-disc changers and I fell in love with talking on the microphone. Strato became a DJ, I became an MC.

We didn't charge that family any money, but afterwards the mom came to us and handed me an envelope with a tip. I took half and Strato took half. Boom. A 50-50 partnership was born.

Last night Strato and I looked back on our entire collections of emails and reminisced about all the gigs and jobs we worked and all the different people in our lives.

On the entertainment side, we just keep growing. Everyday we make improvements to our product. Strato and I brainstorm and make things happen. Our talents are so diverse but at the same time, it is the secret ingredient that many have tried to copy and/or discover on their own.

We work long hours, but it is expected because we own and operate the company. But on top of that, we have to make it to your event energetic and fun. I've never complained about any event we've worked. Even one I showed up to with pink eye and a dent on my front bumper after a car accident!

In 2004 and 2005, we worked at a day camp in Manalapan and taught kids how to DJ on our amateur system. Every Friday the entire camp would gather in a large pavilion and listen to Strato play the Cha Cha Slide and watch me teach them new instructional dances. It was taxing work. Especially since another DJ company, a more experienced one, worked larger events for the camp. We were constantly criticized and put under a microscope.

Peers of ours would talk behind our backs and laugh every time we mentioned DJing. Even our own families doubted the company would survive once we entered college.

But here we are, five years later. And still working hard, still making a difference in people's lives. I don't know if many people are able to fathom how much of a responsibility it is on us to be accountable for family memories. Ten years from now, a Sweet 16 girls is going to look back on her video and remember how much fun she had. A bride and groom will always remember their first dance. All of that is captured in photos and video and Hurricane Productions is a huge part of making all of those memories happen in time.

Every party is unique to me and my passion for entertainment keeps each party fresh and new. I could work 52 weeks straight and entertain the same type of event, but it will always be different. Each week I'm greeted into a new family and make new personal connections.

It has not always been easy. We've gone through some hard times in our personal lives and in our family lives. Still, DJing and entertainment is always a release for me. I'll never forget having to wake up on a Friday morning to bury my grandmother in Brooklyn and then rush back to New Jersey to work a wedding. I was just 17-years old. I'll never forget going through a rough breakup with an ex-girlfriend and the next day having to work an engagement party for a young, happy couple. Sometimes we forget, myself included, that we are people too and we need the entertainment just as much as our clients.

One thing that really stuck out to me was the amount of charity and volunteer work we've done over the past five years. In year one and two, 2003 and 2004, we volunteered our small PA system to the Keansburg Library so that they could cut the red tape in front of their new building in style. And how did they celebrate? We played music and danced into the night.

We also entertained our high school's fundraisers for little or no money. We introduced varsity sports teams into the gymnasium for pep rallies, and provided music for two Walk-a-Thons.

Working for the Knights of Columbus in Sayreville in 2004-2006 always sticks out in my mind. We helped a man named Tom, a guy in his mid-forties in the National Guard, put together dances for his "Squires," or in layman's terms -- teenagers interested in the KOC. In early 2006 we found out Tom was deployed to Arizona and then to Iraq. We haven't heard from him since, but we hope the work we did for him touched the individuals he aimed to please.

This past year we donated our entire staff's weekend in the first week of April (and DJ companies know how valuable a Spring weekend can be) to Rutgers Dance Marathon. DM is a 32-hour event that raises money for the Embrace Kids Foundation in New Brunswick, NJ. Embrace Kids serves families with children that have blood and cancer disorders. This year, DM raised over $320,000. And thanks to contributions from our clients, we were able to make a $630.00 donation. Better yet, we're already signed on for next year.

Helping Dance Marathon and the Embrace Kids Foundation is a true sign of our company's maturity. We've gone from using a PA system for opening a public library to touching the lives of so many families in need in a critical time in their lives. Both are so important in their respective ways, but I get emotional thinking that we've grown so quickly to be able to staff a 32-hour, non-stop event.

Like my recently deceased grandfather said "Show me who your friends are, and I'll show you who you are."

The reason I mention that is because Hurricane Productions is not just Strato and myself. It is Ashley Best, Jon Brooks, Samantha Cella, DJ LaLima, Kyle Gries, Ed Romani, and Alex Rosenkranz. These are the people, no matter how big or small their roles are, that make this company work and work very well.

And even some of the people who came before them, like the Doctor of Style, Mike Mendez, have contributed to this company.

But most importantly, we have been able to grow these last five years because of the dedication our clients show us. We have so many repeat customers and return business. So many of our clients have become friends that constantly keep in contact with us. Their continued business is much appreciated. They trust us, and in return, we trust them tenfold.

We've labeled our company as "The business of building great entertainment." But I would argue, we're in the business of building great and everlasting relationships.

Thank you for the past five years and cheers to many more,
Vincent Velasquez
Co-Founder, Co-Owner, Master of Ceremonies

Sweet 16 Candle Lighting Honoree Order

One of the most important parts of a young lady's Sweet 16 is her candle ceremony. Despite it's importance, it does not have to be the most stressful part of planning. The task of assigning family and friends to each of 16 candles may seem like a monumental feat, but once you start and complete candle one you'll be amazed at how easily the remaining candles fall into place. The following are some helpful tips and general guidelines to make candle lighting preparation easier.

The guest of honor may light a memory candle for deceased relative(s). Typically, this is announced by the Guest of Honor, and is done either before the first candle is announced, or before the parents' candle is announced. Alternatively, one of the candles on the cake can be lit as a memory candle—this would be announced at the time of that candle.

It is important to make an organized list which includes the names of people who will be coming to the cake. Write the names as the Guest of Honor calls them (like "Aunt Rose and Uncle Bob," etc.). The usual order for candle lighting is:

(the following is just a guideline to help you with the ceremony, by no means must the ceremony be arranged in this order)

1. Grandparents

2. Aunts

3. Uncles

4. Cousins

5. Older relatives

6. Younger relatives

7. Friends of parents

8. Friends of Guest of Honor

9. Parents

10. Siblings

11. Guest of Honor

The usual number of candles is 17 (16 for age, one for good luck). Try to group relatives and friends together to keep the amount of candles to this number as best as possible. You can have interesting tidbits of information announced as the individuals come up to light the candles.

You will also need to choose music to be played while people come up and light the candles. You can have one piece of music serve as background to all of the candles, or you may want to match a specific song to each person or group of people lighting the candle. The total ceremony takes about 15-20 minutes.

 

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