With another public holiday long weekend just around the corner, it’s time to get ready for a sweltering summer backyard bash. If you’re in charge of bringing the music, here’s our tips for creating the perfect party playlist.
1. Establish the setting and audience
Before you can start choosing songs, you have to decide what sort of atmosphere you’re trying to create. What type of party are you hosting? Is it a relax by the pool daytime party? Or will you be dancing all night? As the playlist creator you have complete control of the vibe, tempo and theme.
You also need to think about the age group of the audience. The goal of the playlist should be to play music that everyone will love. If it’s multigenerational party, make sure to mix it up so there’s something for everyone. You can even try including remixes of older songs to bridge the musical gap. That way you’re keeping the spirit of the original track, while adding a modern element for the younger people.
You should also be aiming for your playlist to be at least three hours long – there’s nothing worse than hearing the same song two or three times.
2. Mix it up
A good variety of slow and fast songs, and a mix of genres keeps people interested. Just because it’s a party doesn’t mean every song needs to be upbeat. Mixing up the music style and chucking in a few throw backs between today’s top hits is a great way to keep your guests entertained.
You should also be curating the playlist so that it builds up into the big, upbeat tunes. When guests first arrive they’re not going to be hitting the d-floor immediately. Let them settle in and save the dance tunes for later in the night.
And don’t be afraid to include some of your own favourites, without forcing your unique tastes on your guests. You might be the world’s biggest Brittney fan (looking at you @Ray_YC), but you can’t just play her greatest hits all night. And as much as I’d love to hear a few throw backs from my punk high school days, it’s much safer to stick with songs everyone knows and loves. But if you must include them, try sandwiching lesser known songs between the hits.
3. Review and edit
You should try to listen to your playlist at least once through to make sure the songs work together. If you’ve got a long commute into work, you can listen to it then.
But if the idea of creating a playlist completely from scratch is too daunting, there’s heaps of pre-made playlists on apps like Spotify. The ‘Big Summer Hits’ or ‘Australia Top 50’ will work just fine! Spotify can also do some of the hard work for you – once you’ve added a few songs to your playlist, similar songs will appear as recommendations.
And if you’re looking for a few party starters to include, I asked the Yes Crowd team what songs they’d include in their party playlist. Here’s what they said: