“Everyone wants to be a DJ. No one wants to be a Fireman anymore” – Brodinski
Louis Brodinski is right. Everyone is becoming a DJ these days. The market is getting younger. Kids fresh in the clubbing and festival scene are now supporting headliners. Even older generations are coming back to the rave caves. Competition to get booked and play live is getting fierce. We’ve already written on how to get booked, so now here is how to never get booked at a club.
This is the most important tip. Booking agents and promoters are far more inspired to book an upcoming DJ and regular punter than the caveman DJ. Be social, be supportive and be kind to the promoters, they are the ones doing all the leg work to make sure clubs are run successfully and giving you a chance to follow your dream.
Booking agents and promoters don’t have much spare time. Make it easy for them to understand who you are by sending in direct links to mixes and your EPK. They should be able to glance over it briefly and be convinced they can put you on.
People do notice DJs that turn up early or on time to support the acts before them. The music industry is a tight group of supportive people, so the more love you give the more you will get back. Showing up late not only puts pressure on the promoters and team, it also shows that you are only there to take and not give.
This one is just a given. I’ve been at too many events when opening acts are abusing the rider (and leaving no beers for the headliners) and milking the venue and promoters for freebies for their mates. As a professional DJ being put on to play, be professional and know your place. You get a bigger rider when you sell more tickets, you get more gigs when you play lit nights and fill the dance floors. When you start off no one owes you anything, you need to earn everything.
If you want to have a proper response, provide a proper form of correspondence. Don’t send Facebook messages, snapchats or Instagram DMs; booking agents will respond most positively to emails. Have a short, punchy and proper intro as well as links to your EPK and mixes.
Patience is key in everything especially music and getting booked. Hounding promoters and booking agents is a surefire way to not get booked. They have received your email and will reply when the time is right. Work on improving your brand, music and skills in the mean time. Your time will come.