Real DJs Don’t Sell Tickets, They Play Music

Oftentimes we have heard a lot of artists complaining that the music business is not cut out to be all roses and lavender. The reality is that it is a cutthroat business. As an artist your natural forte is to perform to the best of your abilities. Time is money, and the amount of time that you spend perfecting your craft is money in itself. And that is a resource that is in short supply. The focal point of this article is to dissect how promoters are ripping off Dj’s on the club scene. Another issue is whether Dj’s who double as their own promoters have enough gumption left to deliver as a good Dj.

The dream of any aspiring Dj is to book a gig or gigs; hey the sky is the limit here isn’t it. However this dream is oftentimes tainted when Dj’s discover they have to sell their own tickets so as to be able to play in clubs. So we have a situation where fresh, young talent, bridling with enthusiasm is running around trying to get as many people as possible to their gig. That’s time scouting for club people, that’s time convincing people its ‘going to be the best night of their lives…” To top it all if you only manage to sell like 25 tickets, out of 100 tickets, you start wondering how you are going to get your bread and the focus in that instant shifts. From a creative bubble to the harsh cold reality of doubling as your own promoter. Dj’s I have talked to, all agree that it’s a very intense emotional conundrum you find yourself in. It’s stifling creativity, that’s what it is. The promoter whose job you are doing tells you if the event is a success then you get paid too.  The truth is, the promoter usually has his money already, and you are just doing his work and usually end up with less revenue.

Real DJsThe role of a promoter is to “put on a show” and get people to come to that show by publicizing that show really well. The role of an excellent Dj is to hone his craft, research on music and make the best mixes available for his crowd. The lines are blurred now as I mentioned before. As for Dj’s who double as promoters, I highly doubt the quality of their work. To be a Dj worthy of mention requires intense concentration and TIME. How is one achieving this if you are basically working double?  Of course, there are some who can make it work but this is not practically ideal. If this earth was la di da heaven and everyone was honest, it would be a joy to be in the business. There is only one way to survive as a Dj and that’s to be cunning yourself. I picked up a few tips from other people.

  • If you really have to sell the tickets so that you play then it’s better to take FULL AND COMPLETE CONTROL of the night yourself.
  • Have your own people at the door, to count patrons so that there are no disagreements about payment and sales tickets.
  • Recruit your friends to refer you and your night to their other friends (nothing like word of mouth, literally).
  • Finally if the treatment you get at that club is foul, pass around free cd’s to patrons with all your social network details, you never know who will end up being an avid fan.

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