Over To You: How To Get Paid At A Gig I’ve Been Doing For Free

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getting paid
Last updated 26 November, 2017

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getting paid
Under 18s nights are big news: Why shouldn’t you be paid for DJing at them?
Pic: Ladies Circle Uk

Digital DJ Tips reader Kieran aka DJ WreckDown writes: “I’m a 15-year-old DJ. For over a year now I have been doing an under-18 night for free, but now I think its time to ask for a payment as I’m turning 16 next month I really need all the money I can get at the moment.

“So my question is, how would I approach the manager of the nightclub to ask to start getting paid to DJ at these under 18 events without jeopardising my position at the club?”

Digital DJ Tips says:

Nobody should work for free, but if they’re not prepared to pay you there’s not an awful lot you can do about it! It can be hard to ask for payment when you’ve been doing something for free.

I would point out the cost of music, of your gear, the fact that he’s profiting from your services and that you’d like to be paid something for all of this, and for the time you’re giving up to do it.

You can use the fact that you’re turning 16 as a bargaining point – “I was happy to do it for free when I was 15, but now I’m 16…”

Over to you: Have you been in this situation? If you were Kieran, how would you approach the negotiations? Please share any experiences or advice in the comments.

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