Over To You: How Do I Start Getting DJ Gigs… At 52 Years Old?

Phil Morse | Read time: 2 mins
DJ age Too old to DJ
Last updated 9 November, 2017


Pete Tong
Pete Tong is the ‘wrong side’ of 50, and he’s just moved to LA and reinvented himself yet again… but is 52 too old to start DJing in public?

Reader Kyle (not his real name) writes: “I’m a bedroom DJ for three years. I love deep house, progressive, techno and minimal. Digital DJing is great, I love mixing daily at home, but I’ve never played live, and I’m wondering whether to accept this state of affairs or do something about it. And here’s the twist: I’m 52 year old! I feel I’m too old for clubs, both going clubbing and to be a DJ in a club. I love this music, but none of my friends do, and I’ve no idea where I could get a gig. Am I the only DJ too old to actually be one?”

Digital DJ Tips says:

I know what you mean! Clubbing can be perceived as a young person’s game, although it does depends where you are in the world. (For instance, here in Spain where I choose to live, if you can stand the pace, you’re accepted, whatever your age.) And while many of our readers may well feel that 52 is indeed old, I know for a fact we have DJs from 12 to 72 on this site.

I think you should separate clubbing and music here. You can still play your music to private parties of like-minded people, you can still make mixes and use social media to gather a following, you could even investigate Second Life DJing if you really don’t like the idea of playing or going near clubs. And bars and lounges that attract older crowds may also be a good avenue to pursue.

Getting gigs is hard at any age, and you should also not forget your strengths. I’m assuming you’ve been into the music far longer than you’ve DJed it. That means you have a wide choice of experiences and tracks to draw on that younger DJs don’t have. If it’s just a confidence thing, use this to boost yourself. However I know for a fact we have lots of DJs who aren’t exactly young who frequent the site, and I suspect a few will have stories to tell you and advice to offer, so I’d like to throw this one open to our readers.

So, over to you: Are you an older DJ with regular work? What advice would you offer to Kyle? Or do you think, at 52, that he really is too old to DJ? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Click here for your free DJ Gear and software guide