Over To You: How Should You React To Bad Requests When DJing?

Phil Morse | Read time: 2 mins
dj requests
Last updated 7 November, 2017


No requests
So in the week that DJ Dan (this isn’t him, by the way!) stopped the music to remonstrate at a clubber who’d swung a punch at him for not playing a request, we ask: How do you deal with inappropriate requests or aggressive requesters?

As we covered in the Friday Roundup yesterday, DJ Dan – a well-known DJ/producer on the underground house scene in the US – was punched when he wouldn’t play an inappropriate request at a gig in Baltimore a couple of days back. Nobody filmed the incident, but someone did film the words DJ Dan said on the microphone shortly afterwards (the video is here).

Here’s what happened in his own words:

“The place was packed with my hardcore followers and the vibe was amazing. A girl who obviously did not know anything about me (or the night) kept coming up to me asking for a request I did not have nor would I ever play. I politely told her that I did not have it but if I had a remix of it that I liked I would play it but I just don’t have it. She said ‘How can you not have that? You’re the DJ, you should have that’.

Then at about 1:30 she came back up asking for it again with a guy next to her. I honestly didn’t even realise they were together and trusting that the place was packed with people that came to hear my set, I figured he was a fan and he would hear me out and help me get through to her. Especially since he could see that I was still mixing and could not carry on this conversation. I looked at him and said…can you please explain to her that the track she is asking for is just not my style or sound? Shockingly, he started lunging an at me and said something along the lines of, ‘Bro you need to stop being disrespectful to her and play the song…’ To which I responded that no, actually I don’t! Then he ran up into the DJ booth and swung at me, fortunately he missed and barely got me. Right then my friend stepped in between the two of us until the security guards came to have them removed from the club. While this was happening, I shut the music off and pointed right at him and announced ‘This guy just tried to hit me because I wouldn’t play his girl’s mainstream request’. The crowd booed at him and then I made my announcement that was captured on video.”

Have you ever had to deal with something similar?

Most people think DJ Dan dealt with this pretty well, but of course, from drunken brides demanding Dirty Dancing ballads to psyched-up partygoers screaming for hard techno in Top 40 clubs, there are thousands of situations of all types where people ask DJs to play stuff the DJs don’t want to play – and therefore, thousands of ways of dealing with the situations. Indeed, we’ve got a whole article on it (see 10 Types of People Who Make Requests (And How To Handle Them)).

So today I’d like to hand it over to you. What the worst request you’ve ever been asked for? How did you dealt with it? Also, did DJ Dan do right? What would you have done? Please join the debate in the comments!

Black Friday Sale 2022