Digital DJ Tips reader Tony writes: “I am an old skool DJ, did some club work in the 80s for a few years spinning 45s, then became a musician and played in a few bands. I am now aged 52. I am a very business-minded person and by profession I am an electronics engineer. I came up with a business plan that involved being a DJ again, I actually got very excited about this and started pricing gear and adding a lot of equipment to my Thomann shopping basket!
Now read this: Starting a DJ business.
“I have some doubts now, not about my ability, but rather my age and it’s putting me off pressing the buy button and going for it. I know if I was being asked this question, I would probably tell the person to follow their dream and just go for it and age is only a number etc. I think my worry is one of perception, that is, how people see me. I am not looking at playing in clubs maybe just DJing at parties, weddings and venues suited to older middle aged people. I just wanted to run this by you for some feedback.”
Digital DJ Tips says:
I’m glad you don’t have any issues with your ability, because it sounds like you’re both musically minded and have some background in promotion etc. (You can’t play in bands without having a pack of tickets in your back pocket at all times, as you well know!) All I would say is start your business using hired gear at first, and when you have a small but steady client base, start investing your profits, not your own money, in buying your own gear.
I think you’ve answered your own question regarding your age: There are DJs out there catering for all ages and of all ages; your musical background, breadth of knowledge and experience are going to work in your favour playing to an audience around your own age. I wouldn’t worry for a second about that. (Pete Tong and Carl Cox are the “wrong” side of 50, too!)
Your audiences will forget your age anyway as soon as you start playing, if it were ever an issue, which it won’t be. Frankly if I was close to retirement and Avicii walked in to play an event I was attending think I’d be far more scared…
Seriously though, as always I feel there will be many people reading this saying “I did exactly that!” who would love to share their experiences with you, so I’m going to formally throw this one over to our ever-reliable readers.
So, over to you! Have you started a DJ business later on in life? Any thoughts, experiences or advice to share with Tony? Please add your words in the comments below.