Promoters need DJs – but DJs need promoters, too. After all, promoters control the scene in most big cities and towns. So if you want to consistently land gigs with these promoters, the sooner you realise that being a technically great DJ is only a part of what they are looking for, the better! In this article, we look at what you should be doing in order to make yourself irresistible to promoters and get booked again and again by them.
5 Ways To Do It
1. Help out with promoting the event
With the advent of social media, you don’t necessarily need a traditional “street team” to be handing out flyers or flyposting any more. You can help out the event promoters by telling all your friends, making Facebook announcements and having your friends repost them. Even if you only bring an extra 10 people along, the promoters will be grateful for your efforts.
Unfortunately, lots of DJs think that after being booked, all they need to do is pack some tracks and turn up at the event. Nothing could be further from the truth. Your work begins before you step into the DJ box. If you do it properly, you can get and promote your gigs while you sleep.
2. Actually be promotable
Having an up-to-date electronic press kit (EPK) is a good way to make yourself more marketable. Have decent pictures taken and some logos knocked up, and include them. Put in all the links to your social media pages (and list how many followers you have) and your online mixes. If you’ve played somewhere big in the past, make sure it is in there. When you have all you need, make a website to host it all. This stuff helps the promoters out massively because it saves them time having to ask you for it.
An identifiable style is something that all DJs should have. If you don’t think that you do, get to work; be creative. Another way of making yourself more marketable to the masses is by being a DJ/producer. If you put the hours in and start to make some good music, promoters in your area will hear about it. If you play your cards right and assuming you are just starting out, they will be clambering to have you play for them before your gig fees go up as you become more popular.
3. Be on time
This goes without saying for anything you arrange to do in life: be on time. You can cock up a lot of things for others if you rock up to your gig late. Give yourself ample time and get to the place as early as possible. That way, you can take your time to set up and figure everything out before you jump behind the decks.
what’s more, the promoters will be very glad for any extra help that you can give them in getting everything set up. If you turn up early, you have a higher chance of being able to help them out. Turn up late and you probably aren’t going to be asked back.
Remember, if it looks like you might struggle to get there on time when offered the gig in the first place, you don’t have to take it! If you are running late, let the promoters know as soon as possible.
4. Be nice and treat everyone with respect
As the old adage goes: “Be nice to people on your way up because you’ll meet them on your way down.” It always pays to be nice and if you have been booked for a gig, the promoter is actually doing you a favour. Leave your ego at home. Everything runs a lot smoother when we work together, so why should it be any different with DJing? Promoters also have lots on their plates as well as you come gig night.
Always be ready to help out and be sure to follow any rules of guidelines the promoters have set. Don’t put the volume up whenever you want, don’t redline the mixer and certainly don’t get hammered before or during your set. Absolutely do not hit on the promoter’s girlfriend/boyfriend.
5. Play to the vibe of the event you were booked for
If you are booked to play a specific event with a specific musical theme, stick to it! If you don’t want to do that then don’t take on the gig in the first place. There is no point upsetting people and wasting their time and money just because you think you know what they want to listen to.
As was written above, leave your ego at home. If you really must take the gig and you have little experience with whatever kind of music it is that they want, then make sure you put in a lot of research before the event. Get the necessary tracks and give the crowd what they want. You never know, if they are eating out of your hand, they might not mind a little education later on in the night with a track of your choice thrown in here or there.
Don’t forget, a promoter’s main mission is to fill clubs with people to make money. In order to keep doing this, they need to book reliable DJs who understand the promotion game and are prepared to work with them at making the night a success. It is not enough to think that you have been booked now, so all you need to do is prepare some tunes and turn up.
Once you get these bookings, you have to put in effort to keep them. The promoters in your area will see and appreciate this and you will get many more gig offers as a result.
Do you think we missed anything out? What is the biggest mistake that you have made with a promoter? Let us know in the comments below…