Digital DJ Tips reader Steve asks: “I live smack bang in the middle of nowhere with a desire to break out into provincial towns and cities to get gigs. However, it all seems like a very closed shop. Every underground-type club within one hundred miles seems to be chock-full of resident DJs. The guys that put the nights on have all the DJs they need (basically mates that put on nights together) and any festivals already have a long list of guys waiting for next year’s to come round. I’m struggling to work out a way in and I want to know people’s thoughts on trying to get gigs in rural areas.”
Digital DJ Tips says…
Well Steve, that does sound tough on you. Have you ever considered buying yourself a PA system and hosting your own parties? If there is no scene where you live, make one happen! One of the best ways of working your way into the scene is by inviting other DJs to play at your events. You will often find that they will return the favour as well.
While living “in the middle of nowhere” can have its downsides, one of the biggest pluses is that you can make more noise without disturbing as many people! Another plus point is that people are naturally drawn to the outdoors. If you can set up a quirky outdoor event with quality music, you can bet people will come. Be creative. Festivals like Gottwood have done well over recent years for this reason.
The distance to the nearest clubs need not be so much of a hindrance either, you can always make a name for yourself online. Online streaming of your DJ sets is not only excellent for practising but also for building a following. Sites like Chew are a good place to look if this is something that interests you.
When you talk about there being waiting lists for next year’s festival slots, how do you know this? Are you constantly pestering the promoters to fit you into the lineup? You can’t lose heart, you have to keep hustling. How often are you going out to support your local scene? Acquaint yourself with the resident DJs at the clubs you like and become friends. there are never enough gigs: People in the city complain there’s too much competition, people in the country that there are too few gigs. Instead, be positive, come up with a plan, and throw in some hard work, and the gigs will start to roll in given time.
Have you done any gigs in a rural setting? What were your experiences? Do you have any tips for Steve? Let us know in the comments below…