How To Get Over A Nightmare Gig

Marc Santaromana | Read time: 2 mins
Club/Festival DJing Pro
Last updated 1 July, 2019


All DJs run into their share of horrible gigs. From gear emergencies, unreceptive crowds, or punters making too many (sometimes ludicrous) requests, a gig can turn bad for a number of reasons. One of the worst things a DJ can do, and something that happens quite often to newer DJs, is to let these bad gigs discourage you from booking future shows.

Here are three things you can do to help get over a nightmare gig:

1. Learn from the nightmare

There is always something to be learned from every bad experience. This is true in DJing, as well as in just about any aspect of life. Maybe you learn to not book certain types of gigs or for certain venues / crowds? Maybe stay away from certain genres of music you do not enjoy?

Whatever it is, spend a bit of time thinking about what went wrong, why you didn’t like it, and how to avoid something like it happening again.

2. Set a practice session with some friends

Getting together with some mates who share the same passion for DJing helps to regain a positive lookout on spinning. There’s nothing like jamming out with friends to tunes you love and just kicking back to reignite your love for spinning.

Livestreaming your session is also a great way to put out content on your socials and to let people know what kind of music you play – don’t forget to tag your buddies!

3. Book a gig that you know will be 100% fun

A great way to get over a terrible show is to have an amazing next gig, so book a gig that you know you will have fun playing. Maybe it’s playing music you absolutely enjoy (eg a gig where you aren’t constrained by a client or the promoter) or spinning for an audience who you know will support you through and through, regardless of technical slip-ups.

You can also put together your own show, or even just throw a small get together with friends where you spin for them – this gives you a “home crowd” advantage for an added confidence boost.


It’s inevitable that you’ll run into a gig that will leave you discouraged or even worse, make you second guess being a DJ. Learning how to get yourself out of the slump created by a bad gig will not only help you learn more about yourself as a DJ, but will also help you become a better DJ overall.

So never let a bad gig keep you down, there’s always something to be learned from every missed opportunity, and more than one way to get your spirits back up.

What’s the worst DJ gig that you’ve ever played? Share your story with us below.

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