Home Forums The DJ Booth Dealing with the public

Viewing 14 posts - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
  • Author
  • #1012993
    Phil Morse

    We all have to do it – dealing with drunken people, flirty people, in your face people, other DJs, promoters, doormen, request givers etc etc etc. So what’s your tip for dealing with the public when you’re DJing? And have you ever seen anyone deal spectacularly badly with such situations?


    Once I was being hassled by these two incredibly irritating (but very hot) girls who kept asking me to play faster stuff with more vocals. I told them I was just warming up for the headliner and wasn’t gonna go all out, when the other guy showed up right beside me. They started asking him what he was gonna play and they started saying, “give me your computer, I’ll download them for you and you can play it.” What happened next made me burst out laughing, “I’m not giving you my computer, your taste in music sucks and this isn’t a f*cking trance show so go away.” Nothing like watching girls who are used to guys bending over backwards for them being told off, like a deer caught in headlights.

    Probably not the best way to go, but very effective.


    I am always nice as pie with any of the public tell them what they want to hear and let them down nicely. Last thing you want is some drunken idiot pouring a drink in your mixer cos you have told them to F*ck off. At the end of the day your paid to keep them happy and its a big deal if you play the song they want as they walk away from the whole night thinking what a cool DJ etc. No reason why you cant pick a dirty grimy remix of what they asked for so its a compromise


    Indeed, be super polite all the time is the key I think.
    If someone is really pushy and over the top I usually make up a signal with the waitress and bouncers to get rid of that person. In one large club I played they even had a “panic button” at the booth, that would make a battalion of bouncers come running in hehe


    J-Zed, post: 29439, member: 1486 wrote: Once I was being hassled by these two incredibly irritating (but very hot) girls who kept asking me to play faster stuff with more vocals.

    Wow, i would love that. A rare request for a Napalm Death song by two hot girls, yay.


    I had a businessman in a big swanky bar this past weekend nagging me like a child to play Guns n Roses, after I was explicitly told by the bar manager to keep it light, simple chart stuff only. When he first approached I tried to have a joke with him about it. The second time I politely told him that, when the manager appeared, I would put it to him and see what he said. The third time, he was throwing his toys out of the pram so I told him I was not allowed to play that sort of music without the green light from the bosses. The fourth time, his petulance was embarrassing, so I looked him dead in the eye and flat out told him there was no way I would be playing it.

    My philosophy is treat others how you would like to be treated, and if they do not return your good nature, you have the right to put your foot down. I don’t mind requests, or even banter regarding requests, but hostility and childish behaviour is something I won’t tolerate, not just as a DJ, but as a person.


    I had a drunken heckler one time that just would not shut-up or go away and who was getting more and more agro. In a flash of counter intuitive inspiration I started agreeing with him. “Yeaaaah!” I yelled. “You’re right!” I nodded emphatically, pumping my fist in solidarity. Confused the hell out of him, short circuited his logic board and he wandered off never to be seen again.


    I always humour people and be as nice as possible, in other words it’s a case of applying lifes golden rule. Be nice and you go from being “the DJ” to being “their DJ”, which is an important factor.
    Having said that, I have been known to stare at the centre of someones forehead and go cross eyed as they bore me to death with their incessant whining. My mic also has a dent in it after some guy collected it in the head while he literally grabbed the decks over the front of the DJ box.
    This is all very rare though, and certainly not recommended behaviour 😉


    Groschi, post: 29492, member: 3845 wrote: Wow, i would love that. A rare request for a Napalm Death song by two hot girls, yay.

    Hey if some girls asked me to play some Emperor, then I’d totally consider it. Sadly, they wanted some fluffly trancy or SHM sort of stuff.


    Since I DJ in a virtual world I don’t have the same issues as real-world DJs, but because its on the internet you do get your fair share of trolls, and people who ask for music that is out of theme for the show you are trying to do. In all cases, I advocate being as polite as possible, maintain professional demeanor even in the face of hecklers, and if you cannot or do not wish to fulfill a request say something non-committal that gets you off the hook.


    As others have already said I generally try to be nice, polite and also seem to “agree” with what’s requested – if its not utter bullshit.
    Some examples:
    1. guy comes up asks for a certain track which I dont have and never heard of, he asks me if its ok to plug his USB stick in my laptop in order to get the track and play it – I replied, “Im sorry bro, I do not trust my laptop to be super reliable, Im afraid if we plug a USB stick right now, we may have sound hick ups and we dont want that do we?” (it was lie of course) but he sympathetically agreed and went away – no problems.
    2. guy and girl, perhaps more drunk than they should be, come up and ask me to play faster stuff – I say to them “yeah sure, guys, Im only warming up right now, hold on a few tracks” – they smile at me with happiness…..The funny part is a few tracks later on (and while I have absolutely written off their request) they give me the “OK” signal from the dancefloor like saying “Yeah dude, thats more like it”! Ahhh, psychology, what a weird thing to master!


    I use to play at a bar when the dj booth was on the dancefloor easily accessible for the drunken crowd to come up and see what I am doing on my laptop, see me and my controller basically they could screw me over if they wanted to. I remember a really drunk girl came behind the booth and started to ask if she can mess around on my controller. At first I laughed and smiled and told her that she couldnt (or tried to scream in her ear that she couldn’t) but she couldn’t hear me over the speakers so she started playing with my knobs on my S4. Now I mapped all of my top Knobs on the S4 as effects so needless to say in a middle of a transition i was blending in so smoothly, drunk girl decides to turn on my gate knob and fucks up my whole transition. Needless to say words weren’t exchanged after it was a simple gesture at the bouncers and out she goes. I dont mind people partying in the booth with me, but its a BIG NO NO TABOO to touch the DJ’s equipment when he/she is playing a live set.


    Cant believe the nerve of some people!!!


    If you can, bring with you a ‘friend’ to the booth , the bigger the better. Or do tag-team DJ:ing where one DJ keeps things under control while the other DJs.

    I think this is fascinating, when you play in bands you never/seldom have someone come up and start banging on your drums or guitar strings. While it’s OK to do that for DJs…

Viewing 14 posts - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
  • The forum ‘The DJ Booth’ is closed to new topics and replies.