DJing Discussion

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should a club owner tell you what to play?

DECEPTION808 8:28 AM - 30 April, 2007
I'm in a situation where the owners of the club tell me when to play house...hip hop... ect... in a 5 hr set. Now I understand that they are the ones paying me but as a dj/artist. I feel like an ipod. What's your opinion on this subject???
Nicky Blunt 8:42 AM - 30 April, 2007
It depends really, If the owner knows what he is talking about & really knows what his club's customers want or if he is trying to promote a certain genre then I would not have a problem.

If he wants a human jukebox then I'd say its not such a good situation.
DJ GaFFle 1:54 PM - 30 April, 2007
Can you get them to outline the transitions (on paper) for any given night?

That way the control factor won't bother you and he can still feel like he is calling the ultimate shots...
Kid A.V. 3:50 PM - 30 April, 2007
When I run into this I do it his way the first night (with exceptions) - but I've never run into a club owner who's actually dictated songs, only genres, etc. I do a gay night and the club owner handed me a sheet that looked like this:

9:00 PM - 10:30 PM - New house/dance
10:30 PM - 11:30 PM - Classic house and retro dance party classics
11:30 PM - 12:15 AM - Hip-hop
12:15 AM - 2:00 AM - Heaters/Current Dance/House

It's an odd format, but one they've followed for years... when I started attendance was around 150 and ALL GAY... after about 8 months for better or worse I've completely changed the format... it's still predominantly dance, but with more pop mashups, etc. Attendance is up to over 300 and about 100 of them are straight sorority girls.

It's all about earning the owners trust... never be negative with an owner, work WITH him on the format, etc. obviously he wants to make money for his bar, so let him know that's your goal too.

I've also found through experience that it's typically when I've done gigs on the cheap that the owner is up my ass... I don't do cheap anymore and the owners/managers tend to leave me alone. Bar owners know that they get what they pay for and when they're paying cheap they're more worried that the DJ has no clue.