Is the ‘promoter DJ’ killing our club scene?

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Back in May, inthemix asked the question, ‘What’s gone wrong with our clubs?’ The response to the five-part feature series provided plenty of food for thought, with ITMers debating the effect of festivals and the decline of weekly clubbing. However, the topic that generated the most passionate responses was the advent of a ‘pay for play’ culture in club-land, with DJs booked not for their abilities but for the length of their guest-list.

The prevailing sentiment in the feedback to our features suggested this trend was breeding good salespeople, not good DJs – which in turn makes our dancefloors less exciting places to be. Is this an indication of a decline in our club culture, or just an unavoidable reaction to these uncertain times?

These questions were again brought to the fore with an inthemix forum thread detailing an email from long-running Sydney trance flagship Sublime to prospective DJs. The email stipulated that each DJ must bring a certain number of paying friends to the club in order to ensure a set.

However, speaking to inthemix for this feature, Home The Venue’s Sophie Page argues that the reaction was disproportionate. “Sublime was hammered on ITM for having quotas, but it was taken somewhat out of context,” she says. “We are all about our DJs promoting the brand, as well as themselves, so we can build something bigger than a local dancefloor. What we did put in place was a bonus pay scheme so we could get some more dollars into their pockets and motivate them to really push themselves further than through a new event on Facebook.”

So, why did these types of schemes become a necessary measure for some clubs? In the opinion of Page (and several other promoters and venue owners we spoke to), there’s just not the same surety of getting loyal heads through the door as there once was. “From our perspective Sublime was a cult; people went there week after week after week becoming part of the furniture,” she asserts of the earlier days. “There are numerous quotes about Sublime being ‘a way of life’. Maybe the drugs were just better then, but there were some patrons who were beyond loyal.”

A by-product of this new climate has been the ‘promoter DJ’; more committed to sending Facebook invites than building a compelling set. Melbourne’s Tyson O’ Brien – who DJs as Generik and runs new weekly night Super Disco – sums up the sentiment of many in the scene. “These kids have never researched labels, tracks, artists,” he tells inthemix. “They simply go to Beatport, download top 10, burn CD, rock out for fame and fortune. It’s all about who has the most Facebook friends and can reach the most potential punters.” When we took the issue to the DJ Booth forum on inthemix, the response was much the same: pulling a crowd has become more important than distinguishing yourself as a selector.

Of course, this chorus of grumbling runs the risk of sounding like a bunch of jaded types refusing to move with the times. However, the long-standing promoters inthemix spoke to believe it’s a genuinely worrying shift for the scene. As Brand Manager for Onelove, John Curtin has seen it first-hand. “Your average 18-year-old wants to play at key Melbourne venues now such as Seven, QBar and Prince,” he says. “Back 10 years ago, these venues had older DJs playing based on their skills. Without saying ‘back in my day’, it used to be a lot more about quality DJs taking patrons on a journey.”

For most DJs doing the rounds of our clubs, it’s often not enough to simply provide your services on the night. A common alternative to the guest-list quota is the ticket allocation. Instead of being paid a fee, DJs are given a bundle of discounted tickets to sell, with the promise they can keep the profits. This then leads to the deluge of Facebook invite-spam that many ITMers attest is the death knell of the local club scene. Is it that unreasonable, though, to expect to DJs to go the extra distance?

“Good DJs are good DJs,” says Darius Bassiray, one half of Rollin Connection, the duo behind respected Melbourne club night Darkbeat. “If they have some promotional ability, then that is an added component to being recognised. We never demand any DJ bring a certain quota to our events – we can’t speak for other promoters, however. Some of the younger kids are more internet savvy, and separate themselves from the rest by their promo appeal – this is great, but if they cannot DJ well, then we do not book them to play for us.”

Chad Gillard of Sydney tastemakers Future Classic has a similar view. “Every promoter hopes that the acts they’re booking will bring in a crowd in support,” he reasons. “It’s a little rough on the DJs, though, to slap them with a required quota. In that type of situation I guess you’d end up with really good salesmen getting to play out the most and the best DJs falling by the wayside.”

So, what has contributed to this new state of affairs in our clubs? Andy Scally, whose Limelite night has been a stalwart of the Perth scene, presents an interesting take on it all. “In the last 12 to 18 months, club-land has suffered from two things: event marketing and the cult of celebrity,” he muses. “It seems sometimes the motivating factor for kids to hit clubs is just to be in the same room as a superstar or because the show has been marketed as a major event. A great example of this is when I hosted will.i.am in October last year – over 1,800 scrambled for tickets to see an artist not known for his DJing at all. Whereas two weeks later, I hosted DJ Hell and was in a world of financial pain with just over 200 payers.”

Sophie Page identifies a similar shift in Sydney: it’s either big internationals or supporting your mates. “These days, perhaps everyone wants to be a groupie, because people are going out to see their friends play rather than seeing – or idolising – a decent local act,” she says. “I’ve heard of some clubs actually kicking people off mid-set because they can’t really DJ, but happily accepting the 40 to 50 people they brought with them. I don’t know why any venue would put someone behind the decks without accepting a demo – it’s mental.”

Of all the identities inthemix interviewed, the general consensus for the future of the club scene was: ‘back to basics’. As Andy Scally puts it: “The up-and-comer must be super keen, but also have the base set of skills needed. They need to listen to the experienced guys and hopefully pick up a couple of tips.” The question remains though: have we gone too far the other way?

Let us know your thoughts on the ‘promoter DJ’ phenomenon in the comments field below. To delve further into the issue, have a read of the extended interviews below with Home The Venue’s Sophie Page, Onelove’s John Curtin and Limelite’s Andy Scally.

> Extended interviews: Sophie Page [Home The Venue]
> Extended interviews: John Curtin [Onelove] and Andy Scally [Limelite]

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pomrocks

pomrocks said on the 28th Jul, 2010

that was a seriously good read :D

daverh

daverh said on the 28th Jul, 2010

"have we gone too far the other way?" That's exactly the question that needs addressing. Great read Jack, very measured and there's a lot of good points from those interviewed. We all have a lot to talk about.

pomrocks

pomrocks said on the 28th Jul, 2010

ps after having a whinge about ITM a while back, i really got to say you've stepped it up lately

libby

libby said on the 28th Jul, 2010

I wasn't aware how widespread this practice is. I guess everyone has to make $ to keep their doors open but it's a shame that commerce has taken precedence over art yet again in our society :(

berserka

berserka said on the 28th Jul, 2010

i have a lot of friends who have deleted a lot of dj's off their facebook pages because they are sick of the spamming of their inbox, one of the reasons i havnt actively pursued playing out recently is because i dont want to spam my friends..

this shit needs to be stopped before dj's lose all their friends LOL

THDF

THDF said on the 28th Jul, 2010

the promoter dj isn't killing the scene. peoples lack of imagination and unwillignness to be exposed to new things is to blame

you need people to follow promoter dj;s so it's really the people not the dj who's at fault, the dj is just tryin' to get a break.

i find it super ironic that you are interviewing onelove aka superdisco about this topic seeing as they are the people who are to blame for starting this whole phenomenon. case in point andy murphy, given a gig for his modelish good looks and ability to bring a pack of pretty ladies over his prowess behind the decks, he opened the floodgates for the rest and changed the expectations of a dj's role after that, if you don;t believe me then just wait till the itm top 50 rolls around and you will see how good a promoter he is.

THDF

THDF said on the 28th Jul, 2010

also special mention goes to the internet because without the internet there is no promoter dj's ;)

tristaann

tristaann said on the 28th Jul, 2010

this is exactly why me and a couple of other djs joined together to start our own party brand - sick of getting booked on a basis of how many people you can bring in with you

Junior

Junior said on the 28th Jul, 2010

The issue is supply and demand. Clubbing and edm was fresh, new, alternative even a little risky 10 years ago and the music was generally only heard in clubs. Now the music is everywhere and 'most' clubs have become the mainstream. The DJ quota issue is a symptom of this. The scene will (I hope) reinvent itself as new promoters who are sick of hearing rubbish and want a night on their terms emerge.

SlicyDicer

SlicyDicer said on the 28th Jul, 2010

""I hosted will.i.am in October last year – over 1,800 scrambled for tickets to see an artist not known for his DJing at all. Whereas two weeks later, I hosted DJ Hell and was in a world of financial pain with just over 200 payers.”

I weep for the future of man kind

walkdogz

walkdogz said on the 28th Jul, 2010

Good article.

Thankfully I was only ever booked to play because of my music, nothing to do with bringing friends. But it's definitely a worrying trend.

benjiswan

benjiswan said on the 28th Jul, 2010

wtf is wrong with a local dancefloor?

Vojo

Vojo said on the 28th Jul, 2010

I find we breed too much of a culture of mediocrity, too many people won't discover, immerse or dance to music. People don't get fired up about what they listen to.

Slicy, that was in Perth....draw any conclusion from that

i_love_festivals

i_love_festivals said on the 28th Jul, 2010

Very very good article. I know i speak for many others when I say that this promoter DJ crap has to stop! It's becoming less about the music, and more about making money.. It's a shame, because it means that talented artists/DJ's who can't reach as many punters miss out to those who can pull a big crowd!

Ignacio_Swerve

Ignacio_Swerve said on the 28th Jul, 2010

Festivals who book all big artists and make it impossible for it to be affordable for Big dj's do do club gigs is what is killing our scene.

Big international dj's like David Guetta, Shm, Lawler, Sasha, Armin.. all do and have always done their own events that has always existed 10 festivals in a year however just ruined it.

anyway thats my thought kids x

brenly

brenly said on the 28th Jul, 2010

have to agree... that was a good read. berserka... i'm just about to do the same thing actually. soooooo fucking sick of the constant event invites, event updates, event time change, another event update, event info etc. i don't ready ANY of them. brown alley events are among the worst spam.

randomopenness

randomopenness said on the 28th Jul, 2010

I have to fully agree with this article. The scene in Brisbane has to be up towards the top in terms of the worst resident dj's to hit the decks in the entire country. Week after week, I am inundated with Facebook spam from dj's and party brands, dj competitons where the 'winner' just happens to be one of the guys that is mates with everyone; it is truly the best case of 'not what you know, but who you know'. The worst part of the entire situation, is that the dj's that are actually shit hot get little to no opportunity to bide their time with gigs. The problem is, how do you fix something like this?

noelw14

noelw14 said on the 28th Jul, 2010

whoever introduced free entry to clubs on a weekend should be shot! every club should have to charge 10 bucks minimum.... then they can afford decent djs and not crap 19 year old kids who have a lot of friends...

oh that and dutch house has obviously ruined everything....

great article by the way....

CircusMidget

CircusMidget said on the 28th Jul, 2010

It's about to get worse, ITM50 is almost here again. Same thing innit?

JayCee99

JayCee99 said on the 28th Jul, 2010

@THDF completey disagree re andy: he plays alot of venues around australia and internationally
he just markets himself well, spends time in studio and plays alot, he has improved ten fold as a DJ

noelw14

noelw14 said on the 28th Jul, 2010

as above... if people have to pay 10 bucks to get in to somewhere or more they wont want to hear a crap 18 year old play crap music that is structured badly... then the club will be empty so it will have to book better djs who then people would pay to see..thus making a better night

no free parties = better parties...

p.s. nothing against 18 year olds, they could be 19 as well :)

amazanda

amazanda said on the 28th Jul, 2010

We've been running a pretty successful night in Perth for over 3 years called Death Disco. We've built it up over time and we're busier now than ever and there's still heaps of regulars who have been coming since we started. We hardly ever get big name DJ's in cause they want meg-bucks, but still the dance floor is always full and the atmosphere is usually great. I went to all the festivals last Summer and the most memorable sets lately have been by folks like Yacht Club DJs and the Purple Sneakers. Just playing crazy, eclectic party sets. Maybe people should have more fun and DJ/promote cause they want to create a great party rather than for their ego and $$$

dmiller_icr

dmiller_icr said on the 28th Jul, 2010

lets make one thing absolutely clear....Dj's are DJ's for a reason, because they choose great music which they blend/weave/integrate into each other to give the punters entertainment - DJ's are not promoters and should never be looked upon as one. If the promoters were doing their job, they wouldn't need to pressure their DJ staff to bring people to a gig - Thats the promoters job!! (hence the title). Yes a good DJ will have a following, and sure they are going to bring their friends every chance they get, but penalizing them for not bringing a set amount of people to each and every gig is just a simple cop-out from the promoter. Their simply putting their own frustration at themselves onto someone else to justify why that particular gig wasn't as good as it could be.

If people want to pay pennies for a gig, then expect to hear some crap music mixed by a crap DJ. If you want a decent gig, spend the extra 5 or 10 dollars and go to something you know you'll walk away from feeling happy and entertained, because at the end of the day if your going to a club just to stand around with your back against wall, you may as well have stayed home, but if you seriously want to go to a club, and immerse yourself in some great music and have a great time while you do it - Your going to have to pay.

rossredman

rossredman said on the 28th Jul, 2010

calling bullshit on the Sublime "damage control". once the new manager came in late last year all the "bonus payments" stopped AND the DJ prices went down. The email also stated that you would NOT get booked again if you did not meet the quota. Oh well. Im all for helping a gig that books me to play, but im not helping a gig to book me to play. I dont have the time in the day to spend chasing people around for ticket money and whatnot, id rather spend that on hunting for better, more obscure tunes.

djplaymate

djplaymate said on the 28th Jul, 2010

The DJ Promoters are like the MasterChefs of clubland - it is a shame that the scene has become like this, with venues feeling that the only way they can make money is through either showcasing big names or no names with many facebook friends. A working DJ myself, it can at times be frustrating when you go to a "well promoted" event that is to capacity and hear music that is not so flash, but in turn give the DJ the benefit of the doubt that they might just be having an "off night" until you look up and see them focused more on the number of friends that can surround them in the booth over outlaying a spectacular set of music. At the end of the day it comes down to the laziness of the venues being money hungry over talent hungry. It's the australian mentality and its unavoidable...

BMoney

BMoney said on the 28th Jul, 2010

Hit the nail on the head Jack, and an excellent article.

JulesPLees

JulesPLees said on the 28th Jul, 2010

some of the best nights around are run by promoter/dj's. the blokes who run the massive commercial festivals in australia at the moment are the biggest examPLes of promoter dj's this country has ever seen. too much generalisation - to say "the promoter/dj is wrecking club culture" is dumb.

to say "peoPLe who add me on facebook and proceed to spam me 24/7 with crap im not interested in piss me off" would be more accurate.

Its just a quality thing - there are some awesome promoter dj's out there - who promote awesome music to awesome peoPLe for awesome parties - of course quality is usually a rare thing, so theres gunna be some shit crackers along the way.
ying/yang,
good/bad
- its in everything.

jamonika

jamonika said on the 28th Jul, 2010

They need to return to separating promoters and DJ’s. Sure, if a guy can be good at both them obviously he is going to go well, but the main focus needs to shift back to letting DJ’s do their thing. Hopefully then, people who have come because of the “promoter” will slowly gravitate towards coming because their favourite DJ is playing…

dangeezy

dangeezy said on the 28th Jul, 2010

This is a really good read! And I hate it when the Promoter try's to be the DJ haha huh humm F off

manuka

manuka said on the 28th Jul, 2010

it's got NOTHING to do with being in Australia... this kind of mentality pervades across the globe. check out this article: http://www.djtechtools.com/2010/07/19/wanted-dj-mixing-optional/

cause and effect

cause and effect said on the 28th Jul, 2010

"Maybe the drugs were just better then, but there were some patrons who were beyond loyal.” Thats why the Sydney nightclub scene has phased out. Everybody goes through phases in life as soon as they stop taking the drugs they think s*** wat am I doing here and they no longer go

G-FunkX

G-FunkX said on the 28th Jul, 2010

I use to run a club night and witnessed the beginning of the end first hand. Kids no longer care about the quality of the DJing but prefer the "names". In the past 7 yrs we have witnessed some truly horrendous djing from big names as well unknowns who mysteriously are offered premier spots in great clubs. Sadly money has become the driving force, and quality has been left to die on the side of the road. I totally agree with the notion that promoters should do their thing, and DJ's should do theirs!! You just need to look to the charts to see the crap that is being pumped out in all genre's. Flavours of the week light up the charts with over produced crap.

Jarrod_s

Jarrod_s said on the 29th Jul, 2010

Great read and very interesting takes on the topic.

Jarrod_s

Jarrod_s said on the 29th Jul, 2010

Great read and very interesting takes on the topic.

aguilare

aguilare said on the 29th Jul, 2010

Good read, you've covered some really good points. With the accessibility of music on the net, and the music software that's available anyone can DJ nowadays - what promoter DJ's lack is originality and scope. The question is, do club owners want there DJ's to bring in the most punters, or do they want to showcase as DJ's skills and draw punters in because the club is playing the music they love unlike they have never heard it before.

Weqster

Weqster said on the 29th Jul, 2010

Hold up. Electro CREATED the promotional DJ because the music does not rely on skill, cohesion or jounrey - only a limited set of tracks (like rnb) - its essence is exactly the opposite of what a good DJ is. Just look at BusyP, the biggest promoter dj out there.

The scene needs to evolve. No longer are people dedicated to a clubs because so many brands have sold out and introduced music into these clubs purely based on revenue potential. It used to be a solid crew of people who enjoyed a club but then the club saw other clubs having a bit more success (short lived, hindsight is a bitch) with another type of music, and skewed their music policy to that style, even if not completely replacing the style on every day of the week... This attracted people to the venue who the regulars didnt like, and voted with their feet. These people have be forever changed and no longer have faith in the brand, even as they try and regain that lost market which they took for granted before.

The flow on effect is the next generation of punters have been exposed to nothing but crap and have no loyalty because they can goto any club and here crap and get the same buzz..

Lastly, a reflection of this new style of DJ is how little self promotional material is produced these days. Gone are the days of going to club and pickup up a CD from the locals who were playing that night, something you could smash in your car and wet your tastebuds for next week. The effect is, the new clubbers have an expectation of music they are exposed to the most (commerical music) and jaded clubbers who have a more electric taste in music have an expectation of the quality that locals cannot match.

Rocca

Rocca said on the 29th Jul, 2010

article about jules plees imo

JulesPLees

JulesPLees said on the 29th Jul, 2010

LOL PHILBZ

oh yeah friday night LockNLoad @ MyAeon - wikkid progressive, techno, trance and psy - DO YOURSELVES A FAVOUR!!!!!!!! lol.

some comments make me laugh - the electronic scene did not begin when you got into it :p

jemlang

jemlang said on the 29th Jul, 2010

That was a great read Jack. I totally agree with you and what the other promoters have written. I feel it is killing the scene. Taking it to a level that just isnt about the music and it is really disappointing. Hopefully we will see a shift in this as the industry moves and changes as it always does.
Lots of people need to read this. Especially the clubs and their promoters that are booking these DJ's

jewfro

jewfro said on the 29th Jul, 2010

I think the best nights are put on by DJs who really genuinely love music. My best clubbing experiences here in Sydney have been at such nights. Though this labour of love doesn't always pay off and precisly because they won't stoop to some of the tactics mentioned above. But I'd just like to share, what's really p#ssed me of recently is hearing great music early on in the night, only to have the atmosphere ruined at the end when the promoter gets on the decks to create what he thinks the "party mood" should be. The best promoter should most likely be a DJ, or a least someone who is extrememely passionate and knowledgeable about music, but knows to stand back and let the evening take shape organically. Anyone who comes to promoting with an idea or "creating" a particular party atmosphere, has missed the point of electronic music completely.

jewfro

jewfro said on the 29th Jul, 2010

hmmm. I think I should have written he/she above (fallen in the trap, it's such a male dominated world!)

DeanStewart

DeanStewart said on the 29th Jul, 2010

I agree partially with this, but i also disagree. Infact, i had been trying to bust into the scene as a (excuse my big head) talented DJ. Who spent countless hours a day perfecting my craft, with over 130GB of tracks and a daily visitor to Beatport, Trackitdown, Itunes and also researching all my favourite label's and producers for that next jaw dropping track. All my fans will tell of listening to my sets, of no name producers, with some killer tracks. (So no Anthems) And have never left a punter unhappy on a dancefloor. So much amazing feedback. And i was told my a certain person who shall remain nameless, but is highly respected, the only way i would get in was by selling tickets (hence why i said i agree partially with this statement) so for me to live my dream and get my name out there for the world to see, thats the only way i was going to do it. So, i did it. And then in the middle of a certain Simon Patterson set, i Played my first huge club event, and what happened? I had the room absolutely packed and in raptures as i smashed out a set which sent the dancefloor into dance convulsions. Now, im being booked for all the big events, not because of my ticket sales, but because i am actually a talented DJ. I sell a shitload of tickets, because my fans want to see me play. Not because i want to live my dream. Im already living it now! So, i guess i have given you both sides of my insight into this article.

noelw14

noelw14 said on the 29th Jul, 2010

Beatport hasnt exactly helped.... take that off the internet for a while and see if they can find a song then...

you should have to do a qualification before you can dj... like the RSA.... maybe an RSM.....

CircusMidget

CircusMidget said on the 29th Jul, 2010

@dean stewart :lol: wtf ^

FTorres

FTorres said on the 29th Jul, 2010

Enjoyable concerning read. Good stuff Jack.

lmay82

lmay82 said on the 29th Jul, 2010

Definitely a good read! More articles such as this pls!

jetgrrl

jetgrrl said on the 29th Jul, 2010

great article!
I really wonder these days how much response spam-DJs actually get? Surely most/all people are tired of the huge quantities of emails sent from the same DJs about the same events, over and over.

Luke_Electrik

Luke_Electrik said on the 29th Jul, 2010

As much as i enjoy reading these threads its safe to say that this has been going on for a long time. After 10 years Djing myself, I've been on the bad end of the stick, getting knocked back from jobs because "some guy" as organised a night and put himself and his mates on.

Too many times these "Promoter DJs" have let Bedroom DJs fill the booths and destroy what was once the best thing about the week..... the weekend.

Its sad hearing that this is happening all over the country, not just on the GC and Bris where I normally play.

I think the problem here is that there are so many people who want the chance to be famous, go spend hundreds of dollars on decks, investing dollars in Beatport (whatever happened to the goold old vinyl hunt?) and lock themselves in there "bedrooms" gain some knowledge and then think "yeah I can do this, its easy", obviously disregarding the fact that it takes a long time to develop "skill".

Ever since I started way back in 99-2000 I've seen so many 1 year djs hurtle past me (and i know this for a fact) because they know the right people, adding more to the old quote "Its not what you know, but WHO you know". Its this statement that plagues the guys that have been doing this career week in, week out.

Its kinda hard to get ahead when people put numbers before actual skill level.

That being said, thru the years i've played with many well known DJ/acts and been able to rock it with the best, sometimes even do much better. So how come after 10 years i decided to quit (or lay low) ???

DJ Competitions.

This stems from Promoter DJs as well because the fact is the same.

Get people in the club and you get "residency" or whatever it is they offer.

Point-in-fact, just recently I dumbly entered such a competition, not to be "crowed" or to win "awesome new decks" or "cash prises".

But the offer here was:

‎1. " looking for someone new to join our tem!"
2. "a once in a lifetime opportunity for one lucky person out there!"
3. "We are not trying to find the newest upcoming artist, we are trying to find someone that is willing to show us enough talent in the box but also enough ambition to succeed in self-promotion that will n...ot only help them as an artist but also secure them a residencies."

"We are not trying to find the newes...t upcoming artist, we are trying to find someone that is willing to show us enough talent in the box but also enough ambition to succeed in self-promotion that will not only help them as an artist but also secure them a residencies.

This is not a chance to launch your career it’s a chance to join a team that will invest money into you as an artist. We expect all entries to understand that this is not a normal dj comp where you will be crowned. It’s an opportunity for all to showcase what you’re made of and what you can bring to our brand."

Rigged,
Lies,
...only a ploy to get ppl into the club during winter.

No wonder why everyone says the scene is dying.

With offers like "investing in your career" how was I going to pass it up?
So as it goes, I spent alot of my (and others) good hard cash on advertisement, organised my own prizes (photos shoots, personal training sessions etc)
...basically went all out in what they asked. Only spamming on the Thursday of the heats :-)

But on the night a last minute entry, with no promotion, 2 people in the door and subsequently good mates with judges/promotions, gets the spot for the semis. Even when I had brought in the majority of the club, played "the best set of the night" according to everyone asked... :-?

I bet your saying what Im saying right now. "Well your a dickhead for entering a comp anyway".

this is true... but it was in-part my way of gauging just how hollow the whole scene had become.

So I quit.

Whats the point in trying to do what I love to do when shite like this happens year in year out.

Thanks Jack for pointing it out on a more public scale.

Cheers

L

Ninopace

Ninopace said on the 29th Jul, 2010

It's almost impossible to get work as a DJ in Sydney if you can't bring people.. I wasn't the popular kid in school but I got people who love my sets.. and most of them are DJs and the rest are impossible to bring to the club on a weekly basis thanks to a lot of crap other up and comers.. I've been a DJ for 5 years now, since I was 13 doing house parties.. I progressed slowly with time.. at 16 I was doing the under 18s and I still work with the under 18s because I enjoy helping that scene but I've been getting the club gigs aswell and they're harder to get !

Whilst the club I got my first residency at doesn't have a quota, they do expect us to market the club, and I would do it with honour becuase I want people that I know to see my sets. One thing that needs to be done about the club scene is the removal of facebook spam accounts and those who thrash facebook adding every tom dick

daveyjaye

daveyjaye said on the 29th Jul, 2010

Quality lasts. The hardest thing for new DJs at the moment is lasting for more than 6-12 months in the industry. Bringing 50 ppl with you to your gigs doesn't last if you're no good. This was actually a really good read.

It's not promotor DJ's that are killing the scene (the scene isn't going anywhere); people just have shorter attention spans.

For most, its just a hobby that'll pass after a year or so. If you're a good DJ and want longevity in the scene, it can happen if you're patient

JulesPLees

JulesPLees said on the 29th Jul, 2010

i hope you are right davey - i really do !

Rocca

Rocca said on the 29th Jul, 2010

dean stewart can i have your babies? im sure you get all your fans asking that all the time but nobody loves you more than i do. well maybe you do. but anyway.

karlsav

karlsav said on the 29th Jul, 2010

Great article ITM....

Now all we need is ITM to do an article on "why the ITM top 50 is bad for the local scene"....

Skirtchaser

Skirtchaser said on the 29th Jul, 2010

1. solution is simple, its up to the club owners/operators to promote their clubs properly! rather than putting on the DJ putting on the night... this never used to happen....clubs need to have promo teams like they used to, some still do...

but there used to be cute promo chix all over the place handing out flyers, getting ppl to clubs , leaving the djs to do their thing....

i agree if you can help the night out great... but the clubs are going to shoot themselves in the foot in the long run because pure promo djs cant keep a night going... there is a hierarchy for a reason...

2. Aussie clubs need to stop being so tight with drinks! the reason house parties rock so hard cause their is tons of booze... and booze @wholesale prices for a club is cheap...

so its always annoying when they give a dj just a handfull of drink tokens... its simple give out free/cheap drinks... ppl are grateful/happy and more importantly drunk... and they will buy more.... party is good, sales are good = win win

3. If clubs dont do this ppl will spend there entertainment dollar elsewhere... why pay for cabs,entry, expenisve drinks, cab home = hundereds of dollars a night and the night could be rubbish... you could fly to another city for a small holliday for that price... so i can understand ppl saving themselves for festivals and holidays...

you should see when i DJ in south Goa ppl can afforfd to drink like a whale if they like, take cabs everywhere , eat at restaurants three times a day, so i can see why ppl save up for party trips like that instead.

4. There could be a return to a new type of even, i know alot of underground warehouse parties are happenin regular n a few places, where ppl cant be fxed with clubs

5. Clubs are really going to have to fight hard to stay relevant ya'll especially because its Australia (via outdoor festivals smell less than clubs)

Aight im off to europe enjoy the cold =p

Skirtchaser

Skirtchaser said on the 29th Jul, 2010

1. solution is simple, its up to the club owners/operators to promote their clubs properly! rather than putting on the DJ putting on the night... this never used to happen....clubs need to have promo teams like they used to, some still do...

but there used to be cute promo chix all over the place handing out flyers, getting ppl to clubs , leaving the djs to do their thing....

i agree if you can help the night out great... but the clubs are going to shoot themselves in the foot in the long run because pure promo djs cant keep a night going... there is a hierarchy for a reason...

2. Aussie clubs need to stop being so tight with drinks! the reason house parties rock so hard cause their is tons of booze... and booze @wholesale prices for a club is cheap...

so its always annoying when they give a dj just a handfull of drink tokens... its simple give out free/cheap drinks... ppl are grateful/happy and more importantly drunk... and they will buy more.... party is good, sales are good = win win

3. If clubs dont do this ppl will spend there entertainment dollar elsewhere... why pay for cabs,entry, expenisve drinks, cab home = hundereds of dollars a night and the night could be rubbish... you could fly to another city for a small holliday for that price... so i can understand ppl saving themselves for festivals and holidays...

you should see when i DJ in south Goa ppl can afforfd to drink like a whale if they like, take cabs everywhere , eat at restaurants three times a day, so i can see why ppl save up for party trips like that instead.

4. There could be a return to a new type of even, i know alot of underground warehouse parties are happenin regular n a few places, where ppl cant be fxed with clubs

5. Clubs are really going to have to fight hard to stay relevant ya'll especially because its Australia (via outdoor festivals smell less than clubs)

Aight im off to europe enjoy the cold =p

Bass_Drop

Bass_Drop said on the 29th Jul, 2010

Has music policy gone out the window in favour of who can pull their mates in? There's only the occasional venue that I would go to see an artist/DJ. I went to the Undertow album launch and it was the first time in a long time that I have been to a hip hop gig.. LOVED IT! happy to pay my $10 even though my name was on the lsit.

Trouble is that many DJ's get their music from the same source. The decline in vinyl has meant that those white label gems have all but gone, although the die hard who has gone digital will spend hours trawling obscure sites and mailing lists to get those "white label" gems.

Back in the 90's, I remember when hard house was order of the day and then The Underground came along and did very well... many other clubs booted out their hard house DJ's and went house. The same happended when breaks came in and also Electro. It seems that trend has crossed over to who has the most friends on facebook?

I went to the secret warehouse party last weekend and it was f*king refreshing.. really enjoyed the music and I hadn't got a clue who was playing..The northern soul was movin!! that's what Sydney needs to get back to.. music that comes from the heart as opposed to what is top of beatport etc..

I run Bass Drop and I am in a lucky position where I can put DJ's on whose music I enjoy! A few have dropped me mixes that I still play on my "generic MP3 player". I have put teh DJ's on gigs and in the same way they made me happy, they made my crowd happy!

Venues have to make money.. simple fact. However, promoters need to be more creative, take time to build a following. Venues need to commit to promoters to allow them time to build a following. However, all club nights, apart from very very few, have a shelf life of 12 - 18 months

I love music as it's such an emotive subject!

Bass_Drop

Bass_Drop said on the 29th Jul, 2010

Skirtchaser ->> Spot on!

aaron_camz

aaron_camz said on the 29th Jul, 2010

Great article. Die promoter DJs, die.

grug72

grug72 said on the 29th Jul, 2010

Luke Electric, you are a joke mate, you are one of the worst spammers I know, I have personally cancelled you as a facebook friend about 7 times because of how much shit you sent me. To events you werent event involved with. Plus the demos you have sent through to me, are even more inappropriate then the fact that you outright ask people for a gig despite knowing nothing about the brand. You havent even been to one of our nights and yet you still expect to get gigs. Also, I know the people that made the finals in the comp you are talking about, and i hate to burst your bubble, but mate, you are not as good as some of them, not even close sunshine.

dragonsfire

dragonsfire said on the 29th Jul, 2010

as said before hit the nail on the head. i never realy head of this before in any perth clubs any way. i would think the eastern states have a lot more competion so they need to make money any way they can. i gave up trying to be a dj along time ago and recently turned my mind to producing.

DJ_Ange

DJ_Ange said on the 29th Jul, 2010

I think the biggest thing is the fact that music is so freely accessible on the net now. Not in the sense that wannabe DJs can go and just download top 10 tracks off beatport charts and hit the clubs and 'pretend' to be a real DJ but more in the sense that so much more access to what the big name DJs and events are doing all over the world.

Regardless of the growth of social networking and the shift in the majority of people's concerns over money less and less people are going out on a weekly basis usually compelled by the need to save money but the fact that you can see so much more online now (especially with youtube) than you could say 5 years ago reduces people's 'Fear of Missing Out' feeling.

If you didn't get to go to the big events jump on youtube and you can search your favourite DJs and check out their videos or just download the live set. Sure its not the same as being in the club or at the festival but when you're trying to save your money being able to see it online makes people feel like they are missing out less and less.

There is also middle ground for the 'promoter dj' .... simple fact is you need to stand out. 5-10yrs ago less people were wanting/trying to be a DJ. It was a skill far less accessible than it is today. The fact that it is a lot more affordable to buy music (or unfortunately now get it illegally) and equipment (getting a basic setup used off ebay means there are a lot more people with equipment at home with hopes of becoming the next superstar) ..... the massive increase in the number of people wanting to DJ in clubs means you have more people competing for fewer gigs available ..... it almost makes sense that promoters would go down the path of the promoter dj just so you can prove you are 'more than just a dj' ... otherwise why should they put you on over someone else? Its like applying for a job .... you have 2 ppl of the same calibre but one has a degree and one doesn't, you'll take the one with the degree even if both can do the job perfectly.

Its an unfortunate by-product that quality has gone downhill as many promoters are looking at someone's promotional skills BEFORE they look at their ability to DJ. I've always personally believed that you should help any way you can to promote the nights you are being booked for but whenever I'm asked 'how many people can you bring' the only thing I say is that I will do my best to spread the word through all sources of networking but I will not ever guarantee specific numbers. I don't think promoters should expect anything more from DJs other than to show they are working hard to support the night they are booked for.

I have felt the pinch of certain venues/promoters putting so much pressure on me to bring a certain number of people that I had to walk away from certain gigs because of it.

I personally have spent quite a lot of time building up my promotional network and its worked both ways ..... I get promoters contacting me now asking me for help to promote their events but then expect something for nothing .... why should I help promote your event if you aren't considering booking me? ..... I have also felt the problems that have come from 'over-promoting' and it really opened my eyes as to how much you should do to promote the events you are DJ'ing for before it is deemed excessive and can wind up pushing people away and promoters need to consider this too when putting their conditions in place when booking DJs. The over promotion I have done in the past has only ever been driven by the desire not to miss out on the gig just because I didn't get enough people through the door according to the promoter.

There are only so many times DJs mate's will actually show up to their gigs too. If you want to build a new breed of high end quality DJs focusing on people who have a strong guestlist over quality will always lead very quickly to that DJ become a has-been instead of a wannabe.

Sorry massive response here but just my thoughts

okayokay

okayokay said on the 29th Jul, 2010

Its all bullshit, Australia is struggling because of the simple things, a lot of good DJs stop playing due to knowing that the scene is all friends (who you know), or people who have been DJing for a while or for DJs who can bring a lot of ppl, not because they're good, no no no, because they can bring ppl, the same ppl by the way. The scene stinks, there is no talent or sooo many talents have been wasted or not given a chance, this is why our scene is years behind Europe & will always be. I have been in the scene for over 10 years & dont DJ but know DJs that should have made it sooo far compared to others, most actually. Anyway, the 'promoter DJ' IS killing the scene for sure, ah well, need to make my way to Europe for good soon anyway.

okayokay

okayokay said on the 29th Jul, 2010

And the other thing this also does, is the same crowd starts to form on a regular basis, same faces every time, less vibe going on, more groups & friends sticking together, there you have it, the club or gig has no atmosphere haha I find it funny these days, its been happening for a while now, its only just starting to get obvious & things have now dropped way down.

noelw14

noelw14 said on the 29th Jul, 2010

get rid of free entry. and make the legal Djing age 21.

neme

neme said on the 29th Jul, 2010

exellent read, took the words out of my mouth. 4 yrs ago i was one of the next big dj's in the sydney harddance scene, back when you had to be good to play because it was very hard to play turntables, 2 yrs on and introduction of the cdj's and now computer programs have open'd the floodgates for any1 to be a dj, now i'm struggling to get sets for the exact same reason, because i'm older and my mates don't go out as much anymore, i'm sick to death of going out and listening to rubbish dj's. and i totally disagree on people now only wanna go watch there mates play rubbish, the reason it seems like that is because club's are supporting the promoter dj and every1 know's it, so what do they do, they pack the dancefloor when there mate is playing not because they think he's a good dj but because they know if they do, the promoter will keep booking him, then when another good dj comes on they pretend to not be into it, get off the dancefloor so it looks like there friend is the better dj, even though they might really be enjoying the next guy's set. the punters are playing promoters for fools and it's working and it's really killed the club scene big time. something has to change. i run a night down the south coast where it's very commercial but we play more underground music and it is the most popular night in town, it's always packed, why you say, because i only book good dj's not guy's who bring a crows, every1 knows they are gonna see good talented dj's and the vibe is unreall, every has an awesome time. poeple are attracted to the atmosphere my night creates not so much the music, and i will say soph, that is what sublime and many other clubs use to be about and are now not. promoter dj's have 100% killed the scene and the art of djing with the help of promoters, and it's a very bad shame. i hope every can work together to erase the problem and i no doubt believe the club scene can go back to the way it was

Bass_Drop

Bass_Drop said on the 29th Jul, 2010

wasn't the old days...

warm up = new DJ
pre main set = resident
main set = "special guest"
closing = local regular

from what is being said

warm up = social network
pre main set = social network
main set = "special guest"
closing = social network

would that be about right? if it is..we may as well get Laurie Oaks Tony Abbot in for a spin!!

Jason V

Jason V said on the 29th Jul, 2010

MUST. POST. LINK TO FB!
Now ppl will understand why i'm spamming them... it's the scene, the way things are today haha!
Seriously great read, and heaps of awesome comments

Bass_Drop

Bass_Drop said on the 29th Jul, 2010

Also.. what about inviting people who are at the top of their social tree? If they have a good time, the chances are that they will filter this down their tree and you have a club full of people there that want to be there because one of their social peers had an awesome time last time they were there.

Imagine if you had a choice of two hotels to stay at in a foreign city. a friend says.. I stayed at this hotel and it was brilliant.. what would you stay there? I think if we are to use social media.. target people who aren't DJ's but are big in their social network. YES.. this may create its own beast, but at least the promoter is free to book DJ's based on their music tastes and talents..

Johnny Hotrod

Johnny Hotrod said on the 29th Jul, 2010

many clubs/promoters just want to make as much money as possible, which means appealing to the short attenttion span masses of todays youth, as opposed to booking djs that will play good music that is structured skillfully in order to create a unique,exciting atmosphere. It takes a long time to build up a loyal following for a night that dares to play something other than 'top10 bangers'.. but no club i know of would be willing to wait for the promoter to build this following when they can hire some 'promoter dj/spam machine" to get heads in the door instantly. Clubs and promoters need to start thinking more long term if they want to the scene to survive imo.

Weqster

Weqster said on the 29th Jul, 2010

I really think people over emphisise the effectivness of social networking. I am not personally friends with DJs or promoters because i dont want to be spammed, and those on my lists who do spam "attending" statuses even when i know they dont attend, its a simple case of ignore.. It seems as though everyone here also ignores spam from DJs. I know the only reason i would go looking for a promoter or even answer spam was when i was already interested in the night and i wanted to get on a discount. Gone are the days of thinking "wow, guestlist means im cool. im gonna go and impress all my friends with there names being on the guestlist".

Loyal people goto events because they are attracted to the club or the sound or the drugs. People are discounts will slut themselves around to whoever is giving them the best percieved deal. And most of the time, thats the bottle-o down the road.

ellaplane

ellaplane said on the 30th Jul, 2010

The "Features" section on ITM has been really good of late. I keep saying this in the hope that you devote more resources to this part of the website. It's actually thoughtful prose and you're creating discussion about the things regarding the scene that matter. Thanks.

Sherbos

Sherbos said on the 30th Jul, 2010

there are also too many shit internationals

flaccid

flaccid said on the 30th Jul, 2010

Yeah definitely a good article. Its funny how Home nightclub was mentioned (well at least Sublime). Man there are so many of these 'promoters' on Facebook spamming the hell ouf of everyone and using caps lock on every word thinking its going to do something. Both shouting and spam hurts on the internet. Essentially days are gone of good promotion, its all black hat crap now and it shows how social media has just become a wasteland.

Kev Fox

Kev Fox said on the 30th Jul, 2010

Could not agree more with this article. As a "retired" Sydney trance/house dj, and also starting a family, I found that I could in no way compete with the "promoter dj" as I had neither the time nor energy anymore. So I found myself being pushed out of gigs by those who knew nothing about the music they played, but more of the amount of "head through the door" and how much cash they could make for themselves

Kev Fox

Kev Fox said on the 30th Jul, 2010

Could not agree more with this article. As a "retired" Sydney trance/house dj, I found that I could in no way compete with the "promoter dj" as I had neither the time nor energy anymore, after seeing so many sets being awarded to those who paid to play or had the most amount of their "friends" jump on their "exclusive guestlists. So I found myself being pushed out of gigs by those who knew nothing about the music they played, but more of the amount of "heads through the door" and how much fame they could make for themselves

djbricksta

djbricksta said on the 30th Jul, 2010

Brilliant article. I just think as there has been in the music world a lot of artists running a label, doing their own promotion etc., whilst doing their own music, there is this consolidation of promoter and DJ but I agree this has diminished the quality of deejays playing. Ultimatley I feel the blame is on the club operators and event organisers for not willing to lose out to try long term strategy.

stoken

stoken said on the 30th Jul, 2010

there's too many people running their own nights, instead of the club running the night. I'm sick of the lack of talent in melbourne, too many dodgy mixes, shit cross fades or just wrong song choices... 8 years ago, I went out for the music, now when I go out local its to be around my friends, if it was still for the music I wouldn't leave the house

ellaplane

ellaplane said on the 30th Jul, 2010

... so what to do about all of this? Seriously, because clubbing is not a cheap activity.

Remote

Remote said on the 30th Jul, 2010



Start glassing shit DJs?
Then clubs that play shit DJs will go the way of QBH?

AuralPleasure

AuralPleasure said on the 30th Jul, 2010

First off, Great article jack. i love it. now for my 2 cents.

imo, the only promotion done by a dj should be purely music related. As in recording and making their dj sets available to stream, or more importantly actually producing their own music, which requires a little more effort than sending a few emails or beat syncing two decks.

imo clubs should be more concerned about producer dj's than promoter dj's

btw, these people should be using a facebook fan page instead of a personal account, which is limited in that they cannot send (annoying spam) emails and they cannot actively add people to their list, (people must 'like' them).

popsoul

popsoul said on the 30th Jul, 2010

the problem began when promoters who were also sometimes responsible for the bookings, started djing because it cost less having 3 full-paid djs a night instead of 4! again it is all about the $$ and as we have seen, our club scenes AND the clubs themselves have been suffering becaude of it! as others have said, the job of the dj and the job of the promoter needs to be totally saparated as it use to be...or else the music will get worse and as will the turn out (worse than if we keep letting the promoter djs just bring their friends)..to make money you need to spend money!

Lee Michaels

Lee Michaels said on the 30th Jul, 2010

most of clubbing today is commercial/social centric but there's still an audience (and nights) for 'good dj's'. The size of the "segments" have changed overtime for all the reasons previously mentioned. I don't know that its bad or good; it just is. That said I'm glad I experienced dj'ing and clubbing in the 90's!

Great article/debate and great posts!

neme

neme said on the 31st Jul, 2010

i agree lee, these young kids don't understand what they missed out on, how good the scene was in the 90's/early 2000's. also putting on producers is not the anwer either as most can't dj that good either, djing,promoting and producing are 3 different things, when people realise this the scene will be back on track ; )

THDF

THDF said on the 31st Jul, 2010

http://www.ariacharts.com.au/pages/charts_display_club.asp?chart=1L50

Dj D-Va

Dj D-Va said on the 31st Jul, 2010

I agree with ,Ignacio_Swerve ... it's also all the dumb arse punters out there killing the scene.. they don't want to go out because there is not much drugs around (here in Melb anyway). What happened to going out for drinks and having a good time... half the nobs going out these days couldn't name 3 trax by the producer they voted for in the top 100 ...
I don't think it's really the promoter dj killing our scene i think its the bullshit clubs and all their politics that are killing our scene...
Go out anywhere these days and you will be watching NO NAMES who can't mix. We have loads of great locals like Mike Nichol who have released with Armada

Dj D-Va

Dj D-Va said on the 31st Jul, 2010

I agree with ,Ignacio_Swerve ... it's also all the dumb arse punters out there killing the scene.. they don't want to go out because there is not much drugs around (here in Melb anyway). What happened to going out for drinks and having a good time... half the nobs going out these days couldn't name 3 trax by the producer they voted for in the top 100 ...
I don't think it's really the promoter dj killing our scene i think its the bullshit clubs and all their politics that are killing our scene...
Go out anywhere these days and you will be watching NO NAMES who can't mix. We have loads of great locals like Mike Nichol who have released with Armada

snappafcw

snappafcw said on the 31st Jul, 2010

This is a very interesting topic and I'm not going to lie i have been guilty at times of facebook spamming although I am quicky learning its not the answer to any promotional or booking problems. I think many DJ's feel bullied into working for low money or guestlists but it is these kind of DJ's that are putting good DJ's out of work as well because promoters will not pay the money. Most of the Gold Coast where i live is currently Nightlife orientated and this is stunting the industries growth as all the music being offered is 2 dimensional. There is absolutely no education anymore and it makes it difficult to play good sets and DJ's conform to the same garbage just to stay in work. I don't have all the answers but to save the industry some club owners have to be less greedy and take a stand.

DJ Ricky D

Pendulum

Pendulum said on the 31st Jul, 2010

Awesome article. Really well written, and seriously overdue. I can't really say any more than what everyone has already stated. Myself and my close DJ friends have been discussing and whining about this issue for what seems like years. Hopefully it has come to a head - people are getting quite vocal about it now, and I think we'll start to see some more respectful bookings.

Louvelle

Louvelle said on the 1st Aug, 2010

Why a club would want a pimple faced teenager spamming thousands of people in their name is beyond me. Surely its completely obvious they are offending more people than they attracting.

w8_2008

w8_2008 said on the 1st Aug, 2010

a good read - I guess the bottom line is, the insatiable temptation by clubs to line their pockets from bar sales with bulging guestlists, is ultimately killing the integrity of Music .. the same goes to major record labels but that's another discussion, though promoters, venues, artists, crowds, fans, EVERYONE needs to strike the right balance between maintaining the integrity of music for the art-form it is, and ensuring that it is a successful (profitable) and sustainable industry.

Coray-Skeptikz

Coray-Skeptikz said on the 1st Aug, 2010

I'm 18 years old, and this weekend coming up i will be playing my first even as a booked dj.
i had entered a competition, and although i didn't win it, i still got booked on my djing ability. or so i hope, and not the fact that im a regular at the club and know alot of the patrons very closely. i pride myself on my djing. my technique, my want to go places and do things in the industry, not on the fact that i could make people money or play what people want me to per say, if im going to play im going to select tracks that represent me as a person, that can portray to the patrons who i am and what djing means to me. ill playing stuff people can relate to yes, but i will play them a mix they may not have necessarily heard before, give the people some variety, make them feel what im feeling up in the booth. aslong as that has been done at the end of my set, then i am happy. i dont facebook spam, i dont do any of that, i let my mates knows that i am playing at an event, and say be nice to see you down there for support. that is about all you can do really. as for promoting, yeah sure ofcourse your going to push an even your playing at if your an up and comer such as myself because you want to get yourself exposed, get your name out there. . but there is a limit to how much of that you can do, pushing to hard will give you a bad rep, in all honesty i think that aslong as your beats are banging, people are loving it, people come day in day out to see you play because they you as a dj not because of any affiliations that they may have with you, who cares if you promote to get more people, just dont let the promoting take over your djing.. thats all i have to say

Eliwet

Eliwet said on the 1st Aug, 2010

Too far gone. Its not one thing causing the other its a number of things that cause the next shit thing about the scene. Crowds seem to follow what it is seen as cool to do rather than who is playing, Promoters then have to adjust to get kids through the door and keep their night up and running and buy doing so its got so bad that the DJ/Promoter has been born. People shouldn't follow the crowds, Promoters shouldnt sell out to get kids to come and up'n'comers need to learn that its not an over night thing. In my opinion its to far gone, little nights will start to spawn that have a dedicated policy and bigger nights will get bigger and more and more about making a quick buck.

wheelo007

wheelo007 said on the 2nd Aug, 2010

A certain someone, who will remain nameless, let's call him Mr X Richards, is your perfect example of what's wrong with this industry. Even judging by the douchebaggy photo alone, Mr Dean X has done a great job in representing the problem with modern society. I mean, come on....you look like Ruby Rose for God's sake...

To be honest, there's more to blame than just the promoter/dj for all this. With increase in popularity of the genre, more clubs, events and nights have come into existence. With that comes competition and market saturation. If one club spams the shit out of everyone on Facebook, Twatter, Myspace, etc, then most other clubs will respond in kind, because a club only stays a club when there's money coming in. Hence, you're getting club owners instilling the idea in the heads of all the 17/18 year old promoters that it's the way the industry works nowadays. If this is something they grow up seeing, it becomes the norm.
Clubs and event organisers need to see that if the quality of performers is poor, people won't come back, no matter how much they spam and terrorise. If you provide a good night with good djs, people will come back. I'm still a firm believer in the power of word of mouth.
A promoter is only carrying out the direction of the club owner, so if they were told to start requesting mixes before promising a gig, reducing the amount of spamming and that it's better to have a good reputation than a huge reputation as being a shitbag , they might actually become better promoters, which will leave the djs to focus on providing the punters with an enjoyable night, which they'll tell their friends about and always want to come back for.

Pendulum

Pendulum said on the 2nd Aug, 2010

IMHO clubs and DJs should stop relying on Facebook and invest some money and time in building their own online brand/identity/website/culture/community etc. Everyone loves facebook because it's free, but it's hardly the be all and end all of quality online marketing and brand development or promotion. Get yourself a compelling web site and then use the web site to facilitate building a culture around your brand.

DJ_Tingles

DJ_Tingles said on the 2nd Aug, 2010

Great article.
Sydney scene annoys the shit out of me. It's taken the fun / love out of the music for me.

MockMaster

MockMaster said on the 2nd Aug, 2010

Most people can adapt to sell tickets...
I think the real issue to the lack of club attendance is directly related to

MDMA 'disappearing' from UK clubs

by skrufff on June 24th, 2010

The BBC has reported that fake ‘ecstasy pills’, GLB and still currently legal alternative mephedrone are rapidly replacing MDMA in the UK, as authorities have tightened controls worldwide on MDMA precursor chemicals.

The British media organisation said police busts for ecstasy have collapsed from 1197 in London in 2006, to just 331 in 2009 as criminals have switched to manufacturing pills containing BZP and other chemicals. “If you can’t buy it, you can’t buy it – that could be to do with this issue of precursor chemicals,” Drugscope chief Harry Shapiro told the BBC.

“If you lack the chemicals to make it there will be less around. The figures suggest MDMA is harder to get at the moment than it was.”

http://www.inthemix.com.au/betweenthelines/articles/45637/MDMA_disappearing_from_UK_clubs
(Link to the copied article)

lawlietskyy

lawlietskyy said on the 9th Aug, 2010

Sublime used to be so damn good ....

Now its a haven for kids who want to just "take some pills and go to la la land"

oh and hardstyle sucks a**

Delroy Cornick

Delroy Cornick said on the 21st Aug, 2010

Wow guys, and here I was, sitting at home saying the exact same thing, except I'm over here in the States and I thought it was me. Thank you guys for the heads up that it ain't just me...there's something going on here and it's not pretty.

DJBorisM

DJBorisM said on the 22nd Aug, 2010

I can only say one ask why Ibiza is the best place for a party time and wy is Pacha best club in the world. Sarah Main is there a resident does not have 10 people coming to Pacha to listen to her but she is resident.
Pacha is the most better sound system I have ever heard of for one club, and also choreographed dance show people that there is incredible. For me it is stupid to talk about people who tailor the music scene and called the patrons of clubs with the system if you bring the people you will be DJ. No one is talking about what a club can offer you as a guest if I come there to spend money:)
If is the Club good at all levels there is no need to DJ brings his people. But if the club a bad, dirty, and the bad reputation you can have a best DJ in the world again, you will fail.
My conclusion is when clubs are at a level that meets all the criteria and you'll have better music scene and with it, and DJ.

leeroy44

leeroy44 said on the 25th Aug, 2010

Promoter DJ's are simply an expansion of the 200 guestlists that every nightclub seems to have. Its funny how now you "might" have a chance at getting in if your on a guestlist. Australia seems to have its own rules and ideas of the club scene and the worst part about it is that the scene is terrible. We are becoming to much like our allies America where we all want to be the "Big Dog". European countries have been paving the way for the dance scene for years so we should take a leaf out of their book. Promoter DJ's belong in the Pubs where they can play as much top 40 as their hearts content but stay away from our nightclubs cause your not making the scene any better, your turning it into a mokery!

Dj Sizzle

Dj Sizzle said on the 27th Aug, 2010

This is my 14th year djing. I've passionately researched the music I play and have committed ridiculous amounts of time to ensuring my skills are above and beyond. The only reason I've been getting booked heavily in the last year is because of consistent, time consuming online marketing. Without that I'd still be banging my head against a wall.

Sure you have to have the skills required to get the club banging, that goes without saying, but even the experienced and talented dj's have to spend all their time marketing. This isn't an attempt at "killing the scene". This is a reality. There is a huge expectation on dj's from venues and promoters that wasn't there some years ago.

If you want to talk about killing the scene, take a look at the venues and promoters handing out "door deals" to artists. It's not the job of a dj or live act to communicate the event to the people and get them through the door. It's their job to rock the sh*t out of the dance floor, get people thirsty so they buy more drinks. Sure, the artist are supposed to attract an audience, but how can they ensure the quality of their set when the expectation is that they spend all that time spamming their friends to get them to the show? Since when did you have to rely on your friends turning up to make it a successful night? Why are these people called "Promoters"? It's their damn job!

clubdj

clubdj said on the 27th Aug, 2010

whoever introduced free entry to clubs on a weekend should be shot! every club should have to charge 10 bucks minimum.... then they can afford decent djs and not crap 19 year old kids who have a lot of friends...

oh that and dutch house has obviously ruined everything....

great article by the way....

too right!

As a DJ on 'the circuit' for few years now, I must say it kills me everytime when I get bugged by a venue to do the following:

*hey mate 'come in early, I know your not playing till 1am but we expect our DJ's to be a part of the night, not just walk in & out'
-so how am I supposed to make more than $100-$200 on any night, if I can't book gigs before & after??!??!??

*hey mate 'how's the guestlist looking for next weekend, have you been posting it all over your facebook?'
-well no I haven't, isnt that the promoters job, and I don't know how YOUR guestlist is looking

*'how many people can u bring with you if I book you?
-depends on how many of my friends are out that night, maybe 2-3 maybe 20-30. But I can assure me if you book me instead of the 18yo kid who got laptop for his birthday, i will KEEP at least 90% of your dancefloor there, as opposed to the 18yo who will kill half of it, and attempt to replace it with his 'friends' who are only there for free drinks and will never turn up to your club again unless their 'friend' is there.

Ahhhh, this industry is going sooooooooooo downhill. So so sad for the generation below me!

TommyButala

TommyButala said on the 5th Sep, 2010

@randomopenness : this is the same, sad situation here in Chicago, U.S. as well (has been for a long time unfortunately). It's not all places, but honestly about 90% of them in this city these days. the problem IMO is that most of the clubs cater to 'glam' or 'birthday party' crowds, as opposed to the music-crowds. I think the solution is for people to start stepping up and organizing some RESPECTABLE nights once again!

twistedbydesign

twistedbydesign said on the 12th Mar, 2011

""I hosted will.i.am in October last year – over 1,800 scrambled for tickets to see an artist not known for his DJing at all. Whereas two weeks later, I hosted DJ Hell and was in a world of financial pain with just over 200 payers.”

I weep for the future of man kind

That's all kinds of funny considering will.i.am requires a local dj to be booked to stand by the decks when he plays, he is prone to wandering off during the 'set'...

Spectrum

Spectrum said on the 12th Mar, 2011

Sublime used to be so damn good ....

Now its a haven for kids who want to just "take some pills and go to la la land"


One might argue Sublime has always been like that...

...and yes, I am thinking since the Pitt St days, 15 years ago.

Wouldz

Wouldz said on the 20th Feb, 2012

It would help if local clubs and more experienced local DJ's weren't so elitest with their attitudes towards up and coming acts. It doesn't help as a young up and comer when promoters, club owners and local DJ's don't want to accept any outsiders into their clique or look down on you for playing a different style of music. My local club won't even listen to my mixes or references.

Where I'm from it doesn't matter how good I am with my ability, because I'm not chummy with the guys who run the only half-decent club in the area I can't even get a shot on the graveyard shift and they won't entertain the idea unless I become a total promotional slut for their venue.

I'm not going to get all my friends to come to the club on the off-chance I *might* be allowed to play a one-hour graveyard set where I'm not even allowed to play the music I want to play to prove myself. It's a pathetic mentality for promoters to have and I absolutely feel it's responsible for a massive hit to my motivation. I'm sticking with it though, I refuse to give them the satisfaction of getting me down.

Great article.

benjiswan

benjiswan said on the 20th Feb, 2012

Music piracy also plays a part IMO. Artists make no money from music -> Producers become DJs -> DJ fees go up -> Festivals pay more for acts (and there's more competition for said acts) -> DJ fees go up -> Clubs need to charge more/sell more tickets to break even. A lot of comments here make it sound like promoters are out there rolling in cash - I know for a fact there are very VERY few who are.

klaudva

klaudva said on the 20th Feb, 2012

Future Entertainment is renowned for this. They get their promoters playing gigs so they don't have to fork out money for decent acts.
I'm sorry FE but you really dont think i am going to pay $$$$$ for a ticket to listen to some bedroom dj spin tunes on a pre-recorded set..**** off altready.

I stopped going to any outings a long time when I saw what was going on.

We have an abundance of excellent local dj's, who have releases with labels like Armada and they don't get gigs because organisers like FE are tight wads and don't want to pay them.
The dance scene in Melb is gone, NEVER to be seen again..thanks for F***ing it all up Future... looks like you'll have to change your name to Past Entertainment very soon.

alex96

alex96 said on the 20th Feb, 2012

I'm sorry but am I the only one that has a problem with Generik being credited as anything other than a promoter dj? If I am not mistaken he got his start through playing for Streetparty, whom I would argue is a huge contributor to the rise of the 'promoter dj' here in Melbourne. I could rant on but it wouldn't be constructive...

sHaRp-b0y

sHaRp-b0y said on the 23rd Feb, 2012

I have a problem with it.

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