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So you want to be a DJ?

Andy Robertson

When you see how much the top earning DJs earn no wonder people consider that as a possible career. With the likes of The Chainsmokers making $46m last year it looks like a lucrative earner but how hard is it to start from scratch and get to the point where you can make a living wage, how hard can it be? 


Certainly, the development of technology has made the skill of DJing much easier but can that really be a substitute for raw talent in what is an extremely competitive sector. The number of people that make a living from DJing is extremely small. With hundreds of genres DJing can be something people do that fits exactly with their own style and preferences for music. There are many hobby DJs out there who simply play for their own indulgence and pleasure with just a small investment in hardware and software.

Assuming that someone has a natural ability and talent to beat mix and/or can master the old school vinyl turntablism skills that’s only the beginning. To be a great success a good DJ needs to read the audience and have a dynamic approach to their mix to match the mood and create an audience interaction. It's not just about banging out their favourite tunes, a good set will ebb and flow and tell a story to some extent.

How did the big-name DJs get where they are today? Some of the older DJ’s were perhaps involved in the rave and clubbing scene several decades ago and were pioneers at what they did by extracting maximum effect from the equipment available at the time. New names to surface in the last five or ten years have probably got to where they are through a combination of luck, hustle, networking and being in the right place at the right time.

For anyone starting out or simply with an interest there is no better place to start than a DJ school. There are many establishments offering such courses in cities and countries around the world. For a reasonable fee the budding DJ can explore their interest and discover what they like and don’t like before taking the next steps like investing in software and hardware, recording sets and promoting themselves. If someone has a passion for DJing it’s key to set realistic targets on what they want to achieve, they may end up being a hobby bedroom DJ perhaps playing the occasional small live gig. For the more serious career minded DJ they are going to have to invest time and effort in hustling the right people in a timely manner as opposed to relying on pure talent.

Using an events management software solution like FestivalPro can help make the planning and running of DJ focussed music events more efficient with built in functionality to manage every aspect of DJ management. The guys who are responsible for this software have been in the front line of event management for many years and the features are built from that experience and are performance artists themselves. The FestivalPro platform is easy to use and has all the features an event organiser needs to plan and control DJs at any live music event.  

Andy Robertson
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