An argument can be made that club & festival DJs are the most recognisable out of the different DJ avenues. Where bar DJs are residential, Club DJ’s would be on the other side as rotational. This means they do not have a regular venue each week but are booked at different venues for events by promoters.
In this post will look into the differences between a club and bar DJ. What promoters are looking for in bookings and how to get your foot in the door.
What is a Club DJ
When an event is put on, A promoter will book a few warm-up DJs and a headliner. Warm-up Djs play before the headliner and keep the crowd entertained and prepare them for the headliner. The Headliner will have a set at the peak time of the event or may finish the night. Both of these are considered Club DJs as they have been booked to play and are not playing the whole night
Club DJ Vs Bar DJ
The main difference is a Bar DJs who will play for the whole night, switching between genres. Club DJs will have a set for 1 – 2 hours. with a limit on playtime, the approach to playing is different. The type will be dependent on the time of the set. for example, an earlier warm-up set will start softer and gradually gain momentum. whereas peak time sets will have to keep the crowd energised from the start of the set.
Another aspect of the club DJ is playing alongside other DJs. When playing sets for an event there will be points where DJs have to swap in and out, this is crucial for the event to not lose the atmosphere during the change.
a couple of tips;
If playing before another DJ comes on, have a clear time of when you are going to finish, make sure they are fully set up before you stop your music.
If playing after another DJ, Give them plenty of space to finish their set and do not rush them off. Make sure that you are set up and know what song you are going to play.
How to become a Club DJ
The way to play in a club environment is to get bookings from event promoters. When a promoter is looking for DJs, they look for three main things. Firstly, the type of music the DJ plays and is known for fits the event they are promoting. Secondly, the promotion the DJ can bring to the event. And lastly, promoters are going to put DJ’s they know over ones they do not.
Keep these three things in mind when thinking about playing for an event;
1) Put Your Name Out There – Build your following, either through radio, mixtapes and social media. A promoter is more likely to book you if they know your promotion can reach more people.
2) Make Your Self Known – Get to know the promoter, If they throw regular events, go to them. Speak to them if you see them promoting other events. you are more likely to be booked if the promoter knows you.
3) Make it worth it on both sides – Negotiate prices with the Promoter, playing at events is a great way to boost your name. by offering a discount is a great way to try and get a warm-up set and get your name on the bill.