Ideally a dj plays only amazing gigs with packed dance floors. In reality, this is only approached by djs who have made it to a high level, or those who play twice a year. So what strategy to take when you are in the middle? Is it necessary to play a lot of bad gigs to make it to the top?
The answer is absolutely not. If you play a party with bad sound and no one dancing it doesn’t reflect well on you. You should never seek this. If a party is crap let it be crap. Never run around with your USB around your neck trying to jump on the decks at very opportunity either. Have some self-respect 🙂
You have to start somewhere but it’s a good habit to play only parties you see some good in. Not every party is going to be packed but I’ve played to many a 30 person party that I could see the good in – meaning the vibes of the people were there as well as the effort of the promoter to curate a great experience for guests. Those are the parties you are likely to get while trying to establish a name for yourself and you should absolutely take them.
Opening slots at legit parties are great too. Learn how to play an opening set. It’s not 128 bpm. It starts ambient maybe, then downtempo, then house. Do a good job, promoters love it when someone plays a great opening set with intention rather than ‘my chance to shine’ vibes.
Here’s the thing – if you only play at good parties that will be an association people make with your DJing. Same if you only play at mediocre parties. If you are a little more selective in what you go for, and a little more diverse in the sound you play, you will pave the way for better slots at good parties. If you have to choose between a peak slot at a shite event and an opening slot at a good one, take the second.
That’s my 2 cents anyway 🙂