Like many, I am taking the month of October off from drinking alcohol, and maybe beyond that too. Sober October is an extra challenge for busy djs, so we got to have each other’s backs 🙂
Why is Sober October scary for djs? Many reasons.
First of all, alcohol is honestly quite helpful for nerves, for getting over being on stage if your more a musician than performer, and for feeling the music on a similar level as the crowd. Walking into a room dead sober, with everyone else on another level, and getting into a groove while putting out positive energy from the booth is a challenge. It’s hard not to be stiff sometimes. A drink or two really helps with this.
Second, booze is free for djs, and will always be offered. The promoter gives you drink tickets, enthused fans want to buy you a drink, and it doesn’t always feel good to say ‘no.’ Sometimes there’s even an expectation that if you get brought out you party a little with the people who brought you.
Third, booze is free for djs (again). It’s super easy for me to resist buying a $10 drink at a bar – what a rip! I’m frugal enough to never think that’s worth it. But a free drink. Damn, that’s a good deal 🙂 Can seem like a waste not to take it.
Okay so why even bother with Sober October as a dj? The drinks are free, it helps you get in the groove, and feel loose on stage.
Well I’ve talked to quite a few djs about this, and here’s the problem. One free drink leads to another. Often we are supplied with way more than we need, drinks just show up. I swear I can drink pretty much whatever and be fine on the decks. In the zone of music, after the first couple loosen me up, I don’t particularly feel the rest.
You know when I feel it? The minute the music stops. The drinks were good to me while I was playing, all of a sudden I feel drunk. A couple times have passed out in an Uber home. I find at the end of my set, I’m often not in the headspace I want to be in. Being drunk doesn’t seem to lead me to stupid decisions much on the decks, but definitely can afterwards.
Another thing is health. I’m busy, but not by any means the busiest dj out there because I’m selective and insist on being paid what I’m worth. But still I play 6-8 times a month. That adds up to a lot of drinking. I’m in my mid-40s. My liver could feel this later. Now is the time to moderate. Imagine a dj playing out twice as much as me and drinking heavily every time. Basically an alcoholic just from the gigs, and there may be drinking outside of them.
These are just my thoughts, I never try to tell someone else how to live their life. 2019 has been a year of deep reflection for me, and I want to be at my best for my health and my wife and daughter. So I am joining the Sober October movement, and will be declining those drinks at my gigs. I will have to reach within to think about what motivated me to Dj in the first place (I didn’t drink a drop then) and feel my natural energy and love for the music to be enough <3
Sober October is a thing, so people will be pretty understanding of DJs declining those drinks this month – it’s a great chance to make a new habit if that’s what you want to do. A month is plenty of time for a new habit to stick, I’m ready to give it a try. I’d love to hear your thoughts, and I’d love for us all to support each other <3