How To Get Festival DJ Gigs

This Is How To Get Festival DJ Gigs

Many DJs dream of touring and playing to huge crowds at music festivals, but how do you get booked for a festival? This blog will help you understand how bookings for festivals are made and what you need to do to get booked! We hope you find these tips about how to get booked at a festival interesting. Please share if you do.

The first thing to understand is that playing at festivals can be hard. Most festivals will only book large acts that will draw a crowd and sell tickets, AKA headline acts. If you're not a headline act you will need to find a back-door route. Ultimately though, every DJ wants to be the headline act so how do you do that?

Become a Headline Act

The best long-term strategy is to become a headline act, that basically means an act that has a large fanbase or following that will attract a big crowd. There is no shortcut to becoming a headline act. You have to learn how to DJ and perform and release music that is commercially successful. This is the main aim of most DJs' entire careers and they will work towards this everyday. The only possible short-cut is to create a track that is a massive hit or viral hit, something that will catapult you into the top tier of DJs. If you're a headline worthy act your DJ agent will be in touch with various festivals or the festivals will call you direct.

Run A Stage

One of the best ways to get DJ gigs is to run your own event. Not only can you book yourself to DJ but you can also use the event as a vehicle to network with other acts and ultimately leverage your position in the music industry. If you are running successful events you can approach a festival organiser and submit a proposal to run your own stage or tent. This will allow them to outsource some of the management and booking of all their different arenas and bring them the added bonus of your promotional power. They will, in-effect, want to use you to help them sell tickets. They might also want to book you because you have certain connections that might get acts cheaper than what they could get. It's all about finding ways to leverage your position and bargaining power.

Glastonbury Festival UK

Leverage Your Connections

Any connections you have may help you gain DJ gig bookings. For example, if you know a big music journalist who might write about the festival it might help you convince the festival to let you DJ. Another example might be if you play on the radio or have some kind of influence in the music industry that will help their PR efforts. Sometimes, money talks and becoming an investor or sponsor can also get you a stage or stall of your own.

Work With A Brand

Big festivals often work with brands, anything from sun-glasses to car companies, and more. Sometimes, working for a brand means you can DJ at their stand or stall. Often this is a way into playing at a festival, getting paid and sometimes getting some freebies! Why not find out which companies are working or sponsoring the festival and reach out to them and offer your services.

Play Smaller Stages

Some of the bigger festivals have many main arenas and some smaller ones to help upcoming grass-roots brands develop. These gigs are often not paid, and instead the DJs might be required to help promote the event and sell tickets to their friends. If you have a large social network of people who love partying this can be an easy route to playing at a festival and gaining valuable DJ experience.

Put On Your Own Festival

Ultimately you might want to consider running your own festival. Even Glastonbury and Burning Man both started somewhere! Running a festival is a lot of work, and most organisers will invest an entire year planning just a few days of festivities. Maybe however, you could partner with some other DJs or promoters and run something small, you never know where it could lead!

Burning Man Festival USA

Plan A Year Ahead

It doesn't matter what route you choose to try and get booked for a music festival, all of them will require time and advance planning. Most music festivals start planning their bookings a year in advance! If you're not yet a DJ make sure you start by learning how to DJ the right way. Join our courses and we'll show you how to perform and help you get your first gigs.



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