Unusual DJ Gigs
Unusual DJ Gigs
Sometimes, when looking for DJ gigs it pays to think outside of the box! When it comes to finding DJ gigs it can be difficult for beginners but there are some interesting shortcuts and work-arounds. Normally, DJs will approach club or bar owners or party promoters and pitch for DJ work. It's a very competitive market so often DJs will be rejected. If you find yourself in this conundrum we suggest trying to find a way into regular DJ work with more unusual gigs. Here are some ideas that differ from the normal route to DJing in clubs.
Firstly, if you're finding it hard to find DJ gigs we can help. We organise DJ gigs for all our DJ Course graduates. Even for DJs who already have some experience DJing. If you have some experience but want to improve your DJ skills and get gigs with us join at the Intermediate DJ Course and work your way up. Most DJs joining us at that level will complete the Intermediate, Advanced and Elite DJ Courses to gain access to the gigs we organise. We organise gigs at some of the UK's most famous venues and festivals including Ministry of Sound and Egg LDN. We also organise gigs every summer in Ibiza.
Unusual DJ Gig Ideas
If you want to think outside the box and find DJ opportunities in unusual places take a moment to read these ideas for inspiration. We suggest that you explore these ideas by firstly gearing your social media and EPK (Electronic Press Kit) toward the market you are trying to break into. Bookers want to see DJs who specialise in their type of event. If you do this you can often sweep up!
Sporting Event DJs
One of the biggest opportunities to play for huge crowds other than at clubs or festivals is at sporting events. All the major sporting events now have DJs playing in the stadiums often during breaks or at the start and end of the games. There are also VIP areas within bigger stadiums that have DJs. Sporting event DJs can often get famous playing these events and that will lead to more DJ work in clubs, radios and so on. If you're a sporting fan it's a great way of combining two passions!
Gym & Fitness DJs
Forward thinking Gyms in bigger urban centres now often have resident DJs. Find the most expensive gyms in your area (the ones with a budget) and call them to ask if they have DJs playing in their gym. If they don't, it might be something you can offer, you could even become a new DJ booking agency for gyms!
Be it huge retail outlets like Selfridges or small pop-ups, shop managers are booking DJs in increasing numbers and paying a good wage. Retail managers want to book DJs to help them create more immersive shopping experiences. The music has to be perfectly aligned with their brand and remember most shops don't want DJs who play explicit lyrics. Make it family friendly! Shop DJing is very different to DJing for a dancefloor so you can focus on picking music that suits the atmosphere of people browsing for clothes and other products. It's quite an art form to create the perfect soundtrack. Retailers will pay good money to a DJ who can fulfil this brief.
Remember, if you work for a big chain of shops there might be an opportunity to DJ at multiple sites!
If you're looking for retail DJ gigs call the offices of the major chains in major shopping centres like Oxford Street and ask them if there is someone who organises their in-store DJs. Quite often it might be the shop manager or a DJ agency.
Fashion Show DJs
Along the same line as clothing retail DJ work there are fashion shows. Fashion designers often want to book DJs to curate music for their runway shows and DJ at their glamours after parties. The best way to get into this line of work is socialise with designers and the best way to start is by attending fashion week and fashion week parties. These gigs are ideal for DJs who love fashion and dressing up for their gigs.
Even hotels nowadays want to curate the perfect environment for their guests with the use of soundtracks and DJ sets. DJs will often be commissioned to create soundtracks for hotel lobbies and backing music for their hallways and lounges. In addition, hotels will often book DJs to play and create the perfect environment for their guests. Not all hotels book DJs so there is no point calling Travelodge. I suggest that you aim for the top-end of boutique hotels in big urban areas. Hotels that specialise in trendy hipster guests and hotels that are expensive. Expensive hotels have more budget to spend on DJs!
Many hotels in sunnier climates will also have pool-side DJs. Find the hotels in your dream destinations that book DJs to play poolside or in their lounges.
Private Member Club DJs
Private member clubs like Shoreditch House, The Curtain and The Ned are becoming increasing popular in big cities like London. They are always booking DJs so make sure you reach out and make yourself known. They will want to book DJs who have some profile already, and a profile that is trendy and fashionable. Do your research and see what kind of DJs they are already booking so that you align with their style. In some cases you can even ask to run an event at their venues to get your foot in the door. Of course, as member clubs, they would be more inclined to book a member! You might want to start with membership.
There are tons of boat parties in big cities that have large rivers or coastal locations alongside many tourist destinations like Ibiza. Boat party companies like Pukka Up want to book resident DJs who can deliver a set perfect for the theme of their parties. In many cases it needs to be commercial dance music. If you love playing open format sets crammed with classic tracks, chart topping singers and remixes, having a boat party residency might be just the ticket!
Many corporate events including seminars, conference's and even office Christmas parties now require a DJ. This is big money as companies will often splash out more than a club on a DJ. Many DJs specialise in corporate work and create whole profiles that suit this type of work. Bookers of corporate DJs want to book DJs who follow all the regulations and have public liability insurance. They will also want to book DJs who can take requests and play for a broad spectrum of people.
Cruise Ship DJs
Cruise ship companies like Virgin Voyages are increasingly booking resident DJs. If you dream of travelling the world and being paid to do it this might be the dream job for you! These huge ships need many DJs playing a huge range of music suitable for kids parties to full-on-board nightclubs. Cruise DJs often get free bed and board and payment for their time on the ship. Days off can be spent visiting the cities and ports along the way.
Red Carpet DJs
Red carpet events and big PR launches always have DJs. Why not reach out to the top PR companies in your region and introduce yourself. They will want to book reliable DJs who have the red carpet look. Make sure your press photos are on point! Presentation is everything in this industry.
Theme Park DJs
The worlds top theme parks need DJs too! All the major theme parks like Alton Towers and Thorpe Park regularly book DJs and many smaller ones as well. Make sure you put them on your search list! Smaller events are often a great way to break into this type of DJ gig.
Luxurious international hotel resorts are moving away from live bands for old age pensioners and slowly updating to more modern entertainment. DJs are in hot demand for these resorts. Isolated resorts will prefer to book a resident DJ for an entire season. Reach out to your dream resorts and ask who arranges their DJs. You could be playing in the Seychelles or on a secluded island while earning as a DJ!
For most of these DJ gigs you will need to have public liability insurance. For instance, for posh hotels you will need to have public liability cover in the millions. They will not book DJs who don't have this kind of cover so use this to your advantage. Get the cover and then make it known you are professional and you've already thought of this factor.