Monday, 24 June 2013

Ticket Selling Bookings and Cheap Promoters

Yes, the above image is actually from an email I receeved a while ago about ticket selling bookings.... I'm back again after a short break.

Thanks for all the comments on the last article, and thanks to those who also shared it on Facebook and Twitter. I appreciate it.

As I mentioned in the last post, the promoters and club managers are equally to blame for the rise of undercutting in DJ culture, as well as the lowering standards (and DJ fees) in club nights.

First up, let me say a few things about the promoters and club managers who sacrifice quality to save a few quid. This will damage your brand and your venue in the long run. If you're happy to hire some inexperienced Joe Bloggs bedroom DJ just because you're too tight to pay extra for a seasoned professional, then the message you're actually giving out is that you don't give a fuck about the quality of service, the music, or even the type of crowd that may frequent the venue as a result.

What's worse, is that clubs are not only scaling back on talent, but also flyers and street teams.

Contrary to popular belief, cheap drinks deals to not make people flock to the club in their thousands any more. It's not the fucking 1980s any more. This is pretty much one of the reasons why most Luminar venues have gone to shit...And don't even get me started on those who rely on Facebook to promote their event also...

Times are tough, I appreciate that. However, if your main goal is purely ticket sales, and you're not willing to put in the work to build a solid brand from the ground up, then you won't have longevity. You may smash it on your first event, but repeat success? Very doubtful.

Speaking of tickets, what about these bullshit "ticket selling" tactics that lazy promoters like to try out on young, impressionable DJs?

I recently read an article on DJ Paul Velocity's blog about his experience and arguments regarding ticket selling bookings, and I whole-heartedly agree with him.

Now, if I'm booked to DJ then yes I'll happily send out the usual Facebook and Twitter updates, and also send out info via my mailing list. I obviously want people to come and see me perform, and I'll do my little bit to help push the event. Not a problem.

What I object to though, is having to actively go out and sell tickets on behalf of a promoter in order to get paid, or at the very least get the gig to begin with. That shit isn't cool.

Of course, there will always be those naive DJs who think it's a great idea. The reality is, it's not.

In essence it's just a pyramid scheme. You run around and do all the donkey work, selling tickets. You may get around £2 per head. The promoter sits back on his arse and coins the rest of the money. You're taking valuable time out of your schedule to to bust your balls for someone too lazy (and most likely inept) to do their own fucking job.

Promoters are there to do exactly what their name suggests - Promote, i.e. get the numbers through the door, organise guest list, and to spread the word about the event they are putting on. However, if you're just relying on exploiting up and coming DJs to do your own work, then you're not a promoter, you're a fucking douchebag. A lazy fucking douchebag.

As I've said before, the message you're giving out is that you do not care about quality. Your DJs may be good salesmen, but they actually suck at DJ-ing.

My final thought is that every competent and experienced DJ took a stand and said "Enough. This is my fee, lump it or leave it", then these shithead promoters and club managers will eventually have to succumb to our demand. Of course they will try out these £50 DJs who only just started spinning last Tuesday, but once they realise that the quality of service is sub-standard, numbers drop, and their venue suffers, they will eventually come running back. It's happened to me before at a few local spots, trust me.

Got any comments? Leave them below...

Next time, I'll be moaning about shit DJ booths, and venues who don't take care of their equipment. Apparently 1210s make good drinks holders now...who knew?

Take care, and remember not to take any requests, even if "they're about to leave".


  1. Nice article, I don't really DJ anymore but I know how things work now days having been to many events etc.. some as you describe

    I suppose it's now a bit of everything to make an event happen as a DJ I would expect to do some work to be able to bring in numbers if I was performing as if i could not then how can i be classed as a DJ of any quality?

    There is no excuse for a totally empty night if you are performing that is if you think your name is worth being paid to perform but also the promoter has to do his part. I myself (a professional Global DJ and previously also a professional Global promoter) would have to make sure I did my bit to get people to where I was playing because any DJ who thinks it's just down to the promoter is just as full of S**t and any promoter who expects it to happen without their hard work promoting also.. there are not that many DJ that can just turn up based on their name on a flyer and still pack a crowd (with no work from a promoter)
    "it takes to to make a thing go right"

    if you want to be a DJ in todays world you need to pull your crowd to any event you are listed. Yes you need the promoter to also do his job and together you both succeed this is the modern world of being a DJ and it's why you got booked (because your name pulls a crowd) just nowadays you have to inform and also promote to your followers.

    as for the work to play ethos..thats been around for years its just no days everyones a dj and in truth come on how friggin hard is it to be a friggin DJ anyway… Jukebox springs to mind.

    Mark Ruff Ryder
    Strictly Underground since 1988

    a real DJ can scratch vinyl with their elbows!

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