So you’ve booked your first official gig as a DJ. Now what do you do? A lot of first-time DJs are nervous about their first performance and question how to prepare. We’ve all experienced the first show jitters, but there’s no need to worry if do your best to prepare. Here are a few tips for making your first gig a great one!
Plan your set (and Practice) – Always give yourself enough time to plan, and more importantly, practice your set before showing up to the venue. If you don’t take the time to practice, your set won’t turn out how you wanted it to. In a worst-case scenario, it will go completely wrong. Research and visit the venue, and the other DJs who will be playing that evening; this will give you a good idea of what kind of music you should play. It’s also important to keep in mind who your audience will be. Taking the audience into account when creating the set list will help to ease your nerves and create a better atmosphere at the gig.
Show Up Early – Rushing around is the last thing you want to do before a first gig. Give yourself enough time to get set up and have everything ready to go. Once you’re set up, do a sound check to pinpoint any sound problems. Fashionably late doesn’t work in this setting. You’ll look unprofessional and inconvenience the rest of the staff if you show up late.
Stage Presence – An excellent stage presence can make or break a show (along with a good setlist). Magnetic magazine reveals that you should “be animated and interact with the crowd but also do your job as a DJ and mix those tracks to perfection and bring some innovation to your show, after all you are a performer.” Your job is to get the crowd pumped up and help them have a great time! If your audience is having a good time, so will you.
Professionalism – It’s important to remember that this is your job, so you should act just as professional as someone working 9-5. If there is a DJ playing before you, pay attention to what they’re playing and how the crowd reacts. This will help you gauge what songs you should play. Additionally, after the gig is over follow up with the venue that booked you. Any venue will be focused on the next event, so following up allows you to keep a good working relationship and helps with potential future bookings.
Remember, practicing your DJs skills is the only way to get better. Make sure you show up to all of your gigs prepared and ready to go with a planned setlist. Bring some extra playlists and tracks along just in case the crowd isn’t into your first plan. If you remain professional at all times and have an excellent stage presence, you’ll start to stand out as an excellent DJ. Good luck!