Don’t hang the mobile DJ

Don’t hang the mobile DJ

Many would say that mobile DJs are those that can’t get proper DJ jobs in clubs or bars. After all why would anyone want to lug gear into a venue?

Often mobile DJs start their day around 2pm and end their day at 2am.There is no kudos at all in the job, it is very lonely and most mobile DJs are bald and fat.

Being a mobile DJ just isn’t cool. mobile dj

But wait a minute…

Let’s look at some other types of DJs.

Largely the “Bar DJ” seems cool from the outside but actually invisible. He or she THINKS they are cool because they are the DJ, but actually they are just loners in a corner playing music on a computer screen. The trendier the bar the less they are paid the more they are hidden and the more they are ignored.

If it’s London, a Bar DJ will probably be working even longer hours than the aforementioned mobile one. He or she will have left their house outside of London at 6am to arrive at the bar for 8pm. They will play to an unheated empty, echoic, dingy room until 1am when the first customers arrive and then play on until 3am, before driving back home for 6am. That’s a whole 24hr day of being ignored.

Then there is the “Club DJ”. Once a super-star, now just a target for abuse and foreign objects. The Club DJ gets to play to an audience of gibbons. His audience, who all have difficulty with numbers, all know more about music than he does yet will only dance to the same 45 songs that were being played last month.

Finally there is the “Super Club Super-star DJ”. Yes these are the ones who claim to play 18 venues in one night and earn bankers wages. Society proudly trumpets these DJs and claim that all other DJs are just not as cool.

There are a few still in existence of these DJs. DJs who have made their name by proudly taking credit for assembling other people’s records on a computer.

Here is a painting by Rembrant. I didn’t paint it, but I will show it to you and you can clap and pay me.


Which leads us back to the lowly mobile DJ. Unlike the other types of DJ, he is not always ignored, because often he is the only entertainment, he is centre of attention.

His audiences are never the same, and so his playlist has to drastically change every night he plays.  He is judged upon his ability to think fast and is judged by people who are not under the influence of horse tranquillizer or ex-lax.

He can’t get sick of the same venue, because he is never there twice and if he has a bad night, he need never go back.

He doesn’t have to be polite to rude people, there are no rules and he actually works fewer hours than it seems because his clients are mostly doing speeches or eating cake.

He is happily anonymous; there is no competition from other bars, DJs or clubs. No pressure to keep patrons in the venue and no corporate invoicing nonsense. No cocaine come downs the next day, no violence, no danger, no hangovers.

Experimentation is a must and the mobile DJ has to read an audience twice as fast as the other types of DJ. He has to switch from progressive house to the Rolling Stones yet have it make sense. He has to keep a dance floor of 60, which is harder than 600,and he has to quash his cheesy mobile DJ image in a heartbeat to win an audience. His respect is unsung and graciously earned.

He will work with an audience of city workers on one day and a room full of college girls the next. He will work posh hotels, conference suites or village fetes and will be required to excel with audiences of 15 to 50.

He won’t ever fall out with an uppity duty manager, ever have to work a cold room, or continue playing if he doesn’t want to. And he gets to play when people want him to be there, he gets to play on an occasion that makes a special day for a client.

There won’t be any awards for this DJ and there will always be a client just back from Ibiza ready to tell him how it should be done, but he will just smile and know better.

He won’t wake up on a sunny beach surrounded by naked women because he knows that nobody ever does and when he’s fat and 50 he will still be earning and appreciated by his loyal referrals whilst the other DJs are telling fireside stories and wondering the hell happened.

Author – Walking on Air – How to be a Radio Presenter – Book on Amazon

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