Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Why I Hate The University Scene & Their 10+ DJ Lineups

The above image pretty much sums up these Urban events within the Uni scene...

I've done my fair share of student gigs over the years... Matter of fact, when I was first starting out a majority of my gigs were on-campus events.

If you're on the come up they're a great way to tap into your local scene and develop a fanbase, particularly if it's a weekly event. However, there are a number of things about them that really do piss me off from time to time.

Now, when I first started doing them there weren't as many DJs around; Back then it was just vinyl, CDJs weren't as commonly used, and you really had to prove your worth in order to get a spot at these events. However that has now changed and there are a million and one Uni DJs fighting for a spot...and of course they're all willing to play for peanuts.

Most of these guys really only do it because it's an image thing. They like the idea of linking girls at the rave and being able to strut around on campus saying "I'm a DJ" as if it gives them some kind of magical position within their university's social hierarchy.

Now, I have respect for people who graft hard to make it in this game. It's a tough world. Even more so now everyone rocks Serato. But if you're one of those Uni DJs who will happily travel from London to Nottingham, or Essex to Milton Keynes just for £50, then you're playing yourself. You are making no money whatsoever, and because the Uni scene is quite insular, that's really the only circle you're really going to move within if you're playing for that amount of money.

I've also found that the standard of DJ-ing is really low at these events. I've heard too many clangs to count, clashing vocals, and more YouTube rips than you can shake a stick at. If you don't aspire to do bigger things or work hard to perfect your craft, you won't be taken seriously, and you certainly won't be able to turn this into a proper career...unless you're just happy pretending to look like a don on social network sites with your laptops and Beats By Dre headphones.

One of the other main things that annoys me are the promoters who insist on booking 10+ DJs for their event. Why the fuck would you want to try and cram 10 DJs into pretty much one room for the space of 5 hours? It makes no sense. It's bad enough having to do the dreaded "Serato Swap Over" with just one other DJ, let alone a whole platoon of them. It becomes even more of a clusterfuck if they're using Traktor, Virtual DJ, or a MIDI controller. By the time you've changed over, you're lucky if you get 20 minutes before you then have to change over with the other DJ.

Because they're all so desperate to prove their worth, they all resort to playing the same fucking songs as everyone else. I swear the last time I went to a Uni rave I heard "Oliver Twist", "N***as In Paris", "Mercy" and that "Watch Me Do My Azonto" tune about 5 times each. 5 TIMES, MAN!

Hardly any of them specialise in a particular genre, so they all call themselves a "multi genre DJ", and pretty much play anything and everything under the sun in order to get that booking. Being versatile is a necessity, but please do it in a way that doesn't make you look like the a Mobile Disco.

If you're a promoter, and you're under the impression that all 10 DJs are going to bring a massive crowd with them, just to see them play for 30 minutes, then you are clearly mistaken. On campus, maybe... Out of town, let alone another county? Highly doubtful. I'm yet to see one uni DJ turn up from out of town with a whole army of fans in tow.

My advice to Uni scene promoters? Take that £500 you'd spend on (shit) entertainment, book three solid local DJs for £150 each, and then invest the change in flyers, or even dare I say it, a prize for a "like and share" competition on Facebook.

Better still, book two DJs and invest some more cash into a headline DJ or a PA. If it's a midweek event, their manager or booking agent might even do it for a discounted rate, especially if you promise them another booking later down the line...provided your night hasn't flopped.

Also, please give your raves better names than YOLO, Swagga, Overload, etc... There are probably 20 other club nights across the country who use those names. Also invest in a decent graphic designer, who will not use the standard stock template that I posted above. No one wants to see Ashanti, Drake, or any other generic woman on the flyer.

Next time, I will be be moaning about the rise of the £50 DJ, and how they are fucking up the scene.

Take care, and remember not to take any requests. Even if it is their birthday.


  1. DITTO - I completely agree with everything there!

  2. Yes, and for that remember to always use your cdj 2000 stand .

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