You're getting ready for the club, hop on the train and somewhere between your house and your destination you get the text " We don't need a DJ tonight. Sorry Bro". At this moment, your mind is racing. What do I do now? All you do at this point is look at your phone and keep staring at it. What the F.... You can take this in two ways, get pissed off and complain or you can look at the brighter side of things.
It's happens and of course it sucks but if I've learned anything in the past decade in this business, it's that no one gives a fuck. Either they double booked someone, couldn't afford a DJ on a slow night or just changed their mind. It happened and there's no going back. While this typically doesn't happen a lot, it still does. So what can you do with all this free time? Work! You don't have to be DJing to be working. Checking out other spots, visiting your DJ friends that are at other venues is still considered work. You might not come home with cash in hand, but you can close your night out expanding your network and possibly landing other gigs you've been eyeing. On certain nights that I know that i'm not working, I like to go check out the local competition and see what I'm up against. Not in a poaching way but more for me to learn about the type of music being played in different areas of the city. As a Dj, you're either solo or DJing with some of your buddies but you don't really get a chance to listen to others DJs that you've always wanted to check out or don't really know about. This is the perfect time to do so.
Here's a few tips on how to not waste your time:
- Start with places closest to your venue. - It just makes sense going to places that are closest to you.
- Text your DJ buddies and see who's working. - It doesn't hurt to go and support your peers.
- If you're going to a new spot, go there to hangout, talk to the dj and staff. - Don't be that creepy DJ that's trying to Shazam everything.
- Don't be an asshole. - Just cause your night was ruined, doesn't mean you have to ruin it for everyone else too.
So the next time this happens to you, there's no need to be discouraged, you'll have a good idea on how to handle it. Turn that lost gig into a valuable experience. The goal is to move forward. Do what you love and love what you do. The rest is history.