www.swingdjs.com

www.swingdjs.com
It is currently Sat Feb 16, 2019 1:40 pm

All times are UTC - 8 hours [ DST ]




Forum locked This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 5 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: DJ Administration
PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2011 3:52 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2003 10:42 pm
Posts: 299
Location: Sydney, Australia
Over in the DJ Summit coordination question I posted:

dogpossum wrote:
This isn't really 100% related, but I'm really curious about how other event organisers manage DJs for their events. ie the administrative side of an event with DJs. I'd be most interested in events in the US, where DJs are paid/flown into town, etc.

-> sort of a development from Playtpus/Kristina's topic point
Quote:
Expectations: Working with coordinators, venue owners, teachers, dancers, etc



I'm doing more and more of this administrative stuff (ie bossing DJs about), and I've been interested to see how my requirements have affected the way DJs work at events. So I want to be sure my work is top shelf, so I don't screw over DJs.

Maybe this should be an entirely new topic? I dunno...



I'm very curious about this stuff, both as a DJ and as someone who organises DJs for local and interstate events. But I'm also quite wary of opening cans of worms I didn't even know existed - I'm sure this can be quite a fraught issue and I just don't know enough about about American (or European or Korean...) politics to avoid the obvious pitfalls.


So I'll just start with this: What's the most useful thing you've learnt about coordinating DJs for events, or about being a DJ working on an event (and dealing with coordinators)?

The most useful thing I've learnt as both a DJ and someone who organises DJs is to be upfront and honest, and to lay out, very simply and clearly (in our emailed correspondence), what I expect of DJs or what I assume the deal to be as a DJ. I've found this to help avoid miscommunications on the weekend but has also had longer term effects.
I used to make up a very basic 'DJ brief' outlining my contact details, the pay rates, technical requirements (including a photo of required cables), if the organisers would rather the DJs not dance during their sets, etc etc. This was really important about 4 years ago, but these days, particularly when I'm dealing with DJs I've worked with lots of times, I've not always put together this document. I always do it if this is the first time I'm working on an event, or with a DJ I don't know well.
It's quite pedantic, but then it's also prevented lots of irritating miscommunications, particularly as I'm rarely in the same city as the DJs or event organisers. My personal challenge is keeping it very short. Which I find (unsurprisingly) very difficult.


This won't work for everyone, and I don't think it's something you'd need in a country or scene with a well established DJing culture and DJs who do lots of high profile interstate or international events. It's also something that suits my own brand of hyper-organisation. But I'm not entirely happy with how I do things, so I'm interested in other people's approaches. My goal: mo professionalism. :D


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2011 5:29 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 18, 2002 10:21 pm
Posts: 1089
Location: Altadena, CA
Great topic.

First and foremost I like your initial point about being open and honest. This is a must, and I'd add CLEAR.

I've put together events, been the "head" DJ, and been a DJ on staff... and I work differently in all the different roles, work differently depending on the event... and even WHO is throwing the event.

Lately I've only been worked with people I know, like and trust... so I don't have to worry about the financial aspects. They take care of me, and in turn they know I'll take care of them. They don't even need to give me expectations beyond a schedule because they already know I'll go above and beyond the typical duties of a hired button pusher. However this clearly would not be advisable for most people if you do not have such strong relationships in place.

In terms of being the "head" DJ it's just like any other leadership role. Set clear expectations, be firm but approachable, be available to solve the bigger problems, and know that you'll often need to be the one who's most flexible. Oh, and get the DJ schedule out well in advance.

In terms of being a DJ on staff I think it's most important to leave your ego at home (not to be construed as leave your personal taste at home, they hired you for a reason after all). Go with the flow. Help out the "head" DJ when they ask for it, but don't get in the way. Be flexible; don't get bent out of shape when your time slots get cut or adjusted. Make yourself available.

I could go on, but that's what blogs are for...

_________________
Reuben Brown
Southern California


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2011 10:51 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2003 10:42 pm
Posts: 299
Location: Sydney, Australia
I keep meaning to respond to this, but I've been busy bossing about DJs for MLX :D

This time with MLX I didn't use a DJ brief, but I think I'm going to start doing it again in future. It's just a great way of collating all the important information for DJs - from my contact details to what type of cords to have on hand, and where each event is (that last one is important for out of towners).

I think the thing I learnt this MLX was that you need a slightly different approach when dealing with an organising committee, as opposed to dealing with a single organiser. Basically, committees take longer to do things, and there can be more layers of communication to penetrate, so you have to be clearer, leave more time for tasks and generally be cool. I like working with committees, despite some of the obvious challenges, because you get to know more people, and see a wider range of management styles in action and learn more about managing things.

I guess the biggest challenge I've found in coordinating DJs, and in DJing myself, is dealing with hired sound guys. Most of the ones I've worked with don't have any experience with recorded jazz music, so I've had to (very very carefully and tactfully) walk them through the sheer range of quality we work with. And try to convince them that 'pumping the bass to get them up and dancing' isn't really appropriate. The very nice thing about MLX is that I'm working with experienced sound people who are also dancers. Phew.

I think I want to hear what newer DJs would like to know about getting gigs at interstate events, but I'm not sure how to phrase that...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2012 10:58 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 18, 2002 10:21 pm
Posts: 1089
Location: Altadena, CA
On a related note:
http://www.jivejunction.com/?p=874

_________________
Reuben Brown
Southern California


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: DJ Administration
PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 12:25 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2004 5:36 am
Posts: 1277
Location: London
dogpossum wrote:
So I'll just start with this: What's the most useful thing you've learnt about coordinating DJs for events, or about being a DJ working on an event (and dealing with coordinators)?

... I'm not entirely happy with how I do things, so I'm interested in other people's approaches. My goal: mo professionalism. :D

I keep meaning to reply to this and putting it off ... (that's one of my problems - I sometimes make 'the best the enemy of the good' ...).

I'm not sure if it's the most useful thing I've learnt, but one thing I've found is important is for the DJ to be given the 'space' they need or want. I think DJs work best when given this space. If I'm co-ordinating DJs for an event, that's what I try to do. I think it's a question of developing trust with people so that you can just leave them to do their job, and at the same time being available to help with any problems (time/sound issues/running order/announcements etc). When co-ordinating, I think it's also important to get the DJs to talk to each other, especially when one DJ is handing over to another (if one or more is new to an event that I am co-ordinating, I would always try to be there at the handover).


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Forum locked This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 5 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 8 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group