DJing contests

Tips and techniques of the trade

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DJing contests

#1 Post by kbuxton » Mon Oct 19, 2009 10:04 am

When you're asked to DJ a contest, what information do you expect from the contest organizers?

I was asked to DJ a contest, but don't have any info yet about the contest. I responded asking a bunch of questions, but was wondering what questions I forgot to ask. What all do you want to know in advance?

Obvious stuff includes number of heats, number of songs per heat, how long the songs (or song parts) should be, tempo range expected, etc.

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#2 Post by Haydn » Mon Oct 19, 2009 10:24 am

I haven't DJ'd competitions, but I think the 'Competition Music' thread is relevant ...

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#3 Post by lipi » Mon Oct 19, 2009 11:19 am

The questions you listed are pretty much the ones I'd ask, too, Kristin.

In addition maybe: experience level of dancers and preferred style of music (modern, vintage, jump blues, ...).

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#4 Post by dogpossum » Mon Oct 19, 2009 5:20 pm

I think it's a good idea to ask for specific details about the night. Perhaps ask about pay and exactly how long the competition is. Competition DJs are often paid more here than other DJs, and it helps to know exactly what's expected of you during the night. Will you, for example, be playing music for social dancing between heats as well as DJing for the comp itself? If you're a working DJ you might also want to be sure your name is on the website somewhere as the competition DJ. If it's a comp run by a group new to running these types of events, you might also want to check out the sound gear set up ahead of time to be sure the music you choose will work with what's available.

One of the things comp DJs I've spoken to lately have all stressed is the importance of having extra, stand-by songs for additional heats if there are late entries.

Another thing I've heard DJs asking for clarification about is musical style. DJing a 'blues' category for example, might need some very clear directions from the organisers in regards to the type of music they want. The Hellzapoppin' competition here is also quite clear about musical requirements - old school, solid big band stuff.

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#5 Post by kbuxton » Mon Oct 19, 2009 8:38 pm

Thanks... I had totally forgotten that the competition music thread started out with exactly the same sorts of questions :)

The contest in question is actually a blues contest not a lindy one, but I figured the same guidelines would apply. I did get an answer to my email, but interestingly the one question not at all answered was the tempo one. Having a number of heats, songs, etc is definitely a good start though.