So you need a DJ? If you’re looking to make your event a night to remember, you’ll need to hire a professional DJ to get the party started. It can be daunting reaching out to people who work in a different industry to you; Where should you look? What should you ask for? How do you know who to trust? Our guide will make it less of a minefield for you to find DJs.
Everyone’s needs are different, but the chances are you probably want a DJ in your local area. Professional DJs will have a personal website, so start with a Google search for results in your area. Of course, depending on your event and budget, you may be able to arrange for a DJ to travel to you.
There are many websites that list DJs and some even allow you to book directly through the site. For example, Find a DJ lists NADJ approved DJs by region (UK only). Classified pages and websites are worth a look, but can sometimes be hit and miss. Be sure to ask to see your DJs’ previous work before your book. Some classified sites are; Craigslist, Gumtree and Backpage.
Other places to look are places where DJs go to share their music. There’s an absolute glut of music distribution platforms online, so here’s our breakdown of the most useful ones:
SoundCloud: The place for sharing your music online. SoundCloud has every type of musician in every location around the world, so you’ll have to do a bit of searching to find the perfect DJ. Try searching for your genre and location for example ‘EDM Manchester’ to find results near you.
MixCloud: MixCloud is the perfect platform for DJs, as it caters for mixes. Search for a location to see MixCloud members in that region.
Mixcrate: Mixcrate is a platform and network for finding and following DJs, so get stuck in. It’s great for browsing music and finding DJs that you like, but not so good for finding DJs in a specific location.
Chew.tv: Chew.tv is a revolutionary platform that lets you watch DJs performing anywhere in the world via live streaming. It’s more of a tool to help other DJs learn new skills, but check it out anyway. You can live stream shows that are happening now, or watch previous shows. Every DJ has a profile, so if you find one you like, you can get in touch with them.
Find out what’s happening near you. If you live in a town or city check out what’s happening in the DJ scene where you live. Scout out local bars and clubs and go and find DJs for yourself. There’s nothing better than meeting in person before you decide to hire them, you’ll get a much better idea of what they’re capable of in real life and whether you’ll be able to work together.
If you’re on a budget, try contacting your local university, college or music school. A lot of educational institutions run DJ and music production courses, and there are plenty of students who are looking for a chance to showcase their talent. You never know, you could end up working with the next big thing!