How To Get DJ Gigs – Touring

Are you ready to open for big musical acts?


how to get dj gigs on tour

If you are a musician of any kind these days you know that making money means performing which means you need to be on the road. A lot. Whether you are the Foo Fighters, David Guetta or even Taylor Swift your big paychecks aren’t coming from album sales, especially in the world of the $0.99 single. While the big names are still selling big, without live performances they wouldn’t be half as successful as they are.

So what does this means for DJs?

Honestly it means the same thing. Sure you boost your income, name recognition and notoriety by dropping an album or three, but you also need to be out there…performing. Since your job requires you to perform all the time, you’re probably wondering what’s so different for you now, right? Well the major difference is that touring is now a legitimate and sometimes ongoing gig for DJs.

Getting these exclusive gigs is something you’ll definitely want to do…today!

Why Touring?

I get these question a lot from new DJs who don’t see the benefit and older DJs who have done “just fine” without big fancy tours. Honestly there are plenty of good reasons to go for these gigs. First of all many acts want to book a local act to open for them rather than a lesser known artist that’s a permanent fixture for every performance. A local performer (like you) will get the crowd good and excited before the main event.

Being the opening act even if for just a handful of performances will give you a HUGE stage to perform on while increasing your name recognition in the area, plus it’s a big boost for your DJ resume. Then there is your future; this is the type of DJ gig that lets promoters know you are a DJ that can be counted on no matter how big or small the venue.

Now you know why it’s important, let’s talk about how you can get more DJ gigs with touring acts.

Kiss Up

I know you’re a DJ and you’re awesome as hell and you don’t need to kiss anyone’s butt to get ahead. But…this is a pretty cool way to get in good with bands and artists making a stop in or around your town.

Look who’s coming solo and may be in the market for an opening act and then gather a few of their tracks and put your own DJ magic spin on them. It may be a little brownnose-y but it is a clever way to get you noticed. Do a proper mashup and post it where it can be heard but also make sure the management team or tour manager gets it directly.

Make sure the right people have a way to get in touch with you and promote the mashup for maximum effect.

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Cultivate Relationships

You know how important relationships are to booking DJ gigs. It may be a source of pride or frustration for you, but it is what it is. But when it comes to getting DJ gigs for acts on tour you want to make sure you haven’t just started contacting them two weeks before they breeze into town.

Make a list of acts you would like to front for and like them, add them as friends; do what you have to do to make sure they stay on your radar and get them on yours. Send a personal note a few times, comment on a song or any part of a song.

The goal isn’t to suck up but rather to cultivate a relationship as someone with an appreciation for the music. So when the tour manager and the band does their check into you…they’ll see a fan and an artist.

Go The Direct Route

If you aren’t a ‘cultivate relationships’ kind of DJ or you don’t want to kiss up to get a DJ gig then consider going straight to the source. Find out the contact person in charge of booking opening acts for the tours that interest you. Contact them personally and find out what you need to ‘audition’ and get it done. Tell them why you’re a good fit to open and explain about your local following.

The brazenness of the direct approach and the confidence to do it this way may be just enough to at least get you put on the short list of performers.

Reach Out

One of the things that I dislike and I know plenty of other DJs will agree, are those DJs who are only going through the motions. They show up at gigs and industry events armed with an obscene stack of business cards, giveaway gimmicks and demos and they only talk to those who seem important.

They are there for the sole purpose of making connections to further their career. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing but if you can’t genuinely appear to be…genuine, then you will have done yourself no favors in getting ahead. Reach out to people for the purpose of reaching out. Get to know other performers and their music and style, talk to promoters and bookers and honestly give a damn what they’re saying.

It’s not just who you know that can help you get DJ gigs on tours…but how they perceive you.

I hope I helped you get more DJ gigs on tour. Email in the box below to get access to Free video DJ lessons that will answer all of your questions on how to become a disk jockey!

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