No matter what Covid throws at us, hope remains strong. Recent outdoor festival trials have
gone ahead successfully. Preparation is underway for the reopening of nightclubs and dance
venues. The dance music scene is more dependant than ever on clubs coming back – but if
you are a dance DJ, are you ready to go back to work? Have you got a gig booked yet?
Let’s look at how you can get prepped and get booked this summer, ready for venues to
Going back to work as a dance DJ
Before your first night back in the booth, you’ll want every ounce of confidence you can find.
You’ll find it – not just with preparation, but with a little self-compassion, too.
If you haven’t been behind the decks much over lockdown, we totally understand. You’ve
probably had to find new ways to make money – and without an audience to feed off,
streamed performances might not have had the same appeal to you as they did to others.
But it also means you’re probably not tight enough to perform at the moment. And that’s
okay – loads of musicians and performers are in the exact same position as you right now.
Don’t beat yourself up for not “doing more” during lockdown. You did what you needed to do,
to get through it.
Now, with gigs starting to creep back in, you can give yourself time to practice and prepare
before you go out looking for bookings. You already know what you’re capable of – and the
break might have even been good for you in a lot of ways.
If you’re feeling inspired to get your performance back on top form, try filming yourself
rehearsing your sets, then watching them back. Try to see and hear what your audience will,
and try to iron out any obvious creases in your performance. Don’t overthink it, though
– because sometimes, the best stuff happens in the moment.
The important thing is that you’re ready for that moment – mentally and physically. Practice
and rehearsal help a lot, but having the right mindset is more important. A calm, positive
performer that isn't worried about making mistakes will have more fun: and so will their
Even without clubs for big tracks to get played in, some amazing material was produced
through lockdowns – and before you start playing at clubs again, you might want to work
some of this new music into your set.
If you produced new material in lockdown and want to work it in – do it. This is going to be
the ultimate test for your music: does it make people dance?! Try your sets out with new
material that grew popular in lockdown and see if it fits in with your vibe, or try transforming it
to make it your own.
Getting booked this summer
Your approach to getting gigs boils down to:
● Asking for a gig
● Being asked to perform
Real success comes when you focus on the latter. But to get there, you’ll need a public
profile, frequent media exposure and sustained momentum. Start with the former to be
proactive in the meantime: if you haven’t already, then get back into networking and find out
who’s doing what. Any big nights or events you could be involved in? Put yourself forward.
Get some dates and some target venues together that you’d love to play at. If you filmed
your rehearsals and got some amazing takes, use them as showreel footage to send out. Be
totally brazen about it, because the worst that can happen is that they say no. And if you
start putting your name out like this, you can realistically expect people to approach you
more often as your profile builds.
It’s difficult, though. It’s a totally separate skill from the creativity that drives most performers,
which is another reason that some artists avoid promoting themselves.
Achieving and sustaining exposure as an emerging act takes a huge amount of effort that
can eat into your performance. By using PR, you can accelerate and sustain momentum,
and a capable dance music PR agency already knows where the audience is when it comes
to getting bookings.
Use PR to land better gigs – and more of them
As a dance music PR agency, we understand the importance of coverage for emerging dance music talent. You’ve got to be relevant at this crucial time for nightclubs, many of which are looking to book acts. Their budgets may not stretch to big established names, but they’ve definitely got a wishlist of performers in the making. Now is the time for emerging DJs to make an impact and get into the venues on their wishlist, too.
It’s going to be a summer of high demand for DJs. Get a slice of the action by maintaining
your profile – and not just online. Get your name out to print media and mags, radio and TV.
Do interviews. Give commentary. You’ve got to big yourself up – or hire a dance music PR
agency to do it for you.
It’s important to do it now, because there’s never been a better opportunity: even if the
timeline for reopening after Covid gets pushed back again, you’ll have a solid foundation in
place for when music and dancing are back on.
And trust us – it’ll be back on.
Urban Rebel – the Dance Music PR Agency
For emerging talent and established names, we create flexible, unique dance music PR
strategies. Contact us and book bigger, better gigs this summer: call +44 (0) 161 298 6650
or send your message to email@example.com.