Getting a DJ residency at a London bar or nightclub can be a tricky task. With so many DJs in London and whilst at the same time there are many bars. The supply DJs is not equal to amount of London DJs demanded, hence many London DJs are out of work. The best way to get into a bar or nightclub is to build a personal relationship with the owner or general manager in charge. DJs in London and around the world who are not celebraties sometimes viewed and hired in similar ways as tradesmen. London bars and nightclub managers do not want an unreliable DJ who may not show up on a busy night and they have many other tasks to carry out other than trying to hire a DJ last minute on a busy night where people are demanding music there and then. If you build a relationship with a manager or owner beforehand, they may give you a trial slot or even a full spot and you can then show them your worthy.
We have been to many bars where they have an established reputation for drinks, decor and have some have the worst DJs playing. Why is this? Because the DJs are friends with the owners or managers. Some new managers sometimes get rid of the old London DJs who are very good because they then bring in their DJs from their precious bars or bring in their friends. But this is not a bad thing even if the resident djs aren’t great. Having DJs who have a good relationship with the staff and managers create a better environment for the customers. If the working relationship is good that creates a joyful friendly atmosphere for the customers and they (the customers) feel at ease and they have a better chance of having a good, happier night out.
Best bet, make a mixtape and connections. When you meet a manager of a bar or nightclub give them a CD in hand personally on quiet evenings or in the daytime – don’t pitch yourself on a Friday or Saturday night. Avoid emailing them as they have so many DJs email in and you’ll just be another quick read or delete. Make the effort to meet them, build a relationship and leave with giving them a mix cd in their hand for them or their bar staff to listen to. If they or the bar staff say it’s a great mix and fits for the music policy, they may call you if they need to hire a DJ and you may just end up with a resident spot! Good luck all you DJs