A professional DJ is a musician. Granted, they don’t play an actual instrument. What they do is arrange other people's music in a new, creative and exciting way. And it takes quite a bit of dedication, practice and determination to perform as a DJ for a living.
Like any musician, a DJ needs to be prepared for each gig – and that means having a full and stocked DJ bag. Let’s take a look at what you need to pack for every gig before you even think about stepping out the door!
It is poor form to arrive at a gig and not have your own DJ headphones. Asking to borrow another DJ’s cans is not just bad etiquette, it’s unprofessional. Make sure they are the first thing that you pack before you go to play a show.
This is a tip for those using digital DJ controllers and a laptop. There's a rule that if something can go wrong, it will go wrong. It’s worth packing a USB stick or two, loaded with the same tunes that you hope to play, in case of a crash. A pre-mixed CD is also a good idea, for the slim chance that everything refuses to work. At least that way the dancefloor has something to dance to.
Leads, Cables and Power Sources
This is an important tip for those using digital controllers, or the mobile DJs among you who bring the whole party to the event. Imagine rocking up, setting up and not being able to power your controller, laptop or speakers. The whole thing would be a disaster! So double and triple-check that you’ve packed every conceivable type of lead, cable and power source.
Flashlight or Head Lamp
This might seem like a strange addition to a DJ gig bag – but consider the types of environments in which a DJ performs. Dark or dimly lit clubs, house parties, warehouses and festival stages. Not being able to see what you are doing can severely limit your mixing abilities. Pack a small light source so you can light the way to a fresh, pumping mix.
A Positive Attitude
This is the last, and the metaphorical aspect of what you should pack for every gig. A positive attitude behind the decks is infectious, and a smile and a bit of dancing will endear you to the crowd! It’s not much fun to watch a stern faced selector staring at their laptop or the mixer. So get involved and have as much of a good time as the punters. After all, you’re living the dream.