Winter. It may not sound like the most appealing season, especially for dance music. Short days, long nights. Heaters, coats, scarves and gloves. It’s certainly a far cry from long hot summer nights spent bouncing to the beat. Yet it’s not quite worth writing the season off in terms of DJ gigs. There’s still work to be found, even if it means getting a bit more creative. Let’s check out some ways to land paid DJ gigs in winter.
Aim for Nightclubs
While the outdoor festivals, bush doofs and park parties tend to die out over autumn and heading into winter, the nightclubs are waiting and ready to pick up the pace. After all, people don’t lose the desire to go out and mingle and dance just because the temperature drops a bit. Plenty of clubs do a roaring trade all night, and someone needs to set the mood and provide the tunes.
Cobble together a demo mix, and get in touch with some promoters. Find out who’s putting on parties that you’d like to play at. If you spin techno, find the techno parties. If you dig trap, then suss out the trap parties. Hit the promoters up with a demo mix, but be chill. This isn’t the place to get pushy. Expect to be ignored a bit, but also keep in mind that a wide net catches more fish.
Consider Bar Gigs
Bars are another venue that do some serious business over winter. Mulled wine, whiskey and other warming beverages are in demand in the cold weather, and a bar with no music is, well, boring. Approach managers and owners and let them know that you’re a DJ, and that you’d love a chance to prove your mettle behind the decks. Just remember that DJing at a bar is a bit different from rocking 3am at the club.
House parties are big in winter. And with good reason. They’re a great place to gather and have a good time without paying for tickets to a gig, bar price drinks or having to deal with strangers. Put the feelers out among your friends – see if anyone is going to be hosting soon. Then offer to be the DJ. While you may offer your services for free with friends, word may spread and you might find yourself in a position to demand a modest sum for your time, equipment, skill and energy.