Winnipeg DJs – What To Know, What To Ask

Whether you are looking to hire or are the dj yourself there are a few really important questions both the customer and artist needs to know and ask one another. So let’s dive right in!

Disclaimer – No, you don’t have to be from Winnipeg for these to apply but this article will have a few Winnipeg entertainment companies mentioned for locals looking!

Theme

Winnipeg DJ

Customer to the DJ: What can you offer for the theme of my event?
Is this a wedding, fashion or art show? Maybe this is happening within a club environment and you need country music only! Your entertain will need to know this information and you need to know if this is within their realms of services. Don’t assume every DJ has ever track ever made, nor that all djs offer all the same services.

Disc jockey to the Client: What is the theme of your event?
If you say YES to the gig not realizing they needed folk music and all you have is hip-hop you might not be the person for the job or silly enough not prepared for the day of the gig. Find what sort of atmosphere they are going for.

Services

Winnipeg Disc Jockey

Customer to the DJ: What services do you provide?
Do you need music, games and someone to coordinate between vendors? Maybe it’s for your wedding and you’re in need of dj to direct the photographer as to where you will be entering the venue, as well as speaking with the catering company about when dinner will be served. (Extra tips on wedding djs here.)

Disc jockey to the Client: What services do you need?
Maybe the venue is expecting you to bring your own sound and gear and doesn’t realize that your rider sates that they are to provide the equipment. You may be an electronic music artist that allows for artistic freedom and they are looking for someone to cater directly to their needs outside of your brand. Knowing this allows you to offer the right entertainment company if this is NOT what you provide.

Budget

Winnipeg djs

Customer to the DJ: What would I be looking at paying?
Keep in mind the artist will need to know what exactly you need, ie. sound, hours djing, music style etc. to give you the right price.

Disc Jockey to themselves: What is a fair price?
This is more of a question towards the entertainment company themselves. This is where your “DJ Fee Calculator” comes in handy. You’ll need to figure out the amount of hours you’ll spend preparing, money spent on music (if you need additional) rentals and promo including the hours spent setting up, performing and taking down gear.

Previous Events

Winnipeg DJ

Customer to the DJ: What experience do you have?
If the price is a little too good to be true, you may want to question their experience. As it’s said in the industry, “Good djs ain’t cheap and cheap djs ain’t good.” That isn’t to say there aren’t some great ones under valuing their services, but take the time to find out what previous events this djs has been involved with. This can include checking out their website and social pages to see what sort of feedback and projects they have been involved with, to reviewing their press-kit.

Client Tip: If you are a club owner and you are on the look out for DJs that are also great at marketing their events, or running special themed nights, find out if your dj has a press-kit with reference to previous work.

Disc jockey to client: What experience do you have as an event coordinator?
If you are playing for a first time promoter that is stating they are providing sound equipment, there are some things that can go wrong if they aren’t aware of whom they are hiring. It’s not to say this person isn’t capable of throwing a great event but you’ll want to ensure the person has the knowledge and support so that the event will run as smoothly as possible. As an artist there are few things that are worse then showing up at an event where the sound engineer does not know what they are doing and YOU end up looking like the unprofessional one while playing.

Available for Art & Fashion Shows In Winnipeg
Kilma (Electronica)
Cherry Tree Productions

Available for Club / Lounge In Winnipeg
Kilma (Electronica)
Bomb Squad Entertainment (Top 40 – Electronica)

Available for Weddings & Socials In Winnipeg / Manitoba Area
Kenny Beats
Bomb Squad Entertainment
Gudlite Entertainment
Cherry Tree Productions
Special Request Weddings

Available for Bar Mitzvah Djs
Cherry Tree Productions

Throwing a Wedding Social? Here is our 2016 list of places that donate!

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How to land DJ gigs during festival season

There are two mains ways to go about getting gigs during festival season.

Photo by Whiting Photography - DJ Kilma

Photo by Whiting Photography – DJ Kilma (Bomb Squad Entertainment)

1. Pay your way out, work for free at the festival and get that crappy time slot you’ve always dreamed of…
or
2. Prepare your press-packs, up your social media game and show promoters why you’re the kind of artist they’d want to book.

I’m not going to lie to you and tell you that there is some sort of big secret to getting a DJ gig, But getting the right DJ gig, with a quality time slot and pay is something that takes true finesse and practice. No, you don’t have to sell your soul but you will need an open mind, to work hard, be consistent, have a positive attitude and know what you’re worth.

Photo by Whiting Photography  - DJ Kovas & GDubz

Photo by Whiting Photography – DJ Kovas & GDubz (Dimensional Rift)

Set yourself apart
If you’re still struggling to define your brand, it may be time to go back to the drawing board. Take a look at yourself, your brand and what you want it to SAY about you and the experience you bring.

Give your brand a face lift
No I’m not talking plastic surgery. I’m talking websites, social media pages and even a new photo shoot. Artists that are consistent in the work they put into their brand tend to be the ones consider for the job. If you haven’t made a mix in 6 plus months, get on that!

Photo by Whiting Photography  - The Jeeves

Photo by Whiting Photography – The Jeeves (Dimensional Rift)

Know your self-worth
Most artists will tell you about how they are “doing it for the music” and that they don’t really care if they get paid. For someone looking to con you, you’re an easy target. For a professional they are hearing, “I don’t value what I do.”

Create a fan base with their crowd
When an artist has fans in other cities, you bet they are chatting you up to local promoters and festival goers. Fans that are engaging and interested in what you are doing are the best types of fans. So take the time to get to know people, find out what they enjoy and bring some new music to their ears so they too can share with the masses.

Photo by Whiting Photography - Andy B (Dimensional Rift)

Photo by Whiting Photography – Andy B (Dimensional Rift)

Press-Kit
Your press-pack is your dj resume. It will include your links, bio, press-release, press-photos, logos and music. There are a few ways you can go about presenting a press-kit which I elaborated on in this article.

Reach out to online magazines and blogs
This is where it gets tricky. You want online magazines that are legit but you also need to have an edge they are willing to feature or interview. Maybe you are a dj and producer with some new great tracks. Maybe you’ve landed some dj gigs in the surrounding areas and want to get the word out with an interview. This is where your press-kit and people skills will come into play.

Photo by Whiting Photography  - Artist Pumpkin (Shambhala)

Photo by Whiting Photography – Artist Pumpkin (Shambhala)

Landing the gig – Choosing your approach

1.
Some festivals have a specific routine they require in order for someone to be considering for bookings. It may be stated on their website or posted on a Facebook page. This is one approach you can use. However please CAREFULLY READ and note any stipulations. Often these are unpaid time slots with the promise of a couple free tickets and if you’re lucky your gas may be paid for. If you are okay with this, by all means you should do it. However if you’re looking to get those really great time slots this is where your negotiating skills will come in handy. Set some simple requirements to ensure your needs are met. (Read more here on how to not get screwed.) And if EVER you choose to do a gig for free in thoughts that it is “great exposure” actually network while you are there. Hand out business cards, talk to people, give out promotional cds and stickers.

2.
Your challenge if you choose to accept it is to take things one step further. There are a lot of different ways people get into contact with festival organizers but you want to make sure that you are authentic, not spammy. Do your research, converse with these people, show your support. Don’t wait until festival season to share your work or strike up a conversation. And don’t always make it about music. Landing an awesome quality gig is far better than playing 16 crappy ones. Like the fantastic music you play, choose quality gigs over quantity of gigs.

Recap
Landing quality gigs is no small task but I know that YOU are dedicated, ready for the challenge and going to do what it takes.  The reason you will get the gigs you deserve is because YOU are putting in the work and you’re doing it the right way. Or at least the way that gains you the recognition  you deserve. Good luck my DJ friends!

Were these tips helpful? Do you have a success story? What are your tips and tricks for landing great DJ gigs? (Tell us in the comments.)

Electronic Music Festivals in Canada
Elysium (Ness Creak, SK)
Astral Harvest (Driftpile, AB)
Dimensional Rift ( St. Laurent, MB)
Awakening (Chetwynd, BC)
Motion Notion (Golden, BC)
Future Forrest (Keswick, NB)
Connect (Besant Campground, SK)
Basscoast (Merrit, BC)
Shambhala (Salmo River Ranch, BC)
Wanderlust Tremblant (ON)
Phantasm Festival (Young, SK)

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