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5 Things to Check for When Playing at a New Venue

DJ Experience, News | May 06, 2016   

5 Things to Check for When Playing at a New Venue

Club DJs, through many years of experience know exactly what to do and what to check for when getting booked at a new club or venue. But for those without the experience there are a ton of things that you might not have considered. Knowing what to check for can definitely save your set from unintended consequences.

If you’re getting booked at a brand new venue or getting a new residency, read the checklist below to make sure all your bases are covered! Doing can save your set from catastrophe.

✓ Bar Staff


First things first, meet the bar staff. They’ll answer all your questions regarding the new venue. It’s also a good idea to make friends with the staff early on. Ask them questions, like what kind of music DJs usually spin at the venue and when their busy periods are. Also make it a point to get to know the venue owner. Bump into him or her when you have a chance and let them know how much you enjoyed the other DJs sets. The owner will most likely respond by thanking you and giving you his honest feedback on what he thinks can be improved. Keep a mental note.

✓ Lighting


Lighting is really important to set the tone of the entire set. If the club/venue has poor lighting, it could potentially harm the vibe and leave you with an empty floor. Make sure the lighting is on point! If the venue doesn’t have adequate lighting, you could DIY and find affordable options for DJ lighting your booth and the floor. If you don’t have the funds, try and “sell” the idea for better lighting to the venue/club owner.

✓ Audience


This is DJing 101. Knowing who your audience is really important. But if you do the due diligence of checking the audience days before your first set, this will greatly help you in setting up your playlist and being more confident in your set.  Different nights of the week, at different times of the night will have different audiences with different tastes. Do your homework! You’d be glad you did.

✓ Sound System


There are a lot of DJs out there (you know who you are!) who don’t take the extra precautions and do not take it upon themselves to ensure good sound quality for when they’re DJing. Sure, it’s up the the owner to supply adequate sound for the venue, but he’s not the one who is going to be judged. It’s the DJ that will fall on the sword for bad or inadequate sound. Make it a point to ensure adequate and even sound during sound check. Make sure that the balance and tone is even throughout the venue. Only good things will come of this, like a happy owner and a happy audience.

✓ House Gear


This is a major concern for many DJs. It’s crucial to get familiar with all the provided club gear or it could cause major issues when you start playing in front of a live audience. If you’re more comfortable with turntables, but the club only has CDJs – OR vice versa then you won’t be able to deliver to the crowd. Get acquainted with the gear by going to music stores that will probably have gear setup for you to try out. Or if the venue is friendly, you can play and practice during soundcheck. In any case, plan ahead of time.

Want to add more to the checklist? Share in the comments below!


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