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katari

How much are you worth as a dj?

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Just out of curiosity ... How much do you think a dj should get paid and of'course how much are they getting paid per gig. I'm not as interested in the value of the big djs, but the dj at your local bar/club. Someone who is a regular for a small size place, say 200 people.

Let's break it down to levels of experience:

Beginner (1-2 yrs of experience)

Intermediate (3-5 years of experience)

Professional (6+)

I would break it down:

Getting Should be Getting

$150 $300 Beginner

$??? $500 Int

$??? $800 Prof

I have no idea about this kinda stuff, so I'll apologize in advance if I've insulted anyone :)

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$150-300 at smaller places like 200 people is about right plus maybe if ur good at negotiating $2 a head on the total door. $3 on ur guestlist which ive done before. i made more on my guestlist then what i was being paid by the club many times.

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Depends where you're playing. Doesn't have jack to do with how long you've been playing, has a lot more to do with how many people you can bring in. Pretty standard for a total no-name (if you're getting paid at all) is $50-100 + travel costs. If the place holds 200 people and he can actually get 200 people in there (whereas they wouldn't be there otherwise), the DJ deserves a lot more than that...not as if you aren't making a lot more $$ off drink sales anyhow...

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Wow, I expected higher number, I thought I was being low. That just goes to show you that those who dj really do it for the enjoyment.

A couple of hundred cash per week plus a full time job (usually record shop) would make a comfortable living i guess.

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Have to agree it depends on were your DJing and and who you are

The Djs def work the hardest in the club and usually dont get recognized

it would be great for everyone to know who you are it would also help you get more money in your pocket

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Also depends on what scene. I've been spinning under different aliases for nine years, but I usually get paid shit when I DJ for an industrial or fetish party. But I like the music and the people, so I keep playing them.

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Thanks to all those who responded. Your comments were very helpful. I actually was in the impression that I was aiming low, but it appears I was pretty much on target.

One of the reasons I was so surprised is because I know the "wedding" and "birthday" djs charge an arm and a leg. This one guy I know charges from 800 - 1600 per event. I understand there is more involved in preparation, and there's more mc-ing involved, but that's just crazy.

I've done a wedding for 400, and they were more than happy with my performance. It wasn't the most exciting gig, but it was easy money.

What I'm trying to get at is, if you're tight on cash and you already have the equipment ... djing a wedding or birthday party may not be such a bad idea. That is if you can swallow your pride and play britney and YMCA :)

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theres def alot of money in mobile djing i work for a company that pulls in alot i make so much more djing partys than djing in clubs but to dj in a club is a better time you get to play music that you enjoy not so gay as ktu and hot 97 songs. You got to do what you like more

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Originally posted by djexvile

im not talkin about JP and DT... just avg DJs werkin the clubs

ok so what does a average dj working a club deserve?

a average dj working a club probably isnt spinning a long set, but lets say a 6 hour set, what does he deserve, i wanna hear this.......

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Unfortunately these days the [unknown] DJ is expected to be more of a promoter than an actual DJ (which explains the absence of some quality dj's nowadays, and I'm not talking about the superstar ones who obviously have worked long and hard to get where they are)...bringing in ppl is the basis for a lot of dj's pay, which is absolute bull shit and gets me so heated...:mad:

A dj should get paid and be judged based on talent and quality of set, first and foremost.

But since this doesn't really ring true anymore, it is part of the reason why the scene has gone to shit.

This being said, for a beginner at a small place, probably anywhere from $100-300 with a huge emphasis on how many "heads" you bring.

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Originally posted by sdeelite

Unfortunately these days the [unknown] DJ is expected to be more of a promoter than an actual DJ (which explains the absence of some quality dj's nowadays, and I'm not talking about the superstar ones who obviously have worked long and hard to get where they are)...bringing in ppl is the basis for a lot of dj's pay, which is absolute bull shit and gets me so heated...:mad:

A dj should get paid and be judged based on talent and quality of set, first and foremost.

But since this doesn't really ring true anymore, it is part of the reason why the scene has gone to shit.

This being said, for a beginner at a small place, probably anywhere from $100-300 with a huge emphasis on how many "heads" you bring.

could'nt have said it better myself... its all a fucked up game

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it is a fucked up game...

makes me not want to dj sometimes, but since i luv it, i keep on...

i'm just waiting for this asshole promoter mentality to leave the scene...i don't think it will for a while...but i do know that it hasn't always been like this, so maybe it's just a matter of time before it gets back to what it used to be...:(

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I completely agree, money is the center of it all and the promoter mentality will not go away because that's where the money is.

If you actually break it down, getting paid $125 for 5 hours is not all that bad .. $25/hr. I know it's low but $25/hr is pretty high. I wonder if the bouncers get paid that much.

To make more money we must put in more time. So if you have a good network and good contacts, promoting maybe one thing. I've thrown private parties where my friend and I were djs and we were also our own promoters. And there's a lot of time involved in promoting: getting a flyer together and finding out who's coming and talking to people about bringing people and talking to the clubs and bars about how much of the cut is yours.

The other way to spend more time is to make your own remixes. Which requires investing in many different pieces of equipment and a whole lot of work and luck to break into the scene.

Only when the bar knows you'll bring in a big crowd will they be willing to pay you the big bucks. It makes sense in that respect.

Any opinions?

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Originally posted by sdeelite

Unfortunately these days the [unknown] DJ is expected to be more of a promoter than an actual DJ (which explains the absence of some quality dj's nowadays, and I'm not talking about the superstar ones who obviously have worked long and hard to get where they are)...bringing in ppl is the basis for a lot of dj's pay, which is absolute bull shit and gets me so heated...:mad:

A dj should get paid and be judged based on talent and quality of set, first and foremost.

But since this doesn't really ring true anymore, it is part of the reason why the scene has gone to shit.

This being said, for a beginner at a small place, probably anywhere from $100-300 with a huge emphasis on how many "heads" you bring.

This is so true that its scary.........

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I also want to add that this is somewhat related to the other thread "Venting"

The owner of the bar really doesn't care about how good you are as a dj, as long as you play the pop crap.

The problem lies in the audience. I don't think a business owner can afford to pay a dj based on his/her talent because the people getting drunk could care less. It's the small percentage of people like ourselves that would actually appreciate it.

It's not fair but it's capitalism.

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Originally posted by katari

I completely agree, money is the center of it all and the promoter mentality will not go away because that's where the money is.

If you actually break it down, getting paid $125 for 5 hours is not all that bad .. $25/hr. I know it's low but $25/hr is pretty high. I wonder if the bouncers get paid that much.

To make more money we must put in more time. So if you have a good network and good contacts, promoting maybe one thing. I've thrown private parties where my friend and I were djs and we were also our own promoters. And there's a lot of time involved in promoting: getting a flyer together and finding out who's coming and talking to people about bringing people and talking to the clubs and bars about how much of the cut is yours.

The other way to spend more time is to make your own remixes. Which requires investing in many different pieces of equipment and a whole lot of work and luck to break into the scene.

Only when the bar knows you'll bring in a big crowd will they be willing to pay you the big bucks. It makes sense in that respect.

Any opinions?

Money always fucks up everything.

As for putting in more time promoting, making flyers, bla bla bla...some people have full time jobs that take up a lot of their time during the week and the supposed amount of energy and time that must be put into that (b/c that makes u a good dj, right?) cannot be done as a result.

Obviously, the only other option is knowing the right people, which isn't always the easiest thing either b/c everyone wants a piece.

The whole system just sucks right now. If promoters do their job and THEY bring ppl in and u have a good dj spinning the customers will respond well and come back and bring more ppl, spread the word, etc.

Having a dj work as a sub-promoter isn't gonna make much of a difference if you have enough real sub-promoters out there doing their job. But some ppl in this biz are trying to save a pretty penny here by having the DJ do their job + much more. Less people to hire and pay. More money for the main promoter.

You don't see us asking the promoters to be dj's do you?

Well that's essentially what they are doing to the dj's now.

Promoters and dj's shouldn't be one in the same.

I'm not saying a dj shouldn't promote themself to the best of their ability, but the way things are now, it's just a little extreme...

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Originally posted by sdeelite

But some ppl in this biz are trying to save a pretty penny here by having the DJ do their job + much more. Less people to hire and pay. More money for the main promoter.

... Promoters and dj's shouldn't be one in the same.

I'm not saying a dj shouldn't promote themself to the best of their ability, but the way things are now, it's just a little extreme...

I agree completely. I've been trying to rationalize how much i've been getting, but when it comes down to it there's no justification for it. I've been djing at a bar and with the low pay and in combination with the uncultured drunks that come there I've been getting frustrated. I love djing and that's what keeps me going, but when you don't have an audience that appreciates the music and the effort that goes into it, it's difficult to keep djing. I think I need to dj for myself. I'm my own audience, the others can go fk themselves.

(Sorry ... it turned out to be a venting session).

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Originally posted by katari

I agree completely. I've been trying to rationalize how much i've been getting, but when it comes down to it there's no justification for it. I've been djing at a bar and with the low pay and in combination with the uncultured drunks that come there I've been getting frustrated. I love djing and that's what keeps me going, but when you don't have an audience that appreciates the music and the effort that goes into it, it's difficult to keep djing. I think I need to dj for myself. I'm my own audience, the others can go fk themselves.

(Sorry ... it turned out to be a venting session).

Yeah i hear ya...no worries about the venting, it's a never ending venting battle with me all the time b/c this situation pisses me off so much. :shoot:

What keeps me going? the love of the music and dj-ing....and hoping that one day I can prove some ppl wrong and make it without selling my soul to the devil (so to speak...lol...):flame:

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first, there is a lot to consider when paying a dj. what type of venue is it? if you want the dj to play cutting edge music, cost of music has to be considered. lets break it down: a club that holds 200 people, and the management that wants to pay 100.00 (someone said 50.00-are you crazy????). of course the managements thoughts are that 200 people will drink x amount of dollars in alcohol. so lets pay the dj a 100.00, because its small. well, the dj is probably spending 50.00 a week on vinyl. so his pay is now 50.00 for the night. gas and food...let's say 10.00. gas, b/c he has to get there, and food because, well, you get food on the way in to the club. now we are at 40.00 for the night. now, not all the dj's music is on vinyl, he trades away music on cd for other tracks not on vinyl yet. lets say, 5.00 in cost of cd's a week. now we are at 35.00. hopefully the dj does'nt have to pay to park his car. a lot venues cover the dj's bar tab. a lot, charge him discounted prices though. either way, he tips. lets say he does'nt pay at all for drinks, but tips out ten dollars to the bartenders. now we are at 25.00. keep in mind he's not paying for parking in this example, not paying for drinks, usually two dollars in the business, and we are not including the cost of needles (200.00), effects machine if it is used, vinyl cleaner for the records, the cases for the records, the cd books, among other things. so basically he's getting 25.00 to work harder than anyone else in the club by spinning for four to six hours, dragging in all his equipement and setting it up, atleast an hour before he goes on. 25.00! who the FUCK said 50.00 dollars for the night....your an asshole waiting to be ripped apart! almost all dj's are underpaid, because no one but a dj knows what its like to be a dj, and i mean almost ALL. they're are very few dj's that make it big. the big one's make a killing, but everyone isn't a danny tenaglia. the world is full of undiscovered talent. most wont be discovered. its the business. so next time your in a small club, and you like the music, go up to the dj and thank him. or just say hi, you did a good job. tell the management they did a good job. if you had a good time, let him know. playing the music alone is rewarding, but having someone other than yourself telling you that you made there time there good, is priceless. i could probably have figured out a mastercard solution to this, but that will do.

managers and owners, if your dj played well, tell him that he did. keep in mind, it might cost him money to work for you.

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