An objectively correct checklist of how to not be a twat in the booth
Contrary to what music videos would have you believe, a substantial proportion of DJ booths aren’t glamorous mini-party spaces filled with pretty young things, flicking their hair and drinking cocktails. The booth is usually a filthy pit of hazardous electrical connections and mild debauchery, shrouded in a unique odour all of its own. Mercifully, they’re usually dark, as you really don’t want a good look at that carpet or what you’re resting your coat on.
But, love it or loathe it, if you’re here to play a set, then the booth will be your home for the next few hours. So find a safe spot for your drink, stash your coat as high off the floor as possible and before you plug your headphones in, consider these vital Dos & Don’ts of DJ Booth Etiquette
Do: Leave The Entourage On The Dancefloor
Don’t fill the booth up with your mates / partner / hangers on and create your own private booth party, It makes you look as though you think you and your friends are more important than everyone else, which is at odds with the DJs role in creating moments of community on the dance floor. You’re not Larry Levan and there’s a big space for dancing really nearby.
Don’t: Be A Tailgate Tosser
Don’t stand next to the DJ who’s currently playing, 45 minutes before you’re due to go on, with your headphones around your neck. Your keenness won’t garner any respect and its phenomenally unlikely that s/he is going to knock off 20 minutes early and let you takeover.
If you do do this, you will also leave yourself wide open to the #1 most popular mistake DJs make: that of putting your headphones on before your set, tucking the lead into your pocket, then starting your set and not being able to work out why your headphones aren’t working. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve done this, and so I get a small amount of enjoyment watching other DJs progress from their ‘can’t-wait-to-get-on-the-decks’ face to staring at the mixer like a dog who’s been asked to do a jigsaw.
Do: Have A Setup Strategy
Do work out a super-speedy, effective and minimum fuss way of setting up your gear. There’s nothing more annoying to a DJ than rocking out at the peak of their set and then having to get out of the way whilst DJ Ham-Fist knocks through the dividing wall in order to set up his wireless hub.
Don’t: Be A Limelight Lingerer
Do make sure that when you finish your set, you’ve left enough time for the next DJ to mix in their first tune. Don’t hand over with the words “Sorry, there’s only ten seconds left on this track”. Likely they’ll be a pro and able to deal with it, but seriously dude – not cool.
Don’t: Get The Pints In
Many DJs don’t knock back the pints when DJing, having worked out that the time it will take them to get out of the booth, navigate their way through the dance floor, find the toilets, push to the front of the queue and then find their way back to the booth is simply going to be too long, and that four pints of lager are, by the end of their set, going to be causing them to be doing some serious can’t-hold-it-much-longer-its-nearly-coming-out type dancing.
Generally, your approach to your booth etiquette should be the same as your approach to your DJing – you want to be remembered and you want people to talk about you – but for the right reasons.