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New Years Tips and Tools

New Years Eve, in American at least, is a cash grab for djs. The chance to try and make up for all the money spent on gear and actually make a few dollars. Its not un-usual to ask for at least double your usual rate when playing for a club but there are some expectations that go with that kind of money so you should be prepared for your set. Here are a set of tips to make your NYE set an epic one for everyone and a few bonus mp3s that will make the 12 o’clock hour easier to manage.

Ean’s drunken tips:

If you are going to drink…
then pick something that will keep you relatively alert like tequila or my personal favorite, absinthe. Did you know they finally legalized in here in the states? To be honest though, you should probably wait to start drinking until AFTER 12, so you don’t accidentally start the countdown at 10 (that sucked).

People want to get going early
I like to warm up things for the first few hours but on new years you basically should come right out of the gate rocking as everyone has a totally un-realistic expectation of 12pm being the most epic moment of their otherwise mundane year.

Play fun tunes (for you too)
don’t try and second guess the crowd- play music that people like. This is one night where people are going to really expect some hits. You cant go wrong with “Dont stop till you cant get enough” after the countdown.

Dont spend the last hour trying to hook up
in case you missed it- you may want to re-read the article on getting girls in clubs πŸ˜‰ Its not so easy after a few tequila shots.

While we are on the subject
its kind of hard to cue up the 12pm music when you are making out with someone special so you might want to skip the midnight kiss. Last year I started the pre-recorded count down after everyone started their own countdown because the damn news was on a big screen somewhere. So don’t repeat my mistake and save it for after the set.

A Helping Hand

In case you are shy of microphones and want a pre-recorded count down (recommended) then this mp3 may come in handy:


download link

Want even more choices? The folks at AV8 records are selling a NYE air drop package featuring Fatman scoop from the crooklyn clan. Check it out here

Ron’s Corner

One of our new contributors, Ron Slomowicz (the dance editor from offers these slightly more practical recommendations for making sure you set goes smoothly.

  1. Arrive early and meet with club management to plan what exactly will happen at 12 midnight.
  2. Synchronize watches – to be sure you have midnight at the same exact minute.
  3. Plan out your midnight sequence – so you are ready.
  4. It is often said that New Years Eve is for amateurs . A lot of people who aren’t normally out clubbing will be out.Β  Take this in account and be ready to adjust your normal music for the night (maybe a little more commercial)
  5. Maybe plan a top 5 or top 10 for the 11:30 – 12 midnight – and start the new year with the biggest song of 2008 – or start 2009 with what you think will be the biggest song of 2009.
  6. If you are going to talk on the microphone – TEST IT – before the crowd gets there.
  7. Have back up in place – a cd player/dvd player – in case drunken punters mess up your gear.
  8. Bring a camera and be sure to have someone snap pictures of yourself on stage.Β  When you wake up Thursday am – start emailing the pictures to local newspapers, blogs etc – with taglines.Β  You would be amazed how much press you can get out of the big gig.
  9. Stay sober – have a glass of champagne at 12 midnight – but stay in control of the situation.Β  Remember – you bring the party – and you can’t be a mess up there.
  10. Most of all have fun up there – if you aren’t having fun – the crowd won’t either!
  • An other good tip to make sure that everybody is sync to the real midnight cue, is to ask the video jockey to take care of that, A big countdown on the screen is the best cue !

  • …thanx a lot fo heavy usual things about new years eve…

  • Ean-I love this site!!! I've been doing the digital thing for about 2 years now-and get super excited about all the gear that keeps coming out. GREAT TIPS AND ADVICE.

    I djed on NYE, and actually eschewed the high paying club gig for a super crazy block party and it was all of the above. Lot's of mainstream jams, super novice party animals(and some veterans, of course!), and microphone technique…hell, I brought a bullhorn(with a party siren!).

    Anyway, thanks for looking out for all us djs. It's great.

  • Ean

    [quote comment=""]Absinthe keeps you ALERT! lol thats the devls drink last time I drank that I ended up in a cell


    yes- i think I may be a little "special" absynthe and tequilla are the only drinks I can do while djing- its strange. anything else makes me sloppy

  • R2D2

    Absinthe keeps you ALERT! lol thats the devls drink last time I drank that I ended up in a cell


  • kk

    I think that this was a great list for those newer DJ's out there – definitely some good tips when you are stressing your first big NYE gig. The tips were right on the money. Nice to see that Ron is contributing now….

    I was fortunate enough to have my first NYE wedding – big bucks indeed – and now I can go on a tropical vacation for a week – I am super excited. Hardwork though, doing an NYE wedding – especially when you are someone that's background is as a club DJ.

    I have done many, many, many weddings, but I still hate all the stuff that goes along with them : ) I am a club DJ at heart….which is actually what sets me apart, so hey, I guess I can live with it…not a bad thing!

  • Anonymous

    [quote comment=""]Got to agree with 'get right into it' bit a DJ last night was boring the hell out of me because he wasn't getting into it[/quote]

    Hi B33SON, thanks a lot, that's very useful.

  • Got to agree with 'get right into it' bit a DJ last night was boring the hell out of me because he wasn't getting into it

  • Ben

    The countdown you posted was great. I'd gotten the Fatman Scoop pack but the coountdown here was much more succinct, and had a better version of Auld Lang Syne. Needless to say, it went off.

  • Stressing a last minute tracks. Anyone has midnight madness by the chemical brothers 08 to 09 remix? Any help would be nice.

  • DvlsAdvct

    Tequila keeps you alert? Shit Tequila makes me the biggest, creepiest sleezeball ever to step foot in a club.

    Now vodka keeps me alert all night.

  • TK

    Cool tips, could be useful if posted earlier. I especially liked the tips about the mic setup and countdown, cuz that's the moment you are building up for, it has to be perfect. Nice link to the chick magnet article too (read that too), since i'm one of those guys who is almost powerless and goes rubber in the presence of beauty. It's funny to see me trying to do my cues, while not breaking eye contact with the hottie on the dancefloor.

  • Erik

    Hey Ean & Ron… thanks for all the tips… I love this site! Maybe next year, we can put these up a touch earlier, I don't think my boss would like me to try and up my rate when I walk in the door tonight LOL. And I compile my media and pre do my NYE countdown on DVD (Final Cut) so I can't re-adjust before I go in. πŸ™

  • Foreverhex

    I will be keeping all this in mind tonight. Thanks for the pointers. Now for some tequila πŸ™‚

  • Thanks guys, won't be DJing, but thanks for the tips. πŸ˜€

  • Thanks Ean. No New Years Eve gig this year. Will save these tips for the end of 2009 πŸ˜‰

  • B33SON

    This is also a cool countdown that might work for those of you who need something a little less hip-hop. πŸ™‚

  • [quote comment=""]Dang. The download linky no worky. Try this instead:

    thanks for pointing that out b33son- its fixed now

  • B33SON

    Dang. The download linky no worky. Try this instead: