• Kevin Reynolds

    love the Movement photos 🙂

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  • Galdu

    Hi , my name is Galdu and i am dj in france for 15 years i am 34 , i often play in club and litle festival but in september is my first big festival and i am playing from 7 to 10 in the morning , the festival is in france , i play techno and teck house , but as the first festival , can you tell me what is the best i can do , i use xone 92 and Native X1 and mashine and tracktor. In the club no probleme the crowd loves mixing , i am not a famus dj . this is my soundcloud/galdu . please tell me whats the best atitude to play at this time. cheers to all Galdu

  • Danno9999

    Good discussion – interesting article!

  • I had an awesome experience at a 750 person festy in the woods last weekend. Around 7am on sunday, dj still has 15 – 20 die hards on the floor in front of him, I was dancing my ass off having just finished playing my set on the downtempo stage. He waves me over, tells me he’s out of steam and I should grab my gear cause nobody else is showing up. So I grab my gear, plug in, and watch the dancefloor leave as he walks off the stage. Tried a few different tracks, just couldn’t convince them to get moving again. However, there were a lot of people still chilling around, so I decided to play for them… turned the volume down to a more appropriate level, and decided to go wierd… just really random, trippy, bizzarre stuff, tracks I didn’t know I own, tracks I’ve never had a chance to play. People standing around blazing? Dub… People drifting in to do some yoga? Switch to meditative Indian tunes… see some buddies you know are tripping balls? Play with their heads for a bit… I ended up playing for 5 hours, had an absolute blast, and the crowd loved it. Definately on the short list for best festival experience ever.

    I guess if there’s a tip in there, it’s this: even if the crowd isn’t dancing, you can still entertain them.

    Oh, and that water bottle your parched self is about to take a swig out of, just might be cleverly disguised moonshine.

  • FriendBeastYote

    These are some great pin pointers. But not all crowds and festivals are created equal.

    My first official performance, and gig at Roskilde Festival, was rather unprepared, except for the first 5 minutes and the ending. It was rather impossible to get an idea of the crowd initially, since this festival is rather diverse and international. But once you follow the last tip in this guide, you’ll get an idea of the crowd rather quickly, and you’ll have the time of your night.

  • Ed Paris

    much respect for john osborn!

  • Dvid Bckrs

    1) record your set
    2) put it on a usbstick
    3) plug the stick in the cdj
    4) press play
    5) ???
    6) profit

    crowdreading, bitch pls

  • Michael

    Great topic. Thank you for writing on it. I played a Festival the other weekend and agree with your points. Just to add a few bits:

    When you are told, that your set will last 120 minutes – it might as well be longer or shorter. Especially when you have bands involved it might well be that their soundcheck takes longer than planned and that you lose some minutes due to their technical issues. In the end I had to skip some of my prepared tracks. In another set I was told to play longer than planned as the act coming after me was late. I was happy to have prepared a few extra tracks that I was able to throw in without making them obvious fillers …

    Audience: It’s must not be your fault if you are playing to just a few people. I was the first act of that day and a few minutes into my set I was told by the stage manager that the site had still not opened due to some issues on another stage. Doors opened 30 minutes later, so that was when people started soming around. Yet, it was still fun to play my tunes on a loud PA and get reactions from the stage staff and the bartenders around. There is always someone listening on these occasions – even if you do not see them..
    On the other hand the people in front of your stage might not be coming for you – but the act that comes after you. With the closing tracks I had chosen for my set I tried to somehow connect to them and what I thought was their taste.

    Tracks: Since I was booked for the last day of a three day festival I tried to omit songs that I thought would have had heavy rotation. Yet I included some tracks by bands that played the festival. Plus: I thought that people on the last day might be a bit tired and exhausted and maybe needed a small break. So instead of playing my favorite party tracks I went for a more relaxed approach – music for a lazy sunday afternoon. People don’t have to go crazy to enjoy a DJ set. Creating an atomsphere in which they can enjoy themselves – chat with friends, nod with their head or just lay in the sun – is a legitimate goal for a DJ set.

    Finally: Playing a festival was a complete new experience. It’s worth trying it – I learned a lot. And – what’s more important: I enjoyed it.

    • Toontown

      Good input! Congrats! What was the festival and what kind of tunes did you drop?

      • Michael

        Cheers, Toontown. I played at the Melt Festival


        It was a great honour, an important experience – and so much fun! Here is a re-recording of my set:


        In case you find the time: Let me know what you think.

        • Toontown

          Thanks for sharing! I bet it was cool to be able to get up and do your thing. Nice set.

          Looks like a great lineup. Portishead would have been a treat.

          • Michael

            Thank you!
            I did not see Portishead but I was told that it was very intense…

          • Sebastian Cavolina

            tale of us would have been awesome to see live. i wish i was there

          • Vlad TheSour

            the whole line-up was phat!

        • Vlad TheSour

          how did you get to play at melt?

    • ctoafn

      I agree with the stuff out mentioned about knowing where that punters heads will be but disagree with planned sets at a festivals. That’s a recipe for disaster. Have lots of variety of styles and mix on the fly otherwise you’ll risk going down a path the crowd don’t feel and your stuck in it

      Pre planning live sets ever is a personal no no. You can have tunes you know that go well but if you are good enuf to play out and get regular hugs you should be able to do it with a pre planned set IMO.

      Each to their own tho

  • reddread

    you want people to become good djs??? LET ‘EM FIGURE IT OUT ON THEIR OWN!!!
    giving them lessons on how to do it creates more half-ass djs doing it for the wrong reasons.

    • The Donis

      Some DJs only get one shot at a festival gig, and besides, listening to the wisdom and experience of your betters is good for any field. You sound like a hater.

  • killmedj

    Wife Beater: Check
    Cake: Check
    30 identical electro tracks: check
    Ok I’m festival ready!
    Where’s my check?

  • Scud

    Oh yeah, don’t smile for pictures anymore

  • Scud

    Cut your hair and dress like a preppy douchebag

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  • chris

    you should also not take too many drugs, and don’t seek to improve your newest record on the crowd

  • lanceblaise


  • Great tips. One thing you missed is a sound check. If at all possible, take 10 minutes to test out some of your tracks on the sound system. If you are used to playing in small clubs you may be shocked how differently songs sound on a large outdoor set up.

    David Byrne had a great TED Talk about venue size and music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Se8kcnU-uZw