To Drink or Not To Drink (While DJing)

Let’s drag out the white circle-shaped elephant in the corner. The nightlife industry is in large part designed to at the very least, enhance, and at worst, facilitate the consumption of mind-altering substances. Everything from alcohol to drugs and beyond is on the menu nightly. As DJs, it’s almost guaranteed that you will come in contact with this fact at some point. So the question is (as the infamous D.A.R.E. shirts posited) – should you just “say no”?

As we attempt to walk this razor line delicately, some disclosures and context.

  1. This is not an “anti-” anything article. We are pro-being smart – and will not carry a moral position on this one.
  2. My goal is to provide some advice and techniques for young DJs to use when navigating this sometimes tricky landscape of being “cool” while staying smart.


Have you ever seen a DJ booth and not spied a drink nearby? The answer is probably not and the reason simple: most dj’s are usually shy or a little bit nervous, and a few drinks could provide a quick shot of confidence.

Cerebral cortex: In this region, where thought processing and consciousness are centered, alcohol depresses the behavioral inhibitory centers, making the person less inhibited; it slows down the processing of information from the eyesears, mouth and other senses; and it inhibits the thought processes, making it difficult to think clearly. (Source: How Stuff Works)

This inhibition decrease is the first thing to occur after a drink, but it’s short-lived and the longer-term effects (slower thinking and reaction time) stick around for a much longer. Further drinks start to impair motor function and response time but no longer provide any inhibition benefits. In short, that first drink might take the edge off but long term it will effect your ability to mix. 

Before reaching for a drink to relax yourself pre-set, consider that there might be more effective ways to get the same results.

  • Plan out your first four songs and rehearse the mixes so it’s less stressful and almost guaranteed to work
  • Watch this TED Talk on “superman poses” that reduce cortisol (stress response hormone) and increase testosterone (confidence-related hormone)
  • Set up your gear in advance or have a setup process that is rock-solid so plugging isn’t a stressful pre-set experience

While DJing drunk can feel like a lot more fun, you have to ask – I am really doing a better job?


(Photo Credit: Scott Rennie)

Here are two common arguments for substance intake while at the DJ helm:

“The crowd is off their head, so it’s nearly impossible to really play what they want or be in the same place without going there. If you have never done any drugs, then it’s impossible to understand and therefore “play” to a crowd that is in that experience ” 

The second idea holds a little weight, but doesn’t work out logically. If you have been in any kind of an “altered” state in the past (which could also be ecstatic dance or meditation btw), then you probably have a pretty good idea what that guy on acid is feeling like right now. It’s not really essential for you be on drugs in order to play a set for those that might be.

At the most basic level, DJs are given responsibility to make smart musical decisions for an event.

  • What is the best track to play now?
  • How loud should it be?
  • What BPM is appropriate?
  • Who am I playing to?

It becomes very hard to make good judgment calls when your decision-making centers and motor skills are seriously impaired. As the previously cited article notes, various parts of the brain are affected with more alcohol. The first drink largely limiting inhibition (generally not a bad thing) but further drinks resulting in mostly negative effects.  So, if you must drink, then just be smart and keep it in moderation.


If you do find that drinking greases the wheels of creative song selection, then we invite you to imbibe like a professional, not an amateur – you are in fact get paid to party after all. Here are five tried and true techniques for going the distance without running into the ground.

  1. Drink an energy drink instead (like Red Bull or similar). All of that taurine and caffeine will put you at the same energy level as the crowd without the fuzzy mental focus.
  2. Pair each alcoholic drink with 1-2 glasses of water. By replacing your fluids through the night, you not only avoid the hangover but will keep significantly more mental focus.
  3. Pop an Activated Charcoal pill before the gig. This might allow you to drink more without getting nearly as drunk – it also is great at avoiding a hangover by absorbing many of the chemicals that name you feel like a loser in the morning. (Read more about this on WebMD)
  4. Do as the sober folks do and drink faux cocktails. Cranberry, soda in a large glass with a large lime is the perfect fake cocktail that will keep your hands occupied for a long time.
  5. Fake Shots! Bartenders love this one. They have water shots ready to go or a special bottle to pour from. This will keep all of your friends and that liver happy at the same time.

If nothing else – then please consider your ears and the effect of booze on your perception of noise.

Increased drinking reduces your noise perception floor, raising the chance of hearing damage

Monitor abuse during a set laced with the sweet taste of Johnny Walker is almost guaranteed. Unless you want to take the direct flight to tinnitus, it’s advisable to keep drinking in check while at the helm of a mixer. Read more about how drinking can cause tinnitus in this DJTT article.


While many people get into DJing as a way to finance their party lifestyle, I would suspect the majority of our readers are in it for the creative thrill and musical challenges that DJing presents. The average party-goer can afford to go overboard and then check out for a while to recover from a serious party binge.

However, if DJing is a life choice, then it’s critical to take the “long haul” approach and avoid toxic burnout at all costs. For some DJs that may mean a totally sober approach, while for others simple moderation could be enough to maintain balance. One thing is guaranteed, partying like you’re on the dance floor is not a sustainable path to a healthy career.

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  • Bernard Steyn

    I have dj’d at a house party consuming alcohol…it was a 7 hour set! The first 4 hours was a tight mix…flawless! As the drinks started flowing so did my ability to choose the correct tracks diminish and my focus was compromised. Resulting in more than one mixing mistake.
    I finished the monster set with lots of compliments nevertheless.
    Then someone double dropped me liquid lsd…I was planning to do another 3 hour set for a sunrise. Haha! Big mistake! I started the first track and was just totally unable to beatmatch or set up the next cue for incoming track…also my earphones had a mind of its own and kept adjusting itself feeling very awkward on my head…my laptop screen and DJ software was doing it’s own thing as well. I just couldn’t make sense of anything in front of me! It was so embarrassing! It’s as if I have never done it before and felt like its my first time behind the decks…at the same time someone was standing over my shoulder looking at what I’m doing because he wanted me to show him how to mix.
    It was a surreal experience and made me look like a fool. Lol! So I just played the first track out and admitted to my audience I’m spaced out and unable to mix! Luckily I had a DJ mixtape as a backup and just hit play and got on the dancefloor and enjoyed my trip. ?
    Keep it straight and sober!

  • | What You Need To Know About Protecting Your Hearing

    […] 4. Limit the Drinks – Our ears get worse with alcohol. This doesn’t mean that DJ’s can’t ever drink again, but it’s a good thing to keep in mind that more shots equals more pain, now and later. […]

  • Adrian

    As my friend said: “You can play sober. But why take the risk?!” 🙂

  • Lou

    This is a great article to make us more aware of our drinking during gigs especially with Avicii’s recent health issues due to drinking during his high volume of concerts/festivals.

  • realdj

    If you can’t dj on a drink your a loser…

  • realdj

    This is a crock of shi…. lmao rookies and who ever wrote this is a idiot and a sober rookie dj …

  • Traktor Tips

    To be fair every time a website like this talks about drink or drugs, the comments section is littered with the most ridiculous comments from people who think it’s ok to promote drugs. You people might be fine on drugs but other people may not have the right mental capacity to ingest the same narcotics that you so proudly profess. You’re naive promotion might in fact be responsible for a death, or a destroyed life.
    If you enjoy drugs, go and enjoy your drugs, but i personally wouldn’t recommend a blanket approval to all readers of this page. Just because a stranger on a website told you drugs were good, is certainly not a suitable defence from your hospital bed. Be sensible!
    For me personally, I have been enjoying sober october and whilst i used to drink a pint or two whilst DJ’ing, this month has made me realise I’m a better DJ when sober. You try new things, you remember new techniques, your game improves.
    Whilst it is no-ones job to tell another what they should do with their lives, I will at least recommend you all think before you type and also before you ingest anything. It’s your life, you can live it how you want, but just be sure you’re doing what aligns with your values.

  • scamo

    How about the diuretic effects of alcohol (and energy drinks or anything with caffeine btw) as a negative effect for djing? I hate it when I party and have to go to the toilet so often. Or when I don’t go and hold it, my full bladder becomes an annoyance and it is simply no fun. The same problem is worse, while DJing.


  • chris

    i do drugs in an homeopathic way
    btw: the hypothalamus and the sympathicus, looks like the worms in the man in black movies

  • squarecell

    I drank the first few times I deejayed. I found it mostly to be an impairment. Now the first thing I do is ask the bar for a large jug of ice water and have someone make sure it stays full for me. I stay cool, hydrated, sober and best of all I don’t spend any money.

  • RogueMURICAN

    I always drink when playing out. It calms my nerves and gets me in the zone where my creativity just goes off. Otherwise I’m a Nervous Nancy and can’t think straight.

    I don’t drink drinks, only beer. Some Bud Light to take the edge off and get me in the mood is Alllll Riiiiight Allll Riiiiight.

  • Robert

    Also consider the gig very strongly. If you’re playing a club or rock venue where the musicality of your work will be considered, it’s probably best to stay sober for the set.

    If you’re playing a house party with friends you know and/or doing a split set with a fellow DJ, then a few drinks will probably be more appropriate.

  • money

    Pro Tip: if you drink a lot, make sure to do enough blow to level things out, otherwise you will get sloppy.

    • CUSP



    alright kids, lets go do drugs

  • noxxi

    I think people are missing the point of this article. whatever your stance on that matter is, you are simply a liar if you say that this sort of thing doesn’t go on where you play.

    When i started out, i would drink, sometimes too much, but it always sounded great, everyone was having fun, including me. till i heard a recording i made, it got progressively shitter as the night went on.
    nowadays, i might have a whisky or 2 before playing, and often a joint before playing. but i never get fucked up. Taking it seriously is one of the ways i can tell myself that I am better than my competition. I want to sound good all the time, not just to wasted people. Having done a lot of different substances in my time (not any more) i can approximate how the crowd might be feeling, but i don’t need to join them to feel it too.

    • zigggy

      Hi Noxxi, from reading these comments I see several people talking about smokinng weed before their set or they used to smoke it. My issue is I tried it when I was 13 (I’m 20 now) and I’ve smoked it everyday for 5 years which has turned into a bit of habit. It’s two fold as I go out with friends to smoke. So it’s like when I think of going out getting high goes along with it, because all my friends are stoners. But in the last 18 months or so I’ve really wanted to nip it in the bud because I don’t dedicate enough time to dj’ing each day/sorting music/starting producing and it’s really starting to get me down so If you have any insights for me or anything like that i’d really, really appreciate it!! thanks Zayd.

      • noxxi

        whats getting you down? not having enough weed or having too much? i used to smoke it a lot, nowadays i’ll just get a little bit at a time and when its done, i wont get more for a few days, the balance works for me. business is the killer for me these days!

        • zigggy

          Smoking it daily is what’s getting me down as when I go out and smoke when I come back doing practical music stuff is never going to happen so I could do with some advice on this dilemma if you have any. I know stopping going out is what needs to be done but I’m not sure how as i’ve gone out basically everyday for the last 6 years.

          • noxxi

            yeah i get that, sometimes it feels impossible to get anything done when im baked. you can use that time to do boring non creative stuff like organizing and mapping.
            The biggest problem for any stoner is motivation, when i’m playing live, being stoned doesnt really affect my mixing, and it gets me into the music. being stoned at home though, is a different matter, i find it makes it impossible to get anything useful done musically, thats just me though, and apparently you too.
            one of your problems may be that your too tired and stoned when you get home. you could try getting up early and doing some production or mixing, before you get stoned.

            apart from that, its really a personal thing, motivation and creativity are demons that have plagued me for the last few years. i have university, a baby, a house and all of the commitments that come with that! so trust me i know how hard it can be and how soul destroying it is too.

            what you can try to do is break up your work into small segments. try videoing a 10 minute mix, do a few. it will give you something to prepare for when your stoned, and the small amount of time you have may help to motivate you. all of this is practicing in one form or another and is a good way to sneak it past your stoned unmotivated brain! 🙂 haha!

            if its production your struggling with, then try the same thing, give your self an hour to get something out, if it sucks or you didnt finish it, then delete it and do it another day.

            one of the worst things you can easily do is to start seeing your music as a problem or a chore rather than something enjoyable.

            try smoking weed for a few days, and having a sober day or 2. that keeps me sane, and lets me do other things that need done (music takes a back seat when it comes to baby and uni for me).

  • CUSP

    Wow, there is no good response to this topic… it’s one of those “3rd Rail” issues.

    That being said, if you’re going to do drugs while playing, at least have some experience doing those drugs before you play out in public (which may mean practice DJing while high/drunk so you know your limits). I’ve worked with people who have been so stoned they didn’t know they were DJing, and they let the records run out (more than once).

    Being too high while you’re playing will not only subject you to all the damage listed in the article, but you run the risk of being either too fidgety, or too lethargic to effectively DJ. I caught myself drinking one too many drinks a few weeks back (at the very end of the night) and realized “I’m too drunk to beatmatch” (Thank you sync button). None-the-less, I was in the same mindset as the majority of the people in the club, and was able to play what they wanted right up to closing.

    I had the experience to know I was across the line, and I knew what to do.

    Yes, there are times you have to scroll back your skill (just like at the end of the evening, you have to scroll back the energy, or you risk losing the people you do have).

  • Dean Zulueta

    I feel this was great advice for younger DJs. As a young DJ myself, it is something you question when performing a set. For me personally, I won’t drink during a set but I have many friends that do. We each react differently and if they can handle it, more power to them. It definitely is always there because it seems as if 90% of club shows always come with a handful of complimentary drink tickets. I always save mine and then drink after my set. For me, it is a kind of mini celebration.

    In regards to energy drinks, that is something I always do before a set. I can DJ without it but it always feels like a mini ritual to have a Nos energy drink or quad shot espresso before going on. The short caffeine high makes me feel like Bradley Cooper in “Limitless.”

  • Paralax

    I had a residency at a 800pax club in my teens and I almost always played my main sets (after 1am) totally pissed. I think it all depends on listening to your body with what you can handle and also how much you practice beatmatching. At that age I had been practicing DJing 3 hours a day for 2-3 years and beatmatching was more instinctual to me than walking, so I never had an issue when I listened back to recordings of my sets sober with hearing train wrecking mixes or terrible track selection.

    You have to feel the room too though, sometimes I have a few drinks and feel like the crowd and me aren’t on the same page, so I get back on the water and focus on reaching a point where that aligns. I remember one set just last year when my track selection was feeling too rigid and I honestly believe having a few drinks got me to feel what the vibe was.

    I think DJs who’ve grown up with controllers have so much information in front of them that it’s hard to have a drink and take that all in (I’m on a S4 for some sets these days and it feels like that to me). To give some perspective to my first residency, I was using CDJs from years ago with no tempo information and had to know my music on a different level.

    People might mock me being this precise with my approach, but I feel that finding the vibe is important and it’s not necessary given to you through seeing what music sticks. You have to know the venue, the crowd, what’s the temperature in the club (really, I’ve always found in my country when its hot at a day or arvo party you can get away with vast tempo changes), what are people drinking, basically what scene you’re crowd engages with and how the environmental factors will affect what suits that exact moment. This sort of discussion should never be broken down on lines of not drinking or drinking, if you sit on either side your missing out on being a better DJ.

  • John Fraser

    About 8 years ago I swore off drinking while I worked. I decided that drunks were hard enough to tolerate sober, but nearly impossible when I was drinking, too. Within 2 months I had quit drinking completely, not by choice, but because I was booked every night and turning away more! I can only assume that my product quality went up when my boozin’ went away. Haven’t drank since, haven’t missed it!

  • Oddie O'Phyle

    not a big fan of alcohol to begin with and too much taurine and caffeine make me jittery , I’ve always preferred to twist one up and burn before getting to the club and having a social drink after the set to get some face time with the crowd, other dj’s and promoters.

  • Panagiotis Hatzisavvas

    I totaly agree with Mojaxx! In my early days as a DJ I used to smoke a lot of weed and a few drinks and it was more than alright but NEVER take psychedelics because I had very strong trips in the past. When I tried to do it 10 years later with acid it was great till the first bad trip hit me infront of festival crowd while I’m opening for an Underworld live gig.With a little help from my friends I survived this but never tried to do it again behind the booth. After 27 years of DJing I know what’s better for me and I believe that every pro DJ must know his limits. Old friends of mine like Terry Francis used to drink tons of booze and play greats sets but the day after was like a very bad nightmare I don’t want to go through again. DJs, especially in big rooms are like modern days shamans and they must send the crowd to another dimention with the most powerfull drug of all: MUSIC!

  • Paul Meneshian

    ill drink a nice cold pressed juice to pumped me up.. and ill have grapes around my equipment too… my body will be alkalized and my lymphatic system will be flowing like the mix lol

  • calgarc

    i never drink before or during a show… wait until its done… you wouldn’t drink at work, so why is DJing any different

    • Rutger

      100% agree with this!

      • brassprophet

        One drink for me, and no more. I don’t so shots, just cocktails.

    • David Wally Rawalia

      well… I drink at work sometimes….

  • michael lee

    Why don’t you just suggest people smoke weed? It’s the perfect drug, doesn’t destroy your body like hard drugs or alcohol (or even toxic slime red bull for that matter), and you won’t even have a hangover the next day.

    I find the energy you get even being in a club full of people is more than enough to get a rush even sober. Never had a problem with it. If you find yourself having to drink or drug due to environmental peer pressure, grow a pair. And my preferred “drink” of choice is Cranberry Juice with a splash of Lime. Does a body good.

    PS. MDMA aint worth the week of severe depression that follows kiddies, word to the wise.

    • Clay Ford

      I don’t smoke weed because one hit fucking wrecks me hahah. I’m such a lightweight.

      • CUSP

        I don’t smoke weed, because I’m allergic to it.

  • Sin Sentido Comun

    MDMA and LSD workfor me everytime

    • killmedj

      Worked for Hunter S Thomson.

  • skill toking

    “Smoke Weed Everyday”

    -Nate Dogg

  • Fischkopp

    A very difficult topic. All the better that you have the balls to write this article.
    I started partying in the 90-ies when Techno arose in Germany (and surely in some other places…). MDMA/Extacy was everywhere. Literally. Somehow I managed not to take it, but even nowadays I can tell when someone is on it. And they’re lots of young guys taking this stuff.

    I know that your perception of music may differ being on acid or xtc but I would never point out, that this could be somehow relevant for a DJ in some way. That being the only critic on your article, nice work. 🙂

    And for all those who “know it all”: They’re always new guys and young DJs in town, so from time to time it’s good to be Cpt. Obvious. E.g. pointing out that having the need for a drink is possibly only the longing for having your hands occupied or to drink at least as much water as you pour booze into you.

    Having that said: Don’t do drugs and party hard. 🙂

  • eugene

    Alcohol will give you magic powers as a dj. I know djs that are great sober, but put a few drinks in them and they lose a “little inhibition” and can cut loose. Of course, the great ones can do everything/anything completely sober…or drunk for that matter! Have a drink when you spin! Unless you are at a funeral (Zoolander.) If you start having the temptation to play Chumbawumba or the Spice Girls, you may have had too much to drink. It’s time to snort some uppers to bring your body back into balance and harmony.

  • Rob Ticho,Club mU

    Not to be a total enabler here, but n-acetylcysteine pills work well for hangover prevention as well. It’s by no means a cure but can help your liver ahead of time. A chemist friend told me about them and I’ve been using them for about 3 years. They are under $15 on amazon. Google “n-acetylcysteine hang over” and do your own research first.

  • shabba ranks

    Regardless of what has been written in this article (or any other article) people will continue to take drugs and drink. Ean is highlighting what happens across the globe. People drink – get over it, people take drugs – get over it.

  • Mojaxx

    I’m effectively tee-total nowadays, as I DJ enough nights a week that the cost of a taxi home each night would be a serious waste. Plus, I’m the opposite of many DJs I know, who like a couple of drinks (or more) to loosen them up and feel confident. I actually get more nervous after a couple of beers, as I start to worry that I’m not doing a good enough job.

    In my younger days, when I was a ‘part-timer’, I smoked quite a lot of weed, and was often pretty baked when I DJed. I do look back now and wonder if I was actually doing a great job, or if I just thought I was… Difficult to know!

    Ultimately for me, it’s all about appropriate behaviour for the situation. If you’re playing an after party in the Ibiza hills, sure, get off your tits. But if you’re being employed by someone to ensure the enjoyment of a crowd, then it’s your duty to make sure you do a competent job. Only YOU know how much of any substance of your choice will allow you to still do that.

    • Sebastian Cavolina

      hey dude, if you smoke weed, do not take more than two puffs before a set. i usually do one just to focus myself, save the rest for after you’re done. it doesn’t help with the pressure, but after all that’s what keeps you focused on not messing up the set. it does help with the tension that comes with the pressure, and that tension is what makes you do mistakes, you need to be relaxed to be completely focused. that’s why alcohol is bad for mixing, okay it keeps you chill, but then you kick all of your focus out the front door.

  • DJ Baking Powder

    Fake shots are awesome… also try doing fake drugs, like sniffing baking powder

    then wash that stuff down with a fake long island ice tea

    • Riggers

      You forgot to mention fake-set – just load someones podcast and enjoy yourself!

      • noxxi

        I’m so fake i just put a cardboard cut out of me and some decks in the booth and stay at home

      • Von Royale

        well shit! if your gonna play a fake set, you might as well do real drugs hahaha

        • Sebastian Cavolina

          hahahaha nah, just weed.
          i sometimes go outside before a set and take a puff. not two nor three. just light it, inhale, exhale, and that’s it. i usually pick a soft strand for this. just a minimum amount of THC can help me get focused and a bit isolated from distraction. just me, my mixer and the crowd. also is a lot healthier than booze. i end up smoking the rest of the blunt with fellow djs after the set so it’s quite a good sharing time. we trade songs, chat about the cute bartender who’s been hitting on the shy guy at that other table and laughing at it cause we’re high. good times really :3

  • Niels

    Why even go there? This feels out of place on DJTT

    • Hater

      Agreed. Who gives a shit. If you want to do some shots before a gig, or pop some pills, it’s on you. Just don’t crash and burn like Morillo.

      • michael lee

        I’ve seen a well known DJ, back in the 90s, do a line of K off a spinning record and then crash face first into the decks. Might’ve been the greatest thing I’ve ever seen.

        • shlomo

          Best Response ever. And so true.

        • Jamthrax

          The route masters record label endorses this in their logo

  • Ibrahim Sha'ath

    White circle-shaped elephant? You were drinking when you wrote this, right?

  • killmedj

    3 beers. the perfect equation for playing pool,smooth talking, dancing and DJing. anything after that is fantasy land!

    • Roger Alfa

      totally depends on your tolerance.

      • killmedj

        I was actually being facetious.
        But sure, everyone has a different tolerances.
        For example, My 3 beer limit, might be the equivalent of bump of Heisenberg’s blue meth for some one else.
        Let’s say, if Tuco was a DJ ????

        • Rob Ticho,Club mU

          I wonder what genre Tuco would play? It would be some crazy shitttt.

          • michael lee

            google ‘Siete Catorce’. pretty much nails it I’d say

          • killmedj

            I would shit my pants!

        • Roger Alfa

          haha sorry, i was already over my limit when i made that comment.

  • dj

    wow. I understand your disclaimer at the top of the article, but still. Just. Wow. Don’t even know where to begin with the professionalism with this. No matter what advice you give about “taking fake shots” or “drinking energy drinks instead”, this article will definitely make some kids think its ok to do acid, alcohol, drugs, etc. I had to do a double check to see that it was Ean Golden who wrote this? I have absolutely nothing against drinking (I drink myself) and people can choose to do all the drugs they want, that’s not what I’m getting at. I am simply speaking about how a reputed DJ website can take such a subject of drugs and alcohol and put it on a pedestal. This article is not pro “being smart” at all. SMH.

    • Raycotek

      Based on your own knowledge and experience, do you have any information or advice about the issue that you feel was missing from the article?

    • Patch

      My own thoughts on this article are coming too thick n’ fast to properly convey in writing.

      But I could talk (not argue) about it for hours.

    • Übermut

      Drugs like alcohol and weed are always in the mix when it comes to hip-hop. In EDM it’s the same plus all the hard drugs (you can see it when looking in those junkie-faces). And what do you expect from Ean. He frequents these areas as do other controllerists. So why not write about it. Parents are responsible for their kids (also what internet sites they visit) not Ean.

    • HJ Darvey

      As if “the kids” wouldn’t know about drugs, alcohol, etc before this article.

      If Ean stood there like some kind of jesus (even if you could still argue there are some visual similarities) nobody would take his advice serious. Prohibition and preaching abstinence has never worked in sustainable drug work.

      Club culture and drugs (illegal and non illegal) are part of each other, as a DJ (or guest) you will be confronted with this sooner or later and you’ll better be prepared for this moment.

      I agree, that the statement, that beeing on acid could be interesting for playing a DJ set is a bit shortsighted, especially as we are talking about a very very powerful drug. That is definitely an advice you should only give to very experienced DJs and acid veterans.

      My advice: before you start drinking or doing drugs while DJing make sure that you have a rock solid system, master that system so you could even handle it with some kind of impaired senses and be absolutely aware of your body and soul.
      There is nothing more cringeworthy than a DJ who is out of his mind and fails with his equipment, techniques and music selection.

      To finish this up, a quote of DJ Harvey: “You can’t understand the blues until you’ve had your heart broken and you can’t understand my music till you’ve had group sex on ecstasy”

      • mikefunk

        Ean IS Jesus

    • Ean Golden

      Im not sure if you are reading the same article I intended to write but this in no way intended to put substances on a pedestal. Quite the opposite, we point out the any positive benefits are short lived, and suggest many more constructive alternatives. Taking a “don’t drink while djing” stance would be rejected out of hand – instead I personally feel that offering up the facts and letting people make a smart decision is a wiser “editorial” course of action.


        I have been djing from the late 90’s, At a time that trance music was HUGE where i come from (israel).Never once did I take any kind of drug’ and basically, I don’t drink alcohol.
        For me, music is so huge thing in my life that the buzz it gives me to see people react to my tracks or my mixing is overwhelming/ Why blow it with something that might block that memory?
        I know, haven’t tried Djing drunk or stoned.But I also didn’t drive drunk…
        When I dj I take the “responsible” side for taking people on a journey. If I mess up, a few houndred people or more will have a bad night out/ And i want them to have an amazing night…get it?

    • Dan White

      I think the main point is that the industry, the clubbing environments, festivals, and the people who go to them already put being inebriated on drugs or alcohol on a pedestal – something that doesn’t have to accepted outright by everyone who enters the industry, but is the presumptive norm.