AGNT: The AirBnB for DJ Gigs?

Being able to find a gig can be difficult for DJs, particularly if you don’t have a booking agent who is always on the hunt for you. What if there was an app to take care of that? AGNT, a new project from DJ Endo and Viet Nguyen, hopes to be the AirBnB of the DJ world. Read on for an interview and overview from DJTT staff contributor Dan Cole.

What Is AGNT?

AGNT is the latest tool to enter the sharing economy; a market disruptor that aims to connect the DJ directly to the promoter, with the option of by-passing the middle man. “Our initial thoughts were, we could be like the new AirBnB for DJs,” says Viet Nguyen, one of AGNT’s co-founders about the new service.

The new tool is the brainchild of product specialist and DJ, Mike Henderson aka. ENDO, seasoned promoter Viet Nguyen along with David Nguyen, who brings a wealthy background in UX and graphic design to the table.

“Mike and I were talking about all the things we thought the industry could use,” Viet explains, “artists were complaining that they don’t have representation, that no-one was helping them collect money from promoters, and that promoters were sticking to the same DJs.”

Their solution was released on June 14th earlier this year. AGNT is available as a webtool and iOS app. As a registered user –like with AirBnB- you can position yourself as one of two categories; a DJ, or an event host, or both.

“We made it really easy to switch between artist and organizer,” Mike explains, “as we know that quite often artists are throwing their own events.” You build your unique profile, and from there – as like other services in the sharing economy – you can be matched with an event or promoter who is looking for someone just like you.

Building An AGNT DJ Profile

Two months in and AGNT is already servicing thousands of DJs from all types of backgrounds. “Our goal was to build an app that accommodated all types of DJs,” Viet explains. To achieve this, the team assembled a focus group of around 12,000 resident DJs to plug in feedback and data that would go into building the platform. From the get-go as an artist you build your profile as follows:

  • Log-in to build an account using your email address
  • Select what events you mainly play: nightclubs, festivals, daytime parties, private parties, underground events, corporate events and or weddings

  • Select what genres of music you play from the 32 listed (from country, to trap, big room and everything in-between)
  • Add a tech rider, listing all the equipment the promoter needs to provide

  • List your expected fee rates, from minimum required payment to maximum rate
  • Populate your profile with your social media links, and mixes

As a DJ, your profile allows you to be connected directly with promoters. Event organizers can search using the criteria available, check distance, fees, genres, and event types. You can even check artist availability, in case they’re booked or on holiday. Once interested, they can reach out, make an offer and even negotiate terms. The DJ profile hosts all these details, as well as being able to host up to 5 mixes. “As a promoter having a minimum and maximum fee is really useful,” explains Viet, “when an artists asks me to ‘make an offer’ it means it means I don’t end up paying too much or offering too little.”

Booking / Getting Booked With AGNT

When the promoter decides to book the artist, a fee is settled and additional transport costs are negotiated, should they be required (what is referred to as an ‘add-in deal’ in the booking industry). As an artist you can state how far you’re willing to travel before additional transport costs need to be added. AGNT then takes a 3% service charge from the artist-booking fee (and not from the travel fees), and a percentage from the organizer dependent on the event’s size.

There are various cancellation policies in place to protect the needs of the artist and promoter, which can be agreed upon booking, with a team on standby to mediate any potential conflicts. “The busier you are, the stricter you can set your cancellation terms,” Mike adds.

One of the major advantages of using AGNT to manage bookings is the secure transfer of payments. Once a show has been confirmed, 50% of the fee is transferred into ESCROW, with the rest transferred the following business day. This saves the artist from chasing the promoter for the booking fee or even having to wait until the end of the event for payment.

Another beneficial element of AGNT, is that as an artist you can pitch your services for an event. As a promoter, when listing your party or festival on AGNT, you can add if there are open spots that need filling. As an artist, if you think you’re applicable for this event, you can drop the promoter a message and pitch your services. And finally, as an artist and promoter, you can be rated using the system – highlighting your professionalism and ability to meet the terms of agreement. “With this, we’re just trying to make everyone accountable,” explains Mike.

No Agent. No Problem

AGNT was rolled out to fill a gap in the market, where smaller artists were lacking representation. This hasn’t prevented larger artists from using the service however. Along with smaller, local DJs, the site is already accommodating the likes of DJ Rap, Sydney Blu, Reid Speed and more. These artists have the option of managing the bookings themselves outside of their existing booking agreement, or have their agency manage their bookings using the tools AGNT provides for them. “It’s really just another way of being found or being heard,” Viet explains.  A lot of artists using AGNT are also encouraging their agents to do their booking through this system to help keep everything in one place.

To date, there are around 25 – 30 artist bookings per week using AGNT, with some festivals having already booked up to 12 artists using the app. The service has also teamed up with several Live Nation events, focusing their services on several North American cities, with plans to roll out to the entire territory within time. Once the infrastructure is in place, then AGNT will be looking to target the European market and adopt a global perspective.

It’s such a simple but effective premise that protects the rights of all involved. It’s staggering to think that nothing like it has been launched before. [Editor’s note: there was a service, PitchFade, that launched in 2014 that tried to do something similar]  “There’s nothing quite like it that’s been built for DJs in this way,” Viet adds, “which is why we did it this way.”

Check out AGNT’s booking web app here – or look them up on the iTunes App Store. 

agntairbnb for dj gigsdj endo
Comments (49)
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  • Sophie Loe

    tried their site. did not work. edits were lost. very CA and US centered. no EUR payments/VAT numbers.
    Website did not play well with Apple Safari 11

  • Cody Lanoue

    I love the app. Already getting booking requests for outside my normal gigs. And I like not having to worry about payment. I will be doing more mobile in the future and plan too all booking via it.

  • TwoTrue

    Hey @disqus_zFz0AvPqcy:disqus – any plans for an Android version of the app?

  • couic

    this is interesting.

    however I wonder how it will fit with local regulations when it will be available in other countries.
    in several European countries it is way better for the artists to have a waged worker status than an independent artist status, because of taxes, insurances, etc. for this we go through a local employer for all the gigs that wouldn’t permit to have an employment contract.

    in this situation for each gig there are 2 contracts : 1 between the promoter and the employer and one between the employer and the artist.
    (note that the employer is not necessarily, and usually not, the agent : for my gigs I have one main employer (for the legal status), and an agent to find and manage my gigs).

    if this app requires an independent worker/artist status like Uber, Deliveroo, etc, (and I suspect it, otherwise the app should act as an employer when the promoter can’t act as one, and this is very unlikely) it might not have a big success in some European countries.

    • Endo

      Hey Couic, thanks for bringing that up and we will definitely be keeping all of this in mind when we expand into new countries, and of course work within their policies. Like Uber we will need to open bank accounts in the countries and all of that. I am really looking forward to seeing how this does in other countries, especially ones that are off the radar! Stay tuned, since we will want to test this in US & Canada for a bit before going global. Global users can still sign up on the portal right now though and have the full functionality of the platform. The artist would just need to have a bank account in US or Canada for now.

  • daremrc

    Just a suggestion, you need to add a distance between 100 and 9999 miles. I live halfway between LA and SF and am able to travel to either easily for a weekend gig, but wouldn’t be able to travel much further right now. Each is about 200 miles away.

    • Endo

      Thanks for the suggestion. Noted!

  • DJ alt.rock

    This app is dope. I’m glad they made it and I’m glad I’m an early adopter. Now, i just need more people to start using it as I’m currently in the Bay Area and there aren’t any gigs available. That’s not a complaint though, I understand how early days it is but this app will be a massive game changer. I’m stoked. The only thing I’m not sure of is what I should put as my minimum price as I’m new to the West Coast after gigging in the Midwest for the last several years. Because I’m willing to take less money for more informal daytime gigs, I’m afraid of setting my base price either too high or too low.

    • Endo

      Thanks for being one of our early adopters! You will definitely get an advantage by signing up early. While there may not be many public booking events in San Francisco right now, I would encourage organizers to put up their events and book all of their DJs through the app, or at least the local supporting talent. As you can see a lot of our events are in canada right now since we’ve been testing it out a lot on the ground level there, but like you said it is a new platform so be patient as we are now working on a big incentive plan for organizers to use the platform and will be focused on getting organizers on board. For the fee I would recommend putting your minimum at the minimum you would get out of bed for and the maximum for a peak time headlining slot. You can always change these at any point.

  • No Qualms

    Hey Endo, you sent me an invite to join a few months ago but I’m in Australia, is there gonna be any love for us Aussies?

    • Endo

      We will eventually release the app worldwide. Right now the iOS app is only available in the US and Canada and we only accept US and Canadian currency but we will be branching out and will eventually have more payment options for our global users. For now you can use the web portal and it’s definitely good to get yourself on the platform now so you are ahead of the curve!

  • GPWarrior

    No thanks. I like to get to know a DJ before booking them. Ask around. Get opinions from other people. You can’t do that with AGNT. Plus you could easily steal a mix, lie, take a deposit and just not show up. No thanks.

    Also not cool that AGNT takes a cut for taking the personality out of a personal experience.

    • Endo

      We actually have 4 cancellation policies to protect the organizers and artists. If an artist doesn’t show the promoter will get a full refund. If an organizer cancels the event, then the cancellation policy will take effect. We also have a dedicated support team who will resolve any issues that come up. You don’t have to book a DJ that you don’t know. You can book the DJs you normally book through the app and it will make the whole booking much easier for everyone. Also we have a messaging feature so you can message with the artist / organizer.

      • GPWarrior

        Well if that’s the case why should you get a cut if I can just deal with the DJ personally? This only works for big name DJ’s. Don’t promote it to everyone. Most club owners I work with will only go with the DJ’s they know, established names that draw a crowd. Outside DJ’s come and case the place. Build a presence, get known. After all in this age DJ’ing is a popularity contest first.

        Most private gigs are handled by an entertainment company or word of mouth. The proof? In my city the clubs that use AGNT use it in conjunction with the DJ’s that are already spinning at there clubs, AGNT isn’t changing or providing a service to them. Bigger names here, they promote AGNT hard and it’s no secret that AGNT is paying them off to look like it works. DJ’s aren’t good at keeping secrets when they are drunk. Lol.

        The system that’s already in place exists because everyone is a DJ and you need to prove how hungry you are. This can’t change that.

        • Endo

          As far as DJing being a popularity contest goes, that is what we are trying to eliminate which is why social reach has no effect of the artist feed. The way to rise on our platform is by playing out and getting good reviews. Everyone is held accountable for their performance. If you are working with people you know and get them to book you from the app they can give you a good review and that will raise you in the ranks, FYI. We are trying to even the playing field for everyone basically. DJs that work hard and play well will succeed. That is the goal.

          • GPWarrior

            But you said there is a ranking system. If I was to use AGNT instead of word if mouth, in no way shape or form would I even look at a new DJ with no background. No upvotes. No gigs under his belt. I don’t have the time as a business owner to listen to every demo of evey Dj in my area on AGNT. You know that’s true. Club owner’s want DJ’s who bring people who buy drinks. However, I’ll notice the patron who is in there as a customer every weekend making friends, becoming popular and hands me a demo. I’ll listen to that. AGNT can’t beat that system. There’s a reason why it’s been like that for 2 decades.

          • GPWarrior

            That’s fine and dandy, but we both know that no one is going to book a DJ out of the blue with a zero rating. It’s still compatible based and the small DJ’s still loose. Your saying your app will replace the need to hunt down gigs, but the app is useless if you don’t go and hunt down gigs to get established. That’s the definition of self defeating.

            To give you credit, this app is good for bigger international DJ’s to streamline pay and scheduling, just by playing with the app for a few minutes you feel that. But there is zero thought to the small Dj. Don’t market it, call it “Grassroot” when it doesn’t do as promised for unestablished DJ’s. It’s kinda dirty marketing.

    • Endo

      A lot of the bookings done so far have been already personal relationships. They just use the app to simplify the booking process, and payment is done quickly and easily, you will know your timeslot for the party and any other details about the gig you can chat about in the window so it keeps everything in one place. Our automated payment system makes sure the artist is paid on the next business day and we have full protection for both artist and organizer since our terms and conditions emcompess most of the terms of a standard DJ booking contract. We have a dedicated support team that deals with any issues. Users can also flag users as fake or harassing in the app. Cancellations are dealt with through our 5 different cancellation process as well. The only cut taken from the artist side is the 3% transaction fee, and the organizer side is scalable like Air BnB so we take less of a percent the more the booking fee is. Thanks for your feedback though!

      • GPWarrior

        3% to save 45 seconds of an email money transfer and a text message?
        You have to admit that a touch ludicrous. What measures do you have in place to keep people from using their rank? What’s stopping someone from hiring a computer farm in India to make someone #1 Dj in the world?

        This is so impersonal and a roll of the dice in a system where the show must go on. Where if that nameless Dj that could if fraded his way though AGNT didn’t show, a club owner’s night fails and he looses money. Does that 3% cover potential losses that your system may inccure for trusting blindly in it?

  • Moonified

    I like the idea, but there are free websites out there doing similar things already, and when you have hundreds or even thousands of DJs on the platform how is anyone going to stand out? Promoters just aren’t going to trawl through endless profiles. It might work with private parties on the small local scene, but how are private organisers going to even know this exists?

    • Endo

      The best way to stand out on the app is to get booked. If you are on the platform early, then you have a head start to get booked and get good ratings and reviews from organizers. I would suggest sending some of your upcoming bookings through AGNT and get the promoter to write you a good review. The artist feed is ordered by who has the highest ratings, who has the most complete profiles, response rate and reliability rate. Also don’t forget to upload a photo and put in your location, genres and fee information so you show up in the right organizers artist feeds.

  • CUSP

    This might be helpful if it checked for similar events booked on the same day (or within a few days) and suggest that you not book against similar acts.

    If this service also did the respectful outreach to potential patrons, it’d be a lot more helpful, because honestly, most of us are so tired with being bombarded with shows that are only loosely-related to what we like, we turn off, and miss good shows we’d want to see.

    Hopefully, additions like these are made that serve the patron, as we’ve all seen services that treat the patron like they own them, and simply peddle “eye-space” to vendors at a premium, while also selling analytics (Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Comcast, etc). Please let this act as a word of warning: Disrespect of clients leads to clients abandoning the service… like Yelp.

    • Endo

      Thank you for your feedback. As far as checking for similar events or notifying organizers your in town all I can say for now is stay tuned! 🙂

  • Martullia

    I would be happy to get booked at all.

  • Wesley Weslochan

    I heard about this app/site a while back on Twitter. I’m interested in creating a account, but I noticed most of the gigs/festivals listed at the site are in Canada. Does the West Coast know about this?

    • Endo

      Hey Wesley, one of the reasons you see a lot of events in Canada is because a lot of our team is based in Edmonton so we tested the app out thoroughly in cities like Edmonton and Calgary. Our team is also based in NYC, Los Angeles and San Francisco as well so now we are shifting focus to major cities in North America. We are currently working on promoting our platform and educating event organizers on how AGNT works. Once more organizers are on board, the more opportunities there will be for artists like yourself. We are a new startup and it will take some time to establish ourselves. Please be patient as we continue to grow! We are happy to have you on board!

      • Kyler Killips

        Hope this actually takes off. There isnt even any gigs in SF right now at least that i can see

        • Endo

          Thanks Kyler. There will be events in San Francisco and that is actually one of our 7 target cities. Be patient since we are such a new platform so people are just getting on board and getting familiar with it. We are now putting a huge focus on getting organizers actively using the app and making events and have tested it on the ground heavily in cities like Edmonton, which is why you see so many canadian events. So far everyone has been loving it. Stay tuned as you will see events popping up in SF very soon!

      • Wesley Weslochan

        Thank you:
        I’m working on completing my profile. Just the music upload API/GUI a little buggy. Overall nice site. Cheers

  • David De Garie-Lamanque

    this is an awesome idea! i just signed up! 😀

    • Endo


  • Jedi Chris

    Why is it that this app makes the fundamental mistake of assuming that the only DJs in the world are those that play the genres that make up electronic music? They are literally missing out on the MILLIONS of DJs that play other genres! What about the DJs like me, that play all different genres; I play House, Big Room, Trap, Dubstep, Dancehall, Hip Hop, Soca, Bollywood, Classics, Top 40, Chutney, and many others! I am so fed up of people trying to pigeonhole DJs into a very limited list of genres! OPEN YOUR EARS!

    • David De Garie-Lamanque

      there is an open format option, mate 😉

    • Endo

      Hey Jedi Chris, There is actually a whole list of genres that you can pick from when you sign up including Big Room, Dubstep, Reggae, Hip hop, Open Format, as well about 30 other genres that you can pick from.

    • DJ alt.rock

      I found breaks, hip hop, soul, and R&B. Didn’t you see all those choices?

  • SweetGwendoline

    At least for the european market I can’t see that taking of. More famous DJs usually have contracts with their professional booking agencies which already have their tools to manage bookings. I don’t see a usecase where they would need this kind of app. Also the kind of bookings they do might differ a lot and they are very confidential about the fees and terms they agree on with each promoter. Promoter A for a small festival in Berlin might pay a fraction of the price (and add-on costs) that promoter B would pay for a gig in Paris / London.

    The less famous, local DJs on the other hand chase gigs and have to save costs where possible. Most gig agreements are made spontaneous and non formal. No place for a app there too.

    • riddimdojo

      I hear you and I have no experience with Europe with my being based in the Caribbean. However, if the app is intuitive and easy enough to use, it become an easy go source for promoters to find talent on the fly. The trick for the site owners is to get as many DJ’s as possible with as many reviews as possible in order to create credibility.

    • Endo

      Hey SweetGwendoline, thank you for your feedback! We actually have all of the contracts built into our terms and conditions, and you will see that most of the stuff you will see on a contract from the major booking agencies are built into our terms and conditions plus more, so everyone is covered. The fees are optional to put as an artist, however we recommend putting at least a minimum and maximum fee so that you show up in the search feed. Otherwise the promoter can just manually search for you. Also it’s meant to be used as a tool for your existing bookings, so if a promoter wants to book you on the spot (for an afterparty lets say) they can just make the event, and book you right there within seconds and neither of you have to worry about cash collections since everything is automated and you can also ask them to leave you a good review so that you can rise up on the artist feed.

  • LxSounder

    Great idea! hope it comes to europe too

    THNX Dan!

      • Sophie Loe

        No it’s not even remotely related in it’s current form. It does not provide a similar service. More a corporate focused CRM offering.