From the Club to Mobile Gigs
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  1. #1
    Tech Wizard
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    58

    Default From the Club to Mobile Gigs

    Hey Guys,

    was looking to get some thoughts on going from the club to mobile stuff.

    A bit about me; I play clubs in a ridiculously competitive city with frequent up-and-comers doing free gigs quickly becoming the norm. So playing in Clubs does not net me very much cash. While Djing isn't my main job, it is always nice to make a bit of scratch, even if it only covers the night after my set.

    Anyways, a family friend with a pretty successful mobile dj business calls me this morning, offering serious dough for a few events coming up in the near future (i am looking at making around $500 a night). Apart from a few parties that i have done for friends and friends of, where i earned a 100 or so max, i have not done much mobile djing since i was initially introduced into the world by a different friend with a mobile dj business.

    I just wanted to get a few opinions off some other djs who have had similar experiences in crossing over. I have agreed to a gig friday next week, but am very weary about what impacts mobile djing could have on my club career, as i am still developing who i am creatively and sound wise. Having said that, it is some serious coin, which i can use to build some production into my home setup.

    What do you guys think?

  2. #2
    Tech Mentor
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Edmonton
    Posts
    146

    Default

    I still do mobiles, simply because I love Djing. The thing is you have to be very flexible because people always want to hear the shit coming form the radio or classic songs that get played at every party. So you might have to play stuff you don't like. It's a great way to market yourself as the people who hear you aren't your normal club goers. I say give it a try. You'll have to learn how to set up your gear and know how to deal with problems. The cash is great. $1000-$5000 for 8hours of fun work.

  3. #3
    Tech Guru
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Cincinnati, USA
    Posts
    782

    Default

    I've done both, though I do many more mobile gigs now.

    When I DJ the club, I show up maybe 30 minutes before the gig with my CDs/flash drives and cans, grab a drink or two. Head up to the booth about 5 minutes before my set, get my bearings, load the first track and go. I play whatever I want, maybe a request or two. After my last track I jump off the decks and someone else takes over. Then I either chill for a while or go home.

    Average pay: $100

    When I do a mobile gig (with my particular setup) I show up an hour to 90 minutes ahead of time, run extension cords from distance power sources, connect a bunch of cables to mixers, amps and speakers, set up a table, set up lights, sound check everything, troubleshoot sound issues, wait for the party to start. In most of my recent gigs I have 30-50 requests which can be anything from Classic Rock to today's Top 40 (also tons of Skrillex, Avicii, "Deadmow Five", and Country--I'm from Ohio) and in my experience people keep on you about their requests. If I don't play it, I get attitude and risk pissing off the host. There is no skill involved in mixing my mobile set--I'm basically a living jukebox. After the last song, I spend 30-45 minutes tearing down, organizing cables, and packing my car. When I leave, I rarely have had a single beer let alone a fulfilling moment. (kidding)

    Average pay: $1000

    Where do I have more fun? Clubs. What's a better use of my time? Mobile gigs. If I take 1-3 club gigs a month I keep my passion alive and still have the opportunity to make some good cash. Obviously, this is just my personal experience so take it FWIW. Good luck!

    EDIT: Oh yeah, mobile gigs require more upkeep with gear and library so prepare for that.

  4. #4
    Tech Guru Bassline Brine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Massachusetts
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    1,818

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    See, that's what I see myself wanting to do in a few years time. I'm still not done chasing the dream of club DJing yet, but I see myself in 5-10 years time, wanting to pursue the mobile circuit if I've not found some form of a residency where I'd be happy.

    I also really see that having club experience behind your belt would be a really good sell to potential customers. Being able to say you've been playing in XYZ clubs since XYZ year, and have decided to start pursuing a different direction with some of your time. It sounds a lot better than someone who doesn't have any club experience at all, building up the resume so to speak.

    The big thing I see being an issue is just having the vast library that you're going to need to fulfill the requests, and there will be requests, and having to deal with those. But honestly, the majority of mobile DJ's that I have seen haven't been all that impressive (and it might just be my area) and it always gives me a second thought every time I go a wedding, knowing that I could easily be doing that if I put my mind to it.

    And if you're getting on with a company that already has the gear, well, that's a good chunk of it as well.

    You might as well go for it. And it comes down to you what you want to be searching for. If you're still going after the clubs, or if you're okay with playing music you don't particularly like for better money. It's a tough call, honestly.
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  5. #5
    Tech Wizard
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    58

    Default

    Yea thanks guys, cheers for the advice so far!

    As far as gear is concerned, i will be using my own decks + mixer (2xCDJ900 DJM900), maybe with traktor. I think this will give me a good control of various media i.e. i can play cds or off usb + traktor will give me access to a big library. The guy i work for would probably lend me all of his music (i guess he is part of a few party hire music subscription services), and i would be using his PA setup, which i am very sure of myself to competently setup and use.

    I guess my biggest concern is that i will lose my drive to keep hustling club gigs and it will affect the way i approach club gigs, @To0ntown, have you noticed this at all?

    As for now, im going to do a few, make some bucks, and see what happens.

  6. #6
    Tech Guru
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Cincinnati, USA
    Posts
    782

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    Yes, only because I chose to. I stopped pursuing as many club gigs so I could spend more weekends with my wife. I have a day job too so I rarely take a weeknight gig.

    Keep in close touch with your club contacts and find a balance that suits you. If you notice yourself turning down one opportunity for the other, you've made up your mind.

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