In 2005, the New York Nightlife Association released a study that measured New York nightlife's economic impact at more than $9 billion, with 65 million admissions per year -- more than Broadway, museums and sporting events combined. And that was just New York.
Since then, it has become increasingly apparent that nightlife attendees care less about the venue, decor and social scene, and that the most important aspect of events is which DJ will be playing the soundtrack to their night.
DJs, in a way never seen before, are the new celebrity. The growing popularity of open format music -- the concept of playing all genres of music mashed up, intertwined, and remixed live, invented by the late great DJ AM -- has over the last 5 years coupled with the booming trend of vocal house DJ producers to produce a wave of event-goers obsessed with DJs. As a result, DJs are getting endorsements, record deals, acting jobs, equity in nightclubs as well as many other unique opportunities.
The DJ boom has sparked new management companies and agencies aimed at handling every aspect of a DJ's career from booking to routing to PR. They book performances in the form of one-time events, residencies (a recurring DJ performance), and tours. The most coveted DJ gigs are high-end, high-profile events that garner press coverage. Managers and agents try to maximize their DJ's exposure in a way that is consistent with a particular DJ's image.
Throughout the year, there are countless opportunities around the world such as Fashion Week in New York, Paris, London, Milan, Tokyo, Moscow; Winter Music Conference in Miami; Ultra Music festival in Miami; Cannes Film Festival; NBA All-Star Weekend; and Coachella music to name a few.
The competition for the best events during these times is fierce and the number of available DJs is growing exponentially with the introduction of Serato, a computer program that allows DJs to spin on a laptop using mp3 files connected to turntables rather than needing boxes of records or cds.
Being in the hospitality, nightclub, and events business since college, I've had the opportunity to not only book thousands of DJ performances or gigs but also to cultivate new DJs and watch their careers grow. For the last five years, I held the position as Director of Marketing and Promotions for the Butter Group, who own and operate 1OAK nightclub in NYC, The Darby supperclub in NYC, Butter restaurant in NYC, and Butter NC nightclub in Charlotte, North Carolina. I've hand selected the most talented DJs in New York City to play at these venues.
With the DJ boom in full affect around the world, it was only natural that I gave up my position to form a DJ management company called 4AM with my close friends DJ Jus-Ske, DJ Jesse Marco and Jonny Lennon. Our name represents our New York City roots in that the city is one of the only places in the US where venues don't close until 4:00AM. We launched one year ago at Winter Music Conference in Miami and are thrilled to be celebrating our one-year anniversary with our 11 DJs at this year's Winter Music Conference at the Soho Beach House rooftop thanks to our friends at Fiji and Corona Light.
Within the last year our DJs have traveled the world, shot commercials, produced new music, and programmed music for fashion shows, hotels, restaurants, stores, and other companies around the world. The DJ business is a friendly business. There are enough gigs out there for everyone. There are many great DJs and many great DJ companies such as Dgi Management and Audible Artists to name a few.
Every now and then, I'll get an email announcement of a newly formed DJ management company with 5-10 DJs I've never heard of before. As the DJ craze grows, and the industry gets more attention, the better the DJ business will be for everyone in it.
See more about 4AM at www.4AM.tv
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