Many of the big DJs have started working again in the past few weeks as lockdown restrictions ease off both in Britain and elsewhere in the world. That’s disregarding the plague rave DJs who never stopped, of course. But as many of them have got back out in front of crowds – some of them are starting to feel something unexpected.
Yousef summed this up in a tweet early last week… and he got a reply from CamelPhat, who said they’d had the same thoughts!
They’re far from the only ones. Their tour schedules were busy as anything until March 2020, then cancellations started piling in. Suddenly, these DJs who were out there every Friday and Saturday night – or doing several gigs per day on a tour – were now spending time at home. And for the first few weeks, many enjoyed the break.
But then the boredom kicked in, and that’s not to say anything about the financial implications of the diary suddenly being cleared. Weeks turned into months – before they knew it, it was over a year. The clamour to get back to work was understandable enough.
And now that they have? Many are realising that these kinds of schedules with gigs rammed into every hour God sends is exhausting. It leaves them spending all their time travelling, going through airports and all that – and now, every country has sometimes drastically varying Covid-19 requirements for entry.
However, there’s one thing here Yousef might not have reckoned with. From what I understand, his setup is quite minimal – he has a very small team to help him do what he does. But other DJs have far bigger ones – and the bills still need paying.
So, any DJ who decides they don’t want to do as many shows as previously has to make one of two choices. The first is accept that less money will be coming in from now on, and adjust the team accordingly. Or the second is to charge more for each gigs – resorting to the supply and demand argument.
Neither is ideal. The first potentially means job losses. Any DJ making job losses from their team could face bad publicity. At a time when many are dealing with unemployment, they could end up looking selfish or out of touch. And the second? At a time when the scene has largely been shut for 16 months, DJs asking for more money is not just going to look greedy, it’s going to appear utterly tone deaf.
I’ll be watching…