Time was that booking Derrick May was amongst the ultimate achievement for any venue which played techno. His name came with history and commercial appeal in a genre which, ironically, sees itself as the antithesis to it. Just putting his name on a flyer sold tickets – and to be fair to May, he is an exceptionally talented DJ.
But these days? Following numerous allegations of sexual assault and rape, booking Derrick May for an event is an increasingly fraught process – and it’s not just because you have to weirdly email his former manager to do so. You soon discover the highly convoluted process to contact his boss is actually the easy part.
Once you’ve booked him and have a date and time, you find you can’t actually promote it. This is because the moment that this blog, Michael James or any other number of people – I practically got contacted by a small army when it emerged last week he was appearing at Weetamix – who will come along and ask why he’s been booked.
Cue an onslaught of negative comments online surrounding his appearance. This gives you two options. One is to back down and cancel his booking, quite possibly at significant cost. The second is to tough it out – stop people commenting and so on. But this reduces engagement with the post hurting them once social media’s algorithms start to twig.
Hence why Italian club Audiodrome only mentioned his appearance tomorrow night at the club yesterday…
The few venues which are prepared to book May are also limited in what they can do with any pictures or footage from the event. Weetamix, for example, has posted no photos from their event on Friday night – and it’s now Sunday. Audiodrome – which have a real penchant for Instagram stories – might want to brace themselves for negative responses if they’re similarly keen to publish footage of May’s appearance.
Oh, and on another note – as I’ve said previously, I understand at least one complaint about Derrick May was previously filed with the police in a European Union country. Seeing Italy is in the EU, May might be forgiven for feeling a little nervous if he sees Italy’s polizia…