This is an essay from a leading promoter from London, UK
"I've been a Drum & Bass events promoter for 20 years, in which time I have seen time and time again the discussion and debate about 'paying' DJ's or getting them to play for free.
Obviously from the DJ's perspective, wages are wanted... desired even... but from the perspective of the promoters, it's different. and this article seeks to point things out from the promoter's perspective, with room for debate.
In the early days of Jungle music, there weren't so many DJ's.. so if a promoter wanted a Jungle DJ with all the latest dubplates, they had to offer money to get the DJ to show up to their event... that was a different time. but today in 2020, there are more DJs than EVER in the history of Drum & Bass/Jungle... so basically, as time goes on, DJ's who play what everyone else plays are NOT that unique anymore and therefore their value is going down.
On speaking to one DJ, aged just 4yrs old... he said "I like playing music" and another DJ aged 11 who says "i really love playing Drum & Bass", we've come to conclude that DJ's don't get paid quite simply because it's something that kids can do and multiple MILLIONS of people do as a hobby..
So why is it that so many DJ's to this day still demand to get paid for all their hard work?
The modern up and coming DJ who demands to get paid for doing something that is not so valuable any more and something a child, or your local porn star can do, simply hasn't realised that the industry has CHANGED...
DJ's do not get paid big for their ability to play music, not in Drum & Bass anyway... they can ONLY be paid big money for the VALUE they bring to the scene... whether its because they have a unique talent that separates them from all the others, make amazing music or have a history in the scene which means they are above and being the average.
But the problem remains... DJ's still cry out and complain that promoters are evil and are demanding slave labour "why should we not get paid! it is a normal job!", is the usual argument... but no... there are too many millions of DJ's,
Besides, if you are a DJ and you have ZERO people who enjoy what you do... then as they say in the world of business.. you're not a viable investment, nobody likes what you do, except uncle Doris, mavis the dog and a few ladies you met whilst out on a bender.
But if you are a skills DJ who somehow has a following online and in the physical world... you are of value and all promoters will be fighting over you... just like how it was in the old days..."