We here at Smart Bar receive numerous inquiries every week from hard-working DJs looking for an opportunity to play. While we certainly entertain every possibility that comes in (some longer than others), there are a few things that YOU can do to up your chances of getting booked for a weekend opening slot. Follow these guidelines and you’ll be downing shots of Jameson in the booth in no time.
1) Don’t Suck. – This may seem like a very elementary concept, but many people underestimate how far something like talent goes. A big part of our vision with Smart Bar is to showcase and assist in the furthering of our local and regional DJ’s careers and as such, we always look for the most talented and deserving DJs we can find. A creative, well-programmed mix made with solid, well-timed transitions will go a long way towards convincing our talent buyer.
2) Make Yourself Visible.- And by that we do not necessarily mean send us e-mails and Facebook messages and stuff to make sure we got your demo. Most of the people that get booked for opening slots here are DJs that are on our radar- people who are getting booked with other headliners around town, people that are putting out mixes or podcast episodes consistently or are throwing some great parties themselves. Part of what makes our job so fun is the aspect of seeking out new talent and booking the club as a reflection of what’s going on in our city and our world-wide dance culture. If you a) show that you are a viable and valued part of our scene and are making strides to further it and b) show that you are doing everything you can to promote yourself and further your OWN DJ career, we’ll most likely be calling you.
3) Give Us A Good Demo/Press Packet.- The absolute best way for you to get us demos is by sending us 2 links- one to your Soundcloud account with all of your awesome mixes (INCLUDING TRACKLIST!!!!!) and a link to your Myspace/FB page with your BIO and a list of CONFIRMED gigs that you have played in the past and are playing in the near future. Please include any pertinent info, including releases you have out and on which labels, any regular nights you have done in the past and other gigs in which you have opened for other headliners. And please, pretty please… USE SPELL CHECK. If you send us a CD and the jacket also happens to be the cover letter, which is sealed around the CD with a bunch of tape, and there are horrible grammar and spelling mistakes all over it, we usually throw it out.
4) PROMOTE! If you get booked somewhere and you bring in 20-30 people (especially before midnight, while you are playing), that WILL get noticed and you’ll probably get asked back. Don’t be afraid to see if there’s some sort of discount list you can get to help promote the night and get people in the door. Every person that comes in to see you play is also a person that spends cash at the bar and adds to the general vibe of the night so the better it is for us, the better it is for you.
5) Remember- IT’S JUST A CLUB NIGHT. Ego is the one thing that can destroy the career of any artist, be they a musician, DJ, superstar hip-hop producer, promoter, label owner or whatever. We’re here to have fun, rock out, listen to good music, learn about new artists, drink, dance, get laid (or at least try), spend time with our friends and piss away our hard-earned dollars on a great night of hijinx and hoob-boobery. Let’s not take ourselves too seriously folks, we love (and are humbled by) the fact that some people look to us to stay current and satiate their music fix, but in the end, we just wanna throw a raging party. Have fun with it. :)