On Sunday 4th August I had the pleasure of providing my festival DJ & hosting skills at Bannaroo! I was booked to provide the music between the amazing acts to ensure the festival vibe was still strong. Here is my experience of DJing the first festival…. But will it be my last?!
I hadn’t ever provided my skills as a DJ to a festival before, and I was super excited to have the opportunity to do so.
At the start of the day I just needed to pick a spot to set up in which was out of the way of the acts, but still in view of the crowd so I could see what they were up to. I was given an amazing PA to play through by Steve’s PA, he really is an amazing chap and nothing was too much trouble! His sound system was brilliant and he definitely helped make me sound superb!
So there I was. Set up, sound checked and ready to go. To say I was slightly nervous may be a tad of an exaggeration but I certainly was excited! I think it was from never DJing a festival in my ‘vast’ career before!
I had been sent a schedule before the event so I knew who was playing and at what times before I started. My job was to provide the music between the acts, and introduce them before they came on. I had between 30 and 60 minutes between acts to keep the atmosphere and spirits high. I played a huge variety of music which progressed more and more dance like from the start to the end. The start of the festival I played a variety of 80’s and 90’s well know tracks with a house vibe to them. Towards the end of my day – before the amazing Queen tribute – I had progressed to 90’s trance and the crowd definitely appreciated this! Every song I mixed in was responded to with a cheer from the dancers.
Trying to DJ whilst the bands were sound checking was interesting! The PA included monitors for the acts, and I, to listen back to exactly what the crowd was listening to. This is nothing new! The interesting part came from when the acts were playing their instruments through the monitors for their sound check. Trying to mix 2 songs together with noise is hard. I gave up with the monitors completely when the drummers decided to rock out to their own track!! Rather than play their drums with the beat of the music I was playing to keep everyone slightly together (and my life easier aha) they played their own thing to a completely different beat and tempo with what I was attempting to do. I got it done, but it made for a challenging mix! If people could see me I think I would have had the biggest look of confusion on my face haha.
Whenever Steve and his PA were ready to have the live acts start he would announce it through the monitors on the stage. There were a couple of times when the acts decided to just start with no warning to or from Steve, and no warning to me either! Don’t get me wrong, as soon as I had realised they had actually started properly I stopped my music playing out. A note to my lovely fellow acts – please give the DJ the heads up on what you’re doing, we can make it a completely professional sound if we work together 😉
All went very well and then… The brilliant Queen tribute act came on stage with their equipment. And this is where the fun started. I wasn’t aware but the Queen tribute act had their very own sound engineer with his own sound desk. I wasn’t aware of this until they stopped playing out my music. As no one had warned me about this I initially thought I had an equipment problem! I think the stage manager of the tribute act saw my confusion and so did eventually come over, laughing, telling me it was swapping over to their system.
If you wish to see what awesome acts are available to watch and dance to next year, keep an eye on the Bannaroo website here!
A shout out to the amazing bands and artists I worked with!
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In conclusion, being a festival DJ is lots of fun – especially when the artists are so good! Would I DJ a festival again? Yes I would, but I would be speaking to the stage manager a lot more to ensure people tell me what is happening haha! If you’ve read this after a search for festivals, please see this page to gain more of an insight about me.