Club etiquette: How not to piss off the DJ*

*This post requires a pinch of salt and a sense of humor. 

You may or may not know that I'm part of a DJ duo called The Roustabouts. We currently host and co-curate our own club, and have played many awesome places. I love it, and I love people telling me they also love what we do. Unfortunately not everyone, usually after 3 or 4 drinks, seems to care much.

Now, I'd like to assume that the majority of these people aren't rude and careless in their day-to-day lives. In fact, dear reader, you may have also succumbed to the perils of alcohol and found yourself being a bit of a prat. I know I have. I remember, when I was a university student and clubs were a NEW THING [to me], all I wanted to hear was Prince. Not "Kiss", but something a bit less obvious. I imagine there are a few djs that can recall being heckled by a drunk girl. Now I know their pain.

So here's a little list of things to memorize just in case you happen to get drunk and feel that the DJ really needs to acknowledge your existence.

1. If you want to request a song from the DJ, think about it before-hand.
Here's a checklist: 
Is the club themed, say, a cabaret club? 
If yes, do not request Rihanna. 
Is the club currently playing a certain type of music that doesn't work with your request?
If yes, do not request it. 
Is the club currently just winding up/just winding down?
If yes, do not request that dancefloor tune.
Do you want to come across as a knuckle-dragging primate?
If yes, request Rihanna*

*I have no issue with Rihanna, we even play some Rihanna occasionally, but she is not the be-all and end-all of music. We get Rihanna requests multiple times a night (previously it was Beyonce, but I guess she's out of vogue). Requesting Rihanna at a cabaret club (or some other themed event such as a speakeasy) is like traveling to Rome, Paris or Barcelona and only eating fish and chips. The fish and chips will still be there when you get back to England.  

2. If the DJ doesn't take requests or doesn't have the song you'd like, do not say any of the below:
  • But you HAVE to have it.
  • You aren't a proper DJ then.
  • You've got a computer, right (if they are using a laptop in their set-up), so can't you download it?
  • I've got it on my phone, can I plug it in?
  • But I've paid £XXXX amount here tonight!
Any of the above makes you sound like a vile human being. Harsh, but true.

3. Never, unless you happen to be particularly knowledgeable about the subject, assume you understand what the DJ is doing at all times. Sneaking a quick look at sticking your nose in the way of a laptop, seeing something spinning and assuming the computer is doing all the work is extremely naive. 

4. Never tell the DJ how to do their job. 
How would you enjoy us hovering over your shoulder while at your work, probably as a data analyst, pointing out everything you've done wrong? Sorry middle-aged gawky white guy, but we dropped our beat in perfect time, but I'm so glad that you and your friends feel the need to sit and critique the music we've been playing for the past 7 hours straight.

5. We like seeing you enjoy yourself, but waving your arms around (with a glass of drink loosely in your clutches) near our equipment is incredibly unnerving. Please wave the drink over your friend's head instead. Buying them a new shirt will be far less expensive than the £1000+ it would cost to replace a piece of our gear. 

6. Leaning your back against the DJ booth is just fucking rude. If the venue has walls, which is likely, this will suit your needs just as well. Would you turn your back against a live band? Probably not, so don't do it to us. There are plenty of other places, such as NOT DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF THE BOOTH, that you can look bored or try to have a phone call (I shit you not, I shit. you. not.)

7. The DJ booth is not, and will never be, space that you are able to enter uninvited. Especially if you are naked (Again, I shit you not, this has happened to me - it was a fetish club, but still).

8. Those headphones I have clapped to my head? Yeah, those are actually working and I am actually doing something. Interrupting me to ask menial questions such as "Where is the bathroom?" is about as irritating as an irritable bowel (which I assume you have, due to the desperation of your question).

9. The DJ booth is not a cloakroom. The incredibly limited space behind us and under our feet is reserved for FRIENDS or people that ask especially politely and have small items. Handing us a huge bunch of flowers and expecting us to pull a fucking vase out of our collective arse is obviously going to result in a facial expression that reads "are you fucking serious?" 

(via No Breasts No Requests)

10. If you stand in front of the booth and mouth something, I CANNOT hear you. When I gesture for you to come around to my ear hole, it might be because I CANNOT hear you. Moving one step to the left and mouthing again will not make it any clearer. Sometimes I can't hear people even if they are shouting into my ear hole, but that may just be an automatic defense I've built up against stupid requests. 

11. And finally.... When the DJ has been playing for a long time, long past the stated closing time of the night in order to keep you entertained, some appreciation wouldn't go amiss. Cheering and clapping is AWESOME. Booing, demanding they play for longer and sneering at them when they don't rebel against the very large bouncer (who you can clearly see is telling them to stop) is NOT AWESOME.

Remember, politeness goes a long way.