Why don’t DJs turn up…? [December 1993]

Most of last week was taken up with the somewhat shocking, mostly amusing saga of French DJ Jeremy Underground and the cancellation of his gig at Abstrakt, a club night in Edinburgh…

More specifically, the story revolved around his agent, whose threats to ‘bite’ a club promoter went viral, once Abstrakt’s organisers posted it to Facebook [as I post this, all parties involved have reportedly apologised profusely, and M. Underground has agreed to waive all costs to appear at the club at a later date, which is decent of him]…

But non-appearances by DJs – whether they involved cancellation by disgruntled promoters or not – are nothing new, as this Mixmag article from December 1993, written by Jane Headon, investigates.

As Radio 1’s Pete Tong tells the magazine, “Initially my gut feeling was that there were a lot of dodgy promoters, but some of it was the DJs being flaky. Some of the best DJs are the worst offenders for falling asleep or not bothering.

“Maybe the gig folded the day before or he comes on the phone and he’s got your money.” But if not, he says, “they’ve effectively cost you a Saturday night. Who’s going to look like a bastard? You decide.”

Elsewhere, the article lists some ‘repeat offenders’ in the absentee sense, with CJ Mackintosh proving remarkably honest with his response, “I’ll be honest with you. I’ll admit, I’ll not turn up as I’ve been in the studio all week and when the weekend comes, I’m in a mess. I just can’t make it. I’m knackered. Sometimes I’ll phone – sometimes I just won’t wake up. I understand the promoter’s point of view. Thatʻs why lʼm trying to slow that side of things down.”

The life of a DJ ain’t what it’s cut out to be, it seems…

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