These days, the concept of the ‘jetsetting DJ’ is well-established, with the biggest names in the business criss-crossing the globe on a weekly basis, but back in 1993, the question of whether ‘guest DJs’, often playing in headline slots, was of benefit to the embryonic club scene.

In June 1993, DJ Mag’s Ronnie Randall, examined this in more detail, observing how regular club nights across the UK were being permeated by “some imported geezer who steals in during the two hour peak”.

DJ Mag, June 1993


As he goes on to say, many of the ‘mega-raves’ of the day “book dozens of DJs to perform for mere minutes in order to cover all the tribal options at the expense of any genuine vibe”.

The article features input from both sides of the argument. As Sven Väth puts it, “The huge lists at certain one-off events are nothing more than DJs selling their names to the promoter for money, rather than for the love of playing the music to the people.

I don’t want my name used for such events any more, because the people who pay to see me don’t see me at all – the real me is a 12-hour, constant experience.”

Elsewhere, Graeme Park, at the time voted ‘club DJ of the year’ at The Hacienda, weighs in with, “To be honest I don’t have guests, we don’t need ‘em. I know the crowd, and they know me, so I can take risks and try out fresh ideas myself.

The whole thing about making DJs into stars is a load of bollocks, really, at the end of the day we’re just all playing other people’s records.

“I did used to think it was good to have Americans over, though, people with a totally different perspective, potentially inspirational.”

But as Dy-na-mix agency boss Evil Eddie Richards argues, “We need this constant injection of new ideas and attitudes circulating around the clubs, that’s what’s kept the whole thing bubbling.

I agree that the best DJ is the one that knows the crowd, but the guest is there simply to attract extra attention to the club, and the resident benefits from that spotlight.”

You can read the full article below.

[Article by Ronnie Randall for DJ Mag, published June 1993]

2 thoughts on ““This whole thing about making DJs into stars is a load of b***cks really…” Guest DJs – a help or a hindrance? [June 1993]

  1. DJ’s being elevated to the focal point of the Rave is a detractor from the experience.

    Take the Asylum for example, the dancefloors were layed out so you could never even really see the DJ’s, majority of the time up the front of the main dancefloor in the Asylum people had there back to the DJ box facing the crowd, there was a real special intense and energetic buzz right there in front of the DJ box between the crowd.

    Same in Sides, you couldn’t see the DJ’s as they were up high to your left hand side, the buzz was all the crowd facing each other and the banging tunes.

    Put simply, the Rave is about the buzz between the people enjoying the tunes, the DJ delivers them tunes.

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