Why I’m Not DJing At Quad


Last night, I quit DJing at Quad. Here’s the email I just sent to them explaining why:

Sadly, last night I had to walk out of DJing as it was pointless to carry on. The factors leading to this were:

1. DJing to an empty room again. I can get easily get a good crowd of people out on Wednesday nights to Bar Lisi. *None* of these people want to come to Quad on a Friday. Make of that what you will.

2. Old people don’t want music. I was told to keep it low till one old lady left. Fine. Then I turned it up a bit, not hugely. Another group of people came in, heard how loud it was, bought drinks and *then* asked for it to be turned down. I don’t do background DJing.

After 21 years of professional DJing, I know a pointless night when I see it. From the start, it’s been obvious that music hasn’t been a priority at Quad (tacked-on speakers, PA amp that cuts out, DJing from behind reception, the worst acoustics of any venue in Derby) but I thought I’d give it a go.

You as Quad have to decide what you’re doing at night time and your music policy. If you try to have anything that will get drinkers in and make money, you’ll alienate the 65+ that are your customers now. If you cater to them, in my view it’s a waste of your money to pay for DJs when you’d be better served with an iPod playing pan-pipe music on an infinite loop.

As you can imagine, I was extremely frustrated and angry last night. Music is not only my job, it’s my life. I take it very seriously. I had hoped Quad would be treating music with the respect it affords the other arts.

Anyway, I’m not angry any more, life’s too short. 🙂

Quad is brilliant in so many ways, I wish you every success with the visual arts side of what you do. But I emphasise – you do need to have a serious look at how you’re treating music and what you want your interaction with it to be. And you need to do this in conjunction with professional musicians, DJs and sound engineers, not amateurs.