When a DJ gig goes well, the whole party can light up. But without adequate preparation, it is all too easy for a DJ to mess up and cause a party to fall totally flat. If you are starting out in the DJ game and you want to build your reputation as someone who can always deliver, showing up isn't enough. These are some of the things you should do before every single DJ gig.
Test your equipment the night before. When you are a DJ, you are at the mercy of a lot of equipment to play your tracks the way you want them to be heard. This is why it's essential to rig up your DJ equipment the night before to make sure everything is intact and works exactly as it should. Look out for cables that have loose connections, issues with the routing of your sound card, and missing connectors. All these issues can be fixed in advance, but stumbling through a gig with any of these problems could be disastrous. Also, keep a checklist of all your DJ equipment to be sure you take everything with you, and collect everything from the venue as well.
Prepare some songs in advance. Something that all good DJs do is feel the crowd and create a set in the moment. But this doesn't mean that you have to totally wing it on the night. In fact, it's a really good idea to have five to ten songs in your back pocket that you know you want to play. This means that in hectic moments when the club owner is trying to talk to you, you can take a short moment of focus away from your decks and lean on a song that you know will get the crowd dancing.
Have a backup plan ready. Even when you plan as thoroughly as you possibly can for a gig, sometimes things simply go wrong and they are out of your control. All is not lost in this kind of situation if you have some backup music to hand. Simply having a music library ready to play from your phone is a very good idea. Yes, it might not set the crowd alight, but it is certainly better than staring down at a confused audience with no music playing whatsoever.
Follow this advice, and you should be able to secure repeat gigs and enjoy a fruitful career as a club DJ.