Have you ever been asked to sell tickets in order to reserve your spot on the DJ roster for an event?

The pay-to-play scheme is alive and well in certain markets, including New York City. But, according to an article in DJ Tech Tools, it’s taken on a more nefarious tone than before.

Now, you can sell tickets to the show, but not be guaranteed a spot to play.

As a DJ, even if you’re “small time”, you have rights. Make sure you don’t agree to anything without seeing it in writing first and, best of all, having a lawyer look it over.

When promoters ask you to sell tickets to a show, you’re doing their job for them. That isn’t your responsibility. Whether or not you play at the show for free is ultimately your decision. But, one piece of advice I’d like to offer you is this: DJ-ing for free (unless it’s a fundraiser for charity or another cause close to your heart) does not help anyone.

First, you don’t get what you deserve. Second, it sets entirely the wrong precedent for the DJ industry. It lowers the bar. Once a few DJs take little or no money for their work, promoters everywhere will begin offering little to nothing for DJ gigs.

Don’t fall for these horrible practices. Instead, respect yourself and your career. Demand more, then give your best.

Read more here.