empty club

There you are totally pumped because you’ve got a gig lined up for the night. You’ve packed a couple of USB drives just in case disaster befalls your equipment. You know exactly what tracks you’re going to start and end with. You’re dressed and ready to go.

Once you get to the club, though, you notice that the place is strangely silent. You quickly identify the problem: you can count the number of people in the crowd on one hand. Now what? All that hard work you put into creating your set list was just a waste of time. What’s the point of playing to a small handful of people? Creating a vibe in that room is going to be challenging.

Hold on a minute. You’re a DJ. You’re prepared for anything, right? You can get that crowd moving even if you have to redefine what “crowd” means.

There’s another reason playing to an empty (or nearly empty) room is a good thing every once in a while. It gives you a chance to practice some skills that you might not otherwise get to use. When you’re in your studio, you scratch and remix to your heart’s content.

In an empty club, you don’t have much of an audience to begin with, so go ahead and do a little more scratching than you normally would. Try remixing on the fly. Practice word play while you’re at it, too.

Have you ever played to an empty room? How did you handle it?