It’s no secret that pulling off a great DJ set is hard work. And lest you have any grand delusions that pro DJs are some sort of invincible superhuman breed of DJs who never make mistakes, take a lesson from Diplo’s recent experience at Burning Man.
Apparently EDM supergroup Jack U a.k.a. Skrillex and Diplo was all set to play at Burning Man’s Camp Question Mark stage, but the night before their set, Detroit DJ Seth Troxler refused to play his set at the Robot Heart Bus – Burning Man’s most infamous stage. Thankfully for the festival’s organizers, Skrillex and Diplo just happened to be hanging out on their bus with nothing else to do at the time, and they agreed to take over Troxler’s set.
Sounds like a pretty good story, right? Too bad it’s not over yet.
Skrillex’s set was well received, but things took a harsh turn for the worse when Diplo jumped on the decks and decided to play DJ Snake & Lil Jon’s “Turn Down for What.”
Turns out the decision was not a good one.
The crowd immediately started booing, and Diplo and Skrillex were ushered off the stage before they could finish their set.
Ouch. Pretty embassassing.
But here’s the thing: Is Diplo going to lay down his turntables and quit DJing over one embarrassing set? Definitely not. And that’s what makes him a real pro.
So keep this in mind: If you’re a DJ, it’s pretty much guaranteed that you’ll have a bad set once in a while. But having a bad set is not what’s going to make or break your DJ career. What will break your DJ career, however, is you deciding to quit after you have a bad set.
Learn from your mistakes but don’t dwell on them. And remember, even the best of us screw up sometimes.
(By the way, Diplo, for his part, later came out and denied the whole thing. But whether or not the story is true, the point remains the same – he’s not dwelling on the bad press or what people think, he’s moving past it and choosing to focus on playing good music instead.)
Want more motivation on how to grow your DJ career? Follow our blog, and be sure to check out our DJ school – we’ve even got video interviews with celebrity DJs who share their tips on what to do (and what not to do) on stage.