by Guest Author, Nick Pollock
First of all, we Aussie DJs don’t take a kangaroo with us to every gig nor do we all know Kylie Minogue personally. With that being said, I’d like to tell you a little bit about what it’s like to be a mobile entertainer in the land “Down under.”
The market I live and work in is called Ballarat, the birthplace of Australian democracy. Located 100 Kilometers (about 65 miles) from a Melbourne, Ballarat is renowned for its cultural heritage and decorative arts and is a picturesque urban landscape.
There is a massive over-supply of disc jockeys in my small region because most are former nightclub DJs who have turned to mobile DJing for work.
Australia vs. America & Europe
Australia is somewhat different than America or Europe in that there are no professional DJ associations and we don’t have any DJ magazines like Mobile Beat and DJ Times in the US or Pro Mobile in the UK.
I think the reason is that here, the disc jockey business is widely regarded as a hobby – just a bunch of blokes entertaining for “beer money.”
The continent is saturated with rogue traders who unfortunately manipulate the marketplace and get the majority of the DJ gigs. Most of them have a regular job, which means that for guys like me who are full-time professionals, we struggle financially. Most of the really profitable mobile entertainment services are located in major metropolitan areas.
I once did a wedding for $500 and at the end of the night found out that the couple spent $3,500 on their bar tab. Naturally, the guests wouldn’t have stayed without the DJ but getting our customers to understand the value we bring to them is quite a challenge.
My other challenge is that I have only 40% vision and have to solely rely on being driven to and from gigs. I have experienced discrimination in jobs other than Djing, which is one of the reasons I love the profession so much.
We’ll, I hope you’ve enjoyed and learned something from this glimpse into our beautiful Oz. Now it’s time to go have a beer with my kangaroo on the back porch. G’Day!
PUBLISHERS NOTE: Nick, I spoke with Dennis Hampson from the Canadian Professional DJ Association and he would be happy to give you some ideas for starting a professional DJ Association in Australia. You can call Dennis toll-free at 1-866-964-2299 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.