A Friendly Reminder To The Local DJs Out There: Look After Yourselves This Summer
It can be a taxing time over the summer season, make sure you get some rest.
Header image via Facebook/The Ice Cream Factory.
As we march arms wide open into another hectic summer festival season full of sunshine, booze, bangers and warm nights, it can be hard not to feel a little overwhelmed.
New events seem to pop up every day in your social feed – day drink here, see band there, go to this new festival, get your gang together because it’s time to rip the farkn lid off another year! And don't forget to make sure we start 2019 much the same way as we spent most of 2018 – hungover and broke (but richer for the experience, of course).
Fun new memories are made, then lost in a haze of good times with your nearest, dearest, or just whichever sorry shit-talker was game enough to sit up with you and watch the sun rise in some stranger’s backyard.
For the local DJ contingent out there, the massive amount of events going on every weekend over the holiday festival season can be a fantastic time to make some extra cash. Silent discos, new pop-up bars, new festivals and later nights all need selectors to help set the mood for the plethora of pre-loaded party-ready punters.
The temptation to hammer the ever-living shit out of the increased number of sets available to DJs out there is, quite simply, too lucrative to ignore. You get paid very well to play music for people, and sometimes you’ll find yourself DJing from sundown through to sun up.
And when those invoices finally come through in the days, weeks and (hopefully not) months after, you’ll instantly forget how previously dire the bank account was looking during that cold, dark winter of Netflix and no gigs.
It’s well-documented that with DJ culture comes a certain level of excess, be it drinking, drugs, not sleeping or backing it up a few days in a row.
All of these things combine to become an incredible tax on your mental and physical health, not to mention the relationships with your friends, partners and family - how many times have you sat around at Christmas lunch barely registering a grunt until someone finally cracks the first frothy?
Photo by Aaron Webber.
Towards the tail end of last summer I had numerous conversations with several of the hardest working local DJs around Perth suffering from severe burn out. DJ group chats regularly had people looking for a replacement to take their set on any given night due to illness or exhaustion.
Some sought professional help, some simply sought sleep, and some just powered through...
So I guess this is just a friendly reminder to my local DJ pals out there (and everywhere) this summer - we all fucking love money, but it’s so important to look for the signs that you're struggling.
Don’t be afraid to pull out of a gig if you need to and talk to your mates about how you’re feeling. I feel like now more than ever we’re becoming more open about our mental health, particularly in the music industry, so seek out people who are willing to listen.
Some extra dollars might seem important (and trust me, after a few weeks away from DJing, I’m feeling that pinch more than ever), but try and structure your sets so you do give yourself a break every now and then.
Give yourself a few days off where you can, take a night off in between shows, go to different venues with your friends and just socialise instead of working, maybe skip the after party once in a while, try and play a couple of shows sober (a difficult, albeit not impossible task), eat some decent food, and try to be in touch with your own mental health.
If it does get to a point where you do need to see someone, look into going on a Mental Health Care Plan, and cop 10 free sessions with someone who can help you manage problems like anxiety and stress that come with decreased sleep and overworking. I did it last year, and it while it didn't solve all my problems, it certainly helped me figure out a shitload of 'em.
It’s gonna be a long, hot, fun-filled summer, make sure you stop every now and then to try and actually enjoy it.
And please make sure you get some bloody rest.