Often elevated above the crowd in their perch, the DJ has a clear view of everyone attending their event. As DJs we see an entire event unfold from start to finish and sometimes we see things no one else will in that time.
Before guests arrive at the event you will probably come across an events, venue, or vendor manager that you will be working with throughout the evening. The interaction between them and their staff will either be one that makes you smile at the sight of teamwork, or cringe at an egotistical power-trip. Once the guests arrive it is your job to study and read them, understanding what kind of music will best compliment the personas of those in the room.
To do this you have to watch and learn how your guests are moving and reacting to both your music and one another. You will find cliques of friends mingling amongst each other or isolating themselves. Sings of courtship or tension will be evident as the event progresses and you will be able to see it all. As a DJ, remember you have the power to adjust the energy in the room. So if you feel tension early on between people or groups of people then you can do something about it. Play tracks that will make people want to dance together, sing out loud, or do a synchronized dance. Have you ever been upset and then you hear a favorite song of yours that you can’t help but singing? Chances are you feel much better after belting out those notes.
Unfortunately performing in certain environments are very risky and a lot can go wrong. From night clubs to weddings, it takes one person to spill a drink on someone, one inappropriate gesture, or any unwanted form of attention to ignite a fire that can clear a dancefloor. If you find that there is a person or a group that is creating negative space in your environment then you should say something either directly to them or to a manager/supervisor on location.
If there is security at the event have them keep an eye out for the trouble makers (you know, the drunk jock hitting on everyone. You can also use this method to protect someone; if you see they’ve had too many drinks for the occasion let the bar staff know. Sure the client maybe be upset now “I paid for this open bar..etc”, but saving them a trip to the hospital for either alcohol poisoning or a broken jaw line is something they should send you a “Thank You” letter for. You will also save the venue/caterers the trouble of being liable for someones poor decisions.
At the end of the night, if you see someone is clearly unable to use their better judgement, see if they have any friends nearby that can help them. It is not your job to babysit, but at a party it’s easy for people to get lost in the fun and not be keen enough to realize the state of their friends. A simple “Hey your friend will need some help getting home safe, do you need anything?” can go along way. If you see something, say something. You see a lot as the head of the party and can do a lot to make sure everyone has a fun safe space to celebrate. Think about if it were your daughter or friend out there. Look out for each other.