NYC Electro

How to handle Requests and a Tough Crowd

Lets face it, requests happen. As DJs, we deal with them in various ways, but mainly they are annoying and distracting to the flow of the mix. There are also the customers will only be angry and offer nothing, no request, they will just hate what they are hearing, even though the other 99% of the people there are dancing and loving it. Sometimes these people go away, but sometimes they do not and continue to harass you. So the question is... How do you handle all this? My story of an irate customer and more suggestions after the jump...

angry girl at club

A few weeks back, I got on the set and immediately (about 20 secs after my first song), one girl was getting in my face and demanding that I change the song. After four songs of abuse, and her putting her hands above the tables, i told her where to go, but a little more colorfully. I was not proud of that and thought it could be handled differently. Here are a few things I have done in the past to successfully avoid/get rid of these people.

Run Interference using a friend:
When you are spinning out and people can come right up to you and talk, you are bound to get requests all night long. Bring a friend with you and hook him up with drinks to intercept people coming up and talking to you. Sometimes, you want to engage with people, especially if that person is really hot. But most of the time, you are busy putting that next song out there and have no time to chat, so have your buddy ask what they want to hear. Tell him to say that he will ask the DJ as soon as he can. Once you can talk, he will relay any request to you and the requester will be long gone. Your friend can also diffuse any angry, and usually waisted, party goers so they do not mess with you. At the time of my incident, it was too packed for my friend to get to the DJ booth. So, other solutions should had been applied.

Have a request list:
If you are by yourself and close enough for people to make requests, its a good idea to have some sort of notebook of clipboard where people can write down what they want to hear. This replaces the friend running interference. They ask you for a song, and you tell them to write it on the list. You can double that up as an email sign up. If they do not put their email then they do not get their song. It serves as a good way to get the word out to your next events. If the person, like in my case, was offering no song suggestions, just point at the list and tell her to write what she wants or go away.

"I'll work it in":
These are the magic words! especially when the person requesting is asking you to either play something bad or something that does not fit with the music you are currently playing. Another great phrase is "I don't have that". When they gasp in misbelief that you don't have your favorite song, offer up some lame excuse: "I don't have all my files with me" or "I could had swarn I downloaded it last week." Just tell them anything, and if the excuse is good, and she is hot, you can use that as an in to hit on her.

Put one finger up, for them to wait:
If you are in the mix, nothing is stopping a person to come right up to you and mess you up with a request, or just to talk. This is an easy one. Just put up one finger and say "hold on a second". 9 times out of 10 the person will just wait patiently and enjoy watching your skills in the mix. Once you can talk, talk.

There are many ways to deal with requests and difficult customers. Some ways are better than others. Try not to curse out the angry club-goers, thats never a good thing(even if it feels so right at the time). Feel free to suggest a few more ways to handle these situations. But any way you do handle it, do the right thing.

And check out this post NYCElectro started on Do you hate requests?

Comments (3) Trackbacks (1)
  1. Loved your solutions! You write very well. Make sure you have “Proud Mary” when I come to see you, tho! hahhhaa Love you, Auntie.

  2. what about the “No, I don’t take requests”.

  3. Well, I guess it depends on the situation. If you are playing all night, I find requests kinda refreshing, they pick the next song for you. But if you are in the zone at the height of the night, I rather have them write the song down on a napkin. You can get to it later if you want and it does not put a sour taste in anyones’s mouth. It is a party after all and your job is to make sure people are having a good time, not to piss them off.

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