The live streaming of DJ sets has become a widespread trend within dance music over the last couple of years. From full-scale operations such as the Mixmag DJ Lab, Boiler Room and B@TV to tongue-in-cheek spoofs such as the Toilet Room and Being Boiled, watching selectors bang it out on a screen has become the norm. It’s got to the point that if a DJ hasn’t been filmed playing in some obscure, far flung, exotic location, then they’re not really worth their salt. Seriously, if you want to stay ahead in the business, you’ll need to think creatively. Here’s some of our location suggestions to get you and your stream rolling…
The live stream business is all about one-upmanship, with brands constantly thinking up new, far-out locations in which to thrust unassuming DJs who only agreed to play because their manager said it would be a “good look”. So what started as a Ustream session from a kitchen table in the corner of a Hackney Wick warehouse has now escalated into a succession of Miami pool parties, Ibiza villa jams and Brazilian beach raves. But in the search for ultimate exclusivity, why not take a step back and book a stream from a phonebox? Fitting a maximum of three people and a webcam, it’ll leave hungry party kids clamoring to get in while the rest of the world tunes in to see the DJ dislocate their left shoulder in order to mix records in such a demandingly tight space. Plus the poor jock can take requests directly, giving new meaning to the term ‘partyline’. A good look indeed.
Problems finding a venue with reliable power points and a decent wifi connection? Try hitting up a chainstore, especially a cash-strapped one like HMV that’s currently gagging for revenue since everyone stopped splashing out on £40 Die Hard boxsets. Since DJs don’t bother getting out of bed unless their breakfast, lunch and dinner is sponsored, you won’t be accused of selling out; rather, you and your stream team will look like diligent entrepreneurs about to change the face of music distribution…or something. Just make sure your broadcast is done and dusted before the bailiffs arrive for the store manager and the piles of unsold Beats By Dre headphones.
The Barber Shop
Alongside the clapped-out launderette round the corner, the local barber shop is one of the most sought after live stream locations in town thanks to its old-skool aesthetic and no-bullshit approach. Small and compact, it’s perfect for achieving that sardine tin level of intimacy required to make a broadcast look like it’s popping off. It’s also popular with DJs who like to keep their hair high ‘n tight, so tempting Zomby out of hiding to play live in return for a slick new fade should be pretty simple. Getting those all important anonymous DJ exclusives is the aim of the game folks!
The Wheelie Bin
Nothing says ‘outsider house’ like playing out the top of a Biffa bin. It’s perfect for experimental artists, who can improvise with black bags full of discarded computer hardware and sample the sound of glass bottles breaking beneath their feet. To get a strong stream going you’ll have to scope out an office block with a prime set of bins and bundle your equipment in under the cloak of darkness, giving that panty-wetting sense of pirate radio danger. But instead of dodging burly geezers from the Department of Trade and Industry, you’ll have to divert the attention of the building’s janitor, who hates anything released on the LIES label and will break your knee caps in a second.
The Market Stall
Forget New York, Berlin or London; the market stall is a great way to get a live stream going in provincial towns with a population of less than 15,000. It’s got the perfect combination of constant footfall, vibrant décor and an MC with at least 10 years experience, meaning high streets across Little Britain (and hopefully provincial Europe too) will soon be belting out the sound of underground techno. Don’t worry if the DJ you’ve booked is a little nervous; market stall traders can flog back catalogue mix CDs quicker than they can bags of sprouts, meaning you’ll be making it rain in no time.
How to solve the problem of everyone on the guestlist nicking your carefully stashed bottles of complimentary Corona? Set up in the booze aisles of a supermarket. That way you can enjoy a bev while the fanboys rummage around in the crates of Carling and your star DJ can pick from a selection of upmarket vodkas. If you get everyone drunk enough, someone might get naked or throw a tantrum, adding extra viral potential. Like the time Skream threatened to chuck a couple grand’s worth of equipment into the crowd at SXSW or that other time when he was on the verge of photocopying his arse in our office.
It’s easy enough to get people dancing when you huddle them into a frosty East London warehouse and ply them with sponsored booze. But to be really boundary breaking, why not set up a DJ booth in one of the least fun places known to man- the office. With the stench of Dave’s shepherd’s pie lunch still lingering in the air, and the IT dorks from floor two complaining about the noise, it’s probably the worst place to throw a party. But then, the party pioneers throwing raves by the M25 probably had haters, and look what happened. Stupid can become legendary. We’re still waiting for the legendary part.