Travelling the world as a professional touring DJ can be an exciting and fulfilling experience. As a DJ, you have the opportunity to visit new places, meet new people, and share your music with audiences around the globe.
Whether you’re playing at a music festival in Paris or spinning at a nightclub in Saigon, you’ll have the chance to immerse yourself in different cultures and see the world from a unique perspective.
However, being an international DJ also comes with its own set of challenges. You’ll likely spend long hours on the road, sometimes in unfamiliar or uncomfortable environments. You’ll also have to be able to adapt to different time zones, languages, and cultures. Despite these challenges, the thrill of performing in front of a live audience and seeing new parts of the world (more often than not) make up for this.
We’ve broken down some of the negative aspects of being a Touring DJ and have offered some practical tips on how to overcome them.
You will likely be on the road a lot, which can take its toll both physically and mentally. You may have to deal with long flights, layovers, and jetlag on a regular basis. It can be difficult to maintain a sense of routine or stability when you are constantly moving from place to place. You may also have to deal with the logistical challenges of packing and unpacking your bags, coordinating transportation, and finding suitable accommodation.
It can be helpful to try to maintain some sense of routine and structure while you are traveling. This might involve setting aside time for exercise, maintaining a healthy diet, and finding ways to relax and unwind. All of these suggestions have a positive impact on your mental health and can be the difference between lasting the distance or suffering from burnout.
Being away from home
Being away from home as a touring DJ can be challenging, as it can be isolating and may cause homesickness. You may be away from your family and friends for long periods of time, and may not be able to stay in touch as easily if you are traveling to different time zones. You may also miss out on important events or milestones while you are away.
To cope with being away from home, it can be helpful to stay in touch with loved ones. You may also want to try to make connections with other people while you are traveling, such as other DJs or fellow muso’s to help you feel less isolated. Use all of the social media platforms at your disposal to tap into the local scenes and get meeting new people. This can also act as a great way of networking and possibly picking up new gigs along the way.
Culture shock is a common experience for touring DJs who traveling to different countries and we all encounter culture shock in a variety of ways.
Some common experiences of culture shock include:
Language barriers: If you are traveling to a country where you do not speak the language, you may find it difficult to communicate with local people or navigate your way around.
Different customs and cultural norms: Every culture has its own unique customs and norms, and you may find it difficult to adjust to these differences. For example, the crowds at gigs in China tend to all face the DJ in a club, whereas things are a little different in Europe.
Adjusting to different living conditions: You may be used to a certain standard of living, but in other parts of the world, living conditions may be very different. For example, you may be used to a certain level of cleanliness or comfort, but in other countries, these standards may be a let down.
To cope with culture shock, it can be helpful to try to learn about the local culture and customs before you arrive. It can also be helpful to be open-minded and try to embrace new experiences, and to seek out support from other people, whether they are local or fellow travellers. With time and patience, you will likely adapt to the new culture and begin to feel more at home. Remember Google Translate is your new best friend and what doesn’t break you makes you stronger.
Limited free time
As a DJ, you may have limited free time when you are traveling for gigs. You may be focused on performing and getting to your next gig, and may not have as much time to sightsee or experience the local culture.
There are a few ways you can make the most of your limited free time as a DJ:
Plan ahead: If it’s a place you haven’t been to before, you may be able to schedule your flights so that you can gain an extra afternoon or even a whole day somewhere so that you can still make your follow on gig. With this in mind, make sure you tag on some time at the end of your journey or tour, so that you can experience the local area without the pressure of a gig hanging over you.
Prioritise your interests: Think about what you enjoy doing and prioritise activities that align with your interests. The vinyl D.Js amongst you may want to hit the local record stores.
Dealing with logistics
Dealing with logistics as a traveling DJ can be time-consuming and stressful. Some of the logistics you may need to handle include:
1 Booking flights and hotels: You will need to plan your travel itinerary and book flights and hotels that fit your schedule and budget. This can be a challenging process, especially if you are traveling to multiple countries with different currencies and languages.
2 Coordinating with promoters and venue staff: You will need to communicate with promoters and venue staff to ensure that your gigs are properly organized and that you have everything you need to perform. This may involve coordinating sound checks, equipment setup, and other details.
3 Ensuring that your equipment is properly set up and working properly: It is important to ensure that your equipment is properly set up and working properly before each gig. This may involve checking and troubleshooting any issues, and bringing backup equipment in case of problems.
To manage these logistics effectively, it can be helpful to be organised and efficient. You may want to create a system for keeping track of your travel itinerary and important details, such as contact information for promoters and venue staff. It can also be helpful to build a network of contacts in the music industry who can help you with logistical challenges.
Traveling the world as a professional touring DJ can be a thrilling and rewarding experience. It allows you to see new places, meet new people, and perform in front of diverse audiences. It can also be demanding, as you may have long flights, different time zones, and various cultural customs to navigate. However, the excitement of performing in different countries and the opportunity to share your music with a global audience can make it all worth it. Ultimately, traveling the world as a professional DJ can be an incredible journey that allows you to share your passion for music with people from all corners of the globe just as long as you look after yourself and put the necessary steps into place in order to avoid the dreaded DJ burnout.