During a recent outdoor Christmas shopping centre event, the organisation that were supplying the gazebo/marquee for cover, let us down last minute and therefore left us in a dilemma as to how to we could proceed with the event and not let down all the children who were awaiting the arrival of Father Christmas. The weather was wet & drizzly and therefore cover for myself and my equipment was essential.
Improvisation was necessary and when the local police were asked if we could possibly use their van for me to play music and compere from as it was kitted out with mains power sockets and even a cell at the back, they were duly happy to oblige, as the picture I have used to illustrate this blog shows.
As it turned out, it became a massive PR exercise for the police & created lots of interest & photo opportunities for all concerned. More importantly, it enabled us to proceed with the festive event to welcome Santa and Christmas into Tenby.
This set me thinking about other crazy places I have been asked to, or as is often the case in the client’s ignorance, with respect, expected to DJ from.
I have DJ’d at events, parties and functions from the front room of a small house, the kitchen of a house, and big elaborate lounges of larger houses and mansions. All venues created their own unique challenges & logistics, but as a professional, I always do as the client asks and am prepared to improvise to suit. As long as everyone is happy, then I am happy.
However, there are times when this willingness to compromise and go with the flow severely tests me as a DJ. I was asked to DJ at a private party in a makeshift ‘marquee/tent’ in a field which in itself is not a problem, but when I asked where my power source was, I was shown a mains socket attached to a thin extension lead running under the tent. I plugged in my RCD plug which I always use and it instantly tripped off. I brought the safety element to the attention of the organisers, hinting that there may be a problem with the mains source. On inspection outside, I discovered a trail of extension leads all linked together, running across wet grass which had clearly tripped my RCD. Circuit breaker.
I have been asked to perform in many a damp and dusty barn, on many a wobbly and dirty flat back farmer’s trailer, lorries, vans, busy High Street shopping centres, shopping malls etc. Even Covent Garden in London, which was an experience in itself when I was compering an event for Best Western Hotels. I was literally tasked to grab shoppers etc. and ask them to come on-stage to do an impromptu performance of any talent they may possess. Great fun & lots of ‘thinking on my feet’ for that one, and very successful for the client.
Another event was an in-store promotion in Platform Building materials stores across several towns & cities in the UK. I was working for Hilti Power Tools & was tasked with promoting the in-store offers, play music and engage the customers, who were not particularly in the right mood for jolly music & banter when they were searching for plasterboard, etc. & wanting to get back ‘on the job’, though it was good fun in the end & very successful, so who am I to judge?
I have many good memories of discos, wedding, events, family parties, corporate functions etc. regarding venues and client expectations of me regarding the space or area that I was allocated to work. The key thing is that I have always been happy to compromise, work with the client, keep them happy and fit in with whatever was asked of me and this I continue to do. Anything for a peaceful life, eh?