Beyond The Music Retreat was the ComicCon of DJs but at a more intimate level. Hosted by VICE (DJ Vice) and DJ City, the retreat consisted of 6 panels that gave open ended discussions on advice and questions DJs have about this industry.
I have never been to a music industry conference/convention and I decided this year I was going to invest more into gaining information, push my limits, and excel in becoming a successful DJ. Besides knowing to practice on the skill set, working on social media presence, and pushing more material out to the public, I still had questions about the DJ industry….and I found out I wasn’t the only one.
Once I had arrived with my fellow compadre Peter Alvarado (DJ LED), we ran into DJs on the same mission from all over. Japan, UK, Puerto Rico, Houston, Boston, New York… just about every part of the US, there was at least one DJ that was there for the same purpose.
The panels consisted of successful DJs such as A-Trak, DJ Chuckie, DJ Irie, Miles Medina, Z-Trip, and many others. It also included Marketing Specialist and Booking Management personnel from Las Vegas that provided insight on what they look for at their high end bottle service clubs. It then ended with a motivational speaker named Charlie Rocket that literally lit a fire in all of us to get started on this journey with new knowledge at hand.
My personal experience through this visit was incredible. It showed me that having these questions about this business is normal because there is not a perfect blueprint for each person to follow to become successful. This retreat did reassure me that I was on the right path. I had an eye opening experience that made me realize not all DJs are “cut throat” and try to take the top for themselves. Not one person was on an ego trip or wasn’t willing to provide insight on their own experiences.
Atrak later took to Twitter to discuss the challenges of open-format DJs and how to overcome them. Here is what I related towards the most:
“The end result is a bunch of very very good skilled DJs who don’t have an infrastructure. I went to the #BeyondTheMusic retreat last week, organized by @DJcity & @djvice. It’s clear that there’s a big demand for mentorship, leadership, guidance in the scene. It’s a great start. We need more though. I don’t understand why the main booking agencies aren’t picking up more of these DJs. There has to still be a viable lane for DJs whose main focus isn’t to produce music or be an Instagram personality, but just to be a great reliable DJ!!”
If you are a fellow DJ reading this blog, I suggest that if you are trying to advance in this industry, learn to maintain balance. Balance in practicing your skill set, reviewing/studying your music, keep a positive energy around your environment/lifestyle, and most importantly stay humble towards others.
This was the first retreat that was hosted specifically for the DJ Community and I don’t see it being the last. If you want to invest in yourself. I highly recommend holding off on getting those new Jordan’s and invest that money in attending a Beyond The Music Retreat.