How To Get A DJ Residency In 2024 (Step-By-Step)

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Published By:

DJ Fierce

July 5, 2024

DJ Residency

One of the main ambitions of aspiring DJs is to get a residency at their favorite club and earn a consistent income.

Playing great electronic music to an audience of like-minded music lovers, residencies are also an opportunity to meet industry insiders and foster your career.

To help you get your dream residency, we’ve compiled this step-by-step guide covering everything from defining your brand to approaching venues.

How To Get A DJ Residency In 2024 (Step-By-Step)

A DJ residency is a great way to build a loyal fanbase through regular gigs, share your music taste, and earn money in the process.

We’ve broken down how you can achieve this in chronological order, covering emerging trends and technology you can draw on to help you succeed.

So, with that said, let’s dive into our step-by-step guide exploring how to get a DJ residency in 2024:

Step 1: Build Your DJ Skills

Mastering the art of DJing means more than just knowing how to perform basic transitions and use filters and effects at the appropriate points.

Professional DJs are expected to be able to perform to a certain standard, with a clear grasp of basic skills such as beatmatching and mixing.

Additionally, understanding advanced technical skills is often essential, particularly when DJing hip-hop and other scratch-based genres.

Before you approach any venue, you should be confident that your mixing skills are up to scratch and that you have a strong grasp of your software and DJ controller of choice.

You should also take the time to manage and organize your music library to ensure you can access the best music at a moment’s notice.

Botching a transition or letting a track play out while you’re looking for the next one is a surefire way never to be asked back to the club.

Preparing your music library, honing your technical skills, and learning how to improvise will increase your chances of success.

Step 2: Develop Your Brand

Artists, musicians, and DJs increase their chances of success significantly when developing a striking brand that captures their style.

Your DJ branding is the first thing potential booking agents will notice, so you should strive to choose a visually arresting name and logo.

For your DJ name, it pays to spend some time researching what other DJs within your genre use and how it’s incorporated into logos.

Some DJs, such as Carl Cox, prefer to use their own names, while many others opt for unique-sounding names made up of word combinations.

If you’re committed to getting DJ gigs, create a website and social media presence to promote yourself and build an online following.

If you have a budget, you can hire a professional designer to create your logo and branding elements or use free design tools such as Canva.

Step 3. Understand Your Competition

With such a high level of competition for DJ residencies, it pays to be fully informed about the scene you’re hoping to break into.

This means knowing what other DJs at the nightclub are playing to craft DJ sets that are in keeping with the preferred style and genres.

Attending the venue you wish to play at is a great place to start, and an opportunity to check out the sound system and DJ gear they use.

Some DJs switch things up, for instance, by playing a hybrid set for their fans, so take notes on any unique approaches the competition takes.

You can also use these visits as an opportunity to network with like-minded DJs and get a heads-up on house parties and other local events.

This research will help you to refine your DJ persona into something original, using your online social media presence to gain new followers.

Step 4: Research Local Venues & Events

Once you’re happy with your DJ skills and have a great persona and brand identification, it’s time to create a list of desirable local venues and events.

You can start by looking through local entertainment listings and writing up all the relevant venues where a residency sounds appealing.

Check out the venue website to see what music they play for their audience, the typical clientele, and where they’re located in your city.

If they list specific technical requirements, such as software or equipment compatibility, note this so you’re prepared.

Some venues have specific policies, such as a no-phones dance floor policy, and being aware of these before an interview will show that you’re prepared.

Try to find out the names of any promoters or event organizers in the area so you can reach them directly rather than spamming general email inboxes.

Once you’ve created a comprehensive list of venues and events, you’re ready to promote your music and schedule your first night.

Step 5: Create A DJ Press Kit

A compelling DJ press kit, including all your personal information and online links, is the first port of call for booking agents and promoters.

It should begin with a concise boi outlining your DJing experience, notable skills relevant to a residency, and your music style of choice.

If you have a YouTube channel with video footage of past events, link to the channel or consider embedding videos in your digital press kit.

While online mixes on platforms such as MixCloud are good to include, you should always prioritize live sets whenever possible.

DJs who have already received media coverage should also make sure this is prominently featured in their press kit to add credibility to their pitch.

Ensure you update your press kit over time to reflect any new events and gigs you’ve performed that showcase your skills.

Step 6: Build An Online Following

Creating an online presence is a ubiquitous requirement for success, whether you’re a small business or a DJ looking for a new residency.

Since many DJs have blown up from social media, building an online following is vital for gathering followers who will attend your gigs.

You can start by connecting with friends and family through your personal social media pages on Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, and elsewhere.

Next, you should set up a dedicated page for your DJ persona, using the branding elements such as logos designed for your press kit.

Encourage like-minded DJs to follow your pages and share your new posts, reciprocating by helping them promote their own upcoming events.

Whenever you attend a gig or party, make sure you connect with the people you meet on these platforms and engage with them online.

Step 7: Approach Venues & Agents

After you’ve completed your research and preparation, it’s time to contact venue booking agents and promoters to see if they’re interested in booking you.

Getting this right can make the difference between becoming a DJ with a long future, so you need to stand out from the competition.

Your first port of call is to craft a polite and engaging email that introduces who you are to the venue owner and outlines what you’re looking for.

Avoid writing a long and detailed email, and provide a link to your online press kit or website where they can find out more information.

Aim to tailor your email to the venue’s remit and music style, explaining why you think you’re a good fit and the benefits you’ll bring to the table.

If you have a good following online, highlight this to the venue agent and give them an indication of how many guests you can bring to the event.

Don’t rush to follow up if you don’t hear back from them straight away, as this may come across as pestering the venue and putting them off booking.

Step 8: Prepare For The Interview

Once you get a positive response from a venue booking agent via email, they’ll likely want to conduct a face-to-face interview to find out more.

This is a great opportunity to showcase your DJ time management skills, arriving promptly for the interview and prepared for any questions.

The agent will be assessing you on various factors, from how you present yourself in terms of dress to how you engage conversationally.

Don’t hesitate to showcase your passion for music and knowledge of your favorite electronic music producers whenever you’re asked.

Likewise, if you’re confident you have what it takes to keep a crowd excited, demonstrate your track record with examples of successful gigs.

Step 9: Play A Set For Free

Learning how to become a club DJ takes time and patience; if you’re new to the game, you should be prepared to DJ for free.

As such, it pays to offer venue agents a free set to give them a clear indication of your music taste, mixing skills, and personality.

This could be something as simple as a quick one-hour set performed in closing hours between you and the booking agent during the day.

Alternatively, you could speak to an established DJ at the nightclub and see if they’d be happy with you performing a warm-up set.

If the venue is happy with this arrangement, make sure you prepare a killer set in advance rather than attempting to improvise your track selection on the fly.

This will help you avoid making unnecessary mistakes, particularly if you’re experiencing nerves due to the exposure.

Step 10. Negotiate Your Residency

Once you’ve been given the green light from a venue agent, it’s time to negotiate the terms of your residency to get the best deal.

This means clarifying the evenings they want you to play and the time slot and duration of each set you’re performing.

You can also negotiate your compensation for the residency, whether they pay you in hard cash or offer free drinks for the night.

If you’re getting paid well for your services, make sure you’re committed to the nights and won’t let them down at the last minute.

It’s also important that you take the time to stay relevant as a DJ, keeping up with the latest music trends to ensure your sets are fresh and unique.

Tips For Successful DJ Residencies

Picking up a club residency is one of the best ways to make money as a DJ, providing a consistent stream of revenue and exposure.

That said, picking up your first DJ residency is only the first step, and you’ll need to consider various factors to make it truly successful.

To help you compete with the best resident DJs and forge a long-lasting, mutually beneficial relationship with venues, follow these tips:

  • Brand your DJ booth. We’ve discussed the importance of branding when it comes to approaching venues and requesting a potential residency. If you want to take your career to the next level and gain the attention of industry insiders, make sure your branding is featured on the DJ booth so everyone knows who you are.
  • Consider using streaming services. While many DJs prefer to use physical media or bring their own library on a hard drive, streaming services are increasingly popular for flexible sets. You can link music libraries from platforms such as TIDAL to software like Rekordbox to make life easier and more budget-friendly.
  • Don’t be afraid to recycle your sets. It’s a common assumption that resident DJs constantly switch things up, playing new and refreshing sets week after week. While playing diverse mixes is laudable, many resident DJs refrain from playing new music every week, sticking to playlists they know will get the best results on the dance floor.
  • Build relationships with the venue staff. Forging relationships with the venue’s booking agent or manager makes sense if you want to be taken on as a long-term resident DJ. At the same time, you shouldn’t overlook engaging with the bar staff and security, as they can be a great help when problems arise and management isn’t around.
  • Play open-format DJ sets. Reading the crowd is one of the most important tasks a resident DJ needs to master, so you should always adopt the open-format approach to DJing in a nightclub. While you should always have hard-hitting tunes with a proven track record, don’t be afraid to switch up the genre and tempo when the crowd needs it.

By following these tips for success and combining them with the detailed steps outlined above, you’ll be able to master your residency in a few months.


Becoming a resident DJ is the dream of many DJ enthusiasts, whether it’s a job for the summer season or a long-term residency all year round.

By following the instructions outlined in this article, you can be best prepared to reach out to the best venues and get the attention you’re after.

A residency is also a great opportunity for networking, discovering new artists, and becoming a master of your craft, whatever your preferred genres.

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