A message was sent to me by a young DJ here in Missoula who's name I'll withhold from this article. It reads:


Is it me or are promoters, more so EDM (Electronic Dance Music) promoters, just plain snobby, rude, and clique-ish? I ask you this because I know you were once deep into the rave scene and also have a vast knowledge of how party promotions in Montana work.

I'm a 21 year old techno lover and I attend just about every electronic event I can in the area and lately I've noticed that if you aren't "in" with the circle of people who promote the event, they simply will not give you the time of day. The reason I want to be "in" is because I believe my music will compliment their stage shows as I've been practicing mixing for the past three years, but have yet to get a break. I send the promoters messages and Soundcloud mixes, and they rarely respond. When they do, they say they will "get back with me". Then when I attend their next event, it's always the same DJ's who I've concluded are just their friends.

I guess what I'm trying to find out is if the scene is nothing but a popularity contest? If these promoters are preaching unity then is it only to unify their inner circle of buddies? I know I'm not the only one who feels this way because many of my friends have felt the same way for some time now.

Your input is very much valued. Thank you."

While I really can't say that I've recently noticed too much clique-iness myself, simply because I grew up in the scene, I do remember what it was like to get the attention of rave promoters back when I was first getting started. I was hungry just like you, although life was vastly different back then. Before email and Facebook, getting promoters attention was even more difficult, but even today those social tools just may not be enough to convince them that you deserve a time slot to perform. You might just want to do away with online communication altogether!

My advice would be to see if you can get their personal phone number and call them directly. Or better still, make a mixtape, burn it on CD and deliver it to them in person. It's easier for a promoter to ignore you if you spam their wall with Soundcloud mixes, it's much more difficult for them to steer clear of you if they actually have to speak to you. Also, be persistent, but not too annoying. Another trick would be to keep doing what you doing by attending as many events that they host and start to become friends with people who are already assisting. Become pals with the security guard, the girl selling water and snacks, give them mixtapes and try to network around the main promoter. Odds are, if they like you then they will recommend you when there is an open time slot. If that fails, then just give up and move on. It's clear that the promoter really is just a snob and you are frankly better off with not dealing with them at all.

Speaking earnestly to the promoters: I'd advise that you try and remember where you were when you first got started. You too were probably just as hungry as this DJ and I'm certain you didn't just fall into this position, unless you are a trust fund kid with money to blow on parties. Don't forget, you don't make the party. The PEOPLE make the party, and if you are only going to super serve your friends then odds are one day they will grow older and soon retire from the scene, leaving you with no one to support your efforts. Take the time to nurture the next generation of talent, and I guarantee that not only will that leave a lasting impression but it will also allow your scene to flourish even more when others feel included.

On a side note, I've personally been around long enough to watch many trends, DJ's and promoters come and go. Before this new generation of ravers, it was the hip hop scene, before that it was the old school rave scene. Yet one common thread remains throughout: If you act like you are better than the rest then you will be the first to fall. And unless you are willing to adapt to the ever-changing music scene you will soon be the previous flavor of the week. Mark my words, you are holding onto a scene that will only last as long as you are willing to make time for others. If you shun the ones who you feel may be treading on your territory or are simply unwilling to change your style to embrace the demands of fickle party-goers, you will soon be old news. The best way I can put it is, GIVE BACK. Pay respect to the ones who got you here, and encourage the one's who want to follow in your footsteps. Only then will you be able to stand the test of time.

I hope that helps.

What are your thoughts on the current promoter scene in Missoula? Do you feel like our DJ friend? Or are you satisfied with the way things currently are? Sound off in the comment section below..


Aaron is a published author who wrote a book revolving around the radio, nightclub and rave scene. "The DJ Chronicles: A Life Remixed" is available in stores nationwide and is now available for Nooks and Kindles.

Courtesy of Amazon Books