They’re not even trying anymore, are they? Resident Advisor ponder what’s behind the recent rise in DJ fees – but no mention that some are just being greedy…

Sometimes here at Ears To The House, we almost feel a pang of sympathy for Resident Advisor. The site tries to portray itself as the voice of dance music culture – lest we forget they arrogantly consider themselves to be irreplaceable – yet that same voice spends most of its time telling people to buy tickets through them.

Indeed, the fact is they are a ticketing company masquerading as an online dance music magazine – but the two things are prone to clashing with one another. Hence why if Resident Advisor calls out wrongs in the dance music a little too fervently, the same people who advertise and sell tickets on the website hold the financial power to go elsewhere.

The result? Articles which actually could be interesting – such as “How rising DJ fees are reshaping the dance music economy” – end up being incredibly anodyne and dull. The long and dreary piece cites things such as the rising cost of flights, inflation issues and people just not going out as they much as they used to – all true, if not earth-shattering information.

Of course, anyone looking for the real answer to this question could have just read Ears To The House – we posed the question of whether DJs would raise their fees after Covid restrictions were lifted back in August 2021. The Insider also addressed this question back in March of this year.

And not only that, but someone working very high up for one of the major dance music festivals spoke to us in February on condition of anonymity to reveal that they were at real risk of going bankrupt this year – and he laid the blame firmly at the feet of higher echelon DJs on vastly over-inflated fees.

None of this was mentioned by Resident Advisor in their article, of course – the agencies which represent many of these overpaid DJs help to fill their company’s considerable coffers. But the most amusing part of their article is at the very end – it’s a quote by talent booker Mathieu Constance. He says…

“Nowadays, we’re seeing more discussion regarding the ‘back-end’ of the industry, with promoters coming out and sharing their knowledge and experiences. We need to have open and public dialogue on these issues to counter the gatekeepers and their secrets.

You can be absolutely confident of one thing – a discussion on the industry’s gatekeepers and secrets will never happen in a publication that several of the aforementioned gatekeepers help pay for…

Ears To The House Team

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