Handling your absolute "No Go" zone

sawdust123

DJ Extraordinaire
Nov 10, 2006
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Ventura County, CA
Many of us will pass on gigs for practical issues (distance, budget, schedule, complexity, language needs, cultural familiarity, safety, etc). Some of us pass on gigs that make us uncomfortable (nudity, same-sex, extreme weather, etc). And then there are those absolute "no-go" events that we may not do due to ideological or religious reasons.

Here is an example. I may be inclined to pass on a Muslim, Greek Orthodox, Wiccan, Chinese, Phillipino, etc wedding because I am not very familiar with those cultural traditions. However, if all that was expected culturally was to play a few key songs, I could take the gig because I don't have an innate problem with those groups. However, I would never want to accept a gig that catered to a hate group. I have a tremendous intolerance for intolerance.

I have seen other state they would never do a gay marriage because they consider it immoral. Maybe there are some that won't accept an inter-racial marriage or a religious inter-marriage for similar feelings. Perhaps some of us won't do an event on political grounds such as a liberal or conservative DJ refusing to perform at a fundraiser for the other side. Who knows what a person's "no-go" zone is.

The discussion I was interested in is as follows:
  • Do you have an absolute "no-go" zone? (stating your no-go zone is up to you but not necessary)
  • Do you do explicit things up front to avoid these gigs?
  • If you ever unknowingly booked such a gig, how did you react when you discovered the gig was in your "no-go" zone?
 

steve149

Veni, Vidi, Lusi
Staff member
Sep 26, 2011
24,645
38,033
Prospect, CT
I don't do weddings .. haven't seen any issues in other events.
 

rickryan.com

DJ Extraordinaire
Dec 9, 2009
16,717
13,373
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Hendersonville, TN
www.RickRyan.com
My only absolute "no-go" zone is when my spidey senses start going off that they're going to be a PITA. Other than that, if they want to hire me, I'll go for it. That said, you mentioned Filipino. I've only done a couple but those were some of the best gigs I've ever had. Vietnamese is probably my next favorite.
 

DJ Bobcat

DJ Extraordinerror
Nov 8, 2014
7,892
12,398
Oklahoma City
I don’t need to make my living DJing, so I could have a lot of “No-Go’s”, but I don’t. I don’t typically do weddings, but I have. I’m not particularly judgmental, so I would not exclude gay events. I do political fund-raisers, and have done them for both political parties. I never let clients know my political preferences. I have Christian Rock music I use for Christian events, but I’d consider doing events for non-Christian denominations if the client would help guide me with the right music selections. Nudity???... I used to be an AANR member, so as long as it was a wholesome event, I’d probably do it.[emoji4] I have a 60 mile max travel distance, but I’ve made exceptions.

What I WON’T do???... I don’t do outdoor events. I won’t do events for more than 300 guests because I don’t have the gear to do it properly. I won’t play hip-hop music. I wouldn’t do an event I considered to be anti-American. I wouldn’t do any event where there would be any overtly obscene or sexual activity. Not really that many things I won’t do.[emoji4]
 
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TwinSpinDJ

Up-lighting
I don’t need to make my living DJing, so I could have a lot of “No-Go’s”, but I don’t. I don’t typically do weddings, but I have. I’m not particularly judgmental, so I would not exclude gay events. I do political fund-raisers, and have done them for both political parties. I never let clients know my political preferences. I have Christian Rock music I use for Christian events, but I’d consider doing events for non-Christian denominations if the client would help guide me with the right music selections. Nudity???... I used to be an AANR member, so as long as it was a wholesome event, I’d probably do it.[emoji4] I have a 60 mile max travel distance, but I’ve made exceptions.

What I WON’T do???... I don’t do outdoor events. I won’t do events for more than 300 guests because I don’t have the gear to do it properly. I won’t play hip-hop music. I wouldn’t do an event I considered to be anti-American. I wouldn’t do any event where there would be any overtly obscene or sexual activity. Not really that may things I won’t do.[emoji4]
Does that mean you wouldn't do a "strip Club". LOL !

I declined to do an only "dirty" music birthday party once. Girlfriend wanted dirty music because that's what he and his friends listen to. Besides, I have only "Clean" edit music. I do weddings most of the time or 55+ Community functions. However, I've given up doing Sweet Sixteen parties; one, I don't have the equipment and two, I've stopped music subscription services for Urban music.

Since I'm retired military, I wouldn't do anti-American or Government events. Distance isn't an issue so long as my travel and lodging expenses are prepaid.
 
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DJ Bobcat

DJ Extraordinerror
Nov 8, 2014
7,892
12,398
Oklahoma City
Does that mean you wouldn't do a "strip Club". LOL !...
Nope... strip clubs are overtly sexual. Not that I haven’t been to a few. I worked for a large international company and when my boss would come in (to Texas) from New Jersey, he liked to be taken to the famous strip joints in Houston, so that’s where I took him.[emoji1] For a very short while I worked for an IT contractor who liked to close deals with clients at strip clubs. Seems clients will sign pretty much any contract when they’re drunk and horny. (There’s a suggestion for you @MIXMASTERMACHOM).[emoji1]
 

Scott Hanna

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 25, 2006
6,527
7,355
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Cleveland, OH
www.djincleveland.com
We just took a gig from another local Dj company because they found out it was a same sex Wedding. We gladly took it off their hands.
Besides hate groups, I don't think there are any we would say no to off the bat. We did some political ralleys for parties/ candidates I wouldn't vote for. But as long as they aren't someone like David Duke with a racist agenda, I have no problem doing an event for them.
We are honest with people what we are familiar with and what we aren't. We did a Indian event. Thru sent us some Indian dance songs and we played other dance music
 

wifedj

DJ Extraordinaire
Mar 20, 2008
2,439
3,199
Do you have an absolute "no-go" zone? (stating your no-go zone is up to you but not necessary)
Yes.

Do you do explicit things up front to avoid these gigs?
If by that you mean, do I clearly establish up front my standards and practices that preclude consideration for such event, then my answer is "Yes."

If you ever unknowingly booked such a gig...
Yes, but not completely unknowingly, I had my suspicions but selfish, lewd, prurient curiosity got the best of my better judgement. It was one for the ages.

how did you react when you discovered (in this case, arrived & confirmed) the gig was in your "no-go" zone?
I completed the event and avoided witnessing too much of the predictable and obvious eventual debauchery.

I also declined the offer to perform longer and the additional offer to stay and participate.

I think I even wrote about this event in a past article or forum discussion.

In my initial communication & proposal process/practices, included in the information I provide is a statement of my company's statement of Behavioral Standards (reviewed and upgraded annually). I am fully aware that the mere act of having and providing/establishing them up front has prevented me from proceeding the sales process wasting anyone's time & efforts.

I know that my music content statement has eliminated from consideration for wedding clients and, although not music related, one wedding prospect took offense and made sure to tell that I was being taken out of consideration because my expressed behavioral standards include language that applied only to the appearance of my personnel and visible tatoos and body piercings...C'est la vie.

Thankfully, not every client is my client!

 

steve149

Veni, Vidi, Lusi
Staff member
Sep 26, 2011
24,645
38,033
Prospect, CT
Yes.


If by that you mean, do I clearly establish up front my standards and practices that preclude consideration for such event, then my answer is "Yes."


Yes, but not completely unknowingly, I had my suspicions but selfish, lewd, prurient curiosity got the best of my better judgement. It was one for the ages.


I completed the event and avoided witnessing too much of the predictable and obvious eventual debauchery.

I also declined the offer to perform longer and the additional offer to stay and participate.

I think I even wrote about this event in a past article or forum discussion.

In my initial communication & proposal process/practices, included in the information I provide is a statement of my company's statement of Behavioral Standards (reviewed and upgraded annually). I am fully aware that the mere act of having and providing/establishing them up front has prevented me from proceeding the sales process wasting anyone's time & efforts.

I know that my music content statement has eliminated from consideration for wedding clients and, although not music related, one wedding prospect took offense and made sure to tell that I was being taken out of consideration because my expressed behavioral standards include language that applied only to the appearance of my personnel and visible tatoos and body piercings...C'est la vie.

Thankfully, not every client is my client!
You root for the Saints .. what kind of standards could you have ... :)
 

rickryan.com

DJ Extraordinaire
Dec 9, 2009
16,717
13,373
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Hendersonville, TN
www.RickRyan.com
We just took a gig from another local Dj company because they found out it was a same sex Wedding. We gladly took it off their hands.
Besides hate groups, I don't think there are any we would say no to off the bat. We did some political ralleys for parties/ candidates I wouldn't vote for. But as long as they aren't someone like David Duke with a racist agenda, I have no problem doing an event for them.
We are honest with people what we are familiar with and what we aren't. We did a Indian event. Thru sent us some Indian dance songs and we played other dance music
A friend of mine used to work for country singer Aaron Tippin. He said they were doing some political function, either Clinton or Obama (don't remember which) and he said Aaron was backstage, just dog-cussing them, right before going on. Sometimes you just hold your nose, do your job, then cash the check.
 

Albatross

DJ Extraordinaire
Sep 7, 2016
2,028
4,864
I don't do Mitzvahs as I think there are much better DJ options for that type of event. I wouldn't work for an organization that found to be hateful. But my focus on weddings means thats what most people inquire about.
 

DJ Bobcat

DJ Extraordinerror
Nov 8, 2014
7,892
12,398
Oklahoma City
...We did some political ralleys for parties/ candidates I wouldn't vote for. But as long as they aren't someone like David Duke with a racist agenda, I have no problem doing an event for them...
I don’t have to agree with someone’s politics to play music for them. Most music isn’t political, and I believe music is the one thing that can bring people together (although I often wish some recording artists would refrain from being political activists). I work political events for candidates I would not vote for, but they don’t ask me about my politics, nor do they ask for my endorsement. I’m a professional DJ/MC, so I make a concerted effort to remain politically neutral publicly.
 
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wifedj

DJ Extraordinaire
Mar 20, 2008
2,439
3,199
Sometimes you just hold your nose, do your job, then cash the check.
Nope, I already have to look at my ugly mug evrey time I brush my teeth, can't imagine looking at an equally unattractive soul.

2eaHizOwn.
 

Ausumm

No Matter Where You Go... There You Are!
Oct 21, 2008
10,805
11,724
55
Bethlehem PA
I've done a lot of events that I considered passing on.
- election night rally. it was for the other guys, but he didn't win so it never became a party
- nudity gig. nightclub at a nudist resort. I didn't have to be naked.
- all Christian music wedding. I did refuse it at first. bride changed her mind about the music.
- a Sweet 16. Only took it cause I did her mom's wedding, and because the girl LOVED classic rock.

But honestly, unless it's a something like a hate group,
or a protest/rally promoting a cause I don't believe in...
I would take it.
 

wifedj

DJ Extraordinaire
Mar 20, 2008
2,439
3,199
...
But honestly, unless it's a something like a hate group,
or a protest/rally promoting a cause I don't believe in...
I would take it.
Proving that, at the very least, you have a personal threshold under which you will not stoop for money. Kudos.
 

Proformance

DJ Extraordinaire
Nov 6, 2006
6,131
3,447
How would I know if I was hired by a hate group? Does it say that somewhere in the margin of the deposit check?
How would I distinguish that crowd from the score of other a**holes I might encounter at any given event?
It's been like 30 years, and not one event where anyone asked me to play Helter Skelter.
 

oldschool

DJ Extraordinaire
Jun 25, 2018
238
250
59
Ever watch the bridezillas on Judge Judy? I won't do weddings period.I don't care who marries who, I've always said love is where you find it, so I don't care, but I would not do a gay wedding or event simply because I don't want to see it. I don't care but I still don't want to see it. I also don't do rap or gangster rap. I find it offensive and hypocritical. I only do it for fun and not a living so I can pick and chose so I stick with gigs that I will play music I am comfortable with and enjoy myself.
 
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Scott Hanna

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 25, 2006
6,527
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Cleveland, OH
www.djincleveland.com
Ever watch the bridezillas on Judge Judy? I won't do weddings period.I don't care who marries who, I've always said love is where you find it, so I don't care, but I would not do a gay wedding or event simply because I don't want to see it. I don't care but I still don't want to see it. I also don't do rap or gangster rap. I find it offensive and hypocritical. I only do it for fun and not a living so I can pick and chose so I stick with gigs that I will play music I am comfortable with and enjoy myself.
I don't watch judge Judy. Maybe thats why I don't have bridezillas😄