How do you handle a tough crowd?

MIXMASTERMACHOM

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 16, 2011
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My friend who sold me the speakers had a job to do Saturday night. It was a scholarship fundraiser. It was at a VFW Hall I believe in West Orange.

Not a large crowd. Mostly older crowd. He got the job because his mentor couldn't do the job and they got him to do it.

The place itself was not that big. It was a typical VFW Hall. My friend did a good job as usual. The thing is getting people to get up and dance was tough. He played the Wobble and had to get on the floor with his cordless microphone to get people dancing.

He finally decided to ask for requests from the crowd. So my question is when you have a tough crowd like that what things do you do to get people to dance? Let me say this. Even with some requests only a few people got up to dance. I loved his idea of asking for requests. What would you suggest?
 

steve149

Veni, Vidi, Lusi
Staff member
Sep 26, 2011
32,350
Prospect, CT
Not sure how you know he did a good job if you weren't there, but maybe it just WASN'T a dancing crowd. If he asked for requests and SOME people came up, maybe he just wasn't playing music they liked to dance to either.
 

djcrazychris

DJ Extraordinaire
Jun 12, 2018
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As steve said... not every crowd is a dancing crowd... but if his big "move" to get an older crowd moving was "the wobble"... then im not sure he's reading his crowd right... and asking for requests isnt exactly groundbreaking...but if its done out of desperation... the crowd can smell the stink coming off a desperate dj...and that lack of respect will never fill a dancefloor....the crowd has to trust you... they want to be entertained... not help a dj get through an event... obviously requests come in at even the most hype event... but that should be either organic....or welcomed from the begining...

Sometimes a group just wants to sit and tap their feet.... to good music... reading a crowd properly can decipher that and make the proper changes... sounds like he was trying to force an agenda on them and they answered him by not supporting it

cc
 

MIXMASTERMACHOM

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 16, 2011
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Not sure how you know he did a good job if you weren't there, but maybe it just WASN'T a dancing crowd. If he asked for requests and SOME people came up, maybe he just wasn't playing music they liked to dance to either.
I was there.
 

djtaso

DJ Extraordinaire
Apr 4, 2017
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NJ
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Mix weren’t u the one that has said in the past that not every crowd is a dancing crowd. Chris is spot on though... if this was in fact a dancing crowd then he just read the room totally wrong. Personally I avoid line dances like the plague... if that’s what you rely on to get a dance floor going, then you need to get out more and see what others are doing. The reality is that the tone of the night isn’t set from just the first song u open a dance floor with, but from the moment the doors open, with the atmosphere you’re creating subconsciously with background music, as well as your energy and excitement and ability to captivate when you welcome guests to the event.
 

MIXMASTERMACHOM

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 16, 2011
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He did mention to me today that he feels the fact that the crowd was older now and him not doing the event in at least 15 years had something to do with it. Taso some crowds would expect the DJ to play some line dance songs and others that's a big no no.

I was just looking at what some of you try to do to get a crowd up and dancing when they aren't? What works and what doesn't work?
 

djtaso

DJ Extraordinaire
Apr 4, 2017
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NJ
www.djtaso.com
He did mention to me today that he feels the fact that the crowd was older now and him not doing the event in at least 15 years had something to do with it. Taso some crowds would expect the DJ to play some line dance songs and others that's a big no no.

I was just looking at what some of you try to do to get a crowd up and dancing when they aren't? What works and what doesn't work?
In my opinion playing current top 40 songs seems to always work for me... you know... the standards like don't stop the party or danza kuduro, despacito, etc... but keep in mind I primarily do weddings and sweet 16's. If I had an older crowd, I'd go more in line like michael jackson, earth wind fire, runaround sue type of stuff. 90% of my crowds DO NOT want line dances... explicitly stated to me ahead of time (not me assuming).
 

MIXMASTERMACHOM

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 16, 2011
1,118
60
In my opinion playing current top 40 songs seems to always work for me... you know... the standards like don't stop the party or danza kuduro, despacito, etc... but keep in mind I primarily do weddings and sweet 16's. If I had an older crowd, I'd go more in line like michael jackson, earth wind fire, runaround sue type of stuff. 90% of my crowds DO NOT want line dances... explicitly stated to me ahead of time (not me assuming).
I get it. Some crowds consider line dance songs to be cheesy.
 

adj2ent

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 20, 2006
1,074
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Long Island NY
Every once in a while you could have a difficult crowd it boils down to is knowing what you are there to do, what the crowd wants and what the client expects. If you know those three things nailed down you can power through. Also, it is possible that every once in a while you can have a crowd that loves the music you are playing but just doesn’t want to dance. But even with that, there are those few tracks which you can get everyone on the dance floor if only for a few songs. But that is enough for everyone to get pictures of the crowd on the dance floor. No manner how long or good you are you’ll eventually have your turn in the barrel with a tough crowd. How you handle it is key to testing your metal.
 
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MIXMASTERMACHOM

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 16, 2011
1,118
60
Every once in a while you could have a difficult crowd it boils down to is knowing what you are there to do, what the crowd wants and what the client expects. If you know those three things nailed down you can power through. Also, it is possible that every once in a while you can have a crowd that loves the music you are playing but just doesn’t want to dance. But even with that, there are those few tracks which you can get everyone on the dance floor if only for a few songs. But that is enough for everyone to get pictures of the crowd on the dance floor. No manner how long or good you are you’ll eventually have your turn in the barrel with a tough crowd. How you handle it is key to testing your metal.
Very well said! Honestly it's hard for me to not look frustrated when such a thing happens. One of my all time favorites is James Brown when it comes to an older crowd.
 

DJ Ricky B

DJ Extraordinaire
Mar 9, 2015
3,818
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I don't care about tough crowds. I tell them to shut the F up, and get on the Fu**** dance floor and start having a fantastic time...and put a f***** smile on their face or else.

That works 100% of the time. In the rare event tha my technique does not work, then I just shut everything down, and pack up, and go home. F*** those bastards!

:)
 

MIXMASTERMACHOM

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 16, 2011
1,118
60
I don't care about tough crowds. I tell them to shut the F up, and get on the Fu**** dance floor and start having a fantastic time...and put a f***** smile on their face or else.

That works 100% of the time. In the rare event tha my technique does not work, then I just shut everything down, and pack up, and go home. F*** those bastards!

:)
I could see you not packing up a thing but needing medical treatment after a response like that.