Most of us are familiar with the “push-play-and-stand-quietly-behind-the-booth” artists, and those artists that think it is sufficient to scream out a countdown to the drop and “hands up” a million times during sets. Leaving fans to create the experience can work in some cases, but sometimes we want the artists to engage us. For those of us who care for more genuine (or more entertaining) engagement on the part of the DJs, there is still hope.
A handful of the well-known artists currently making their mark on the scene have found very unique – and, sometimes, humorous – ways to engage their fans. From showing off their skills with live instruments, to simply playing their original tracks that get the true fans in the crowd to shout along, here are a few of the DJs that do crowd interaction best.
From Dominic bringing out his famous saxophone for live, mid-set jam sessions, to amazing drum solos and backing beats provided live for the huge seas of fans who are – arguably, and not surprisingly – some of the most dedicated, Big G knows how to bring a unique spin to each and every one of their shows.
If you haven’t seen Yellow Claw throw down, you are missing out on an insanely fun experience. This trio knows how to run the trap, and with one particular member, Bizzey (a.k.a Leonardo Roelandschap), jumping around, dancing all over the stage, and getting fans to join in with him, Yellow Claw proves to be one of the acts that does very well with reading crowds and making efforts to engage fans.
Dillon Francis is known by many of us for his fun-loving personality, and the sick beats in many of his tracks. Aside from his social media pranks, Dillon does great with fans in person, too. Whether this means stopping mid-set to literally have conversations with an entire crowd of fans, or running from the behind the booth to start dancing to his own favorite song, Francis never fails to engage his fans, and makes sure that everyone who came out to see him is having as good of a time as he is.
Alison Wonderland is a female DJ that has no fear in “throwing shapes” to engage her fans, as she refers to it (her dancing). She always lets loose with her fans while performing, indirectly encouraging them to be less self-conscious and have a good time. Long story short, girl got moves.
Aside from some very interesting social media antics, Borgore knows how to throw down a great set, and get his crowd moving. Whether he is popping champagne bottles for his crowds, running from behind the booth to jump to the beat of the music, or crooning lyrics to songs with his fans, Borgore definitely does his thing and creates a unique fan experience.
You probably know him for inspiring an entire fan base made up of free-spirited shufflers: Oliver Heldens could drop “Gecko”, do nothing else, and have his crowd still go insane. Still, this DJ is not afraid to join in on the dancing, as he made this all too clear during his set at Ultra Music Festival 2015. Skip to about 40:30, and watch Heldens emerge from behind the booth to throw down his best shuffle for his fans.
While Kaskade (a.k.a Ryan Raddon) isn’t particularly known for his dance moves – though a few of the others mentioned are – he is known to speak at length to his crowds during sets, often showing gratitude for fan support. Even more notably, he is an artist that makes his events – particularly festival sets – have a unique feeling, that is best described as magical. A lot of his original work is filled with positive, inspirational lyrics about love, life and being happy: you can only begin to imagine what it is like for fans to be in the crowd when he drops a song like “A Little More“.
Hopefully, you get the point: crowd engagement makes shows less dispersed, more interactive, and – most importantly – very memorable.