At the live events DJs are given 15 minutes to impress both the crowd and the judges with their originality, creativity and ability. We want you to show your skills, we want you to take us on a musical journey, and most of all we want you to do you!
The only creative constraint you are given is that you must play at least 3 genres of music in your 15 minutes. Realistically there are countless genres of music but as Duke Ellington said so long ago “There are only 2 kinds of music: Good music, and the other kind.” So dig deep into all kinds of crates and find those 15 minutes of mixed greatness that truly represents you.
On the technical front we allow for the following. 2 players (2 turntables or cds), 1 mixer, a maximum of 2 midi devices. A one piece controller instead of players and a mixer is also technically allowed but to progress through the event you had better freak that thing. There really is no standard set up for this art form but this is the maximum allowable amount of gear for our events. You are free to do whatever you want with the aforementioned gear on the DJ desk.
What are the judges actually looking for?
ORIGINALITY - 40%
In our 8 years of World Championships, we’ve seen some amazing innovation and invention. This year, we can’t wait to see and hear what your imagination comes up with. Ideas that blow minds, uniqueness that moves the audience, tricks that make the other DJs say "how did they do that!". Most of all we want to see a true original; someone who approaches their performance in their own way. We want to see the next leader in the DJ world.
One of the great abilities of a DJ is to take a song, add a personal touch to it, and create a new experience with it. Mixing it in a fashion different than others, using unconventional parts and pieces of a song -- finding a way to make your individual mark in the mix. We challenge competitors to think about how they can creatively use their music and gear to take the crowd on a unique journey over the course of their set, presenting new ideas that leave a lasting impression on the audience.
Being aware of what has come before you as a DJ is important. Whether it is another DJ's set on the night of the performance, previous years' sets from this competition, or previous defining moments in DJ history, DJs must be weary of repeating an idea that has already been done. There is always an opportunity to take an established idea to another level, but if that bar is not passed, your interpretation of the idea will be regarded as inferior, or worse, as a copy. Challenge yourself to create something that is your own and create your own lane.
SKILLS - 25%
Elements considered in the SKILLS category:
Mixing: arrangement & sequence of music, flow & pacing of set, timing of transitions (beat matching, fading, etc).
Live Editing of the Music: including (but not limited to) beat juggling, scratching, musical use of cue points.
Reading The Crowd: how the DJ adapts to the crowd during the perfomrance.
Overall Presentation: how the DJ combines these skills with their music selection in a balanced manner.
MUSIC SELECTION - 20%
For your set, you have 15 minutes to make an impression on the crowd and judges. Your musical selections largely define who you are as a DJ. What music will you chose to use and be remembered by? We want to see your style and taste on display.
Finding the right tracks to play requires work. Researching new music, shining a light on lesser-played-but-great music, digging for classics that are ripe for a revisit, playing unexpected music -- these are all important parts of DJing. We want to hear music that you are passionate about.
Do things YOUR way. Making and finding edits & remixes adds an element of exclusivity to your sets and can help you stand out from the pack.
CROWD RESPONSE - 15%
How the crowd reacts to the DJ’s performance. How the party gets rocked.