Budding DJs have a chance to get on the international stage by competing in the Pioneer DJ-ME Championship this month.
Scratch and win: DJ contest to be held in Dubai
Returning for its second year, the annual DJ-ME competition aims to find the best DJs in the region. With separate contests for the Under 21 and Over 21 categories, the championship includes different formats, such as Short/Scratch Mix, which consists of 10-minute performances, and Long Mix, where DJs stay behind the decks for up to 15 minutes.
"It's good fun," says the veteran Dubai DJ Peter Doyle, one of the judges. "The DJ community here is small but growing because of events such as this. With the mix of people here, we get to see different styles, and this competition is a great place for that."
How to compete
Begin by registering at the championship website www.dj-me.ae, then prepare for the qualifying auditions that will take place at Dubai's DJ Corner in Al Joud Center, Sheikh Zayed Road, on August 24 and 25. Those unable to fly in can send in a five-minute video, which will be evaluated by the Pioneer judges panel. Note that only Pioneer equipment can be used in the video.
Next, battle it out in the heats and the finals, which take place from September onwards at N'Dulge, a nightspot at Atlantis the Palm in Dubai.
What the judges want
One of the most important things is the technical know-how. All the participants have to mix using at least three different tracks. The judges will also pay attention to the pitch and tempo slider (points will be deducted for non-usage). The contestants don't need to carry records or CDs because file music, including MP3 and WAVV on a USB device, is permitted. The organisers will not take any responsibility for malfunctions, so remember to bring backup.
Don't forget to perform
Doyle advises the contestants not to have their heads buried in the equipment. Don't forget, DJing is also a performing art. "I am not talking about spinning on your head," he says. "Smile and be enthusiastic because it creates a good atmosphere."
The chance to compete in the 2014 Pioneer Digital DJ Battle in Asia is what the competitors are after. But the real prize, says Doyle, can actually be shared by all the contestants – many club owners and promoters will be attending the heats to spot new talent, bringing with them the promise of a possible club residency. "Not long ago, I met a DJ who was in the competition when I finished my gig at N'Dulge," he recalls. "As it turned out, he got a residency at the club, too. So it all helps, definitely."
• For more information, go to www.dj-me.ae