Love To DJ

Should DJs drink on the job?

DJ with a drink

You generally shouldn't drink alcohol while working, however some in the music industry play by different rules. Some famous musicians take cocaine before shows. It's not unusual for DJs to get somewhat tipsy while playing.

I got the opinions of multiple DJs on how drunk do you need to be before you cannot operate dj equipment. To protect their identities I won't disclose their names. Two people said that it was OK to reveal their identities.

Please note: these posts are meant to be entertaining. We don't intend malice.

Here is a response I got from Adam Turner.

That's down to the individual depending on how good your intake level is I'd say. I personally could mix right up to the point where I was too drunk to even stand up. Generally speaking I don't like to drink until after my set as I prefer to stay clear headed.

Brent Silby gave this response.

I think it's easy enough to operate DJ equipment when drunk, but song selection can become quite strange. A few drinks can loosen up a DJ, put him/her on the same level as the crowd, which can really help with song selection. But getting too drunk can ruin things.

Others state that it's pretty easy to operate equipment while drunk. It's mixing after consuming psychedelics is the real challenge.

According to a DJ you could smash a set but still get to the point where there's serious memory loss.

Another said that you can get as drunk as you want, it doesn't mean that your set will be good.

One said that he got so drunk one night, he fell over, but could DJ until that point.

One DJ recalls playing Wagon Wheel two times and not even realizing it. This is twice too many I believe!

Consequences of getting intoxicated while DJing

Some said that they don't remember sets. A DJ was fired and couldn't remember what happened.

Given this I believe that it would be best to limit yourself while DJing: A few drinks is fine but getting wasted may not work out.

Also if you tend to vomit or are violent/aggressive when you're over your limit then drinking while playing is probably not for you. One DJ told me he stop drinking while DJing because he felt that he was too tempted to do violence.

If you give the person hiring you an unpleasant experience then they probably won't hire you again. They could tell other venue managers too.

Some people on social media may ridicule you or trash your brand.

You may be recorded and the video may end up on a DJ fail compilation. On the other hand such videos get thousands of views, but you probably don't want views for that reason.

Would I go overboard?

I wouldn't go overboard unless the people at a party are comfortable with me doing so. I take DJing seriously so I don't mind having a few drink but wouldn't want to do anything other than alcohol, at least not unless the host of the party says it's OK.

Even if the host of the party says they're cool with anything. I'll likely just have a few drinks. I'm just overly paranoid about screwing up.

I would ask the host if I could have a few drinks, I believe that this is the polite approach.

Sometimes I'm not good at refusing drinks that people offer; and this is always a danger. Sometimes I'm good at this, sometimes not so much.

The music industry just operates under different rules

Some DJs believe that you should be strait-laced and not drink while playing but the music industry operates under different rules.

I was at a Madonna concert and she was about two hours late. I thought that it was ridiculous. Although in that example she could have been a computer repair person or tradesperson.

I also went to a music festival and Snoop Dogg was smoking a joint on stage.

The music industry just has very different standards than other industries.

Let's be real: DJs are not airline pilots or truck drivers. Part of the job of a DJ is to dance and have fun. Some can better do this if they have a few drinks.

Health consequences of drinking too much

When I was partying at clubs I used to just have one major session of drinking per week. It was my belief that this was healthier than drinking a few every night.

You can do what you want however I believe that there could be health consequences if you drink a few units of alcohol every night.

You could choose to drink for one night a week and do non alcoholic drinks for the other night.

Alcohol poisoning can be fatal and you can over dose on other drugs.

Arguments for not drinking

A woman said that she doesn't drink because she considers it a job; her dream job. Not drinking keeps her alert and which is beneficial for later in the night when some in the crowd get questionable.


Hangovers can be a consequence of drinking too much. They can make you feel bad and interfere with family life.

I have little experience with hangovers as I previously drank lots weekly but I believe I only got one hangover.


Some drugs can keep you awake so you may want to avoid things like meth and L.S.D.

Alternatives to alcohol

Water is the obvious choice.

The problem with energy drinks is they keep you awake after a gig in my experience. I usually just have one as a starting drink when I was partying for 6 hours. You may want to avoid this if you have a two hour set and need to sleep afterwards.

Many DJs do go with energy drinks and that's fine.

Should you accept free drinks?

Generally you shouldn't accept free drinks and you wouldn't want to leave your drinks unattended. This is the approach you must take if you're concerned about safety.

It's great if DJs learn early on that accepting free drinks is not necessary to be popular.

A trick would be to have a decoy drink that resembles alcohol that you can display to show people if they offer you a drink. Sometimes I feel bad when I say no to drinks.

Thanks for reading

I tend to try not to judge DJs so however you operate is fine with me. However you need to be aware of the consequences. It's your life, do what you want.