Dublin DJs – a busy scene and a demanding career

TRhe Dublin electronic music scene has an insatiable need for fresh music and artists. Two young DJs share their experience on starting out in the city.

Dublin duo, Belters Only, at Electric Picnic – Photo : Molly McNiffe

As techno culture grips the Dublin music scene, the demand for young DJs is like never before. 

Venues across the capital are packed nightly, with rave like settings becoming one of the biggest hits for young people.  

In the age of technology, social media platforms and streaming services have made it more accessible for budding DJs to produce music and even just have fun with the idea of making and remixing songs. 

The appeal of electronic music has grown, seeing the success of prolific Irish DJs, such as BLK who sold out the 3Arena in minutes for his upcoming St. Patrick’s day event.  

Dublin duo Belters Only also sold out their 3Arena gig in last October. 

BLK, among others such as Kettama and Tommy Holohan have gained global recognition through their Soundcloud and Spotify releases and are now doing world tours.  

DJ Aaron Linton – aka Groove Controlla – shared with The Liberty his experience on starting out as a DJ in Dublin. 

Aaron playing in The Soundhouse at an event called ‘The Hotboxx’ – Photo courtesy of Aaron Linton

“I originally started DJing because I fell in love with electronic music at raves, festivals and clubs after experiencing the energy it creates, which is so rare and pure.” 

He also explained how he feels he can influence people’s emotions in a positive way through music which he describes as “powerful”. 

With the noticeable rise in popularity in the potential career and hobby, Aaron said, “While it’s good to see the electronic music scene grow, it has become so accessible and easy to learn to DJ and it could be considered saturated by so many people trying to do the same thing.” 

“I feel a lot of people don’t go to these techno events to simply dance anymore,” he added. 

A prominent place for many young DJs to build their skills and experiment are college DJ societies. 

Through these societies, opportunities for first time gigs arise, in local bars and clubs. 

Bow Lane Social Club, Farrier and Draper and the Workmans Cellar host many events for both beginner DJs and larger names in techno music. 

Another young DJ, Patrick O’Shea – Saint Patrick in the electronic music environment – explained what his appeal to DJing was and the reality of starting out in Dublin. 

Patrick O’Shea playing in Bow Lane Social Club – Photo courtesy: Patrick O’Shea

“I started mixing music so I could use the decks at pre drinks, and from there I started playing gigs”, he said. 

“I’ve found it hard to get proper gigs around Dublin, a lot of the supports for the bigger acts are usually the same few names”. 

“I wouldn’t say we have great support, unless you’re a part of a college society or know someone already established in the scene”, he commented on the early aspects of DJing. 

In regard to the venues we have here, Patrick added, “I’d like to see better club sound systems in a few spots. Indexh has the only semi-decent sound system”. 

Index would be considered the most recognised techno club in Dublin, with international talent playing every weekend, from Route 94 to Armand Van Helden to Alan Fitzpatrick and many more. 

With the supposed lack of quality in sound systems according to Patrick, could this give rise to the growth in the underground rave scene in Dublin? 

Aaron spoke about the illegal rave scene here, “There has been a huge demand and growth for it as Dublin has so many people that want to cherish that raw energy from techno, meet new people and not worry about anything else.” 

There is constant fresh talent on the rise in the ever-growing electronic music scene, which is at its Irish peak here in Dublin. 

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