Unlocking Your DJing Potential: Exploring Open Decks Opportunities in the UK

November 7, 2023
Written by
Buster Bennett
Unlocking Your DJing Potential: Exploring Open Decks Opportunities in the UK

Open Decks Nights for DJs

New DJs need to gain valuable live experience DJing to real audiences in order to grow as artists. Once the learning has concluded in the classroom it's time to hit the decks! Open decks nights are events held in public venues where DJs, namely new DJs, can apply to DJ. Open decks nights provide aspiring DJs with a golden opportunity to learn the art of DJing to an audience and reading the crowd.

An 'open decks' night is an event held in a public venue where new DJs can practice their DJ performance skills and perform to a live audience.

In the UK, we are blessed with a thriving electronic music scene and the UK offers an extensive network of open decks DJ nights. We strongly encourage new DJs to explore these opportunities to help further their DJ career and give them valuable DJing experience.

If you want to get more DJ gigs and step into the limelight apply for open decks nights for DJs is a crucial option to utilise. We've created this guide to the UK's best open decks DJ nights. We aim to keep this list updated so if you hear or a new open decks DJ night please contact us and let us know about it.

You can also find 42 more ways to find DJ gigs by clicking here

How to Apply for Open Decks DJ Nights

Many bars, clubs and other venues will have their own application system. In most cases you will need to fill in a form online and submit a suitable DJ mix. It's best to check out the links below and discover how those organisations want you to apply.

What to Include in your Application

If you have the chance to include this information in your application, we recommend that you attach your DJ certification (if you've taken a DJ course at LSA or DJ Gym or another institution.) This will help them see you are professionally trained. It's also a good idea to include an artist biography, DJ press photos or an EPK. If you don't have these things just write a friendly and polite message detailing your experience, style of music and competency.

Click here to learn how to write a DJ biography

Click here to get professional DJ photos

Open Decks at Brixton Jam

What to Prepare for your Open Decks DJ Gig

Make sure you are prepared for your open decks DJ gig. Other than learning how to DJ properly, you should practice your DJ skills and be confident that you'll be able to perform to the best of your abilities. It's a good idea to book a local DJ studio or practice at home. Many of our students practice in our studios in London, you can to by clicking here. Try and practice on the same equipment you will be using on the night.

You'll need to research the venue and figure out what music would be best for this gig and the time of your gig. Create a well-curated playlist that showcases your style and musical flair. Mix tracks of different genres, tempos, and moods to keep the crowd engaged. Make sure you have extra music in case you play a longer set or need to change the style of music to suit the audience.

In addition to practice you'll want to know what the most common DJ mistakes are at live gigs, luckily for our readers we have prepared a list for you.

Click here to learn about the most common DJ mistakes.

You'll want to take some items with you including your music on a USB or laptop, professional DJ headphones, any cables, controllers or DJ equipment you want to use and of course some business cards!

It's a good idea to go to the venue before your performance or arrive early so see what the crowd is like and what music they vibe to.

Benefits of DJing at an Open Decks Night

1. Exposure and Networking Opportunities: Open decks nights attract not only music enthusiasts but also industry professionals. This exposure can lead to valuable networking opportunities that may open doors to future gigs or collaborations.

2. Building Confidence: Performing in front of a live audience can be nerve-wracking, but it also boosts your confidence as a DJ. The more you perform, the more comfortable you become behind the decks.

3. Constructive Feedback: Open decks nights often provide a supportive environment where you can receive feedback from fellow DJs and experienced performers. Constructive criticism helps you identify areas for improvement.

4. Showcasing Your Talent: Open decks nights allow you to display your unique style and DJing skills, setting yourself apart from the competition.

5. Expanding Your Repertoire: DJing at open decks nights encourages you to explore various music genres and experiment with different mixing techniques, diversifying your repertoire.

6. Potential Bookings: Impressing the crowd and venue owners might result in future bookings at the same venue or other similar events.

7. Learning Experience: Observing other DJs perform and witnessing their interaction with the audience is a valuable learning experience.

List of Open Decks Nights in the UK

The UK has a great network of open deck nights where new and aspiring DJs can apply to DJ. Check out this list of the current open decks nights and why not try to plan a UK tour!

Open Decks Nights in London:

Boxpark Venue

Open Decks Nights in the Rest of the UK:


Open decks nights are the perfect launch pad for new DJs to gain live DJ experience. Learning how to DJ is one thing, but live experience is another. Treat live performances as another step in your learning. Your gigs don't have to be perfect, don't worry is your make a mistake the main thing is your participation and making the effort to perform. You will gain confidence the more you perform. So, if you're ready to share your passion for music with an enthusiastic audience, embrace the open decks nights, and let your talent shine!

If you're looking for more DJ gigs and opportunities to DJ and show off your DJ skills consider learning with us. All our DJ course graduates get access to incredible DJ gigs at famous venues including Ministry of Sound. Nothing beats performing to a live audience in a busy room in a dark club!

Click here to view our DJ courses from Beginner to Elite

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