Most of the DJs have a dream of becoming the next Martin Garrix or Tiesto. This sort of lifestyle seems to be full of joy, fame, and respect. However, it’s not as simple as it seems...

Even Martin Garrix had to start from the very beginning. Reaching the top isn’t going to happen overnight. The struggle of making it big as a DJ isn’t for everyone.

If you think you have what it takes to become an international DJ, then this guide might be the best starting point. This is the ultimate Amsterdam gig guide which can help you get gigs in Amsterdam.

The “no expenses” trick

Venues are most of the time accepting new DJs to play at their venues if there isn’t too much risk involved.

That’s why it’s easy for locals to get a gig in their own city. For playing abroad, there are many risks for an organizer to evaluate - starting from traveling expenses to actual skills of the DJ himself.

One of the tricks to defuse this issue is to pull the “no expenses” trick. This means that you won’t be asking the organizer for travel and hotel expenses. This creates a win-win situation for the venue - they can promote your event as a “foreign DJ coming to perform” to their visitors which could give them a huge marketing boost.

For you, the best way to get gigs with this trick is to plan a vacation for a few weeks in Amsterdam.

Start contacting with the venues of Amsterdam on!
  1. Make sure you have a perfect profile with all your social media and recently updated portfolio in it.
  2. Find all the venues you would like to perform at (and which suit your genres as well) on the Discover page.
  3. Apply for gigs and fill in the forms.

An important thing to emphasize in the form is that you aren’t going to ask traveling and accommodation fees from them - you got these covered by yourself. This minimizes the risk for them and maximizes the possibility of landing you a gig there.

Plan it for at least 2 months in advance to get multiple gigs in the period of staying

Planning just a vacation is expensive. That’s why you need to plan it ahead at least a few months before the actual trip. Therefore, you have time to get in contact with a lot of venues.

Let’s say, right now is January and you are planning a two-week trip in April in Amsterdam. You are going to contact 20-30 venues in January offering them to play in their venue for only a few hundred Euros. It’s highly likely that they have a free spot for you during this two-week period of time if you contact them this early.

Prepare to get some no-replies and actually talk with venues for your best interest

As it’s a numbers game, you will get many no-replies. To maximize the number of replies (and positive answers), will guide you through the steps necessary to get the program managers interested. Fortunately, if you even get 10% of the answers positive, it’s already 2-3 different venues where you will be playing in Amsterdam. From there on, you can make an arrangement with them to play in their venue more than once during your stay in Amsterdam.

Depending on your online credibility, they might want to make a video call with you or get an extra mixtape just to decrease the risk of inviting an unknown DJ to their venue. Prepare to do that.

Get ready to change your regular music list

The music demand in your home country might differ from the one in Amsterdam. 

Make sure to research every venue specifically after getting that “yes” from them. See what kind of artists they have there and which events take place - they won’t change for you but you can change your style a bit for them.

This trip is not just a “gigs abroad” trip - it’s your marketing opportunity

While you’re there, don’t just show up and play. Use every night of your trip to create content for your brand. 

PRO TIP: Post on social media while you are on the stage, partying - everything. Make them see how well you’re doing as a DJ. This boosts your credibility drastically. 

Make business cards in advance and share them. My personal recommendation is to write your artist name and country on one side and QR-code or link to your profile on the other. Share these and you might even get offers while you’re still there. You get these cards as a bonus when signing up for the President member.

Have a trip of a lifetime!

Get ready!

It’s perfectly possible to play abroad if you tell the venue that you’re able to cover your travel expenses by yourself. 

Follow this guide and soon you might be having a trip of a lifetime!

Discover the venues of Amsterdam on HERE! Also, check out an article on how to get gigs in Ibiza in here.