🙂 Summer 1991. I got back from hitch-hiking round Europe and everyone was suddenly ‘raving’. Over the next few years we were driving all over the place to parties. Sometimes 6 or 7 of us in a car. When it was warm, we’d be tracking down free parties from Spiral Tribe, Exodus, Lazy House and later Reclaim The Streets. We also went to a few ‘pay-raves’ from In-ter-dance, Raindance and Fantazia. In the winter, local clubs in Bournemouth Remix and Madisons, Rumours in Portland, and a couple of trips to Sterns in Worthing.
It wasn’t until 1998(ish) when I first got my hands on some decks. A friend of mine Mark, was being threatened with eviction for making too much noise, and so he decided to get rid of his decks, records and speakers. He brought them all round to my house and asked me to look after them. At last, I had a set of 1210’s and a starter box of vinyl (mostly Trance & Techno) so we then started our own parties, hiring a generator and lugging all this stuff down footpaths and across fields in a wheelbarrow to different locations. They were very small parties but great fun! The only time it looked like we would get a proper-sized party going it was stopped before it started by police in riot gear! Eventually the decks went back to Mark. I always planned to buy my own decks, but never did.
Fast forward, 2011. By then I’d been through college, worked in London writing software and then moved back to Dorset and started my own one-man programming company. I was getting fed up working on my own everyday and decided to look for a shared office. It happened that my friend Steve, who I’d done the parties with, had some space in his office so I moved in. He bought some 1210’s and every Friday we’d pack away the computers and get the decks out and mess about. I dusted of the vinyl I’d kept and Steve would buy job lots of old 90s dance records and before long we started putting on small parties again.
It came to a point with my business after a period of no work, where I realised I would either have to re-train in order to keep up with programming and the latest technology or do something completely different. (In hindsight perhaps Fridays should’ve been re-training day instead! Oh well). In January 2013, I wrote a business plan, sold my motorbike, bought some DJ kit, and on February 1st I started my new venture – Iggy :: Events DJ!
The business grew and the diary started to fill up. But I soon realised the kit I had bought was crap. So bad in fact that Cash Convertors didn’t want my speakers, even for free! All my profits and savings were going back into the business, on new lights and speakers, on a website and on all the marketing and advertising I needed. Then, just two years after starting, I got a massive boost. The National Association of Disc Jockeys (NADJ) ran a nationwide competition to find a DJ who they thought would make the most out of a package of training and opportunities from the experts. I wrote a very detailed entry…and won!! Over the next year or so I met so many inspirational people from all over the UK who really opened my eyes to all the different aspects of being a mobile DJ. One thing I have learnt is that there is so much to learn. I’ve travelled all over the country to attend training courses, conferences and seminars on subjects like advanced microphone techniques, being a wedding DJ specialist, music mixing, creative writing (for speech writing) and lighting control to name a few. I’ve bought piles of books and DVDs from experts in memory improvement, sales & marketing, voice-over, web design and customer service. (If you’ve got a recommendation for my next book please let me know).
It was only after all this that I felt I was now good enough to DJ at someone’s wedding. I always respected the importance of the day, and felt I’d leave that to an expert. After doing the first few I knew it was something I really enjoyed, and I wish I’d done it sooner. I love that I can bring the guests together from different generations and backgrounds, and getting everyone feeling emotionally connected to day. I decided to make weddings my primary focus and I changed the business name from ‘Iggy :: Events DJ’ to ‘Iggy :: Wedding DJ’.
All the training and my hard work and enthusiasm have paid off. I have pages and pages of glowing testimonials and reviews from previous clients and a calendar full of wedding bookings going into 2020. Not only that I have picked up several wedding industry awards along the way and gained recognition for my DJ services from within the industry, by way of referrals from respected wedding venues and other professional wedding suppliers. I’ve made many, many friends both locally and nationally. Thank you to everyone I’ve met and worked with, or worked for, who have inspired me and given me the confidence to continue doing this job I love. xx