At what point are you too old to DJ?

Just thinking of people deep into their 60’s playing records to twentysomethings and coming off more than a little creepy. I won’t mention names but you’ve all just thought of at least one.

Is it the age of the crowd that makes it ok? In that if they’re older, it’s all good?

Or doesn’t it matter at all?

I recently played a gig where all of the people around the booth were university students and upon realizing I could be their dad I couldn’t wait to be done. Maybe it’s just me realizing how old I am.


Surely, if the crowd are into what you’re playing, it shouldnt matter, should it?*

That said, I’m sure most kids would hate what the average 50 year old plays, and rightly so :wink:


Spiritland the other night was a good case in point, audience wise, I’d say it went from 20s to 60s in age. Jarvis Cocker was playing records, no idea how old he is, but you can bet it was all the young’uns surrounding the decks with their phones out. And you can be sure they all love that 90s R&B stuff.

Is ‘creepy’ a weird way of putting it? Anyone can be creepy at any age.


True, but maybe it’s the young impressionable being whisked off to meet the DJ that gives a playboy mansion vibe.


But do they really? Most are listening to music produced by, but possibly not performed by, people later in life.

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Colin Curtis is now in his 70s and is still ace…

maybe it’ll be less creepy when it’s a friendly grandad vibe


Or maybe it’s, to echo a point made earlier, all based on who the person is. Certain folks, grim but were probably always grim, and others all good.


If folks are turning up, and more importantly dancing / enjoying the music you are playing then the age of the DJ is moot, surely


I get it, because when I was approaching my late 30s I realised I didnt want to be in my 40s playing to people half my age. I was only doing local bars etc though, but I was playing alot of classics and when there’s a less and less people starting to respond to some anthem from 89 or 91 then its time to switch it up, and I had no real interest in playing new music at the time. Not any that was dance floor orientated anyway.

If parties on both sides are happy then its not a problem I guess. In my mind, for some reason it makes sense with some genres more than others. There’s nothing wrong with say, David Rodigan doing his thing, but Westwood (various allegations aside) seems a bit out of place!
I do think there has always been a bit of a problem with the older generation of DJs not making way for new blood, and there’s always been a lot of “names” trading off past glories.

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Used to go to a night in Windsor called ‘Harry’s House’ in the late 80s / early 90s.

First time I’d heard Jazz / Hip Hop / Soul / Funk & House all at the same time. Obscure tunes (at the time) like James Mason Sweet Power, Byron Morris Kitty Bey, Johnny Lytle Kiliano, MC Bam Bam Wind Me Up, Nancy Ames Carcara, Rob Base It Takes Two, Ten City Devotion.

It was a total education. Harry must’ve been well into his 60s then. Us old ones have a lot of knowledge to impart, and let’s face it, if the audience isn’t there for the music then what’s the fucking point.


We just did a NYE at a brewery tap room in Lewes. We promoted it as a New york disco, encompassing the music of the Loft, Garage and studio 54.
It was free, no drinks promos, 8-2am.

It was pretty much a road block from the start. probably 100 people inside and another 100 outside where the seating was.
We stuck to the brief, disco all night. We didn’t get any requests and never had to play what I would consider cheesy disco. Probably the most recognisable tune of the night was I feel love, the full filthy 15mins of it.
It was certainly one of the best parties we’ve done and the best new year’s eve party i’ve ever been involved in.

What was really fantastic was there were groups in their 20’s absolutely getting down alongside people in their 30’s, 40’s and 50’s and certainly at least one chap in his 60’s. Three DJs in their early 50’s back to backing tunes and letting the music do the work. No hands in the air, pointing, waving, self congratulatory nonsense just a heaving dance floor with barely a phone in sight.
It couldn’t have been better.



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True, but in this day and age all forms of music new or old will have an audience (young and old) and it will be catered for.

I personally think DJ’ing transcends age.

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sure. as I said, if all parties are enjoying themselves then crack on!
its probably just a case of seeming strange aesthetically, or if its a grumpy old dude going through the motions for the money when you know they aren’t really that into what their playing. But each age group needs its own DJs, we’re just getting to the point where the first generation of big names are now officially old so the issue hasnt really come up before.

I wasn’t really looking at it from the actual DJing point of view but more from the point where we get older but the crowds stay the same age and certain assholes still try and pull, but that person is old enough to be their grandkid in certain cases. Maybe I’m just thinking of some stateside examples but there are a few 50+ year olds who hang out with people in their early 20’s almost exclusively and it gives off Hugh Hefner wrong’un vibes.

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oh. if they stop DJing they’ll still be in clubs perving and being predators.


Really? Or they could be just enjoying the music like the rest of them. Older doesn’t necessarily equate to creepy.


i’m referring to this part

certain assholes still try and pull, but that person is old enough to be their grandkid in certain cases.


i was thinking about this the other day. when i started getting into all of this in the late 80’s, everything sounded like a massive cultural shift - all of a sudden everything was samplers and wild noises and silly vibes and words you’d never find in the bible.

at that time, i wouldn’t have trusted a dj who was, say, more than 4 years older than me. i don’t even know if i would have wanted musical context or an education - i wanted the sound of NOW (or even better - i wanted the sound of two months from now).

i don’t remember exactly who it was but there was at least one rave DJ that I knew about who looked young but was actually (gasp) over 30 and at the time i thought “sheesh, grow the hell up would you?”

(note - i’m not saying i’m right, i was just remembering my young attitude)