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What Is "Burning?"

Burning is when an opening DJ acts in a manner that is detrimental to the programming of the evening, and/or to the performance of the closing act. Unfortunately, Burning can happen to both a Headlining DJ or an Artist.

The Commandments of Opening:

1Thou Shall NOT
Play the hottest songs of the season if you are the opening DJ.

NO EXCUSES! Do not complain that they can play it again later. Do not use the excuse that: "if they were such a good DJ they could just find something else to play." GROW UP AND QUIT COMPLAINING! Show some respect! You know damn well it's the wrong time the play the hottest and hypest cuts. Programming is a DJ Skill. If you don't have it, keep your immature ass at home.

2Thou Shall NOT
Play any songs by the Artist/DJ you are opening for.

What the hell do you think that artist is going to do when they arrive? They are going to play/sing those same songs! Get a clue! For example, only an asshole would play "Be Faithful" before DJ Riz or DJ Sizzahandz arrived.

3Thou Shall NOT
Play any songs saying "hands in the air" or "put your hands up" in the opening set.

It's f'in 10:30 p.m. and nobody is trying to put their damn hands up while they are just walking in the door or getting their first drink!

4Thou Shall NOT
DJ into the red, or put the volume levels at 10, before the headliner arrives.

The system is obviously maxed out and the room is way louder then it should be for that early in the night. Furthermore, you give the headliner no room to adjust the volumes properly -- except down from your bloody mess.

5Thou Shall NOT
Unplug or rewire ANYTHING after you leave the decks!

If YOU think its cool to rip out the ground wire or RCA cable, maybe we'll think it's cool to rip out your teeth. Seems like a fair trade. These are the Old Testament rules of Burning: An Eye for an Eye, A Ground Wire for a Tooth. You are messing with our livelihood.

General DJ Etiquette:

 DO NOT Train Spot - DO NOT look at what another DJ is playing, ever!

That is none of your business! Do your own digging! Stay awake for countless nights in crappy, mold infested basements with your gas mask and Big Bird record player, listening to shitty records until you find that rare gem that speaks to YOU! Or blogs or whatever.

AGGRAVATED TRAIN SPOTTING -- Texting yourself/recording the exact remix names of each song from another DJ's set, then reconstructing the set and playing it live as though you thought of it yourself. Such an act is completely reprehensible and will likely lead to an open handed slap from a complete stranger who actually knows the DJ you are ripping off. Yes, this includes Shazam and taking pictures/video of the screen -- never get technical with the Burning Bible!

 DO NOT get on the mic and "Funk Flex" or "Fatman Scoop" the people walking in!

It's too early and just sounds like shouting to everyone else. This isn't Karaoke!

 DO NOT scratch excessively in the opening set.

You are not f'in Q-Bert! Nobody is here to see/hear you scratch, so shut the f*ck up!

 DO NOT bring your "booth bitch."

It's crowded enough without your drunken hoes acting like they are more important than the headlining DJ. Tell her to take her "swap meet Louis" outside!

 DO NOT pass any drinks over any computer or piece of electronic equipment.

Exercise some common sense, you idiot!
Willful and/or blatant failure to abide by Commandments of the Burning Bible will result in bodily harm, lack of career advancement, bad karma and permanent placement on the "Burn List!"


Previously, the rules of Burning were an unwritten "code of conduct" between DJs. As time passed, iPods and DJ Hero inspired more people to try their hand at DJing, without the benefit of being apprenticed by an experienced live DJ, and being taught traditional DJ culture.

Lacking the knowledge of these unwritten rules of conduct, many newbies found themselves in embarrassing and compromising positions. Burning another DJ can lead to getting called out on the mic, a good smack-down, being fired and/or ruining the night for everyone. Technology has closed the gap between the time a rookie DJ acquires music and when they actually take the stage. The general rule of thumb has always been to practice for two years before you play in public. Nowadays, people grab an iPod (or another Fisher Price toy) and convince their best friend to let them play the hottest songs on the club's mixer when the club first opens at 10:00 P.M. with no true programming skill... or any real skill whatsoever. Patrons and headlining acts alike are dismayed as they have already heard their favorite song as soon as they arrived and promptly look for something else to do or play. For clubs with a built-in crowd, patrons may get amped up at 10:00 P.M., but many still leave prematurely, thereby adversely affecting bar sales. This is not the case 100% of the time and yes, a great closer can minimize any damage caused by a Burner; however, by simply following the Burning Bible an opening DJ can earn some respect, save bar sales and possibly avert an ass-whooping or other headliner-inflicted embarrassment.