Oct. 18 is DJ Appreciation Day. And we’re not talking some made-up day like National Ice Cream Day or Wear Red Shoes Day; this was made official by members of Pittsburgh City Council.
“Professional DJs have about 104 workable days of the year,” explains TJ Harris, a.k.a. DJ Get Nasty. “Multiply that by the number of venues and divide that by how many DJs we have in Pittsburgh, which is over 300; you can imagine how hard it is to survive on our art alone.”
Harris has been a DJ for about 16 years. DJ Appreciation Day was his idea. “A lot of us make sacrifices choosing this career path; birthdays, holidays and weekends are pretty much non-existent,” he writes in an email to City Paper.
And as much as this event is a reminder to non-DJs of the work those artists do, the event is also an opportunity for unity and friendship-building within the DJ community.
“Bringing artists together that represent the diversity of Pittsburgh’s nightlife helps us to grow our community and demonstrate the true bonds that music creates,” says Harris. “It also gives us a night together to enjoy ourselves before it’s time to get back to work this weekend!”
The day will start with a proclamation from Pittsburgh City Councilor Corey O’Connor making DJ Appreciation Day bona fide. At 9 p.m., a cast of DJs past and present will perform at Goldmark in Lawrenceville, a bar and gathering place that is DJ-owned and -operated. It sports a giant glowing “No fucking requests” sign located by performers.
Although there’s much competition within the world of DJing, Harris writes that Pittsburgh’s is an overtly friendly, supportive group.
“I can’t tell you how many group chats I’m in with DJs who weekly throw each other gigs, lend each other equipment, work on music together and try to grow together.”
Be a part of the celebration first with a DJ-themed flash tattoo giveaway at Low Card Tattoo at noon, then head to Goldmark at night for an all-star lineup of Pittsburgh’s finest DJs.