A recent rating by the wealth magazine Forbes put the worlds top Djs bathing in chips as booking rates reach astronomical fees. It’s no secret that the dance elite are sitting pretty, but the Mau5 seems to wonder where the magazine is getting those numbers. Based on the Forbes article, the numbers are Djs ‘Net’ worth. This left out the high costs of flights, hotels, marketing expenses, manager cuts, and the standard 20% booking fees. This means after a few short years in the game, young Swede Avicii has pocketed a cool 7 Million. Even we find this hard to believe as the margins are diminishing while the competition increases.
While attending the Billoard Future Sound Conference Joel Zimmerman Aka Deadmau5 responded to the article by saying “After I saw the article, I called my manager and said, ‘Yo, what the fuck? I’m $9 million short’ dude. We gotta talk. Nobody is making that kind of money.” So either his manager has an offshore account somewhere or this numbers are a bit skewed. The Canadian’s bank account obviously does read the same numbers as reported by Forbes. The real question here is how much do festival headliners like Tiesto, Mau5, and SHM actually bank on one show?
1. Tiësto – $22m (£14m)
2. Skrillex – $15m (£9.7m)
3. Swedish House Mafia – $14m (£9m)
4. David Guetta – $13.5m (£8.7m)
5. Steve Aoki – $12m (£7.7m)
6. Deadmau5 – $11.5m (£7.4m)
7. DJ Pauly D – $11m (£7.1m)
8. Kaskade – $10m (£6.5m)
9. Afrojack – $9m (£5.8m)
10. Avicii – $7m (£4.5m)
Avicii’s gig at Ultra was along side Madonna the Queen of Pop, the payout surely went near 7 digits. When festivals have nearly 100k attendees and a $300+ ticket price you do the math. Additionally with a pint of beer ringing in at an all time high, one weekend at the party can often pay your monthly rent. The really money makers are the event promoters. With low costs of alcohol their hands are in every aspect of production.
The final question we want to raise is about the livelyhood 99% of Djs out there. Sure festivals pay a hefty sum to all big name Djs, but what about the openers at your local club night. Don’t get me wrong, touring Djs deserve their keep, but share the wealth to the openers keeping the crowd warm. With such a huge gap in fees, emerging producers can barely make enough for travel, forget about extra for food. Either way based on Forbes numbers for Deadmau5 or Dj Local Deadbeat, someones getting shorted.