Rukes

Why It’s Imperative That DJs Take Self-Imposed Breaks [Opinion]

The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily represent the views of Dance Music Northwest or its leadership.

The importance of DJ’s taking breaks from touring has become a priority in 2018. It is a crucial discussion in the Electronic Music scene because of Avicii’s death in April. Just this year, we have had many discussions about the mental and physical health of our favorite DJ’s, as many artists have completely cleared their touring schedules to take time away from the rigors of the road.

Some of the most notable include Flume, Pretty Lights, Madeon, and recently Hardwell, is citing the fact that he needs a break from touring to spend time with his loved ones.

After consecutive years of touring, Madeon, Pretty Lights, and Flume are all in the middle of lenghty breaks, with the goal to improve their overall health respectively. In addition, they are working on new albums during their down time. While this approach is one that keeps long-term health in mind, there are still many performers who continuously play multiple shows every weekend.

You might be asking yourself, “didn’t Avicii take a break from touring too?” In 2016 he had to completely retire from touring at the advise of his doctors. That being so, it’s imperative that these performers begin taking self-imposed breaks before their health starts to deteriorate, not after.

Many other performers regularly take breaks, including Above & Beyond, who more often than not will leave one of their three members behind for their live shows. Porter Robinson also has had large gaps in his touring schedule, allowing himself 2-3 weeks in between shows to regroup at home. On a similar note, Bassnectar has been touring for nearly 20 years, and during that time has learned to take month-long breaks.

On the other hand, there are many artists who fall prey to the habits that come hand-in-hand with a rigorous tour schedule: Not sleeping, imbibing in drugs and alcohol, or simply not taking time to relax between 2-3 shows a weekend. Just to give you a sense of the sheer volume of the touring DJ’s schedule, Oliver Heldens, Odesza, and Nervo have been touring every weekend this summer, and their schedules don’t let up until December. These are just a few examples of what’s become the norm in the industry.

We understand how much one festival weekend drains our energy. Can you imagine going to a music festival every week for an entire month? Or what about the entire summer? Without a doubt it would impact anyone’s health, regardless of how you spent that time. We as fans must advocate for our favorite performers to take time off, as an artist’s health should always take priority over marathon show runs.