DJs of Utah Network | What's the Hype?
By DJ Cam Reeve
I'm guessing if you stumbled across this blog you probably searched 'DJs of Utah Network'. Perhaps you got wind that an incredible DJ Community is thriving here in Utah. You may be asking yourself - what's the hype? As one of the people who is a prominent advocate of this group, I thought I would share a little history about the DJs of Utah Network, where it started, where it is now, and the goal of the group. Before I tell you about what the group is up to now, let me tell you a little about its beginnings.
The Beginnings | DJ's of Utah Network
In 2002, Jonathan Marriott and a few DJs Locally joined the American Disk Jockey Association (ADJA). Together, they created a local chapter called the ADJA Utah Chapter.
Let's back up a little bit more - what is the ADJA? In a nutshell, it is a professional organization for disc jockeys, AKA DJs, here in the United States. It is a trade association that provides support, resources, and networking opportunities for DJs. The ADJA aims to promote the interests of DJs, enhance their skills, and establish professional standards within the industry.
Members of the ADJA often include mobile DJs, wedding DJs, club DJs, and other professionals who provide music and entertainment services at various events. The association has frequently offered benefits such as education and training, access to industry-related information, and opportunities to connect with fellow DJs and potential clients.
In January of 2012, the ADJA Utah Chapter created a Facebook page exclusively for its members.
Fast forward to 2014 when I became a DJ. At the time, the only real source for networking in the state of Utah when it came to DJs was this association. After a few years of being a member of the group, I found myself meeting DJs left and right. However, getting non-member DJs to join the association wasn't always an easy task. Many times, DJs we encountered were more hobby-focused and were hesitant to fork over the yearly membership fee. So, as you can imagine, it was hard to invite people to something when they didn't want to pay the fee for.
In 2015, the ADJA members changed the group name to "The DJs of Utah Network". This was the genesis of the group as we know it today. While we still have an ADJA Presence in the state of Utah, the local chapter is no more - local DJs are simply national members. The community has truly bonded together through relationships and collaborations outside of the ADJA.
Let me give you one example. Back in 2018, I (DJ Cam Reeve), Brady Mac (Rock the Mic Karaoke), and Luke Wipple (Whipple Sound) hosted a DJ sound system shootout in Rock the Mic's Warehouse. Over 40 DJs showed up to talk about gear and speakers!
Then, in 2018, Performance Audio (with the help of Jeff Harris [Live Guy Sound]) hosted a lighting shootout with local DJ presenters including Jason Gibson & Jordan Nelson.
In 2019, I (DJ Cam Reeve) and Russ Powell hosted a DJ get-together at the warehouse of a production company I was working for at the time. New to this event, we had both a video wall setup and a large line array speaker system. At this meeting, we talked about sound reinforcement and microphone placement along with Park Andries showing everyone a few of his favorite transitions.
In 2019, Jonathan Marriott and Jason Gibson hosted a Lighting Shootout in a event center.
The next year, I (DJ Cam Reeve) and Russ Powell hosted yet another DJ get-together with a different local production company - this event was more focused on music organization and DJ transitions with DJ Jerry showing his favorite Transitions.
Finally, in 2022 Russ Powell and I hosted two DJ get-together that was focused on DJ crate organization and sales and DJ transitions by Austin Birch & DJ Matty Mo.
in late 2023 It had been a while and there was talk on the page about when the next get-together was going to take place. So when my friend from yet another local production company called me to ask if we were interested in joining them in co-hosting a DJ get-together with a bunch of donated gear, how could I say now? And boy am I glad I didn't say no - we had over 75 attendees show up!
January 2024 Recap | DJ Mixer and Networking
Here's a quick recap of the January 2024 event, with some honorable mentions sprinkled in. I had so much help from so many people to make this event happen and I feel like I need to do a few shoutouts. Mark Christiansen, Cambridge Cardon, and I spent hours before and hours after pulling inventory to bring this DJ mixer to life. We were even back at the shop the following morning checking-in inventory!
We had a few others join us in setup and take down - Austin Birch, Jeff Harris, Jason Gibson, Manny Gurrola, Jake Russell, and Ross Rogers. I know I'm missing a few, so just let me know if I missed you and I'll tag you so that I can recognize your hard work. AGAIN, thank you!
POWER PLUS PRODUCTIONS sponsored all of the DJ gear, sound equipment, and the event space. This would not have happened without them! Cambridge Cardon is your go-to guy with Power Plus.
My company, Reeverb Entertainment/DJ Cam Reeve, sponsored the photo and video at the event and did overall organization for the event. We also provided the live video feed for Mitch's presentation.
MC for the Night: DJ Cam Reeve
Presentation 1: Utah Live Events Industry Association by Luke Whipple
Presentation 2: John Wallace from the Utah Creative Chamber
Presentation 3: Essential Tips for Attracting Club Promoters and Booking Agents. DJ Marcell Mesquita from Expansion Team
Presentation 3: Tips for Attracting Private events and wedding clients. Clermont (DJ Joune), in-house DJ for the Jazz
DJ Transitions: Mitch Gogan aka (DJ MVDNESS) shows us his go-to transitions with cdj3000’s and DJM 900 NXS2.
MC: DJ Cam Reeve
DJs of Utah Network | What's the Hype?
So we return to the same question yet again - what is the hype about? The hype is exactly what you see above. The community and camaraderie of this group have grown beyond a small group of event DJs. Every DJ is welcome in the network as long as they come with a goal to lift and inspire the people around them. Like any community wherein there exists some element of competition, there will always be people who butt heads, but the people who choose not to be a part of the group are missing out on some incredible people and learning from industry experts. I can't speak for everyone individually but I can say that everyone in the group is trying to be the best at what they are good at and make a living doing what they love. If I had to make a guess, as of January 2024 I would say about 30 DJs within the group make a living as a DJ and that's all because of the talent they all have - including the networking and relationships they have fostered. This group has helped facilitate those opportunities and education for many, many DJs in the state of Utah.
If you are a DJ in the community and you want to learn more, do not hesitate to jump on Facebook and join the DJs of Utah Network page to connect with the group. This group is full of Club DJs, artists, hobby DJs, promoters, production companies, event DJs, wedding DJs, event planners, and bands.
As you join the group, seek to help create value for the people around you - the networking will become easy and the work will come. It also doesn't happen overnight. I've been building relationships for 5-10 years. In my 10 years of DJing, it's become evident that some of my closest friends have come from the DJs of Utah Networking. Those friendships have resulted in casual hangouts, group lunches, and even trips to national corporate conferences. I am beyond grateful for the opportunities this group has opened up for me and I know as you seek to help the community you will too.