DJ Mag

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DJ Magazine
Logo
Managing DirectorHeath Holmes, 2023–present
EditorCarl Loben, 2011–present
CategoriesMusic, technology, nightlife, style
FrequencyMonthly
First issueMay 1991; 33 years ago (1991-05)[1]
CompanyThrust Publishing Ltd
CountryUK
LanguageEnglish
Websitedjmag.com
ISSN0951-5143

DJ Magazine (also known as DJ Mag) is a British monthly magazine dedicated to electronic dance music and DJs.[2] Founded in 1991, the magazine is adapted for distribution in the United Kingdom, the United States, Spain, France, Italy, Latin America, China, South Korea, Brunei, Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, Oman, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Germany, Canada, Russia, Belarus, and the Netherlands.

History

[edit]

An earlier version of the magazine appeared towards the end of the 1980s when it was then known as Disc Jockey Magazine. The name was then changed to Jocks Magazine,[3] however, the publication underwent re-branding shortly afterwards. After this process the first issue of DJ Magazine launched in the middle of 1991;[3] it was initially produced as weekly publication with Chris Mellor as its first editor.[3] The magazine at this point was already the UK's top-selling disc jockey magazine and was widely regarded as one of the magazines of choice in the burgeoning house and rave music scenes.

The first edition featured artists such as Frankie Knuckles and the Ragga Twins.[3] In 1992, the magazine decided to switch to bi-weekly publishing due to increasing workload which would remain in place till 2008.[3] During its first two years the editorial staff of the magazine voted for their DJ of the Year:[3] initially this was a short list, however this was later expanded to become a Top 100 list that first appeared in the magazine's 100th edition on 21 October 1993.[3]

In 1994, the band Underworld featured on the cover due in part to their breakthrough album. Other artists featured that year included established names such as Armand van Helden, Erick Morillo, but also breakthrough DJs such as DJ Rap.[3] By the summer of 1995, the magazine began to regularly feature Ibiza due its increasing popularity as a clubbing destination; the magazine also set-up stall at the Winter Music Conference held in Miami, United States.[3] In 1997, the magazine featured new British house duo Basement Jaxx on its front page. Artists appearing on the cover of the magazine towards the end of the 1990s included Jeff Mills, Deep Dish, Orbital, Laurent Garnier, and Danny Tenaglia.[3]

In 1999, the magazine would feature DJs on its front page exploring the rise of Trance Music. The publication wrote extensively about the use of drugs and their prevalence within the dance music scene.[3]

Beginning in late 2000, the magazine launched its first pilot website.[3] By November 2000, Highbury House Communications had bought Nexus, the magazine's publisher, and the magazine moved its editorial offices to Kentish Town, North London. In 2001 dance music journalist Lesley Wright, who was then editor of Scottish dance publication M8 magazine was hired to replace Chris Mellor as editor-in-chief after 10 years running the editorial staff.[3]

In 2002, Fatboy Slim was featured in the July issue after his free event held in Brighton, England attracted approximately 250,000 clubbers.[4] In 2003 the parent company of the publication merged with the magazine publisher WVIP.[3] From 2005 the magazine started to expand its publication overseas to include places like Central and South America, Germany, France and Spain.[3] In 2006 the magazine was sold to Future plc, one of the largest UK media companies.[5] Since 2008 the title has been owned and operated by independent publishing company Thrust Publishing Ltd.[citation needed]

In 2011, the magazine was launched in the USA. After 10 years at the helm of the magazine, editor Lesley Wright left and was replaced by Carl Loben. In 2012 the publication switched production to a monthly format. Currently the owners of the publication are looking to expand into new markets through licensing deals in the Middle East, Australia, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Japan and China.[5]

The current format for the magazine includes sections on dance music industry news, regular features, reviews covering clubs, EDM/dance music, technical equipment; it also includes current Top 100 lists as well as coverage of up and coming EDM events. DJ Mag runs a number of awards including its Top 100 DJ Poll, Top 100 Club Poll, Top 100 Festivals Poll, Best of British Awards and its Tech Awards.[5]

Current components

[edit]

DJ Magazine currently includes:[6]

  • DJ Mag – a monthly print magazine launched in 1991. It is currently published under licence by Thrust Publishing Ltd.
  • djmag.com – the publications website launched in 2000.
  • DJ Mag Ibiza – specialist printed magazine published in Ibiza Spain which has printed over 100,000 copies.
  • Top 100 DJs Poll – the world's leading DJ poll, attracting a large number of voters per year and an estimated 10 million people viewing the result of the poll when published.
  • Top 100 Clubs Poll – a poll to determine the best clubs in the world. The poll was originally only open only for DJs to vote on it, but it became free for the public to vote on in 2010.
  • Best of British Awards – an annual poll recognising the magazine and its readers' favourite British artists, venues and platforms each year.

Top 100 DJs

[edit]
Hardwell holding his plaque after being crowned number one DJ in 2014.
David Guetta being crowned number 1 DJ for the second time in 2020

The magazine's biggest property is a public poll of the world's 100 most popular DJs. The poll attracted over one million votes in 2015, making it the world's biggest music poll.[7] Danny Rampling was the first to be named as the number one DJ in the world by the magazine's journalists in 1991.[8][9] In 1992 Smokin Jo was named the number one DJ by the magazine editors and is the only female DJ to have ever earned the top ranking.[10][11][12] In 1993 to celebrate the 100th edition of DJ Magazine,[13] the magazine introduced a Top 100 list that was still compiled by its staff until 1996. For the previous five years, the system for nominee selection and voting to determine the winners was similar to that of current Grammy Awards[14] and the Brit Awards[15] in that dance music industry specialists (in this case music journalists) decided on who was nominated and who won the award. However, in 1997 the decision was taken by the publication to let the readers of the magazine decide who they thought was the world's top DJ, and in 1997 British DJ Carl Cox was the first winner of the Top 100 DJs Award by public vote. As of 2017, Fergie holds the record for the highest new entry in the poll's history, achieved when he placed 8th in 2000.[16] Dutch DJ Armin van Buuren currently holds the record of most overall wins with five and a record four consecutively.[citation needed]

The awards party for the poll was traditionally hosted at the Ministry of Sound nightclub in London. For the 2011 poll, the event was hosted outside of the UK for the first time in its history, being staged at the 2011's edition of the Amsterdam dance event. The 2012 and 2013 award shows were both held on 19 October at the same event.[17][18] Up until 2002, the top three had consisted of at least one British DJ, since the next year (2003) at least two Dutch DJ's have featured in the top three. In 2015 the Top 100 DJs Awards Party took place as the headline moment of the Amsterdam Music Festival. Over 40,000 guests witnessed the crowning of 2015's winners Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike.[7] Following the Amsterdam event, the winning DJs were flown to London, where they performed to a sold out Brixton Academy for the Top 100 DJs London show.

Top 100 DJs is considered to be hugely important to DJs as an influencer of booking fees and their current level of popularity. DJs regularly campaign for votes, a process which is allowed by the magazine.[19] Dutch DJ Hardwell once did a skydive as part of his campaign video;[20] David Guetta regularly creates animated videos as part of his voting campaign; Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike released an exclusive mix to their fans as part of their 2015 campaign.[21]

Criticisms

[edit]

Top 100 DJs has been criticised as being heavily influenced by the marketing power of DJs, rather than their skill or ability. An article that appeared on the US section of the Huffington Post in July 2013, entitled "DJMag Top 100 (Marketable) DJs", explores this claim.[22] Its author, Kevin Yu, stated that "Over the past few years, DJ Mag has been criticized that the list is not a true representation of their skills, but instead the amount of money they can put towards marketing". Yu asked, "Has the DJMag list transformed into a popularity contest or is it still a resemblance of the DJs talent?".[22]

The list has also been criticised for not including a more balanced reflection of artists from other electronic dance music styles and showing rankings based on less commercial mainstream DJs. A feature in The Guardian in 2010 by the journalist Ben Child entitled "What does DJ Mag's top 100 poll tell us about UK dance music? Not much" explores this further, noting that:

What's surprising, at least to those of us who don't enjoy the more mainstream genres, is the paucity of artists from outside the house and trance scenes in the top 100. This has pretty much always been the case, with the odd Drum 'N' Bass or Breakbeat acts occasionally making it into the lower reaches in years gone by, but this year's situation is particularly extreme. There is just one artist Andy C whose music is not based on the standard four-to-the-floor beat pattern adopted by mainstream dance music in the top 100 – and he has been around for more than a decade and a half.[23]

In 2021, fans expressed their displeasure with the ranking by promoting a fake DJ in the DJ Mag Top 100 list.[24] The ranking perceived biases have also left fans in other cities asking why their clubs were no longer amongst the top ranked clubs.

Results

[edit]

DJ Magazine's Top 100 DJs is an annual poll run by DJ Magazine to decide the worlds number one DJ. The poll started in 1991 and for first two years the magazine's journalists selected their top 100 DJs of the year.[25] 1993 saw the poll expand to a top 100 poll where the journalists would decide their top 100 DJs in the world.[13] In 1997, the magazine opened the top 100 list to a public vote which has remained the used format to this day.[citation needed]

1991–1996

[edit]
Top 3 DJs – Voted by DJ Magazine
Year 1st 2nd 3rd
1991 Danny Rampling Graeme Park Mike Pickering
1992 Smokin Jo[26][27][28] unknown unknown
1993 Aba Shanti-I[29][30] Alfredo[30] Stu Allan[30]
1994 unknown unknown unknown
1995 Judge Jules[31] unknown unknown
1996 Carl Cox[32] unknown unknown

1997–present

[edit]
Top 5 DJs – Voted publicly through magazine
Year 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th Ref.
1997 Carl Cox[33] Paul Oakenfold Sasha Judge Jules Tony De Vit [34]
1998 Paul Oakenfold Carl Cox Judge Jules Pete Tong Sasha [35]
1999 Paul Oakenfold Carl Cox Sasha Judge Jules Paul van Dyk [36]
2000 Sasha Paul Oakenfold John Digweed Paul van Dyk Carl Cox [37]
2001 John Digweed Sasha Danny Tenaglia Paul van Dyk Paul Oakenfold [38]
2002 Tiësto Sasha John Digweed Paul van Dyk Armin van Buuren [39]
2003 Tiësto Paul van Dyk Armin van Buuren Sasha John Digweed [40]
2004 Tiësto Paul van Dyk Armin van Buuren Sasha Ferry Corsten [41]
2005 Paul van Dyk Tiësto Armin van Buuren Sasha Ferry Corsten [42]
2006 Paul van Dyk Armin van Buuren Tiësto Christopher Lawrence DJ Dan [43]
Top 5 DJs – Online Voting
2007 Armin van Buuren Tiësto John Digweed Paul van Dyk Sasha [44]
2008 Armin van Buuren Tiësto Paul van Dyk Above & Beyond David Guetta [45]
2009 Armin van Buuren Tiësto David Guetta Above & Beyond Paul van Dyk [46]
2010 Armin van Buuren David Guetta Tiësto deadmau5 Above & Beyond [47]
2011 David Guetta Armin van Buuren Tiësto deadmau5 Above & Beyond [48]
2012 Armin van Buuren Tiësto Avicii David Guetta deadmau5 [49]
2013 Hardwell Armin van Buuren Avicii Tiësto David Guetta [50]
2014 Hardwell Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike Armin van Buuren Martin Garrix Tiësto [51]
2015 Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike Hardwell Martin Garrix Armin van Buuren Tiësto [52]
2016 Martin Garrix Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike Hardwell Armin van Buuren Tiësto [53]
2017 Martin Garrix Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike Armin van Buuren Hardwell Tiësto [54]
2018 Martin Garrix Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike Hardwell Armin van Buuren David Guetta [55]
2019 Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike Martin Garrix David Guetta Armin van Buuren Marshmello [56]
2020 David Guetta Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike Martin Garrix Armin van Buuren Alok [57]
2021 David Guetta Martin Garrix Armin van Buuren Alok Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike [58]
2022 Martin Garrix David Guetta Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike Alok Armin van Buuren [59]
2023 David Guetta Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike Martin Garrix Alok Armin van Buuren [60]

Statistics

[edit]
Most years voted as number one DJ
DJ Years
Armin van Buuren
5
David Guetta
4
Martin Garrix
4
Tiësto
3
Paul van Dyk
2
Paul Oakenfold
2
Carl Cox
2
Hardwell
2
Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike
2
Sasha
1
John Digweed
1
Judge Jules
1
Danny Rampling
1
Smokin Jo
1
Aba Shanti-I
1

Top 100 Clubs

[edit]
DJ Mag on their 2013 Top 100 Clubs tour at Space Sharm, Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.

DJ Magazine also runs an annual poll called Top 100 Clubs used to decide the worlds number one club, which began in 2006.[61] The 2021 poll was postponed from its usual dates in March to August due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[62] The 2022 vote was also delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however only to May in this instance. DJ Mag announced that the poll would return to normal rules as in 2021 club scenes outside of the previous 12 months could be considered aimed many closures due to the pandemic.[63]

Results

[edit]
DJ Mag top Clubs – Voted publicly
Year 1st 2nd 3rd Ref.
2006 Fabric The End Turnmills [64]
2007 Space Fabric Pacha [65]
2008 Fabric Space Amnesia [66]
2009 Berghain Fabric Space [67]
2010 Sankeys MCR Fabric Amnesia [68]
2011 Space Fabrik Green Valley [69]
2012 Space Green Valley Pacha [70]
2013 Green Valley Space Pacha [71]
2014 Space Green Valley Pacha [72]
2015 Green Valley Space Hakkasan [73]
2016 Space Green Valley Amnesia [74]
2017 Space Fabric Green Valley [75]
2018 Green Valley Ushuaïa Zouk [76]
2019 Green Valley Echostage Ushuaïa [77]
2020 Green Valley Hï Ibiza Echostage [77]
2021 Echostage Green Valley Hï Ibiza [77]
2022 Hï Ibiza Echostage Green Valley [78]
2023 Hï Ibiza Printworks Green Valley [77]
2024 Hï Ibiza Green Valley Echostage [79]

Statistics

[edit]
Most years voted as number one club
Club Years
Space
6
Green Valley
5
Hï Ibiza
3
Fabric
2
Berghain
1
Echostage
1
Sankeys MCR
1
...by city
Club Years
Ibiza
9
Camboriú
5
London
2
Berlin
1
Manchester
1
Washington D.C.
1

Top 100 Festivals

[edit]

Since 2015,[citation needed] the voters of the DJ Magazine's top 100 clubs have also voted on the world's number one festival. No poll was held in 2018. In 2019, the DJs themselves voted on their favourite festival in a top 50 format similar to the DJ and club poll run by the magazine.[80] In 2020, the format was changed to a 20% DJ vote and 80% public vote, and was increased to a top 100 format,[81] however results were never published. 2021 had no poll with the poll returning in 2022 but in October as surpose to February which it had been in previous years. The 2022 results were chosen entirely by DJ Mag readers. It was also confirmed ahead of the 2022 poll that 2020 and 2021 did not occur due to the COVID-19 pandemic,[82] despite the 2020 results being collected before the pandemic started.

Results

[edit]

2015–2017

[edit]
Year Winner Ref.
2015 Tomorrowland [83]
2016 Ultra Music Festival [84]
2017 Ultra Music Festival [85]

2019–Present

[edit]
Year 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th Ref.
2019 Tomorrowland Glastonbury Ultra Music Festival Awakenings Sónar [80]
2020 Voting opened; results never published
2021 No poll; cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic
2022 Tomorrowland Ultra Music Festival Electric Daisy Carnival Creamfields Exit [86]
2023 Tomorrowland Ultra Music Festival Glastonbury Electric Daisy Carnival Coachella [87]
2024 Tomorrowland Electric Daisy Carnival Untold Festival Ultra Music Festival Creamfields

Statistics

[edit]
Most years voted as number one festival
Festival Years
Tomorrowland
5
Ultra Music Festival
2

Best of British Awards

[edit]

The Best of British Awards was launched by DJ Mag in 2007 to celebrate dance music talent and platforms within Great Britain.

Best DJ

[edit]

Best Breakthrough DJ

[edit]
Year Winner Nominated
2007 Deepgroove Demi, Jamie Jones Serge Santiago, Sinden, Streetlife DJs
2008 Rusko Alex Metric, Anil Chawla, Dan Beaumont, Foamo
2009 Funkagenda Hannah Holland, Ikonika, Mark Henning, Toddla T
2010 Jackmaster Burns, Burnski, Doc Daneeka, Ramadanman
2011 Subb-an Jamie xx, Jordan Peak Julio Bashmore, T.Williams
2012 Bicep Adam Shelton, Alexis Raphael, Dusky, Richy Ahmed
2013 Citizenn Daniel Avery, Leftwing & Kody, Lil Silva, No Artificial Colours
2014 Hannah Wants Flava D, Krankbrother, Mak & Pasteman, Pedestrian
2015 Jasper James Eli & Fur, Sam Divine, Tough Love, Weiss
2016 Solardo Dax J, DJ Barely Legal, Felix Dickinson, Shanti Celeste
2017 Or:la Archie Hamilton, Jay Clarke, Mollie Collins, Saoirse
2018 Willow Debonair, Donna Leake, Jamz Supernova, Mason Maynard
2019 SHERELLE Afrodeutsche, re:ni, Sally C, Tiffany Calver
2020 Anz Cromby, Danielle, Ewan McVicar, Tash LC

Awards for DJ Mag

[edit]

DJ Awards

[edit]

The DJ Awards organises the annual electronic music DJ awards event. It is the only international ceremony for DJs and also the oldest, held once a year at Pacha club in Ibiza, Spain. It is one of the most important accolades.[88]

Year Category Work Result Ref.
2005 Outstanding Dedication Award DJ Magazine Won [89]

International Dance Music Awards

[edit]

The IDMAs is a major event which is part of the Winter Music Conference, a weeklong electronic music conference, held every March since 1985 in Miami Beach, Florida, United States. DJ Magazine has won the award for Best Music Publication 14 times, winning every year this category has been awarded.

Year Category Work Result Ref.
2003 Best Dance Music Publication DJ Magazine Won [90]
2004 Won [91]
2005 Won [92]
2006 Won [93]
2007 Best Music Publication Won [94]
2008 Won [95]
2009 Won [96]
2010 Won [97]
2011 Won [98]
2012 Best Music Media Resource Won [99]
2013 Won [100]
2014 Won [101]
2015 Won [102]
2016 Won [103]

See also

[edit]

References

[edit]
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