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DJ Expo 2010 in Atlantic City

International DJ Expo Celebrates 20 Years in Atlantic City

It’s been more than 20 years since Vinny Testa, the publisher of DJ Times magazine saw a need for a publication to serve a little understood type of entertainer.

“I mean there were trade magazines for guitar players and musicians and everyone else,” he says in a telephone interview with Atlantic City Weekly. “I thought why not for DJs? And at the time, DJs were just starting to get hot.”

Two years later, with Jim Tremayne now as editor (who also spoke to Atlantic City Weekly), the two hit on an idea to hold a convention and expo for disc jockeys. Their choice of venue was Resorts in Atlantic City. But at the time, 1990, it was simply a logistical choice as Atlantic City hardly had an abundance of nightclubs and DJ venues.

“It was just centrally located,” Tremayne says. “There weren’t really too many venues in the city at the time that we used.”

But the idea worked, and about 800 to 1,000 aspiring young DJs showed up for that first expo.

“It really fit a crucial need and was successful from the beginning,” Tremayne says. “It gave DJs a place to come to learn about products and technology and all aspects of the business.”

For the 20th anniversary expo — to be held Aug. 16-19 mainly at the Trump Taj Mahal — much has changed, both for the expo and its original host city.

Now the expo, which draws between 4,000 to 5,000 DJ professionals from around the country, is spread out in the resort with events at the House of Blues, MIXX at Borgata and the Taj’s Casbah nightclub.

And the city just seems like better DJ ground in 2010. Celebrity DJs, such as Samantha Ronson who appears often at MIXX, are a constant in a resort that sports several new nightclubs and a renewed commitment to nightlife.

Throughout the expo, that vibe will be even stronger as parties and special events are scheduled with DJs such as DJ Skribble, DJ Shiftee and DJ Jazzy Jeff making appearances.

But both Testa and Tremayne are quick to point out that the expo is for all DJs, whether they are rocking clubs in Miami or working weddings in Millville.

“This is very much for the DJ who works a wedding,” says Testa. “They are what we call mobile DJs and they’re the backbone of the industry. You know, a lot of very famous DJs started off with weddings and bar mitzvahs.”

In fact, one of the most successful DJs of all time, Dr. Dre, started off as a mobile DJ in Los Angeles, Tremayne says.

“They are also the one’s who need the most equipment,” he added. “They need their own lighting and sound systems. There’s a lot of technical information and displays for them at the expo. These seminars are designed to help the professional DJ get his or her business up and running and growing.”

Seminars are available on every aspect of being a DJ from “You Don’t Have to Be Jewish to Mitzvah” or “Weddings 03: How to Sell to the Bride.” One seminar focuses on group dances and games.

But also included as part of the expo are seminars on equipment, sound mixing and a host of other technological points. The expo also features more than 100 vendors displaying products and a lot of networking and business opportunities.

But as anyone knows, DJs are first and foremost about having fun, and the expo presents a slew of parties and events after the seminars and business are done.

“Well, we do have to give our attendees some fun,” Tremayne says. “That’s what the people want.”

Perhaps the biggest party is Tuesdays’s “Pioneer Party” at the House of Blues. Scheduled to perform are Mike Posner, Kelly Rowland, Shaggy, Salt-N-Pepa, Judy Torres, Alexis Jordan, Auburn, Jessica Jarrell, Jump Smokers, Kaci Battaglia, Tiffany Dunn and Tino Coury.

If only some of those names are familiar, don’t worry. You never know who may break out as a star.

“I remember in 2008 we were setting up the lineup for the party at the House of Blues,” Testa says. “Somebody said they had a good act, but I had never heard of her. Nobody had heard of her. But we went with her anyway. She was Lady Gaga, so that turned out pretty well.”

The most public event of the expo will be an after party scheduled for the Taj Mahal’s Ego Lounge on Wednesday.

While the expo does sell special event passes, it is a trade exposition and the organizers’ main goal is serving the professional DJs.

“When we started this magazine, most of the DJs out there were mobile DJs,” says Testa. “They were working the college campuses and the small clubs. And through their work, they started to become the new rock stars. All this that you see today with the stars and the big clubs came out of that group. When I talk to a famous DJ like DJ Skribble, and he tells me he grew up with our magazine, it feels pretty good.”

And perfectly at home in Atlantic City.

“Atlantic City has been very good to us,” Testa says. “It’s always given us exactly what we need.”

So now, let’s spin some discs.

For a full schedule of events visit djtimes.com/thedjexpo.

2010 International DJ Expo
Trump Taj Mahal, A.C.
Aug. 16-19, events all day

posted by slava in Global Events and have Comments (7)

7 Responses to “DJ Expo 2010 in Atlantic City”

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