It’s October which means it’s time for the DJ Mag Top 100 DJs Poll, in which DJ Mag readers vote for their favourite DJ. An estimated 750,000 readers placed their vote and this year’s winner, baby-faced Martin Garrix, was allowed to stay up way past his bedtime to receive his award. And what an award: a book token and a reduced DJ Mag subscription: so as you can imagine, the competition for the top spot is fierce.
We had a pretty big poll in the UK recently where we totally shitted everything up, so we know a bit about voting and such. DJ polls are very important, although they don’t generally result in a country flouncing out of a decades-old economic union, a Prime Minister resigning or an entire country repeating arguments they got off the internet until their heads explode. However, DJ polls do have their place in our industry, not least to give us something to talk about between Ibiza and Christmas.
The upper reaches of the chart features a who’s who of the stars of Electronic EDM Music, while as you get further down the list the names become less familiar, a litany of excitingly named, confusingly punctuated young guns. It has tended to be the biggest, glitter-canon-ist EDM guys who have won in the last few years, which then causes huge consternation among those who didn’t vote. And herein lies the biggest irony of the DJ Mag Top 100 DJ Poll – those who get most upset about it never ever vote. Each year DJ Mag gets criticised for their list of DJs being too male – with most critics conveniently forgetting that it’s voted for by the readers, not the editorial staff of DJ – and the readers are 97% male. Each year, cool underground DJs slag off whoever wins for being too commercial, for being too ‘marketed’/not real enough or simply for being Armin van Buuren, whilst simultaneously never actually taking part in the vote.
In many ways, the DJ Mag Top 100 DJ Poll is like the Olympics – they’re both great big competitions with lots of whizz-bang and general commotion. The Olympics has its share of misconduct like steroid abuse and general doping scandals and whereas the DJ world obviously doesn’t have any performance-enhancing drugs (ahem), we have pre-mixed sets, DJs buying fake fans and fake tans, using ghostwriters and generally deploying all manner of deception to achieve the desperately desired fame and possibly fortune. Which is pretty much exactly how the music industry has always been.
Finally, you can be sure that the event will trigger confusion as some members of our community hurriedly try to make out that they were into DJ Mag Pol years ago before he was famous.