DJ and Performance Criteria
Anyone who wishes to DJ or perform some kind of live music during the evening dances is asked to complete the Google form above. Applications will open on February 1, 2018, and close 30 days before the Convention on April 25, 2018. Any late applicants will be put on the "backup" list and will be considered only after those who applied before the deadline.
Things To Consider Before You Apply
The furry fandom is a huge community, full of amazing talent (this also applies to the PDX area!) We are thrilled to be able to tap into this pool of talent and give people an outlet to perform. However, we do request the following of our applicants:
Technical Proficiency: We do expect that you are familiar with the setup and operation of DJ and audio equipment (especially those bringing your own kit!) We will provide performers the opportunity to sound check and prepare their gear each night before the dances, but don't expect us to troubleshoot your equipment. It is your responsibility to ensure your equipment is in working order and correctly configured to output audio. It is also your responsibility to ensure any hardware you bring is capable of outputting analog audio to an industry standard format (stereo RCA or XLR). Note: 1/4" and 1/8" headphone jacks are not an acceptable method of outputting; if your laptop only has a 1/8" headphone output, then buy a USB sound card with an RCA out. The mixer Furlandia will provide (DJM-800) has a 1/4" headphone jack for DJs to plug in headphones to queue with. It is your responsibility to provide your own headphones. If you have 1/8" headphones, it would be wise to get a 1/4" to 1/8" adaptor.
Preparedness/Professionalism: Things break, stuff goes missing, equipment fails, especially when you're working with many musicians and a big sound system! As a professional, you are expected to be able to deal with these eventualities and ensure the show goes on. The best way to do that is to be prepared. Furlandia will provide DJs and performers with 2 CDJ 900 NXS decks a DJM-800 mixer, bottled water, and a microphone in case you feel so inclined to bark or caw at the audience. All other equipment and cabling is your responsibility to provide. If you are planning on using the house equipment (and old school) you need to ensure all the music you intend to play is burned to CDs (and finalized) in data format. Otherwise, you need to ensure all your music is exported to a USB flash drive using Rekordbox 4 or newer. The house equipment is linked so one flash drive can be played from both decks, smart DJs still bring two flash drives with a copy of all their music on both (because things go wrong). If you are bringing your own laptop and a controller then it is expected your library is organized and your computer is configured to run lean and error free. It is also expected that you will bring any power, audio, and data (USB, Firewire, Lightning) cables your equipment needs to operate (smart DJs bring backup cables).
With these things in mind, one thing we won't be particular about is genre, gear (within reason), race, gender, orientation, disability, etc. What we want the most is talented musicians excited to perform for a crowd! Passion and uniqueness go a long way, we want our dances to be varied and appeal to everyone in the fandom.
Applications will be submitted through a Google form asking:
- Name: Your full legal name. We need this for record keeping purposes.
- Alias: The moniker, or stage name of the performer. This is what we'll put on the website and promotional materials if we pick you!
- Badge Name: The name on the performer's Furlandia badge. All performers must register for the convention in order to perform.
- Contact Email: A valid email address along with other information that can be used to contact the performer. This is how DJs/performers will be notified if they have been selected for a slot at our dances.
- Experience: All relevant DJ/Musical performance experience.
- Genre(s): Genre(s) intended to be performed. This will also be published on the Furlandia the website and in promotional material.
- Sample Mix: Link to a mix (of 30 minutes or more) representative of the style intended to be performed.
- Tag Team Request: Used if the performer wishes to perform a back-to-back set with another performer. Please list other performers you wish to perform with.
- Available Time Slots: The times when the performer is available.
- Additional Information: Any additional information the performer wishes to communicate, or non standard accommodations you require.
- Gear/Needs: Any additional gear the performer feels they need or wish to bring.
Performers of all experience levels and walks of life are welcome to apply so long as they are capable of playing or mixing danceable music continuously for a full hour that is mostly free of technical mistakes and needless distractions. We will take efforts to reduce bias while selecting the performers that will provide the best experience to the attendees. As such the following selection criteria will be used:
Track Selection: Are the songs played/performed well? Do they stand out or sound generic? Do the songs chosen fit well together, do any genre changes feel appropriate or out of place?
Flow: Does the mix tell a story? Do the transitions between songs fit smoothly together? Do any genre and tempo changes fit with the overall energy level of the mix or do they sound out of place? Is the energy level consistent throughout or does it build and evolve during the set?
Energy Level: Is the music slow and chill, fast and energetic, or somewhere in between? Does the performer vary the energy level throughout the Mix?
Danceability: Is the mix danceable throughout? Are there any dissonant transitions or songs that sound completely out of place?
Technical Competence: Does the performer demonstrate they have a firm grasp of the equipment they are using? Is the mix well recorded with no audible clipping and appropriate use of eq during transitions? Are any advanced mixing techniques used? If so are they done well do they sound pleasing to the ear?
The following will NOT be considered during judging:
Minor mixing errors: Small technical mistakes will not detract from the overall ranking of the mix so long all the other selection criteria are well met. (Even big name DJs make mistakes from time to time!)
Genre: Generally, all styles and appropriate genres are allowed (provided one can dance to them!)
Identity: Ranking on the identity/reputation of a performer is an obvious bias and so applicants and their mixes will be anonymized during the selection process.
Once applications close, an effort will be made to contact any performers who only partially completed their applications and give them a chance to send in the missing information. If they fail to respond with all the required information within one week, they will be removed from the applicant pool. Once all applications are ready, the sample mixes will be anonymized and handed off to judges (who will not be among the applicant pool) and ranked.
Any applicants who are known to have caused incidents or have a history of failing to perform (as requested) at other conventions/events will undergo further review. This is not an automatic disqualification, but all other things being equal an applicant who has a history of professionalism will be selected over an applicant that does not.
Once all applications have been rated, the judges will convene and decide where each performer fits best into the night. If there are more applicants than time slots the top-ranked performers will be given time slots with everyone else being put in a "backup" list to be used in the event a selected performer cannot make their scheduled performance.
The primary criteria that will be used for scheduling time slots will be: - experience - competency - genre(s) - energy-level
Once a preliminary lineup has been decided upon, notification emails will be sent out to all applicants. They will have one week to reply confirming their acceptance of the offered time slot or they will forfeit their slot and it will be offered to the next applicant on the list.
We plan to announce the final dance schedule available in mid-April. The date of this depends on the number of applicants and free time of the judges.