Nick Warren Booted From the DJ Booth in Seoul; Who’s To Blame?

Image via Nick Warren on Facebook
Image via Nick Warren on Facebook

And another DJ gets removed from the booth for not playing commercial music. If you’re not familiar with Nick Warren, he’s a long-standing veteran in progressive house circles that helped blow up the late ’90′s/early ’00s Global Underground mix series, and has been a member of the successful production duo Way Out West since the jump. Probably not the biggest or most relevant DJ to ever hit your radar, but he’s someone who’s definitely earned his still globe-trotting status. Recently, he posted this Facebook status about being kicked off the decks during his set:

The real issue, though, is becoming such a depressing broken record that it’s no longer just a concern for dance music lovers in the United States. We’ve seen a number of these cases over the years, and the majority of them where primarily in Miami and Las Vegas, where bottle service is king and those dollars have been proven to have the power to dictate who’s playing what kind of music. But this was at Club Vanguard in Seoul, South Korea, with the exact same set of reoccurring circumstances. Where’s the ultimate disconnect that’s putting niche DJs into megaclubs where they obviously want an open format, top 40-driven type of performance?

As a working local and regional DJ for a number of years, I see it all the time where the owner or GM at a given club comes and gives you their $.02 about what they want going on with the format. It’s honestly a nightly conversation for me with my regular residencies. That’s why I think these are such a headscratcher for me. You’ve got so much money on the line with bottle service sales being of such importance with these megaclubs and whoever’s booking these shows for these niche DJs to continue to get booted – obviously these bookers have very little knowledge of what they’re doing. If I’m small-time and can get the communication right between agent (me) and the club management, I could use a good explanation as to why this is happening on a fairly regular basis on such a larger level. These individuals in control of club calendars and the agents representing these DJs need to get on the same page and quit fucking each other over. If not, the amateur business practices and deficiencies will just continually get excused and swept under the rug, creating an ongoing embarrassment. It’s a crock, and something that should be easily fixed. There’s this greed thing, though, that just seems to continually get in the way and make everyone look bad.


  • nada

    sooo tired of this same story over and over. you shouldnt be writing it up and managers should not be sending out the PR for it. Its boring.

    • khal

      Show me where a manager sent us (or anyone else) PR for this story. And while you’re doing that, tell me why you’d want to gloss over a problem in the realm where most of the money in dance music is made.

      • JustAnotherDJ

        As someone who’s been frustrated with content on here like “nada”, I’m happy to see it still gets covered. It’s a real issue of promoters not carrying their weight in the industry. Props.

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  • Christopher Séamus McFadden

    I’m a nightlife photographer, and everytime I read a story like this I think the exact same thing, where was the agent and the management? How did they not have this conversation? The city I live in is a huge student city, so while it might not be big bucks in the VIP dictating the music, the students still very much listen to the top 40 dance, meanwhile there is a very separate underground tech house scene here that is live and well. I consider myself lucky that I get to cover both scenes, but this kind of thing would never happen here and we’re not a very large city!

  • Nicholas James Concklin

    But Club Vanguard is in Gangnam which is notorious for its commercially-oriented clubs. Ask anyone in the Seoul scene: you can’t play in Gangnam and not play commercial music. Hongdae/Shinchon and Itaewon you can get away with it. But the college kids in those areas probably aren’t huge fans of Progressive House so hes kinda shit outta luck.

  • Davii

    the frivolous and uneducated vip clients, and the predictable commercial music, plus the crowd pleasers sync djs are perfect for each other. mega clubs should become entirely vip.
    the clubs would make the nights with like 15 or 20 vip people on the dance floor. woo hoo! profit.