Seeing Gender Disparity In DJ Scene, QC Musician Organizes Women's Workshop

Jan 25, 2019

Adam Higgins sees a big gender disparity in the DJ circuit. The Rock Island-based techno and house musician says that all too often, men crowd out women from the industry.

So, Higgins is organizing a training session in the Quad Cities specifically for women and people identifying as gender non-binary who want to break in to the DJ scene.

The free event will be held 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 26, at Rozz-Tox, 2108 3rd Ave., Rock Island.

"Because it's somewhat of a boys' club, women don't have the same opportunities to learn the equipment or a chance to get booked to perform," says Higgins of the DJ scene. "This event is trying to give them a little bit of a chance where one hasn't been given before."

Higgins wanted to make sure that the experience is not only for women, but by women. So, he asked some friends in a Chicago-based collective of female DJs to lead the session.

The group is called "Walking and Falling," which gets its name from a song by pioneering electronic music artist Laurie Anderson.

Both digital and vinyl turntable set-ups will be available at the event. Practice music will be on hand, but participants can also bring their own records and digital files on USB drives.

In addition to the workshop—which Higgins says will accommodate musicians of all experience levels—a panel discussion will be held to talk through the unique challenges—and triumphs—of working in the male-dominated dance music industry.

Later that night, teachers will become performers, as the three members of Walking and Falling take the stage at Rozz-Tox from 8:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. Admission to the DJ showcase is $10.