In the beginning...
The National Association of Disc Jockeys was formed in January 2004, as a natural evolution of the UK’s leading regional association for over 25 years, the Thames Valley Disc Jockeys’ Association.
The transition from the regional to National association was finalised at the AGM in March 2004, when the name was formally changed and the TVDJA became an integral part of the new NADJ.
The transition to a national organisation became necessary as the membership had outgrown its original regional boundaries.
This was partly due to the demise of several other regional Associations and groups, leaving only two main associations — TVDJA and SEDA (South Eastern Discotheque Association).
With membership enquiries from all parts of the country, it became obvious that there was still a need for an official body to represent the needs of DJs and to provide a portal for exchange of information and ideas.
For many years the Association hosted the UK’s largest regional equipment exhibition, Disco-Ex, which was held in association with Shownite. With the advent of internet and mail-order equipment sales, the exhibition became unviable, as manufacturers tended to leave the marketing to distributors and retailers and were less willing to support regional exhibitions directly.
The last Disco-Ex was held in the late 90’s. However, the future of regional exhibitions, such as Disco-Ex, may be assured as major exhibitions, like the PLASA show, appear to be drifting away from the mobile DJ market.
The Association has always had strong links with the Disco Industry as a whole – with many manufacturers supporting the Association and, indeed, using the Association as a launch-pad for many new products. Several new organisations and companies, such as the now world-wide DMC, Mobile DJ Magazine, Pro-Mobile Magazine and the disco industry charity Dance Aid Trust, were launched with the support of the Association.
In the early 1990’s the Association was instrumental, along with SEDA, in getting the DJ recognised as a true profession and included within the UK trade union BECTU (Broadcasting, Entertainment, Cinematograph & Theatre Union). However, due to internal changes within BECTU, the freelance DJ has been largely forgotten by the Union, with only a few, if any, still members.
The NADJ, with over 25 years of experience behind it, will move forward to better serve its members and to achieve its aims.