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DJ Magazine
DJ Mag Logo.png
EditorCarl Loben, 2011-present
CategoriesMusic, technology, nightlife, style
First issue31 January 1991; 28 years ago (1991-01-31)
CompanyThrust Publishing Ltd

DJ Magazine (also known as DJ Mag) is a British monthly magazine dedicated to electronic dance music and DJs.[1] Founded in 1991, the magazine is adapted for distribution in the United Kingdom, United States, Spain, France, Italy, Latin America, China, South Korea, Indonesia and Netherlands.


An earlier version of the magazine appeared towards the end of the 1980s when it was then known as Disc Jockey Magazine the name was then changed to Jocks Magazine [2] however this name was quickly dropped and the publication underwent re-branding. After this process the first issue of DJ Magazine or DJ Mag launched in the middle of 1991:[2] it was initially produced as weekly publication with Chris Mellor as its first editor.[2] The magazine at this point was already the UK's top-selling disc jockey magazine.

The first edition featured artists such as Frankie Knuckles and the Ragga Twins.[2] In 1992 the magazine decided to switch to bi-weekly publishing due to increasing workload which would remain in place till 2008.[2] During its first two years the editorial staff of the magazine voted for their DJ of the Year:[2] initially this was a short list, however this was later expanded to become a Top 100 list that first appeared in the magazine's 100th edition on 21 October 1993.[2]

In 1994 the band Underworld featured on the cover due in part to their breakthrough album. Other artists featured that year included established names like Armand van Helden, Erick Morillo, but also breakthrough DJs such as DJ Rap.[2] By the summer of 1995, the magazine began to regularly feature Ibiza due its increasing popularity as a clubbing destination; the magazine also set-up stall at the Winter Music Conference held in Miami, United States.[2] In 1997, the magazine featured new British house duo Basement Jaxx on its front page. Artists appearing on the cover of the magazine towards the end of the 1990s included the likes of Jeff Mills, Deep Dish, Orbital, Laurent Garnier, and Danny Tenaglia.[2]

In 1999, the magazine would feature DJs on its front page exploring the rise of Trance Music. The publication wrote extensively about the use of drugs and their prevalence within the dance music scene.[2]

Beginning in late 2000, the magazine launched its first pilot website.[2] By November 2000, Highbury House Communications had bought Nexus, the magazine's publisher, and the magazine moved its editorial offices to Kentish Town, North London. In 2001 dance music journalist Lesley Wright, who was then editor of Scottish dance publication M8 magazine was hired to replace Chris Mellor as Editor-in-Chief after 10 years running the editorial staff.[2]

In 2002 Fatboy Slim was featured in the July issue after his free event held in Brighton, England attracted approximately 250,000 clubbers.[3] In 2003 the parent company of the publication merged with the magazine publisher WVIP.[2] From 2005 the magazine started to expand its publication overseas to include places like Central and South America, Germany, France and Spain.[2] In 2006 the magazine was sold to Future plc, one of the largest UK media companies.[4]

In 2011 the magazine was launched in the USA. After 10 years at the helm of the magazine, editor Lesley Wright left and was replaced by Carl Loben. In 2012 the publication switched production to a monthly format. Currently the owners of the publication are looking to expand into new markets through licensing deals in the Middle East, Australia, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Japan and China.[4]

The current format for the magazine includes sections on dance music industry news, regular features, reviews covering clubs, EDM/dance music, technical equipment; it also includes current Top 100 lists as well as coverage of up and coming EDM events. DJ Mag runs a number of awards including its Top 100 DJ Poll, Top 100 Club Poll, DJ Mag, Best of British Awards and its DJ Mag, Tech Awards.[4]

Current components

DJ Magazine currently includes:[5]

  • DJ Mag — A monthly print magazine, launched in 1991 it is currently published under licence by Thrust Publishing Ltd.
  • — The publications website launched in 2000.
  • DJ Weekly — A free downloadable flipbook produced by the magazine.
  • DJ Blackbook — EDM music industry contact directory produced annually by the magazine for DJs, producers, club owners and promoters.
  • DJ Mag Ibiza — Specialist printed magazine published in Ibiza Spain and has print run is over 100,000 copies.
  • Top 100 DJs Poll — This is the world's leading DJ Poll and currently attracts a large number of voters per year and an estimated 10 million people viewing the result of poll when published.
  • Top 100 Clubs Poll — This is a poll to determine best clubs in the world, the poll was originally only open only to DJs to vote on it was switched to public vote in 2010.

Top 100 DJs

The magazine's biggest property is a list of the World's most popular DJs, called Top 100 DJs. The poll attracted over one million votes in 2015, making it the World's biggest music poll.[6] Danny Rampling was the first winner named as the number one DJ in the world by the magazines journalists in 1991.[7][8] In 1992 Smokin Jo was named the number one DJ by the magazine editors and she is still the only female DJ to have ever won DJ Magazines highly coveted DJ of the Year award.[9][10] In 1993 to celebrate the 100th edition of DJ Magazine.[11] The magazine introduced a Top 100 list that was still compiled by its staff until 1996 for the previous five years the system for nominee selection and then voting to determine the winners was similar to that of current Grammy Awards[12] and the Brit Awards[13] in that dance music industry specialists (in this case music journalists) decided on who was nominated and who won the award. However, in 1997 the decision was taken by the publication to let the readers of the magazine decide who they thought was the worlds top DJ and in 1997 British DJ Carl Cox was the first winner of the Top 100 DJs Award by public vote. As of 2017, Fergie holds the record for the highest new entry in the poll's history, achieved when he placed 8th in 2000.[14] Dutch DJ Armin van Buuren currently holds the record of most overall wins with five and a record four consecutively.

The awards party for the poll was traditionally hosted at the Ministry of Sound nightclub in London. For the 2011 poll, the event was hosted outside of the UK for the first time in its history, being staged at the 2011's edition of the Amsterdam dance event. The 2012 and 2013 award shows were both held on 19 October at the same event.[15][16] Up until 2002, the top three had consisted of at least one British DJ, since the next year (2003) at least two Dutch DJ's have featured in the top three. In 2015 the Top 100 DJs Awards Party took place as the headline moment of the Amsterdam Music Festival. Over 40,000 guests witnessed the crowning of 2015's winner's Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike.[6] Following the Amsterdam event, the winning DJs were flown to London, where they performed to a sold out Brixton Academy for the Top 100 DJs London show.

Top 100 DJs is considered to be hugely important to DJs as an influencer of booking fees and their current level of popularity. DJs regularly campaign for votes, a process which is allowed by the magazine.[17] Dutch DJ Hardwell once did a skydive as part of his campaign video;[18] David Guetta regularly creates animated videos as part of his voting campaign;[18] Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike released an exclusive mix to their fans as part of their 2015 campaign.[19] However, due to the weight that is placed on Top 100 DJs ranking by bookers worldwide, there have been criticisms of the poll.

Criticisms of Top 100 DJs

Top 100 DJs has been criticised as being heavily influenced by the marketing power of DJs, rather than their skill or ability. An article that appeared on the US section of the Huffington Post in July 2013, entitled "DJMag Top 100 (Marketable) DJs", explores this claim.[20] Its author, Kevin Yu, stated that "Over the past few years, DJ Mag has been criticized that the list is not a true representation of their skills, but instead the amount of money they can put towards marketing". Yu asked, "Has the DJMag list transformed into a popularity contest or is it still a resemblance of the DJs talent?".[20]

The list has also been criticized for not including a more balanced reflection of artists from other Electronic dance music styles and showing rankings based on less commercial mainstream DJs. A feature in The Guardian in 2010 by the journalist Ben Child entitled "What does DJ Mag's top 100 poll tell us about UK dance music? Not much" explores this further, noting that:

What's surprising, at least to those of us who don't enjoy the more mainstream genres, is the paucity of artists from outside the house and trance scenes in the top 100. This has pretty much always been the case, with the odd Drum 'N' Bass or Breakbeat acts occasionally making it into the lower reaches in years gone by, but this year's situation is particularly extreme. There is just one artist Andy C whose music is not based on the standard four-to-the-floor beat pattern adopted by mainstream dance music in the top 100 - and he has been around for more than a decade and a half.[21]

DJ lists

DJ Magazine's Top 100 DJs is an annual poll run by DJ Magazine to decide the worlds number one DJ. The poll started in 1991 and for first two years the magazine's journalists selected their top 3 DJ's of the year[22] 1993 saw the poll expand to a top 100 poll where the journalists would decide their top 100 DJs in the world.[11] In 1997 the magazine opened the top 100 list to a public vote which has remained the used format to this day.


Top 3 DJs - Voted by DJ Magazine
Year 1st 2nd 3rd
1991 United Kingdom Danny Rampling[7] United Kingdom Graeme Park United Kingdom Mike Pickering
1992 United Kingdom Smokin Jo[23][24][25] unknown unknown
1993 United KingdomAntigua and Barbuda Aba Shanti-I[26] ArgentinaSpain Alfredo United Kingdom Stu Allan
1994 unknown unknown unknown
1995 United Kingdom Judge Jules[27] unknown unknown
1996 United KingdomBarbados Carl Cox[28] unknown unknown


Top 3 DJs - Voted publicly
Year 1st 2nd 3rd Ref.
1997 United KingdomBarbados Carl Cox[29] United Kingdom Paul Oakenfold United Kingdom Sasha [30]
1998 United Kingdom Paul Oakenfold United KingdomBarbados Carl Cox United Kingdom Judge Jules [31]
1999 United Kingdom Paul Oakenfold United KingdomBarbados Carl Cox United Kingdom Sasha [32]
2000 United Kingdom Sasha United Kingdom Paul Oakenfold United Kingdom John Digweed [33]
2001 United Kingdom John Digweed United Kingdom Sasha United States Danny Tenaglia [34]
2002 Netherlands Tiësto United Kingdom Sasha United Kingdom John Digweed [35]
2003 Netherlands Tiësto Germany Paul van Dyk Netherlands Armin van Buuren [36]
2004 Netherlands Tiësto Germany Paul van Dyk Netherlands Armin van Buuren [37]
2005 Germany Paul van Dyk Netherlands Tiësto Netherlands Armin van Buuren [38]
2006 Germany Paul van Dyk Netherlands Armin van Buuren Netherlands Tiësto [39]
2007 Netherlands Armin van Buuren Netherlands Tiësto United Kingdom John Digweed [40]
2008 Netherlands Armin van Buuren Netherlands Tiësto Germany Paul van Dyk [41]
2009 Netherlands Armin van Buuren Netherlands Tiësto France David Guetta [42]
2010 Netherlands Armin van Buuren France David Guetta Netherlands Tiësto [43]
2011 France David Guetta Netherlands Armin van Buuren Netherlands Tiësto [44]
2012 Netherlands Armin van Buuren Netherlands Tiësto Sweden Avicii [45]
2013 Netherlands Hardwell Netherlands Armin van Buuren Sweden Avicii [46]
2014 Netherlands Hardwell Belgium Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike Netherlands Armin van Buuren [47]
2015 Belgium Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike Netherlands Hardwell Netherlands Martin Garrix [48]
2016 Netherlands Martin Garrix Belgium Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike Netherlands Hardwell [49]
2017 Netherlands Martin Garrix Belgium Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike Netherlands Armin van Buuren [50]
2018 Netherlands Martin Garrix Belgium Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike Netherlands Hardwell [51]

Club lists

DJ Magazine also runs an annual poll called DJ Magazine's Top 100 Clubs used to decide the worlds number one club which began in 2006.[52]


DJ Mag top Clubs - Voted publicly
Year 1st 2nd 3rd Ref.
2006 United Kingdom Fabric United Kingdom The End United Kingdom Turnmills [53]
2007 Spain Space United Kingdom Fabric Spain Pacha [54]
2008 United Kingdom Fabric Spain Space Spain Amnesia [55]
2009 Germany Berghain United Kingdom Fabric Spain Space [56]
2010 United Kingdom Sankeys MCR United Kingdom Fabric Spain Amnesia [57]
2011 Spain Space United Kingdom Fabric Brazil Green Valley [58]
2012 Spain Space Brazil Green Valley Spain Pacha [59]
2013 Brazil Green Valley Spain Space Spain Pacha [60]
2014 Spain Space Brazil Green Valley Spain Pacha [61]
2015 Brazil Green Valley Spain Space United States Hakkasan [62]
2016 Spain Space Brazil Green Valley Spain Amnesia [63]
2017 Spain Space United Kingdom Fabric Brazil Green Valley [64]
2018 Brazil Green Valley Spain Ushuaïa Singapore Zouk [65]

Number 1 festival

From 2015,[citation needed] the voters of the DJ Magazine's top one hundred clubs have also voted on the world's number one festival.

Year Winner Ref.
2015 Belgium Tomorrowland [66]
2016 United States Ultra Music Festival [67]
2017 United States Ultra Music Festival [68]


International Dance Music Awards

The IDMA is a major event which is part of the Winter Music Conference (WMC) a weeklong electronic music conference, held every March since 1985 in Miami Beach, Florida, United States. DJ Magazine has won the award for Best Music Publication 14 times, winning every year this category has been awarded.

Year Category Work Result Ref.
2003 Best Dance Music Publication DJ Magazine Won [69]
2004 Won [70]
2005 Won [71]
2006 Won [72]
2007 Best Music Publication Won [73]
2008 Won [74]
2009 Won [75]
2010 Won [76]
2011 Won [77]
2012 Best Music Media Resource Won [78]
2013 Won [79]
2015 Won [80]
2015 Won [81]
2016 Won [82]

DJ Awards

The DJ Awards organizes the annual electronic music DJ awards event it is the only international ceremony for DJs and also the oldest, the awards are held once a year at Pacha club in Ibiza Spain it is one of the most important accolades.[83]

Year Category Work Result Ref.
2005 Outstanding Dedication Award DJ Magazine Won [84]

See also


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  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "20 Years of DJ Mag - A Retrospective". DJ Mag. 9 October 2012. Retrieved 25 September 2017.
  3. ^ Chambers, Suzanna (14 July 2002). "Chaos as 250,000 swamp Fatboy Slim beach party". Retrieved 9 October 2017.
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  9. ^ Richards, Grant (16 July 2015). "Smokin Jo - It is still hard for women to get in the so called big leagues, hard to say if now another female could achieve (DJ Mag Top 100) it as the top is all the EDM guys - Decoded Magazine". Decoded Magazine. Decoded Magazine, London, 16 July 2015. Retrieved 25 September 2017.
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External links

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