BEHIND THE SCENES TOP 100 DJS LONDON | Skip to main content



With Miller Genuine Draft

Ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes at your favourite dance music events? We went backstage at London's biggest ever Top 100 DJs party, at the iconic 02 Academy Brixton, to show you what it takes to put on an event of this scale. 

Three hours before doors open and The Academy is buzzing a hive of production crew, preparing the incredible stage set, installing the pyrotechnics and programming the lighting.

As more crew arrive, we venture to front of house, where ticket touts are already hovering, hoping to capitalise on the popularity of the show, which sold out over 2 weeks previous.

One hour before doors open and the corridors of Brixton Academy - a venue that has hosted some of the world's biggest talent from all musical genres - are shaking to the soundcheck in the cavernous main room.

The queues outside have been building for an hour and as the doors open people pour into the famous venue. Meanwhile in the production office, the social media team are halfway through a live Twitter and Instagram countdown. #Top100DJs is trending globally; the attention of the world is on dance music's biggest event.

It is one hour before the results are announced in Amsterdam, and the production office is running the live stream from the event. Inside the venue, Dyro is rocking an already packed house.

Back in Amsterdam, Hardwell has just been crowned as the World's No.1 DJ for the second year running.  The news reaches the London dancefloor midway through Don Diablo's set, causing a ripple of excitement across the venue.

Now the logistics really kick into place. The production crew receive the call that Hardwell has finished his set in Amsterdam on schedule. He is now en route to Rotterdam to catch a jet back to London.

Following a crowd-pleasing set from unassuming, charismatic talent Andrew Rayel, Aly & Fila step up to the decks. The lasers criss-cross the venue in unison as trance flavours encompass the room. We receive news that Hardwell is on the jet, and he sends us this mid-air interview to prove it

The nature of flying DJs between major European cities is made harder by the fact that these cities have restrictions about flying at night. Hence The World's No.1 DJ touches down an hour outside of London. Cars are on the tarmac ready to pick him up, and whisk him back into the city. Blissfully unaware of the backstage action, the London crowd are rocking to Dash Berlin's euphoric set of vocal trance

Hardwell arrives with 10 minutes to spare! After a quick press call and merchandise signing, the World's No.1 DJ is back where he belongs - on stage, rocking the house. 

The word's No.1 DJ is doing exactly what he does best - slaying the dancefloor. The stage is a sea of carefully-planned pyrotechnics and the venue has never looked busier. With the headliner safely on stage, the mood backstage becomes more chilled out. For the guys working behind the scenes, the end is in sight 

Hardwell retires from the stage, smiling ear to ear, and departs for some well-deserved sleep. Nobody on the dance floor is leaving though, and as Showtek step onto the stage the dancefloor is still rammed! 

It is 6am, and we have been in the venue for 12 hours. Tired legs and tired minds are mixed with a sense of euphoria at a job well done. So as we stream out onto the Brixton streets and into a waiting cab, we can be sure that we have been a part of a night to remember! 

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