DJ Magazine (also known as DJ Mag ) is a British monthly magazine dedicated to electronic dance music and DJs. [2] Founded in 1991, the magazine is adapted for distribution in UK, USA, Spain, France, Italy, Latin America, China, South Korea, Indonesia and The Netherlands.


An earlier version of the magazine appeared towards the end of the 1980's when it was then known as Disc Jockey Magazine the name was then changed to Jocks Magazine [45] 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 [45] it was initially produced as weekly publication with Chris Mellor as its first editor [45] the magazine at this point was already the UK's top-selling disc jockey magazine'.

The first edition featured artists such as Frankie Knuckles, the Ragga Twins. [45] In 1992 the magazine decided to switch to bi-weekly publishing due to increasing workload which would remain in place till 2008. [45] During the first two years it was in opeartion the editorial staff of the magazine voted on whom it considered as DJ of the Year [45] initially this was a short list however this was later expanded to become a Top 100 list that was appeared in the magazines 100th edition on the 21st October 1993. [45]

In 1994 the band Underworld featured on the cover due in part to their breakthrough album other artists featured this year included established names like Armand van Helden, Erick Morillo, but also new breakthrough dj's such as DJ Rap. [45] By the summer of 1995, the magazine began to regularly feature Ibiza due its increasing popularity with as a clubbing destination, the magazine also set-up stall at the Winter Music Conference held in Miami, United States. [45] 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 1990’s included the likes of Jeff Mills, Deep Dish, Orbital, Laurent Garnier, and Danny Tenaglia. [45]

In 1999, the magazine would feature DJ's on its front page exploring the rise of Trance Music. The publication wrote extensively about the use of drugs and its prevalence within the dance music scene. [45]

Beginning in late 2000, the magazine launched its first pilot website. [45] By November 2000, Highbury House Communications had bought the magazines publishers Nexus, 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. [45]

In 2002 Fatboy Slim is featured in the July issue after his free music/dj event held in Brighton, England in which attended by approximately 250,000 clubbers [46] . In 2003 the parent company of the publication merged with the magazine publisher WVIP. [45] From 2005 the magazine started to expand its publication overseas to include places like Central and South America Germany, France and Spain. [45] In 2006 the magazine was sold to Future plc, one of the largest UK media companies. [47] This would be the first time that the magazine would be owned by a very large corporate.

In 2011 the magazine was launched in the USA. After 10 years at the helm of the magazine its editor Lesley Wright left she was replaced by Carl Loben. In 2012 the publication switched production to 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. [47]

The current format for the magazine includes sections on Dance Music Industry News, Regular Features, Reviews covering Club’s, EDM/Dance Music Reviews, 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. [47]

Current components


  • DJ Mag — (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 survey 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 1 million votes in 2015, making it the World's biggest music poll. [3]

Danny Rampling was the first winner named as the number one DJ in the world by the magazines journalists in 1991. [48] [2] In 1992 Smokin Jo was named the No1 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. [2] [2] In 1993 to celebrate the 100th edition of DJ Magazine. [45] the magazine introduced a Top 100 list that was still compiled by its staff until 1996 for the previous seven years the system for nominee selection and then voting to determine the winners was similar to that of current Grammy Awards [2] and the Brit Awards [2] in that dance music industry specialists ( in this case music journalists) decided on who was nominated and who won . 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 English DJ Carl Cox was the first winner of the Top 100 DJs Award by (public vote). 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. [2] [2] Until 2002, the top three had consisted of at least one British DJ, since the same year at least one Dutch DJ has 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. [3] 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. [6] Dutch DJ Hardwell once did a skydive as part of his campaign video; [7] David Guetta regularly creates animated videos as part of his voting campaign; [7] Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike released an exclusive mix to their fans as part of their 2015 campaign. 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 poll

Top 100 DJs has been criticised as being heavily influenced by the marketing power of DJs, rather than their skill or ability. A recent article that appeared in the US edition of the Huffington Post explores this claim. Its journalist, Kevin Yu, featured an article in July 2013 entitled "DJMag Top 100 (Marketable) DJs" where he states "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 asks "Has the DJMag list transformed into a popularity contest or is it still a resemblance of the DJs talent?". [9] 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.

DJ lists

Notes: The magazines journalists selected their top 3 DJ's for the years 1991-1992, [54] on the 21st October 1993 for the 100th issue they expanded this by introducing a top 100 Best DJs in the world list - in the opinion of all the staff - were chosen. [45] In 1997 the magazine opened the top 100 list to a public vote which is still the current format .


Top 3 DJs - Voted by DJ Magazine
Year 1st 2nd 3rd
1991 Danny Rampling [48] Graeme Park Mike Pickering
1992 Smokin Jo [11] [12] [13] unspecified unspecified
1993 | Aba Shanti-I [42] | Alfredo Stu Allan
1995 Judge Jules [15] unspecified unspecified
1996 | Carl Cox [46] unspecified unspecified


Top 3 DJs - Voted publicly
Year 1st 2nd 3rd
1997 | Carl Cox [46] Paul Oakenfold Sasha
1998 Paul Oakenfold | Carl Cox Judge Jules
1999 Paul Oakenfold | Carl Cox Sasha
2000 Sasha Paul Oakenfold John Digweed
2001 John Digweed Sasha Danny Tenaglia
2002 Tiësto Sasha John Digweed
2003 Tiësto Paul van Dyk Armin van Buuren
2004 Tiësto Paul van Dyk Armin van Buuren
2005 Paul van Dyk Tiësto Armin van Buuren
2006 Paul van Dyk Armin van Buuren Tiësto
2007 Armin van Buuren Tiësto John Digweed
2008 Armin van Buuren Tiësto Paul van Dyk
2009 Armin van Buuren Tiësto David Guetta
2010 Armin van Buuren David Guetta Tiësto
2011 David Guetta Armin van Buuren Tiësto
2012 Armin van Buuren Tiësto Avicii
2013 Hardwell Armin van Buuren Avicii
2014 Hardwell Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike Armin van Buuren
2015 Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike Hardwell Martin Garrix
2016 Martin Garrix Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike Hardwell
2017 Martin Garrix Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike Armin van Buuren

Club lists

The magazine also runs an annual poll called Top 100 Clubs. [46]


Top 3 Clubs 2006–present

DJ Mag top Clubs
Year 1st 2nd 3rd
2006 Fabric The End Turnmills
2007 Space Fabric Pacha
2008 Fabric Space Amnesia
2009 Berghain Fabric Space
2010 Sankeys Fabric Amnesia
2011 Space Fabric Green Valley
2012 Space Green Valley Pacha
2013 Green Valley Space Pacha
2014 Space Green Valley Pacha
2015 Green Valley Space Hakkasan
2016 Space Green Valley Amnesia
2017 Space Fabric Green Valley


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 Mag has won the Best Music Publication Award 13 times.

  • IDMA Best Music Publication 2003 [46]
  • IDMA Best Music Publication 2004 [46]
  • IDMA Best Music Publication 2005 [46]
  • IDMA Best Music Publication 2006 [46]
  • IDMA Best Music Publication 2007 [46]
  • IDMA Best Music Publication 2008 [46]
  • IDMA Best Music Publication 2009 [46]
  • IDMA Best Music Publication 2010 [47]
  • IDMA Best Music Publication 2011 [47]
  • IDMA Best Music Publication 2012 [47]
  • IDMA Best Music Publication 2013 [47]
  • IDMA Best Music Publication 2014 [47]
  • IDMA Best Music Publication 2015 [47]

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. [47]

See also