The High Cost of Meeting Your DJ Hero

I met a very famous techno DJ in the UK in 2004, when I was a teenager. I was a huge fan of his and was excited to see him play in my favourite club with a group of friends. A female friend and I were dancing in front of the DJ booth where we caught the DJ’s eye. He said: “I’ll see you ladies later.”

We would regularly stay in the club after the night ended, where we would have a drink and decide what to do after. On this occasion, the DJ joined us and started chatting to me and my female friend, before inviting us back to his hotel for an after party. Excited, we agreed and asked if we could bring our friends.

The DJ said we could bring our guy friend, who was standing there with us, and that the others could join later. We got in a taxi together and it was so exciting. I was a real music nerd so I was asking him all these questions about his tracks. We were having the most amazing chat. It was all so surreal. It felt like one of those bucket list moments when you meet your musical heroes.

When we got back to the hotel, we went up to the DJ’s room and he ordered a couple of bottles of red wine for us to share. We were chatting about music and politics and just laughing a lot. We were probably there for a couple of hours, just drinking wine and chatting. I remember the sun coming up and feeling really happy — like ‘this is amazing, what a wonderful, wonderful experience’.

All of a sudden, I felt extremely tired, and like I had to close my eyes. I went over to sit on the bed, where I passed out. The DJ asked my male friend to leave soon after I passed out, and he complied, leaving my female friend and I in the hotel room.

The next thing I recall was someone touching me on my side. I opened my eyes and remember feeling really disoriented. I saw the DJ standing in front of me, completely naked and with an erection. Before I could say anything, he kissed me and shoved his tongue down my throat. I was really shocked. I made it clear I didn’t want that.

The DJ moved away from me, and I told my female friend that we needed to go. As we began to gather our things, the DJ went crazy. He sat on the bed, pulled the covers over his bottom half and started insulting me. He was shouting, insulting my appearance — it felt like he was just trying to grab on to anything he could to attack me.

I remember thinking ‘this is really surreal, I’m having an argument with this famous DJ, who’s old enough to be my dad and is naked in bed in front of me’. When it was clear we were leaving he gave me this crazy stare, it was almost cross-eyed — like he was trying to wish death on me. It was really intimidating. He angrily said ‘I never want to see you again’ as I left the room. My friend and I left the hotel and I went to meet a friend at a nearby after party, who I had called crying. 

The incident has had a lasting impact on my life. I missed a lot of school afterwards, in my A-Level year. I felt like such an idiot and really blamed myself for being so naive. It was like I’d all of a sudden grown up and seen the world for what it was. It really affected me for a few years. Before this happened, I wanted to be a DJ and had been saving up to buy decks — but I felt like I’d fucked it all up before it even started. I was worried about running into him in person, and him shouting or getting angry at me. I really felt like he would have the power to say ‘remove that girl from the bill’ or ‘blacklist her’ if he ever saw my name on a line-up, which sounds ridiculous now. But I really thought he was that powerful, and at that time, he was.

I had put the incident behind me until recently, when I noticed other allegations circling online about the DJ. For years I thought I was the only person he did this to, but now I realise I am not alone.