Wyclef Jean
Photograph ©2022 by Brian Cohen.

Should DJs Perform in Airport Lounges?

Turning the tables on turntables?

Airport lounges were originally developed as a respite for the best customers of airlines to enjoy peace, quiet, food, beverages, television, reading materials, and other amenities in a stylish space with comfortable furnishings away from the hustle and bustle of a terminal in an airport while waiting for the departures of flights…

Should DJs Perform in Airport Lounges?

Delta Air Lines Sky Club Concourse B Atlanta airport
Photograph ©2016 by Brian Cohen.

…but a person was reportedly in a booth playing recorded popular music in a Delta Sky Club lounge at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport recently — which launched this debate on FlyerTalk about whether having DJs performing in airport lounges is appropriate.

DJ is an abbreviation for disc jockey, which is a term that was reportedly first used by Walter Winchell in 1935 for a person who uses a machine to play recorded music to an audience — either in person or via broadcast — via phonograph records or “discs” until the 1970s or so; but the recorded music can be from cassette tapes, compact discs, .mp3 devices, or virtually any other medium. DJs are popular in nightclubs, events, parties, grand openings to promote businesses, and other gatherings of people — as well as via radio, the Internet, and other forms of broadcast media…

…but do they belong in an airport lounge — especially if they propel their personality as part of the performance?

FlyerTalk member DLmedalliongold was compelled to share this experience which occurred on Thursday, August 4, 2022: “So yes, on Thursday afternoon the music was quite loud when they first started. It wasn’t house or electronic music but more top-40 type music. I was listening in on a zoom call with my noise cancelling headphones and it made it hard to hear, but they turned it down a few times before moving the DJ booth from next to the coffee machines over to the windows and played a bit more subdued music at a lower volume. I do like the idea of this on a weekend afternoon and maybe a little more subdued… Once they moved the booth it was a lot better than when they first started at a very loud volume.”

Delta Sky Club New York
It will be a freezing cold day in New York before I get to visit the Sky Deck, which was closed for obvious reasons. Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

Some FlyerTalk members proposed that the Sky Deck outside of the lounge would be a more appropriate and conducive place for a DJ to be “jamming out” — but the Delta Sky Club at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport does not have one.

“I would be at the desk making a complaint and I would also go to the online complaint form and make a complaint” is what FlyerTalk member Orange County Commuter posted in response. “No we don’t need a DJ.”

Other FlyerTalk members believe that if the music was more appropriate — jazz as one of many examples — at an acceptable level of sound, having a DJ in a lounge could be a potentially enhancing experience instead of a detrimental one.

Final Boarding Call

Wyclef Jean
Would you mind if this performance by Wyclef Jean with a DJ and turntables was in an airport lounge? Photograph ©2022 by Brian Cohen.

I must say that of all of the airport lounges which I have visited during my travels, I have never seen a live disc jockey playing recorded music — nor have I seen any musicians performing music live and in person.

If the music was appropriate background music played at an acceptable volume, I might enjoy it — especially while relaxing in a comfortable chair while dining on good food as I await my flight.

What are your thoughts?

All photographs ©2015, ©2016, and ©2022 by Brian Cohen.

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