Highest Paid DJs

Highest Paid DJs

The Highest Paid DJs have in the last year significantly increased their incomes in Vegas. As the popularity of electronic dance music has grown so has the salaries of the top tier DJ/producers. Only a couple of years ago the only place that you could see this many world famous DJ/producers was Ibiza.

Fast forward to now, and Las Vegas has almost replaced Ibiza as the EDM capital of the world. While there are a bunch of different ways to look at this, we are trying to compare each DJs per show earnings. These are the best guesses for what each DJ is currently making per show.

Some of the Highest Paid DJs

Deadmau5 – is currently the highest paid with an estimated $425,000 per performance.

Tiesto – is the second on the list playing at Wet Republic and reportedly making right around $250,000 per performance.

Skrillex – will be playing at Daylight Beach Club and Light Vegas two brand new venues that opened at Mandalay Bay. He is making right around 225k to 250k per performance.

Steve Angello – one of the members of Swedish House Mafia, can be seen playing at XS Las Vegas and Encore Beach Club regularly.

David Guetta – reportedly made $13 million in 2012. You can find David Guetta at Encore Beach Club and XS Las Vegas regularly in 2013.

Steve Aoki – who in 2012 made approximately $12 million while playing at the Wynn Encore has moved over to play at Wet Republic.

Kaskade – had a residency at Encore Beach for a summer a couple of years ago and then was a resident at Marquee Dayclub & Nightclub. He is now a resident at XS nightclub where he played Columbus Day, Halloween. The next time you can see Kaskade is at XS Nightclub on New Year’s Eve 2014.

** This is a Vegas Pool Season estimate based on some factors but NO comment from the venues has been released with exact numbers.

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Written by Jessie Gibson

Has been in Las Vegas for the past 11 years working in Nightlife both in night clubs and pool parties for the past 8-9 years. I have been working on marketing, promotions and social media marketing & consulting for hospitality industry. I also worked a number of years as a financial analyst for the Hard Rock Hotel and American Casino Entertainment Properties, LLC.


  1. Ridiculous, considering that there are DJs who play the same clubs, sometimes play for longer and put on better shows, and get paid jack shit compared to the big stars. Spread the wealth a little bit and help the smaller artists get to where these guys are.

    • I think that most of these Big EDM DJs are more producers then they are DJs and sure there are better live DJs playing and putting on better shows but they are playing the Big EDM DJs music most of the time.

      • Making music, is a lot harder than just DJing other peoples music.

        Dieselboy even said in an interview he pretty much stopped producing because it’s too difficult to make a good song.

        Producers deserve more respect than they seem to get, especially from the DJ community that depends on them for new music.

        • That makes no sense to me?? One makes music because one loves to make music, and make people smile, or feel, or dance… not to be on the top of the charts. At least the ones who create from their heart do.

        • IM a dj first and now produce… what is a good song? well thats about a difference of opinion what is a good song to one is a not so good for another its all about individuality music has no boundaries only how much money you have to market that record….

          • Incorrect. Most of the songs that are hits follow specific rules of composition. You are lucky as hell if you break trough with something that differs from that.

        • You’re right, Thomas 🙂

          Producers, Sound Designers and Software Engineers are the true master minds, the geeks and freaks of the music industry. For many people it’s hard to get used to the fact that they can earn almost as much as a Pop star now and finally get the recognition they deserve.

        • it astonishes me how many comments i see about DJ’s being paid bare money for playing other people’s music…. the days when you could get famous that way finished 20 years ago; it simply can’t happen anymore… I know 400 grand is daft money but they’re not doing anything wrong, they’ve just found some muppet who’s willing to pay them it…. but at least half of what they play will be music they have made themselves so let’s not take the it away from them

      • Please don’t spread these kinds of rumors. These guys are by no means making great music. There are thousands of great professional producers out there so trust music won’t run out, but it may get better if these cheese balls are out of the picture. These big names are money making brands, far removed from what DJing and putting on a quality experience is all about.

        These guys are POP, nothing more nothing less. Once we agree on what they are, I’m fine w/ whatever amount of money they make. People are giving it to them of their own accord.

        There are some amazing producers and DJs out there who are putting on amazing shows and probably make on 1-10K max. That’s what makes it possible to see these guys in an intimate 500 people venue where you can actually feel some sort of vibe that is more than the superficial frenzy at the pop “EDM” events.

        I’ve been in the electronic scene for a long time. While this POPy stuff is a bit annoying, at the same time, it is nice that people are listening to electronic music and I hope it leads them to better stuff. There is some amazing house, deep house, tech house and techno being produced and played right now. And it is very subtle, not in-your-face dulling of the senses stuff. If you can get into it, it will change your understanding of electronic music forever.

    • Maybe instead of complaining about “Smaller” artists the “smaller” artists need to step up their games, and build a large fan base so that they too can generate the kind of revenue for the clubs that warrant receiving such payment even if they are talentless!

      • No. None of these DJ’s should be making $400,000 for 2 hours of performance. Unless you’re saving someone’s life, the work that they do doesn’t warrant receiving such payment. it’s a bubble, and it will pop.

  2. They get pay that much to play over and over and over again the same shittty set every week jeez….. They just mix the same songs in different order

    • The DJs are no different than the pop stars or rappers now and of course they are going to play their own music. It would be way worse to go and see Tiesto or Steve Aoki and they just played random music. don’t you think?

    • They fly in and out of Las Vegas we pick them up from their private charted planes or domestic flights we treat them like people . I have driven almost all of them to The Hotel Light and Encore Xs and Wynn, Cosmo and again picked up from the hotels back to the planes. Usually in a SUV. This goes for the same as Celebrities not all but 99.9 % . Us drivers hate driving these people because they never give a tip. Or gratuity which usually is at least 20% we don’t get a penny . And now seeing how much they make. Really you can’t give my coleagues and I any thing for doing you a favor especially when your up . Just as soon as you get there. We get you there on time Really .

        • Would you pay them again on leaving a gig? Don’t think so. why expect to get paid twice just because they have money.

      • That is complete bullshit. Any large company is going to be sending their own private fleet to escort artists/celebrities to/from the airport. These individuals are paid much more than a normal driver and aren’t tipped.

        *Source: not being an illogical fuck

  3. However, if the big name DJs weren’t playing, there wouldn’t necessarily be an audience for the supporting DJs and artists to play to… plus, if you’re in it for the money, you’ve chosen the wrong career path.

    • I like the way you put that Matt. It seems that most everyone overlooks the connection between brand recognition (DJ Name) and attendance. While some people think that is a debatable topic, for those with experience in business and particularly brand strategy that is just a black and white easy to understand scenario. It would be nice for the people who hold it down to get paid more, but if the supporting calculations warrant the salaries of the lesser known djs and by comparison this big of salaries for the names that bring in the numbers, then they should be paid that.

      • Good point Matt! I think that people see the amount of money they are making and only see the 2-3 hours that they are in the nightclub. They don’t see all of the time that they spent producing the music and all of the clubs they played for little money.

        There is definitely a difference of crowd at the pool parties when Calvin Harris or Avicii plays compared to a lesser known DJ.

    • I agree, Yander. I have seen most of these dj’s (yawn!) and they ARE clowns. They are great for controlling the masses and keeping them distracted, no?

  4. This is pretty crazy…Who knew someone who presses play gets paid so much. DJs in Las Vegas might be a little over paid.

  5. All that money and some of Tiesto’s set I wanted a pillow and go to sleep. I seen so many non big name DR’S that put on a better show any night.

  6. Most of them are button pushers, I actually don’t think most of these guys couldn’t do a whole set without there exploding rocket fx that go on forever. Dance music has changed in the last 10 year’s and not for the better.

  7. These numbers are way off their under contracts an paid yearly to spin per performance is prob around 30k per night they spin and they do not spin every weekend they rotate diff djs at the venues

  8. Reporters don’t have access to this sort of information at all, these are GUESSES at best and very likely WAY off.

  9. There is no DJ worth that amount of money. You could hire all the bands that made the music to play live for about that. Why would you settle for someone with such a small part in the musical process. It just shows how stupid people are really. You might own a venue but that doesn’t mean you aren’t stupid as hell I suppose.

  10. Actors, Athletes, Musicians, Artists all make a very lucrative career. Without the public ( us) their genre, style, creations would cease to be innovated by others trying to make a life of it. Even if it isn’t your cup of tea, mad respect for inspiring us to break boundaries.

  11. To the chauffeur, why are you complaining that they never leave a tip? Your job I take it, is to pick them up and drop them off at both hotel and club, then do the reverse and then back to the airport…….why do you expect a tip? I never get tips when I’m helping old and young people who have physical and mental issues whilst at work! I already get paid once by my employer and don’t expect another ‘payment’ from the client….

  12. Well spreading the wealth I just what should be done but prop to the guys and ladies that started from the bottom like some of us and made it big. I have seen some sets of these highly paid DJs and they not worth the money but their marketing is good I must say ! (Lol)


  14. Is that just the DJ’s fee? Or the the entire crew, ie, lights, graphics, effects, sound, etc. ??? some of these guys travel with what would have been a full rock tour crew a few years ago..

    Funny, I have seen quite a few of these peeps in the story for free at Burningman..


  15. everyone who used the acronym EDM to describe any part of the rave scene is lacking in brain matter, because it has moved from shady warehouses into posh clubs doesn’t mean you hipster wanna be e’tards can change or collaborate all the genres under an acronym.

    And what these paid dj’s/producers are doing is the same as any sport player today is doing. Get in … burn out … get out

    But don’t expect the true heads to pay over $30 to see ya spin… when your shit is over played 20 million times a day on analog radios.

  16. If deadmau5 got paid 425,000 to play 1 show, do the math on how many $100(assuming that shows are $100 to get in) tickets would have to be sold at that 1 show for this to even make any sense. I haven’t been to Vegas but 4250 people to sell the tickets to break even seams like super huge parties every time they play. I don know how big these clubs are but you need a giant build to hold 4250 people. I’m calling bullshit on this whole article.

  17. These guys, tiesto, skrillex, aoki, guetta… are what’s called mainstream artists. Basically, the people come to listen to their music, not them doing a good set (with some of them not even being the real composers of the track). Most of the people that go to these concerts are not real EDM fans, they’re the people that usually listen to radio and go to the events so they can take selfless and post on their facebook wall (Look where I am).

    I am a DJ and producer, and can say that there are countless great DJs playing amazing sets… but they will never reach this amount, because they’re not mainstream. Commercialism is money (It’s ion the name…. commerce).

    You want quality, you sacrifice the cash.

  18. Please dont compare Ibizas Vibrant scene to Vegas’s watered down trendy ass “edm” scene. example…look at how Vegas did Mark Farina at the Marquee Club. Mark fuckin Farina asked to step down bc of multiple requests from “vip” bottle service patrons.think about that. talk about misleading the masses…

  19. The DJ’s get paid this in Vegas because their name draws the people in. Think what you will about wether a DJ is an artist or not but the reality is that their name brings party people into the clubs in Vegas to spend money. It is very competitive.

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