DJs are gods. It's the way it is right now. They're like pharoahs of ancient Egypt. They stand on podiums. They speak to dolphins...
Since the EDM boom they've challenged the view that we live in a monotheistic culture, and they have the DJ booking fees to prove it. The question is, should this be the case? (Is this even a question?)
As dieities, they're paid handsomely. And as the culture demands more extravagance, the costs may continue to rise. The only hope is industry saturation and a cultural shift to a less-is-more mentality (by less we mean fewer baked goods and confetti canons). But if it weren't enough that we're so wide-eyed over these DJs, we're also drooling over their riches. Standing in awe of pyramids which we helped build.
DJs have become the icons of today - celebrities. They're not that different from mega pop or movie stars, but therein lies the problem. Many of us want electronic music to stay genuine, stay unique, and be more than just three letters caked in sugar.
You can't deny that talent and smarts didn't help these guys (yep - they're all men on this short list) get to where they are today, in some way or another. We're not saying they're worthless by any means, but are these amounts justifiable? In your view, who should be #1? Maybe in the end it's the culture that surrounds them that we should really be examining.
Here are some of the highest paid booking fees as it stands today according to NoisePorn:
Calvin Harris: $350,000 – $550,000
David Guetta: $350,000
Hardwell: $100,000 +
Martin Garrix: $100,000
Afrojack: $50,000 – $100,000
Armin van Buuren: $50,000 – $100,000
Oliver Heldens: $10,000 – $30,000
Michael Calfan, Vinai, Firebeatz, $ 5,000 – $ 20,000