The rave business makes it too easy to be a sketchy promoter.  How many contractors do you know, upon completing a job for a client, would not only gladly accept the fact that the contractor was unwilling to pay them, but would actually be excited to come back in 2 weeks and work for free again? Probably not many - or at least, not many who are still in business. But in the world of raves, this is a common practice. Talent (DJ's, performers) are routinely squeezed, jerked around, and just plain screwed by promoters who were either too lazy to properly plan their event, or just want to keep whatever money comes in to themselves.

In a normal free market, anyone who routinely treated their business associates in an underhanded manner would soon find himself dancing alone in a dark corner. But the problem with the entertainment industry is that everyone has starry, starry dreams in their eyes, and these dreams blind them from reality. People are too accepting of having the terms of their performance agreement suddenly changed, be it set length, payment, or accomodations, because they mistakenly assume that this is "just the way it is" in the music industry, and that the attitudes and obstacles they encounter are just something they have to bear with on their way to building a career. Or they don't want to raise their voice to defend their position and speak out against the way they are treated for fear of burning bridges and upsetting the delicate apple cart that is rave politics. Frequently when the topic of a particularly heinous act committed on the part of a promoter is mentioned in a rave community, the person making the complaint is branded as trying to "destroy the scene" by undermining the work of someone who is actively throwing parties.

But the reality is exactly the opposite of this statement. What truly destroys a scene are bad promoters throwing bad parties. Every time a promoter has a party shut down for not abiding by fire codes or basic safety, that's one more venue that an owner will no longer rent out for rave purposes. Every time a promoter burns an act by not treating them properly, it's one more story told to other DJ's all over the world about your city and your scene. Everytime a promoter takes advantage of a new DJ's naivete, that's one more person who might just stop contributing to the scene.

Many promoters are also reluctant to develop new local talent. Every DJ everywhere started off as a local. When a big name is brought in to headline, instead of surrounding him with up and coming DJ's, too many times a lineup will become choked with promoters from other cities who have been booked in exchange for bookings in their respective towns for the promoter him/herself.

While there is nothing wrong with booking secondary talent from another area code, the sad fact is the majority of promoters will not book anyone without getting a booking guarantee in return. The idea of a talentocracy has given way to an old boy's club atmosphere that discourages upstart DJ's. If a DJ can't see a clear path towards improving and advancing their role from gig to gig, what impetus is their for them to hone their craft, or even get involved?