The fifth annual Pro Mobile Awards were presented by industry legend Stephanie Hirst as part of the 2022 Pro Mobile Conference, which saw a return to our 'live' format following two years of broadcasted awards due to the coronavirus pandemic. Our annual awards recognise the manufacturers, retailers and personalities that have really stood out in the mobile DJ world.
In past years, there have been eight awards, mainly focusing on equipment, but also honouring some individuals. For this year, we added a discretionary award, recognising the exceptional achievements of one particular DJ. The shortlists for the first six categories were published in the last issue of the magazine – and online – but the winners were chosen by Pro Mobile readers through an online vote. We had a truly fantastic response to this, with well over 1000 DJs contributing their opinion. This means that these awards were presented by Pro Mobile, but on behalf of all of our readers – mobile DJs from across the UK and Ireland.
The ‘DJ’s DJ’ award recognises an individual who has gone above and beyond to help or inspire other DJs. When voting for the other award categories, we asked readers to nominate someone they felt was deserving of the ‘DJ's DJ’ title and also submit a short description of why they felt that particular individual was worthy of the award. The winner was selected based on the number of nominations that an individual received and also the reasons behind the nominations. Based on the number of nominations, and also the comments received, we added a special award 'Recognition for Services to the Industry' .
Finally, the ‘Outstanding Contribution’ award is the only one that wasn’t voted for by readers. Since 2013, we have presented one award each year recognising an individual who has made a big impact on the mobile DJ industry and also on Pro Mobile. As usual, the Pro Mobile team selected the winner of this award to acknowledge and thank the winner for their positive impact and dedication to both the industry and the magazine.
Congratulations to all the winners!
NEW PLAYBACK PRODUCT OF THE YEAR
Pioneer DJ XDJ-RX3
For the second year running, Pioneer DJ walked away with the 'New Playback Product of the Year', this time for the XDJ-RX3 which packs in a host of features that come straight from the club-standard CDJ-3000 multi player and DJM-900NXS2 mixer. Sami Qureshi from Pioneer DJ accepted the award from Pro Mobile's Editor Peter Holding.
NEW ACCESSORY OF THE YEAR
The Wolfmix W1 is a standalone performance DMX lighting controller featuring a toolbox of FX modules, music sync, and up to 4 DMX universes - packed inside robust hardware with a powerful processor, and which is designed for creating light shows on the fly without a computer.
GEAR JUNKIES: RIG OF THE YEAR
The Party Outside - Darren Palmer
Based in Horsham, Darren Palmer runs DJ80 and JustSchoolDiscos.com. He converted a trailer into a ‘party pod’ to enable him to stage outdoor disco sessions in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The pod is converted from a former Virgin exhibition trailer and is complete with decks, sound system, lighting and power.
RETAILER OF THE YEAR - djkit.com®
For the second year in a row, djkit®, based in Newbury with a megastore and fulfilment centre boasting over 25,000 products in stock with the backup of almost 7000 5-star Trustpilot reviews, walked away with the 'Retailer of the Year' award. The award was presented on stage to djkit® Director and Co-Founder James Craik.
NEW PA PRODUCT OF THE YEAR - RCF ART 915-A
The ART 915-A is masterfully engineered to deliver stellar audio performance and versatility for intensive audio applications. The combination of a 1.75" compression driver, 15" woofer, two-channel 2100W amplifier, and a constant directivity True Resistive Waveguide produces coherent 100 x 60-degree coverage for the listening area with up to 131 dB SPL, distortion-free sound.
NEW LIGHTING PRODUCT OF THE YEAR - CHAUVET DJ Obsession HP
CHAUVET DJ walked away with 'Lighting Product of the Year' for the second year in a row with its Obsession HP, a compact LED effect light fitted with a 100W LED that projects coloured, interchangeable rotating gobos and a separate colour wheel. Chauvet DJ's Rob Moore accepted the award on stage.
PRO MOBILE'S DJ's DJ - Mike Stead
A wide variety of DJs were nominated for this year's DJ's DJ, but a few names appeared repeatedly. David Brown, Alan Marshall, Ashley Riggs, Chris Burford, Carl Douthwaite, Dave Mills, Clive Houghton, DJ L.I.AM (aka Liam Osler), George Pizzey (aka DJ Ratzi), Jack Wilson, Ian Forest, Jimmy Lee, Justin Banwell, Nick Chatten and Pat Mulligan all received multiple nominations, but this year, one name stood out with a large number of nominations and also very strong reasons for these nominations, which was the Darlington-based retailer, Mike Stead. Comments from those who nominated included things like “has great ideas and is happy to share”, “really knows his stuff”, “Great lockdown shows and live feeds”, “inspiring us with his vinyl collection”, “always helpful and knowledgeable”, “learning and sharing his journey on becoming a scratch DJ”. Congratulations Mike, no need to get naked for this one!
OUTSTAND CONTRIBUTION TO THE INDUSTRY - EDDIE SHORT
The winner of this year’s Pro Mobile 'Outstanding Contribution' award is Eddie Short. Starting his career as a mobile DJ at the tender age of 12, Eddie had built a business which went on to support him whilst at university, and before finishing his degree course, he had launched a magazine. Eddie's role as founder and editor of Pro Mobile lasted for 17 years and more than 100 issues. As well as running the magazine he founded, Eddie played a key part in the history of BPM – the show for DJs – and was the driving force behind our industry’s landmark event, the annual Pro Mobile Conference. As magazine editor, show and conference curator, Eddie has helped shape, inspire and build DJ businesses all over the UK and across the world.
RECOGNITION FOR SERVICES TO THE INDUSTRY IN MEMORY OF DAVID BROWN
Sadly, earlier this year, the industry lost a friend, Promo Only UK Manager David Brown. David was instrumental in the founding and success of Promo Only UK, and his passion for our industry and commitment to his customers will be sorely missed. Following a number of nominations for David as DJ's DJ, we felt it was right to recognise David's immense contribution.
During our awards presentation, Promo Only's Katherine Merrington accepted the award on behalf of David's family, and passed on a message from David's wife. "Karen asked me to thank everyone for giving David this award," she said. “It is comforting for us to know how loved and respected David was within the DJ community. He would be so very proud.”
Katherine went on to say, "Well, I hope he is looking down on us tonight as he would be so, so happy about this achievement. He literally lived and breathed DJing, it was his life. He loved helping others too, inspiring many fellow DJs along the way. He had so much to give; so much talent, so much skill, so much knowledge. In fact, not many people know this, but he was classically trained in music, so he used to be able to mix completely different genres together, impeccably, it was his party trick that he loved to wow the crowds with.
"Right up until recently he was still filling dance floors and was a regular at Soho Residence. He also played at some amazing high-profile venues including The Savoy, the Dorchester and five-star cruises. Several of his agents have told me that he was their top DJ and how he had the personality too. He was kind and personable – clients adored him.
"He put his heart and soul into his day job as well. I knew him way back when he worked for Mixmag, he then went on to DMC, and finally Promo Only where he worked for over 20 years, he absolutely loved that job. We’re so grateful for what he gave to the business and to the industry as well. This tribute is amazing, thank you so much. I'm so glad that his family will have this fantastic award as a constant reminder of how brilliant he was and how very much loved he was across the industry."
R.I.P. David Brown 19/12/65 - 21/2/22
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The full review can be found in Pro Mobile Issue 113, Pages 64-68.