REAL BAD’s tradition of introducing world class DJs to the San Francisco dance scene has spotlighted great artists from around the world such as Susan Morabito, Pete Savas, Lydia Prim, Edu Quintas and Jesus Pelayo. As a 9-hour event, it is an amazing opportunity for DJs to display their ability to create a complete musical journey for the over 2,000 men and women celebrating the end of Folsom Street Fair weekend.

The DJ Selection Committee is comprised of REAL BAD Working Group members and is managed by the DJ Chair. The Chair is the DJs primary contact through the process who invites the prospective DJs to submit, receives the submissions and distributes them to the judges.

DJs must meet the following criteria to be considered for REAL BAD:

  • They have not previously spun a San Francisco Bay Area event with more than 300 guests.
  • They have not played more than two San Francisco Bay Area events within 18 months of date the invitations are sent out.
  • San Francisco/Bay Area includes: San Francisco, Guerneville/Russian River, Oakland, San Jose and the areas in between.
  • REAL BAD classifies an “event” for a DJ as a gathering where the primary intent of the event/area is for dancing, and where the DJs name is promoted on the poster or artwork.
  • They have not submitted an application in the three previous consecutive years. If so, they are asked to skip at least one year before submitting again.
  • The DJ selected for REAL BAD agrees not to play any events in the San Francisco Bay Area between the application invitation date and the event in September.
  • They follow all instructions and direction provided by the Chair.

The REAL BAD DJ is an invite-only position that involves a three-part selection process as follows:

STEP 1 – Eligible DJs who have expressed interest or have been recommended by a REAL BAD host are sent an invitation to submit by the Chair.

STEP 2 – The DJ Selection Committee reviews the submissions and selects up to four for the DJs to submit a second round of music.

STEP 3 – Music in the second round is distributed to the judges blindly, without any names associated with them, so they are considered purely on the music.

The DJ from the second round who submits the music judged best for REAL BAD is invited to play the party and is announced at the annual Margarita Kick-Off Party in June. DJs who are not selected are provided feedback upon request, and are eligible to submit again the following year if they continue to meet the criteria.

The DJ selection process for REAL BAD XXVIII is underway. More information will be provided on this website after the Margarita Party.


Over the past 27 years, REAL BAD has been bringing new and unique sounds to the San Francisco dance floor, year after year. We strive to craft a beautiful musical journey for our guests each year, offering a 3 part experience, starting with a joyous t-dance, moving into sexy, late night beats, and culminating in refreshing morning music. This special journey is our unique sound, and each year we bring in a DJ new to the San Francisco scene to give you their local take on that unique journey.