Published On: Sun, Sep 17th, 2023
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‘I’m a pensioner earning thousands of pounds a month DJing — I do it for the buzz’ | Personal Finance | Finance

A pensioner from Weston-Super-Mare has spoken about how he turned his passion for music into a job earning him £2,000 a month.

Bernie Edwards, 69, has performed at pubs and clubs all over Bristol playing original vinyl 60s/70s soul, motown and reggae.

He said the music is particularly popular with over-50s as there’s “not a lot going on” for people in that age group in the area.

He told : “You can’t put a price on how you feel when you’re standing up here and you’ve got the whole room in the palm of your hand.”

Bernie took up DJing about 20 years ago after a friend invited him to DJ at a northern soul night, which he “absolutely loved”.

He had worked as a salesman for years but when he turned 50, he decided to give up his job and get behind the decks.

He bought his own equipment and then started DJing at pubs and clubs in his local area, performing under the name Double Barrel, his favourite reggae single.

The music talent recently had to scale back his DJing after a health issue but he was previously doing a gig every Friday and Saturday, with each night paying around £250, or £500 over the course of a weekend.

He said: “I don’t do it for the money. I do it to get the buzz of the crowd. The money is very nice but that’s not the important thing for me, it’s being out there among like minded people, who appreciate the music I’m playing.”

Bernie lives on his and and also sells records online to earn extra income alongside the DJing.

He said: “I buy things that interest me and that I know have some real value – music equipment, records, that sort of thing – and then sell them on. It is not a huge money-spinner, but it is enjoyable.”

Some of his costs have increased over the past year, with the food and petrol bills increasing “dramatically”.

Asked if he’s concerned about the future, he said: “These things go in waves. Over a period of time, things go up, then they level off, then they go up again.

“Energy is on the way down now, so is petrol. I think it will all come right over the next two or three years, but we’re still in a sticky time.”

Despite the uncertainty about the future, Bernie is committed to keeping his passion for music going.

He said: “I’m so glad music came into my life, and I look forward to getting back on the dancefloor again.

“But whatever happens, I know I will never properly retire. Age is just a number and I want to just keep doing what I love until I physically can’t do it anymore.”

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