Insomniac DJ spins into Champaign

Justin Bennett, also known as DJ JB, owner of the InsomniacDJ store at 71 Chester St. in Champaign, says interest in his business has been strong. I´ve had people come by banging on my door, asking if I was open, he said. InsomniacDJ opens Saturda Nick Kohout

Justin Bennett, also known as DJ JB, owner of the InsomniacDJ store at 71 Chester St. in Champaign, says interest in his business has been strong. “I´ve had people come by banging on my door, asking if I was open,” he said. InsomniacDJ opens Saturda Nick Kohout

By Ashley Poynter

Find out more about Insomniac DJ, go to www.insomniacdj.com

Disc jockeys in the Champaign area looking for current music and quality equipment will soon have a new outlet.

A new DJ specialty store, Insomniac DJ, 71 Chester St., Champaign, is to open its doors to the public Saturday at 9 a.m., featuring industry representatives from Pioneer and Numark to demonstrate equipment live.

Justin Bennett, owner of Insomniac DJ, said the store will offer products such as turntable needles and headphones in addition to an upscale atmosphere for DJs to network.

Rows of vinyl, a selection of DJ T-shirts and a showroom of the “latest and greatest in video and nightclub technology” will provide essentials and top-of-the-line equipment for the innovative DJ, Bennett said.

“It’s not going to be racks of music,” Bennett said. “You’re going to have enough room to relax and look around and get what you want.”

Insomniac DJ will offer listening stations for sampling music that include house, hip-hop, R&B;, reggae, reggaeton, Latin and music by local artists, Bennett said.

Bennett, who has worked as a DJ nationwide, said he decided that now is the time to open this store.

“We realized that there’s so much talent here and so much talent coming through Champaign, especially with the University,” said Sharon Bennett, Justin Bennett’s wife. “There’s not really anything here for DJs.”

Justin Bennett, who’s 9-year career has been influenced by Chicago house music, is aiming to offer a selection to DJs of all kinds, not just club DJs. Bennett has worked with local venues like Nargile and Tracks Sportsbar & Nightclub. He has also worked at anniversaries and birthday parties.

Formerly an engineer in Hawaii for two years, Bennett said he moved back to Illinois 10 months ago to open Insomniac DJ and be his own boss.

“Justin is passionate about DJ’ing- that’s pretty much what he lives for,” said Sharon Bennett.

The Insomniac DJ Web site, which Justin Bennett said should be completed next week, will offer another channel for people to buy products, especially DJ equipment. Eventually, the store will offer educational seminars, DJ equipment rental and repair services.

Brendan Clark, senior in Engineering and local DJ, said he supports any new stores geared towards DJs because it is often hard to find local and affordable equipment and gear.

“Over the past few years, I think (the DJ) culture has grown in this campus area,” Clark said. “The music scenes that are acclimated towards DJs are growing. I think local retail stores in that vein will do well.”