Mike Garrasi from Albany-based Music Man Entertainment isn’t sitting idly during the coronavirus crisis. He booked a DJ gig during lockdown playing music for residents at an assisted living facility — in the parking lot!
We asked Mike to explain:
DJ Times: Tell us about the DJ gig during lockdown.
Mike Garrasi: I set up in the parking lot about 100 feet from the building — totally safe! All the residents stayed inside while I played music. Very cool vibe. The experience was just incredible. I DJed on one side of the building from 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm and then on the other side of the building from 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm. The building is 5 stories tall. To see the smiles on their faces, them dancing in their windows and how happy they were just because I was playing music to brighten their day was just awesome.
I was so thankful that I got the call to make people happy again.
How did you get the gig?
I have been DJing pretty much every week for 30 years and to have all this time off was driving me crazy! I was told that the facility hires entertainment on a regular basis to play inside for the residents, but that had to stop due to Covid 19. No residents have the virus and they want to keep it that way. I got the gig due to the employees of the facility knowing me as a DJ. I was so thankful that I got the call to make people happy again.
This can be a source of future bookings?
I am hoping this takes off. Honestly I would have done it free as a one off, but since they had a budget for entertainment, why not. I have had two other assisted living centers contact me as of Friday, who are considering it. Other than that, the deposits that come in for future bookings will keep my business running. People are still booking weddings! Not as many inquiries as 30 days ago, but they are still coming in.
As with anyone around the world who is on lockdown, it’s not fun and definitely not what we as entertainers are use to. It’s the exact opposite. We are party people, who love to entertain. All of my events from March 14th through the 1st Week in June have either cancelled or rescheduled their dates. So, once this thing is over we will all be extremely busy — and I can’t wait!
What music got the best response?
The age group was 40’s – 90’s, so a lot of the old school wedding classics — “Celebration,” “Brown Eyed Girl,” “Sweet Caroline” and “New York, New York.” And a few new ones too — “I Gotta Feeling,” “Uptown Funk” & “Happy”!
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