In our continuing series of asking DJs how they’ve been navigating the pandemic, we received quite a few replies from folks who are buckling down and committed to the craft.
For many DJs, the rush of entertaining is still strong.
Jake Garcia: I’ve been a DJ for 40 years and have done very well. I am still working at least weekly, but yes it has slowed. If you love it, it makes it a lot easier to keep going. I never did it for the money, I love to create and entertain. The money comes.
People have this notion that us DJs are so desperate for work that we will work for peanuts.
Charles Carlos Feliciano: Sometimes you have no control. In our state, they have shut down gatherings to 10 or less. That will cause a disruption in business if you solely rely on DJing as a primary way of making money. I am in Hawaii, a large wedding destination location and even though you may be totally paid off in equipment, rental storage fees, website fees and other fees will still be coming down with no income coming in.
Gennaro Lattanzi: What’s happening in my market now (Staten Island) is a lot of backyard events and people have this notion that us DJs are so desperate for work that we will work for peanuts. I’ve gotten a few “I’ll get back to you’s” in recent weeks. Thankfully I’m not starving so I’ll just keep my equipment tucked away and enjoy my weekend while the bottom feeders drive the price that customers are accustomed to into the shi**er.
Some of my friends are doing outdoor movie nights providing a screen, projector, sound system and even popcorn service — a good idea while the weather is still nice to make a few bucks.
I’ve been DJing 35 years. I have a regular job thankfully. I’ve always kept my overhead low by making sure my equipment is paid off quickly. I have a dedicated vehicle that is paid off, so my only real expense is my liability insurance and Promo Only while I sit this out. If I never go back to work I’ll have a kick ass sound system for my basement.
Ken Schaffer, Brigantine NJ area, outside Atlantic City: Still booking destination and beach weddings for 2021. Recent wave of bookings as people realize next year will get busy. I built and operated a large multi-op in the Philly region that is still alive and well today with my brother’s operation. Retired from the business for 3 years in 2000 and came back out of passion for the art of being an event entertainer. No plans to quit over a pandemic. Sure events will be scaled back, but our expertise is still required. Even more so than ever.
Gene Darling, Nebraska: All my equipment is paid for. I have a career that pays the bills, so I’ll keep all my equipment and do family and close friends weddings but not gonna go back into it. Will enjoy my weekends camping fishing and jamming with my grandsons.