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Just about every DJ has written off 2020 as an all-time low — both for business and morale. But optimism is not lost. 

Just as news broke that a possible vaccine for COVID-19 was on the horizon, we polled DJs from around the country and asked what their expectations are for 2021. As you might imagine, the responses were quite varied.

Rick Jess, Majesstic Entertainment, Winchendon, Mass. 

I’m hopeful! If things get back to normal it will be the craziest year to date! 

John Wittemore, Event Team Entertainment, Portland, Ore.

I am cautiously optimistic. My “season,” as currently booked, begins April 17 and is booked nearly every weekend through October 2021. Time will tell.

Robert Bailey, Chester, W.V. 

We’re just launching our company and are cautiously optimistic for 2021. But mostly, we’re looking to 2022.

Jason Nuce, Last Resort Productions, Breckenridge, Col.

I have no expectations and that way I can’t be disappointed.

DJ Jesse D, Don’t Forget to Dance, Boise, Idaho

I’m booking events, especially weddings. And my weekends for next year are filling up as they do most years around this time. Only time will tell, but it’s looking good here so far.

Aaron Korman, High Life Event Group, Toronto, Ont., Canada 

Although many of my clients for this year have tentatively rescheduled for the coming year, I’m hesitant to believe we’ll be back to normal. I see events happening with safety measures still in play, but can’t anticipate what those measures will be exactly. I foresee a positive bounce back in 2022.

Christopher Holloway, Megabeat Entertainment, Columbus, Ohio 

With current bookings and the re-bookings from this year, we’re already at 77 weddings. A lot of Friday and Sunday weddings next year, estimating around 200. Should be a good year—our fingers are crossed. 

Rick Atson, Parties On Point Entertainment, Brooklyn, N.Y. 

I’m anticipating a bunch of events contacting us, but people trying to chew us down on the price. One, because we’re in New York City and there’s so much competition, as always. And two, especially because people believe the business has been so dead. They believe that all entertainment companies will be desperate. 

Juan Jose Saucedo, TAZ Deejay, Knoxville, Tenn.

My agenda is looking good already for 2021, but so did last year and everything went downhill. But I’m thinking 2021 is going to be a really busy-busy. 

Steve Smelser, Event Entertainment, Baltimore, Md. 

I re-scheduled the ones I lost for next year, so… barring the end of the world, it should be an improvement.

Ryan Gerrish, Signature Event Group, Kansas City, Mo. 

I’m already almost fully booked up for next year, plus I have remaining weddings for the year this year. I went from 41 weddings to 22 this year. Not too bad. Missouri has been pretty relaxed about everything. I’m a solo operator, so I’m grateful for every one I get. 

Cory Nickerson, London, Ont., Canada

I’ve been nearly as busy as usual, but and people are adapting. Businesses are closed currently until this COVID pandemic is under control; we just had more outbreaks here.

Fred Tian, MixPro Events, Atlanta, Ga.

All the bigger events that were supposed to be this year all got moved to next year, so there will be more bigger-scale production-style events next year than this year.

Billy Bara, Pittsburgh, Pa.

A ton of re-scheduling of dates and cancellations – probably worse than 2020.

Michael Stretch, DJ Stretch, Calgary, Alb., Canada

I’m pulling the plug and selling off my gear. 

Keith Smith, Keith Smith Productions, Knoxville, Tenn. 

Only lost two events due to COVID. Everything else was re-scheduled and have been slammed every weekend since May and going all the way through mid-December. The year 2021 is booking at an unreal pace, and will actually need to hire a DJ or two. 

Maulin Parikh, Creative Sounds Entertainment, Elmhurst, Ill.  

We have almost 90-percent rate of postponed events. Three-percent have been cancelled and 7-percent have moved forward. While we’re booking at record rates for 2021, the reality may be altered on the basis of this “second wave.” Realistically, we’re not going to be back to normal until 2022 earliest, and that’s factoring in a mass-vaccination schedule.

Rick Vanderwal, Trans Audio, Crown Point, Ind. 

If things stay the course, as they’ve been in my corner of the world – northwest Indiana – then I’m hoping to have as good and as busy of a year as this one has been. It was slow at first during the summer, but picked up as things opened up more. I DJ on my own and help out another DJ business close by. It’s pretty busy this fall so far, and I’m very thankful.

Rolando Fentanes, Trompo Lights, Glendale, Ariz.

There’s lot underground events going on right now. I feel like being a DJ has become illegal like alcohol did in the 1920s.

Kurtus Nichols, K-Sound Entertainment, Malta, Ohio 

Starting at end of March and through April and May, we’ve had no bookings for the rest of 2021. Since June, we’re ahead of last year’s booking at this point – we’ve received 21 for the year 2021. 

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