As social distancing measures persist for the foreseeable future, local DJs are left questioning what will happen next for their industry paused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Across the state, many DJs are left unemployed and unable to attend gigs. The health pandemic and subsequent economic crisis forced many DJs to resort to online performances that can be found on live streams.
Phoebe Fox, a nursing major at the University of New Mexico, has been participating in many live streams since the transformation and has dressed up for multiple events.
“The experience is as good as it gets from watching a rave in your living room,” Fox said. “Like when I watch these raves, I can still feel the love and that we’re all in this together.”
A forecast from Los Alamos National Laboratory in late April estimated a peak in cases could come around the tail end of May, but uncertainty about coronavirus peaks remain.
“The statistical model estimates a 57% chance that New Mexico is past its peak in the number of new virus cases confirmed each day,” the Albuquerque Journal reported.
Given the unknowns, many artists and DJs are taking the time to work on their techniques and their playlists. Even so, job security within online mediums presents its own challenges.
Patrick Milligan is an employee at Dream Factory Production in Albuquerque who said he worried about being banned from Facebook during live videos. In live streams, Facebook can have the right to give you a violation of copyright, which limits the playlists that DJs can stream.
Still, Milligan said he’s been looking forward to an upcoming live stream set for a graduation party this summer. He also said he has been asking people not to cancel events, but postpone instead.
Another local DJ service, SW DJ Entertainment, stays up to date with their own mixes by uploading work weekly through the Mixed Clouds app.
“I’ve taken this time to step away from social media which is leaving me more time to practice on my playlists. This has been the moment I’ve looked forward to,” Pete Nic from Albuquerque’s SW DJ Entertainment said.
Other DJs and local musicians have asked their audiences to watch live streams on platforms like Twitch, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. Insomniac, an electronic music event promoter, is one of many live stream organizers encouraging people around the world to watch and participate in dressing up to win the chance of some future live tickets.
Fox said the opportunity to showcase her outfits online, ranging from her makeup to her tops, have made it more exciting for her to continue through the virtual transition brought by the pandemic.
One of the virtual raves Fox attended was a three-day special known as Room Service. It was streamed on YouTube by Trap Nation from April 24 through the 26.
During the show, Fox said she dressed up like she normally would for a concert, wearing a matching sparkly silver two-piece with black fishnets and white vans.
For now, local DJs are holding on to that hope brought to them by people who attend the live streams, dress up for shows and stay in contact to keep the music alive.
Cameron Ward is a culture reporter for the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @xx_cameo_xx