What impact have the covid-19 restrictions had on DJ's?

When the music stopped

Things changed almost overnight when the covid-19 restrictions came into force across the UK. With blanket bans on gatherings and celebrations, the entertainment industry has been hit particularly hard. With different areas being subject to different lockdown measures, it’s unlikely that a return to parties, gigs and some semblance of normality will be on the cards any time soon.

In order to hear just how much of an effect it’s had on the live music industry, we had a chat with Ian Marriott of Unlimited Sound, who have been providing DJ’s, mobile discos, lighting and PA systems to events for over 20 years.

What were your thoughts as a DJ heading into lockdown?

To be honest, my first thoughts as we went into lockdown was how long was it going to take us to come out?

If it was going to be a long time, and I had started to realise that it was going to be, I began to wonder what sort of opportunities there could be. That’s when I started Drive In Films to provide some socially-distanced entertainment for people.

Weddings cancelled by coronavirus

Since March, many weddings across the UK have been cancelled, impacting the DJ industry.

What was your schedule for 2020 looking like up until that point?

At Unlimited Sound, our schedule for 2020 was looking really busy. We had every weekend booked up! Everything from pub gigs, special events, corporate gigs and of course, weddings.

What has been the impact of the covid-19 restrictions on DJ’s?

Financially, there’s clearly an impact on DJ’s and musicians. But the restrictions have also caused a lot of uncertainty and that has a different sort of effect.

From a DJ perspective, keeping right up to date with current tracks is definitely a challenge. At the moment we have more time, but limited space to experiment with and see what works. We’ve also lost the ability to interact and see what works with a live crowd. In my mind, there’s absolutely no substitute for live performances where you can really see what gets them going and find that track that just makes the house rock.