Party crews discuss how they've been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
We voluntarily cancelled our March 20th party over one week prior, because it seemed like the German authorities were dragging their feet on mandating preventative measures. This is the first time we've called off our monthly since starting in June 2016, and we've halted the planning of our program until the coast looks clear.
The water is choppy, the situation hitting close to home. Hospitalised family members in Italy. Others working the frontline: Buttons resident MadAlba continues to log extra hours as a surgeon at Vivantes Neukölln. And like many in our scene, we are dealing with lost work and lost income, like our home venue, ://aboutblank, which put out a call for help last week with a crowdfunding campaign.
In an effort to help out some of our most vulnerable family members, those who are freelancers in a gig economy, we've joined Berlin Collective Action: Nightlife Emergency Fund. We urgently call on those passionate about Berlin nightlife who have steady incomes or are financially secure to join us in supporting those in need.
We recognise the privilege we have of choosing to flip the script, to view this as a much-needed holiday instead of a quarantine. Trying to catch up on reading and relaxing. Watching movies, making music, writing. Cleaning cluttered rekordbox collections and rearranging the living room. Following juicy booty tutorials on YouTube and attempting new recipes. Face-timing with friends, maintaining morale. Soon, when this is all done, we will fling our arms wide in the face of the sun, and dance.
Half Moon, New York
COVID-19 has reaped widespread effects on curators in New York City, as we no longer have access to public spaces to bring our community together. As the outbreak intensifies, we've been putting public health and safety first, meaning that we've postponed any consideration of even smaller intimate in-studio events, such as in-studio livestreams and programming. Residents are now encouraged to submit pre-recorded mixes to be played during their scheduled time.
With the importance of social distancing and self-quarantining, the impact of COVID-19 has isolated us from our community and disconnected us from the people that are so integral to helping us do our work properly. With no community, there is no Half Moon.
Luckily, as an online radio collective, finding creative solutions to connect people regardless of their location has always been one of our reasons for being. Currently, we're working internally to understand the music community's needs and how we can show up for them during this time, whether through video workshops, amplifying our residents' releases, or fundraising. If you have the means, you can support us on Patreon, so we can better serve our volunteers and residents affected economically during this time.
We thrive off of bringing people together to dance and connect through a shared love of music, but ultimately the celebration of dance music and black underground culture is what we live for. Our mission remains the same: to keep this spirit alive as we navigate developments with COVID-19, and our hearts go out to all feeling the implications of the outbreak.
Radio Radio, Netherlands
It's very unclear if we will survive this summer. We have high rent in Amsterdam and we are renting a state-of-the-art soundsystem from Sweden. There's still a lot of bills to be paid, but our expected income has completely vanished. But it also forces us to rethink our existence as a music platform. Luckily we're well connected with developers and designers, and have always been building a brand online too, with livestreams and playlists.
We're now building an online video platform to take our program online, reconnecting with partners, labels and radio stations to form new collaborations, both national and abroad. We'll stream DJ sets, talks and interviews. We're bringing our sponsors Kornuit and Absolut with us to compensate DJs and artists in these tough times as well, and on the platform our community can donate to both Radio Radio and charities. But we will need more to survive. Getting a bank loan could be an option, but we can't forecast anything since it's not known if the shutdown will take one, two or six months.
After a beautiful start it would be an incredible shame if this adventure suddenly ends after 18 months, in an era—especially in Amsterdam—where the majority of great clubs were already supposed to close within a year.
From the dawn of club culture black, queer, trans and marginalised people as a whole have been the innovators and fuel, but when shit like this happens, we're always impacted the worst. The persistent uncertainty of the current situation has thrown a lot of us into very precarious situations, and when dealing with folks already on the margins of this capitalist society it's even more critical.
In the immediate future, as a collective we're trying to prioritise our mental health and well-being as individuals, that way we're best placed to meet the basic needs of one another (housing, food, safety, mental and physical wellbeing). Nightlife is the only stream of income for a lot of us, so it has turned our worlds upside down for the foreseeable future. So we're calling on the assistance of our allies and wider club community to check in with innovators and use your privilege where possible.
Surround, Los Angeles
COVID-19 has literally put our lives on pause. Producing events and DJing is our full-time job. As individual DJs our income was immediately affected with cancellations as well as sunk costs of non-recoupable travel.
As producers of Surround and Dusk, we took measures to postpone our upcoming shows with Lena Willikens (March 21st) and our first outdoor day into night micro-festival with Honey Dijon (April 25th). These are parties we've already invested the best part of this year in planning and permitting.
While COVID-19 has stripped us of our livelihood as we knew it, it has not taken away our resilience and hope. We are still planning Dusk 2020, set for the weekend of October 16th at a pristine, retro campground in the mountains an hour north of LA. We now approach this with a refreshed sense of all that it means for our community to come together in nature and celebrate our love of music.
On Friday, March 13th, in the face of the COVID-19 crisis the French government took the restrictive measure of limiting all public events to under 100 people, thus canceling our monthly Mona party that was due to take place the following day in Paris (and most probably all the editions that are to follow over the next few months). With the fast spread of the virus over the week building up to our event, it had seemed to us increasingly unreasonable to encourage people to gather in a confined public space. The cancellation definitely seemed the most sensible measure to take.
For everyone involved, from the guest DJs to the door staff, the promotion team to the venue itself, this of course means a huge financial loss. Right now the team is sidelined, as is the vast majority of the French working population, but whereas most French salary workers will receive partial state compensation, for the creative freelancers, artists and promoters that make up the Mona team, there will be very little if any at all. For the months ahead this means no work and no source of income.
As soon as we will be able to get a clearer picture on the restart of things, our priority will be to reprogram our events. As a promoter and an employer my first concern is to give my team an opportunity to earn their living as soon as I can. This also applies to La Bellevilloise, the venue we work with hand-in-hand, and of course the artists, dancers and DJs that were to perform for us. There is no doubt that the economy of the electronic music scene is a very precarious one, we cannot afford to keep anyone cut off from their source of revenue for too long.
The questions we can ask today are: How will things restart? And will there even be a restart? The crisis we are facing today is unprecedented and even the strongest world economies have been taken by surprise, so it is difficult to foresee an answer to these questions. But one thing we can definitely choose is our own personal reaction to the crisis. We can encourage solidarity to help each other out, care for those who face the biggest struggles. We can prefer patience and confidence to fear and panic. We can see this as a moment of change. These are not easy times but it is always in the face of adversity that the best opportunities arise.
Due to COVID-19 we've decided to close Partisan and postpone all events for the foreseeable. As a nonprofit members' organisation we rely on income from events to operate, so it's a worrying time for us. We are a venue that has built a really strong dance floor community, however we also support important social justice groups in Manchester. For example, Partisan houses the Women Asylum Seekers Together (WAST), Safety For Sisters and ACORN offices: all these groups will be without their physical workplace for the duration of our closure. The people they support will struggle.
The community on our dance floor is so valuable for many. For many members, Partisan is a home and place of belonging, for experiencing music and sharing joy. We are a much-needed social space that supports diverse lineups and events. Our Day Parties, which give people the option of early doors partying, are a staple of the Manchester scene. Our in-house parties and events like All Hands On Deck, Fatty Acid, Friendzone and Queer Family Tea won't have a base for their expression and work for now. For all of these groups, as well as members who are experiencing their own life stresses during this pandemic, this will be a time of great insecurity.
Mutual support has never been more needed, let's make sure we all bounce back from this together. Keep caring for each other everyone!
The coronavirus and electronic music /
Save Our Scene
Save Our Scene: An Open Letter
How To Set Up A Livestream
Self-Isolation 101: Artists Tips For Spending Time At Home
The Coronavirus And Electronic Music: Perspectives From The Scene
Guide: Offer and receive help
Guide: Attend virtual events
Guide: Buy music and merch