Coronavirus behaves like a ‘Bulldozer’ in the music industry
A couple of weeks ago my traveling for work between Leipzig and Berlin ceased because of this coronavirus outbreak. I have since then realized I have been totally consumed by work the last while and haven’t been paying attention to worldly affairs. I completely missed following up on the news coverage on covid19. Like the rest of us, I have never witnessed this kind of situation where a pandemic virus broke out so quickly around the globe.
Supposedly the chronically ill and elderly who are considered the most vulnerable in our society at this moment in time are the most at risk, but there have been lots of news stories from all over the world about people under the age of 50 who are being hospitalized in Intensive Care.
With what feels like a complete lockdown in effect all over the world, to win over this virus which we at this moment don’t know how far it will take us in Corona’s chilling rollercoaster. A lot of people from all over the globe are really struggling, the music industry is suffering financially at this moment in time, from club owners, PR agencies and the DJs. While we all are being told that social distancing is a must, supposedly any social contact can make the matters worse.
Must we obey the rules of all of our governments and stay at our homes or should we say fuck the world and be rebellious and keep on raving no matter what?
To be honest, I’m still very much in shock about how the world has completely shutdown but for basic necessities. Everything seems upside down, it’s a bit eerie, it appears that something so small such as a microbe can essentially control travel, world markets, and governments, a virus that’s still in its infancy playing havoc outside and in. Yesterday I went shopping for groceries and any of the supermarkets I visited all had run out of fresh produce, milk, eggs, bread, pasta all the daily based was completely gone.
Let’s keep on track and talk about the music industry, where clubs like the legendary Berghain and Berlin’s finest Tresor among other clubs everywhere are fighting for their existence. DJs are suddenly not being booked or all of their upcoming gigs for the next couple of months being canceled and God knows for how long. The cycle of the music industry is being broken at this moment. This is why I was interested in how DJs from different places around the globe & how it’s affected them and how they are dealing with it at this moment.
We asked several people from the music industry;
How has the ‘LOCKDOWN’ situation affected you personally and how are your family dealing with the disruption and probably most importantly, how is it affecting you financially?
“The thing about this lockdown is how you realize how it is affecting every single person, the uncertainty, the fear of does a sneeze mean just a cold or “The Virus”? It is more important than ever to reach out and say hi electronically to everyone you care about, to listen, to learn (I was speaking to a friend in China to try and learn tips for example) to support, to get support, to try and be humorous and have humility. Simple things like losing the drone of the city sounds for me has been very disturbing, you feel alone, the running your food supply like a stockroom for efficiency (which tbh should have always been the case, but a rotten apple feels like a crime now) knowing people cannot afford food, the worry they have.
The loss of all the freedoms we took for granted, in retrospect the inane stupidity of commercial society. Walking the streets to get food feels like Sundays used to be, everything now is full-on sell sell sell, perhaps closing the shops down for a day a week will help the mind, the family, the individual breathe better for example. Oh, and the social media born DJ’s, probably better for me not to say anything about that shitshow of selfishness. Let’s get through this learn, mourn, be better people, oh and love more openly.”
“For me, It’s starting to get real for us in Michigan. My wife and I decided to stock up on some items 3 weeks ago for the home (food-wise) just in case. I personally think it will get a lot worse before it gets better. After talking with my booking agency My gigs were canceled or on hold for the month of May. Financially it’s not affecting us my wife is working from home and we have a few dollars put away for a rainy day. Businesses are hurting a little, I’m praying that this will be short term. Convincing my parents and my wife’s parents to stay inside was the difficult part. Seeing how it’s affecting senior citizens differently… Let’s stay prayerful!”
“We all know that Coronavirus is a serious matter for anyone out there right now, but as for feeling the financial heartache on my side and most likely for most underground music producers, this does not change much because we have been crippled by this new system of greed and no substance era. So most of us found already other ways to keep afloat. I produce music for over 30 years and ain’t going nowhere.
I pray for all my real music makers and lovers to stay strong and work hard and smart to keep doing you for US. However, the “elite” Non-producer DJ with a million followers are now crippled by this virus and can’t go fist-pumping or whatever else ignorance they can think of to feed the audience. Can’t make that 50k a show anymore, I would have to say with pride in my voice. Karma came to you incognito and her name is Corona. Please don’t be crying online over how bad you have it and begging for donations because you can’t fist pump any longer. Due to the new corrupt system of Followers the entire scene how it got developed has gotten raped from its origin by the greed of the corporates so-called supporters of the Techno and house scene but really are out for Profit only. Don’t care about the quality of the music. Those festivals that do care are rare. Underground forever baby we like roaches, never dying always living And with that being said Let’s get back to the program!”
“This coronavirus pandemic carries 2 major risks to human suffering, a health risk which is by far the most important but not far behind is the economic risk. This second one can lead to human suffering on a much larger scale, unemployment, bankruptcy, creating fear. Its a domino effect and a symptom of the capitalist system that is outdated and draconian. Our banking system could be set up in a way elevating all of us from poverty, not just the rich, but for the most part, it encumbers science and development. In my opinion, our governments need to implement a universal basic income for all, so people don’t suffer needlessly, we don’t need more chaos surrounding this crisis, we need real leadership and a plan of action to minimize the amount of disruption already taking place.
All artists/DJs/graphic designers/promoters are affected by this current state of affairs. Over the last 10 years, we have watched the amount of money we make from producing music dwindle because of the onslaught of streaming sites. Last year was the worst in memory for sales since I began releasing music in 2005 and yet my music was streamed over 500,000 times on various different sites. With most countries going into lockdown, I am now not needed to design flyers or posters as all events have been canceled. I’m also not able to DJ anywhere, all of this will have a knock-on effect of eating into our savings. Currently, I don’t know anyone with the virus, all of my family and friends are taking precautions with social distancing, but it’s having a massive effect on everyone. From my perspective, It shows how fragile our society is and to a degree how pointless a lot of our jobs are.”
“The ‘Lock-Down’ has already brought us much. I see it in the people around me, who are already quite panicky and wonder where this will lead. My performances have been canceled until the end of April. The only positive thing I see now is that people are working together more to try to quell the big problem and that for example in Wuhan there is again sunshine and clear skies and that has not happened for years because of the smog, Venice has also taken a positive turn, the water is clear again while it was polluted. Perhaps it is Mother Nature that gives a warning to humanity. From a financial point of view, I will, of course, go backward, but that doesn’t matter, we have to try to get the Virus under control!”
“Most of our customers are professional DJs, and events are suspended all around the globe at this moment. Many of them are facing a drop in their income and it’s reflecting also on our work. On another hand it’s a good moment for who wants to promote a new release, there’s a lot of artists spending more time on podcasts and live streaming DJ sets, so they’re looking for new music, and at Reach Promo we’ll launch soon a charity initiative involving our most popular services, to help the artists not to waste their upcoming releases and give a contribution, in our little, to keep the underground Techno and House scene running during this difficult moment.
The World is facing a big challenge with the COVID19 virus. All of you musicians, stay safe, spend the next weeks with your family and let your creativity flow, now more than ever we need your contribution, for our mind and soul. Our staff at Reach Promo will be working, as usual, to support musical projects during these difficult days, waiting for the moment we will be clubbing again together, bound as one.”
Ecilo is well known for his work with Detroit originator Thomas Barnett (Rhythim is Rhythim w/ Derrick May), we asked him how the situation is at this moment in Jakarta (Indonesia).
“We are not actually on Lockdown, our situation right now is the Government warns everybody to work from their homes and all the schools are closed. As for me personally, it really affects me because I’m a resident at Club Kilo Jakarta (Indonesia) and it’s suddenly is empty and only a few people come to the party every night. But hey, I totally understand it, It’s way too selfish for me to think business-wise about the money aspect. Most important for everybody is to stay focused on their health and be together with their families in these strange times where a virus is keeping taking control of the world. For all promoters, it’s time for them to do research who the real talents are so we can have naturally something new after this pandemic. I pray for all my friends all over the world, and I really believe we can face it together.” – Ecilo Jones
Words by Jolanda Van Hertog
For more info on coronavirus visit https://who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
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