Ringing in the New Year belting out hottest music tracks at parties has been a normal night for DJs in the pre-Covid world. However, to usher in 2021 in the new normal, DJs reveal a dip in bookings for New Year bashes.

While some say that the night would be as big as ‘Diwali’ for them, and that bookings used to happen 7-8 months in advance earlier, others express that due to struggling marketing, organisers are not willing to shell out money for artists. However DJs are preparing themselves for last-minute bashes with standard operating procedures contract such as acrylic barrication on the DJ console, no use of hand-held mics etc. Here’s what they say:

New Year used to be Diwali for us

“I’ve been getting enquiries and requests but there’s uncertainty regarding the location or private parties as the number of guests at social gatherings have been restricted. Moreover, due to less number of guests, I don’t think clubs will not be able to earn much revenue. So, the situation is blur. New Year used to be Diwali for us but we are not able to earn like last year,” says DJ Sumit Sethi. Sethi who hopes for a better party scenario for next year.

Used to get booked 7-8 months in advance, fees would be X3

DJ AJ feels that it will be almost ‘low and no business’ this year for performing artists. He says, “New Years is looking slow for now. There are no big commercial events taking place as market is still struggling. Earlier, we used to get booked 7-8 months in advance for New Year gigs but this year chances are blur. Moreover, organisers don’t have the money to shell out for artists. Our fees would go upto three times for such gigs till last year.”

Waiting for guidelines, relying on last-minute performances

Many are also deliberately not signing up gigs currently and waiting for last-minute plans as per the new regulations. DJ Suketu says, “Enquiries are coming in but it will be a last-minute call. Some states such as Bengaluru and Maharashtra might have a curfew as per the news. So it’s quite a risk for club owners and promoters to book an artist, advertise and sell tickets and then take the pain for refund process. So, will wait till last week to see what happens or else will have a virtual gig.

Precautions come first

For live performances, making safety and health is the top priority as DJs are undertaking stringent precautionary measures and have laid out standard operating procedures. DJ AJ says, “Our new guidelines include no meet and greet with guests, acrylic barrication on the DJ console, no use of hand-held mics, to name a few. We are also getting Covid-19 test regularly because as an artist if we get sick, we lose out on the next 10-15 days which is the season time for us and as it is the year has been quite rough for us.”

Interact with author/sanchita_kalra.

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