Last year, this blog ran a two-part series after being contacted by a DJ who admitted he’d been doing plague raves. Part one had the DJ – who only agreed to speak to me on condition of anonymity – explaining what had happened in his own words. Part two consisted of a Q&A session conducted with me.
A few days ago, I was contacted by a different DJ. All I can tell you is he’s British, based in London, has been in the dance music world since the 1990s and has enjoyed significant success during his career. He’s reached out to Amateur’s House with concerns about working as the Omicron wave continues to play out.
Here are his own words, presented without comment from me. Read and decide for yourselves…
Although I knew some guys who were doing what you called plague raves, I didn’t do them myself. It didn’t feel right to me. If anyone asked, I told them what I thought. Some of them were in more desperate financial positions than me, so I kind of understood why they did it – even if I didn’t agree.
Covid has f***ed up my finances. Before it came along, I was doing great. I had over a million in the bank and a steady schedule for the following year and a half. Things were so good I was thinking of retiring, sailing into the sunset – well, that plan’s f***ed now too.
Nightclubs reopening back in July was a godsend. The diary filled up quickly and I’ve been busy. It’s just as well as I don’t have a lot left in the bank – without going into too many details, let’s just say I live an expensive life. I was a bit worried in August when Covid cases went up, but that was just in case they tried to close clubs again.
I’m fully vaccinated against it and got my booster back in November. I also had Covid at the start of 2021 and ended up in hospital for ten days. Those first couple of days were really f***ing scary. I almost ended up on a ventilator. I wouldn’t wish it on anybody. I just think of myself as lucky, because I know a lot of others who didn’t make it.
Things were going well until vaccine passports came in. Scotland brought one in before England did and I had to cancel a few Scottish shows because I couldn’t get it to work – my ID check kept failing and it took f***ing loads of calls to sort it out. But then they started talking about this new variant from South Africa.
I thought nothing of it at first, then it inevitably arrived in England. Before you know it, this thing is everywhere. A whole load of people I know have caught it, though I’ve escaped it so far. But every time I play right now, I feel like I’m doing a potential plague rave.
But there’s just one problem. Namely being f***ing skint. I can’t live on fresh air, can I? It’s pretty uncomfortable playing now, but I don’t honestly feel I can cancel anything myself. My contract says if I cancel, I don’t get paid. If the venue cancels, I get paid something. Which is better than nothing.
I’m not the only one who feels like this. I know one or two other guys have tried to get this message into the more mainstream dance outlets, but they’ve got nowhere. The press doesn’t seem to be interested in covering this. I don’t really understand why. They’re very select in what they write about.
I just don’t know what I’m meant to do. I’m f***ed some way no matter what I choose. I’m seeing stuff in the news right now about Omicron being past its peak. I hope they’re right…