COVID-19: ‘Cut down on your costs’ says DJ Abass to mobile entertainers.


By John Chisengalumbwe

In a bid to slow the spread of coronavirus outbreak, Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently advised against all unnecessary social contact. Such understandable but stringent restrictions have unfortunately affected the entertainment industry. Mobile DJs and local entertainers are  particularly feeling the squeeze, as 90% of venues have cancelled events for the next three months. 


Renowned and legendary UK based Abass Tijani Aka DJ Abass (who is also a master of ceremony, event planner and broadcaster) said, “This will have an impact on my business, so we have no choice but to resort to online musical shows and facebook live events to keep people entertained, particularly as everyone is now locked down inside their homes. My advice to those in the entertainment industry is cut down on unnecessary spending as we do not know how long this is going to last before we go back to our normal routine.”

b_W10= (6).jpg (89 KB)Pic courtesy www.djabass.com 

A number of events in the UK, start in March leading up to August, when the weather is much improved. Couples who were planning on getting married this year have also been disappointed after venues have had to postpone events for the next three months, not surprisingly leaving brides in tears and causing stress.

b_W10= (7).jpg (19 KB)Bowbo Ham and Kochiwe Phiri

One such bride -to- be Kochiwe Phiri, was meant to tie the knot this April said, “When the venue sent me an email that they will not be hosting any events until August, it left me in tears all day as my fiancée and I, had been planning for our big day for the last two years. We have had to spend a lot of money and now we have to wait another four months before we can finally get married.” Kochiwe was due to marry her long term partner Bowbo Ham in Wales, not to mention friends and family that were meant to fly in from overseas for the ceremony.

b_W10= (8).jpg (171 KB)Bowbo Ham and Kochiwe Phiri

One such bride -to- be Kochiwe Phiri, was meant to tie the knot this April said, “When the venue sent me an email that they will not be hosting any events until August, it left me in tears all day as my fiancée and I, had been planning for our big day for the last two years. We have had to spend a lot of money and now we have to wait another four months before we can finally get married.” Kochiwe was due to marry her long term partner Bowbo Ham in Wales, not to mention friends and family that were meant to fly in from overseas for the ceremony.

b_W10= (9).jpg (192 KB)Pic Courtesy of Blair Kami

Businesses attached to entertainment have also been affected by the pandemic. Such as East London Limos and Wedding Cars who have had to refund deposits following the cancellations of weddings. CEO X Niran said, “This pandemic has really hit us financially as we have had no choice  but pay back most of the deposits that were made to us. We shall take it on the chin and find ways of surviving as a business, but it will not be easy.”

b_W10= (10).jpg (12 KB)When it gets to this time of the year, everyone is thinking of a barbecue in the next few months leading to the summer. Charles Gasa Aka DJ Charlie Gee who hosts Deep South Barbeque in Eltham, has also been affected by his reduced mobile DJ bookings said, “Peoples lives must come first over  money. I have had to pay back some deposits that were made to me for birthday party bookings and weddings. COVID- 19 has caught mobile DJs with an offside and we have no choice but score an own goal.”

b_W10= (11).jpg (45 KB)Pic Courtesy Charles Gasa Aka DJ Charlie Gee

With unemployment set to rise in the next three months a report from the house of common issued in march 2020 showed that 506, 000 young people aged 16-24 were unemployed in January 2020 and figures are meant to rise with the pandemic, which may affect young people who are self-employed in the entertainment industry, like Fred Mutale Mwanashinku CEO of Dancehall Episode who has lost £15.000 because of the Coronavirus, Fred said, “I had a comedy show set for mother’s day at the Catford theatre we had hired top American comedians and now we have lost our deposits we made to them and other local artists who were booked for the day, “He further added that this is like another world war people have to remain calm and listen to advise from health experts.”

b_W10= (12).jpg (104 KB)Pic Courtesy Pic Curtec Fred Mutale Mwanashinku CEO of Dancehall Episode 

b_W10= (13).jpg (114 KB)

Pic Courtesy Dance Hall Episode

While COVID-19 seems have locked the party public away from their weekend social routine, other mobile entertainers have applied alternative platforms to reach out to their public, keeping them informed and being entertained from the confines of their own home. According to mobile and Internet Radio DJ personality Oscar Miyanda aka DJ Snypa of Basement Entertainment Media and Co-Owner of So Online Radio, he says "these are trying times not doubt and it is so upsetting because entertainers never planned for such a huge game changer." In as much as most venues and entertainers ponder on their next move, Oscar goes on to say that "entertainers still have a huge part to play in saving lives especially with thousands of people in isolation. This isolation can increase levels of boredom, agitation or loneliness, which can lead to all sorts of mental stress and temptations go out, ignoring health advice."

So Online Radio is comprised of entertainers from different mobile units on the same platform delivering what should have delivered at a venue. You can learn more about So Online Radio at www.soonlineradio.com as well as download the station app available on both iOS and android.

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Pic Courtesy of Oscar Miyanda Co-Owner of So Online Radio

According to a BBC report a lot of misleading information is being posted on social media. if you need advice on COVID- 19 visit https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/ 


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