DJing Through a Pandemic
Scholars have classified DJs as cultural mediators and gatekeepers. Nowhere is this truer than in Washington, DC, the Black business mecca. For decades, DJs have provided live entertainment and safe spaces to community members of all walks of life. But the abrupt intermission of live music caused by the pandemic impacted DJs on a new level. With limited options for unemployment assistance, live entertainers were forced to find other avenues for monetization. Illegal rave scenes took off during the pandemic. However, most DJs shifted online, creating new challenges for DJs. Online, sponsorship structures limited the spaces in which they could work and express their creativity.