Detroit DJ and producer DJ Bone has been putting on some of Europe’s first legal post-covid events. Who better to ask what clubbing and DJing might be like over the next 12 months?
RADION in Amsterdam is the site of DJ Bone’s latest club event, ‘Further’. However, due to pandemic restrictions, the shows take the form of talks and music delivered in a listening context, rather than a traditional party. With substantial safety measures and extremely limited capacity, it’s a first tentative step back into nightclubbing. We spoke with Bone about what the events are like and what a post-COVID DJ and clubbing landscape might look like.
Attack Magazine: So how did your first post-pandemic socially distanced event go?
DJ Bone: It was great. It was kind of surreal for people. First time out of COVID-lockdown and they’re back in the club and its a completely different setting, with couches, social distancing etc. but it was cool. The setup RADION did for me was great – it was like a classroom almost so I felt like a professor. It’s a more laid back atmosphere and I’m speaking about the tracks I’m playing and walking people through it. Building up their historical memory – whether they had it or not – about the music they’ve been dancing to all these years.
The first part is more of a presentation and the second part is a two-hour show and I do a mix; and that’s when the people struggle to stay in their seats. They’re not supposed to dance but as long as they stand up and dance right in front of their seats or couches then it’s fine, but they can’t just get up and fill the dance floor.
Tell us a bit about the safety restrictions?
We have to limit the amount of people for now. It’s thirty people at the moment then I think it’s going to go to eighty and then to a little bit over a hundred. The normal capacity is 800, but the cool thing is the way they did it: they bought carpets and rugs and nice lounge couches and bean bags. A few people were masked but not many. I think it’s kinda like that in Amsterdam now, most people don’t wear a mask when they’re out and about in the city centre. It’s kind of weird to me, but they’re pretty cautious about the social distancing and making sure that they sanitise and wash their hands so, so far so good, it hasn’t worried me at all. And the club is really smart with the way they’ve structured it, so everybody comes in through a certain door, they leave through a certain door…
So do you have a sense of what clubbing is going to look like over the next twelve months?
We know that they’re going to ease up on the restrictions, it’s inevitable – it’s just a matter of when. But the distinction is going to be what club is ready to try and morph to try to change the way they operate in order to survive. They can’t come back with the same game plan, they can’t come back with the same huge festivals and the same massive line ups – everything has to change.
So whoever adapts the best – and you know Detroit guys have had to adapt. I would be the resident of a club, play there every week and every weekend something different would be broken and you can’t just cancel the night. You have to do the best you can with what you have in that DJ booth – so if the monitors aren’t working you still gotta play, you have to figure it out.
So if the clubs, events and festivals can do that, and find their way through this by adjusting then they’ll be fine. If they can’t then maybe they’re not that creative to begin with.