As the coronavirus pandemic unfolds, numerous creative professionals have kept their audiences engaged, and kept themselves working, by taking their work online.
Marc Moder—a local DJ who is an occasional Windy City Times contributor—is one such professional in Chicago. His DJ bookings for the near future all fell through, and he faced difficulties with his day job in sales as well when the outbreak occurred.
“I had to feel like I was putting my creativity out there,” said Moder, who lives on the North Side.
He formulated an online dance party, which he launched via Facebook Live March 20.
Moder said his set-up was fairly ad hoc—he was broadcasting the dance party via his iPhone—and that he posted his Venmo and other online information for tips. When he first came online, there were already about 15 or 20 people waiting. Moder had hoped he might reach a few hundred views over the course of the night.
Five thousand viewers joined the party that first evening, to Moder’s delight. The response was such that he scheduled another dance party for the following Friday.
But Moder also endured a technical snafu: Facebook mysteriously banned his professional page from streaming anything for a month. No explanation or means of appeal was offered, but he thinks he may not have sufficiently remixed one of the songs for that first broadcast. He organized the second dance party March 27 using the Twitch platform.
He’s not sure how frequently he’ll do the broadcasts in the weeks ahead, but Moder plans another broadcast April 4 to coincide with the DILF party he was scheduled to DJ at The Sofo Tap before the outbreak hit.
“You don’t want to overexpose it and have people get sick of it,” Moder said, adding that he knows he won’t make much money from doing this. But he loves seeing people join him and engage with the songs he is spinning.
“It makes you feel like things are possible again,” he added.