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Can we party yet?

Lockdown has been a very long and hard time for everyone involved in the wedding and entertainment industry. The restrictions are slowly lifting, but we’re not there yet

The photo you see here was taken just four short months ago during Laura & Haydn’s evening reception at Anstey Hall in Cambridge. As far as I’m aware, it was the last wedding to be held there before the Covid lockdown. It’s certainly the last wedding I did this year!

How times have changed….

Last week in my temporary job as a supermarket delivery driver, I drove my van down the very same driveway to deliver a customer’s shopping instead of a night of fun and dancing!

As is the case with many self employed people (I work with several DJs, driving instructors, private tutors and even an ex airline pilot at the moment), I’ve had to look elsewhere to earn a living whilst I’m not able to do what I love doing in “normal” times. After all, wedding entertainment is actually my full time job!

And then, the UK “roadmap” was introduced as to when the lockdown would be relaxed and things would return to pre-Covid status.

July 4th was definitely a date in my diary!

Wedding & Party DJ at Anstey Hall in Cambridge
Laura & Haydn's evening reception at Anstey Hall in Cambridge

The results weren't unexpected!

Sadly, the recent “unlocking” of lockdown doesn’t yet include parties.

I’ll be honest I wasn’t expecting it to, and most of my trusted colleagues/friends within the wedding industry would agree with that sentiment.

A full dance floor of singing and hugging guests whilst under the influence of alcohol is NEVER going to work whilst social distancing is a thing. Add to that the humid and sweaty atmosphere generated during a good party, the potential for aerosol particles to be transmitted into the air with shouting, cheering and singing….parties are a massive COVID incubator and spreader.

It’s a sad fact of life. As humans, we’re social creatures. We like close contact, we like to dance and sing, and so does Covid. Just look to countries like the USA where such activities have been allowed and you’ll see what’s happening with the dreaded R number.


Wedding & Party DJ at The Old Hall Ely Beth & Tom3

But the government have allowed weddings again haven't they?

Yes they have – but not as you’re expecting just yet!

The rules now say that you can have up to 30 guests at your ceremony, a lot less than most weddings but a start. Note…it’s only 30 guests for the CEREMONY!

There will however be no singing!

As for the wedding breakfast, it gets a lot more complicated. Only 6 people can meet from different households and must observe social distancing. So the wedding breakfast for 100 guests is off the menu at the moment.

Add to this the social distancing factor and a marquee which in normal times would happily accommodate 100 guests will only actually now take around 10 to allow for food servers etc. to adhere to social distancing guidelines.

And when it comes to the evening party, that’s sadly a big no-no at the moment.

The current guidance for the hospitality sector is that all patrons must register, drinks will be served by table service only, and that music which will cause guests to have to raise their voices to speak is not allowed.

These rules apply to indoor venues, outdoor spaces and even marquees as the law currently stands.

Sarah & Nigel's wedding reception at Forest Lodge Weddings in Thetford

It's actually illegal for me to work at the moment!

Add to this that as a DJ, I’m not insured to work because the current restrictions actually invalidate my insurance – and I’m off the road for a good time to come.

The official advice from our trade association (National Association of Disc Jockeys) says:

With regards to gatherings, meeting outdoors in a group of up to 6 people with those you do not live with is now permitted, but you should do this while observing social distancing guidelines and keeping at least 2 metres apart. However, what is not permitted, is meet other people indoors – including in their home or enclosed space or meet outdoors in a group of more than 6 with people who are not in your household or support bubble. The NADJ believe to offer DJ services such as garden parties with these guidelines in mind would be irresponsible as the DJ performing the service would neither be part of that support bubble or household. This is prohibited in law and we need to understand that relevant authorities, including the police, have the powers to enforce the law – including through fines and dispersing gatherings.

Life WILL return to normality one day, but it’s going to take a little bit of time for it to be safe.

I’ve always believed in being honest, and law abiding in everything I do, and I’m not about to change that attitude anytime soon. 

Whilst it’s costing me a LOT of money to keep the heart of Imagine ticking over, it’s a price I’m prepared to pay until such time as I’m allowed to legally and safely do what I absolutely LOVE doing for a living again.

The safety of you, your guests, and indeed myself is important and I’m not going to compromise that for any amount of money!

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