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GI club remains closed during Phase 3, DJ’s ready for normalcy

Published: Jul. 12, 2020 at 7:04 PM CDT
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - The pandemic is moving the turntables backward for some in the entertainment industry.

The dance floor at Brick House Nightclub is normally packed with people dancing to music played by a DJ at the back of the room.

That hasn’t been the case for about four months, as the pandemic has temporarily shut its doors.

“It’s affected everything, everyone in every way possible,” said Franco Garcia, owner of Brick House. “We’ve lost tons of money, obviously, by keeping our doors closed.”

Bar staff is losing extra cash flow.

Garcia said he often hires DJ’s from around the country to play at his club, none of who’ve been there since mid-March.

“If we can’t have a dance floor, there’s no job for them,” Garcia said.

Phase 3 of the new Directed Health Measure allows limited dancing so long as people can social distance. Garcia said trying to monitor that would be too difficult at a dance club.

Garcia also DJ’s at Brick House, and at clubs in Lincoln and Omaha.

“I was actually starting to get a lot of out of state gigs and flying out, but as soon as this happened it was like, well, we’ve got to wait now,” Garcia said.

Gathering restrictions also hurt Cindy Clement, a DJ for Blue Line Entertainment.

Clement plays at weddings, proms, parties and class reunions.

Summer is Clement’s busiest time of the year. She’s normally booked every weekend from June until August.

“Each week we moved closer, one would drop off; another one would drop off; another one would drop off,” Clement said.

Before the pandemic hit, Clement played her last big gig in February. More recently she DJ’ed an event in Kansas where restrictions loosened sooner.

Blue Line Entertainment is a side job for Clement. It’s something she does to relieve stress and make “fun money.”

“Having that extra money certainly made my normal living much more comfortable,” Clement said.

Not having the extra cash means buying a new vehicle and visiting family out of state is put on hold.

Clement does have a wedding booked for August in Grand Island, and already has several events booked through fall. She said she’s expecting a busy year in 2021.

Most of all, Clement said she hopes Phase 3 brings a return to normalcy.

“I miss the time with the couples, and time with the people and entertaining. So I think that’s what I most look forward to is getting back in there and being human again,” Clement said.

Copyright 2020 KSNB. All rights reserved.

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