Mike Villa.jpg

A screenshot of DJ Mike Villa's set as he hosts a virtual dance party via Facebook Live. 

As the stay-at-home order continues, many clubs, weddings, concerts and events everywhere have been canceled or postponed, leaving performers and entertainers left questioning what will happen next for their industry after the coronavirus outbreak.

With many DJs unemployed and unable to attend events, that doesn’t stop them from entertaining. Local DJs like Mike Villa and Gabriel Garzaro want to lift people’s spirits by bringing virtual dance parties to their audiences’ in the comfort of their own homes.

“Nobody saw this coming and it turned so many lives upside down in the entertainment industry. Everything that I’ve strived for years, just flipped upside down overnight,” said Villa.

Garzaro said once events started to cancel, he thought about how he was going to continue his business as a DJ.

“I wanted to keep my sanity. I love music and I love being around people. I wanted to put music out there for people to enjoy,” said Garzaro.

Villa and Garzaro wanted to be able to provide entertainment and bring joy to people in the community.

“It makes them feel like they’re at a party or at a club. This is a way for us to do what we do but do it through Zoom and virtual dance parties,” said Villa.

Villa mentions the audience felt skeptical in the beginning but he has seen a positive response when people tune in. Viewers like Nikki Gorrell express the stay-at-home order has been difficult but they feel grateful for the quality time they're able to spend with her family — one of the ways is tuning in to virtual shows online.

“We’ve had a blast tuning in virtually. (They) know how to get the room pumping whether in person or online,” Gorrell said.

Viewer Alejandra Murguia said not being able to go to music festivals and events she planned to attend in May disappointed her, but discovered these virtual dance parties as an alternative way to still enjoy her music experience.

“These virtual dance parties are a fun way to connect with other people while sitting at home. Since this pandemic began, I didn’t think there was anything else to do, so being able to vibe with others through music gives some normalcy in this,” said Murguia.

To attend a virtual dance party, people don’t need an invitation — all that is needed is a computer or cell-phone and dancing shoes to dance the night away. Villa and Garzaro host their virtual dance parties through Zoom, Twitch, Instagram Live and Facebook Live every evening on Friday and Saturday.

Viewers can follow both Villa, @DJMikeVilla, and Garzaro,

@gabriel_garzaro, on Instagram to see when and where the next virtual show is.

“We’re going to get through this together. Us DJs are in this together right now. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel,w and when this is over, we’re going to party like we’ve never partied before,” said Villa. 

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