Joe Gerard, a third-year in biomedical science and president of the DJ Club, performing at Buckeyethon in 2019. Credit: Courtesy of Ohio State

DJs have been turning down the speakers this semester. 

Both on campus and off, the Ohio State DJ community is being drastically affected by the limitations set by COVID-19 guidelines. The university is limiting in-person events to ten people or less and students must also maintain proper social distancing. 

The DJ Club at Ohio State is a resource not only to improve as a DJ, but also to get jobs at clubs and various off-campus gigs. Caffery Wu, a third-year in statistics and a member of the club, is a professional DJ outside of Ohio State. Wu said he has offered jobs to others when he cannot attend them himself.

“Caffery has taken a lot of members and helped them get on stages they would not have been able to before DJ Club. I remember him taking DJs up at Trism. He has taken me to [Ugly] Tuna to mix,” Joe Gerard, a third-year in biomedical science and president of the DJ Club, said.

Since the pandemic began, Wu said he is hesitant to give DJ Club members opportunities to play with him because he has not seen them perform in months. During the next DJ Club mixer, he will have an opportunity to see what his fellow Ohio State DJs can do on the turntables.

Wu has been a DJ on and off campus since his second semester of his freshman year and has worked at clubs including Ugly Tuna 2, Midway and Trism. 

Wu said the industry standard is $50 an hour while performing and DJs can walk out with up to $800 in a night. Due to the pandemic, DJs are getting less opportunities to perform now that bars and clubs are forced to have less customers inside the establishments.

The DJ Club is usually an active participant in BuckeyeThon’s Dance Marathon, an annual event since 2002 that is held at the Ohio Union to celebrate the money raised by Ohio State over the past year in support of Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s Hematology, Oncology and Blood and Marrow Transplant program, according to Nationwide Children’s Hospital website. The 2019 BuckeyeThon event had 5,264 people participate in the Dance Marathon, raising $1,704,184.19 for the cause.

Gerard and Wu both performed at the 2019 BuckeyeThon event.

“BuckeyeThon is an insanely fun event, between the length and scale of it. Even the amount of production setup that goes into it is insane. It is always fun to play on loudspeakers and flashing lights,” Gerard said.

This year the DJ Club has taken a backseat role in the 2020 Dance Marathon and will not be performing due to COVID-19, as it has moved to an online format event this upcoming November.

“We’re helping them with music with the way they are streaming it, any sort of music-based stuff we can help with. But it is all virtual, there is only so much we can do. So, this year we are really removed from it, which is unfortunate. It is just a byproduct of the situation,” Gerard said.

With the ban on in-person student organization meetings lifted, the club had its first in-person gathering Friday. The club hosts “mixers” where members of the club meet at a house and practice and teach each other DJ skills, Gerard said.

The club will practice social distancing and will be required to wear masks, Gerard said. Both Gerard and Wu want to continue DJ Club’s tradition of having mixers and do not want to put students at risk.

Students interested in joining the DJ Club can reach out via email.