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August 27, 2020
Culture

Adelaide deejays are homesick for the dance floor (Part III)

As club nights are a thing of the pre-COVID past, the city’s deejays have to adapt to a life lived online. CityMag spoke to two local deejays about why online streams and dancing alone will never compare to the real thing.

  • Words: Angela Skujins
  • Pictures: Supplied

SPECIAL REPORT: COVID-19 ADELAIDE

It’s no secret CityMag likes drinking and dancing simultaneously. The taste of cocktails on our tongue while we chassé through the nightclub, Madonna blasting through loudspeakers, feels *chefs kiss*.

And we know we’re not alone in feeling deeply the absence nightclubbing has left in our lives.

As part of a three-part series throwing a spotlight on those who soundtrack some of our most memorable nights, Adelaide disc jockeys have expressed a collective heartache for setting the mood, finding the perfect track, and filling a dance floor.

While many South Australians transitioned to work-from-home arrangements, this was an impossible feat for full-time deejays – their employment relies on bodies drinking and dancing in confined spaces.

Many COVID-19 restrictions have eased over the last few months, but a ban on drinking and dancing in South Australian licensed venues remains. (You must also be seated while consuming booze in these venues.)

We understand why the D&D ban was imposed – nightclubbing is a high-risk activity for COVID-19 transmission – but we’re hoping when everyone is vaccinated and safe, we can reflect on this particular restriction as being fantastical.

For now, this is our strange and unavoidable reality, and so to show our gratitude to those who previously turned the volume up on our lives pre-‘rona, we’ve spoken with vinyl heavyweight Felicity Auckett and Housing Boom selector Dave Kameniar about what they’ve been listening to in lockdown, and what they miss about going out.

You can also revisit part one of this series, where we speak to rave rep’ Mark Kamleh and BPM boss Jade Barker about nightclub nostalgia, and part two with soirée savant Laura Danvers and house honcho Dan Gill.

We hope to see you all under disco lights soon.


 

Felicity Auckett

All those people standing shoulder-to-shoulder makes us yearn for pre-pandemic times

 

Long-time centrepiece of the clubbing community, Felicity Auckett knows her way around a dance floor and is highly skilled in getting those within it to move.

Like many other deejays we’ve spoken to, Felicity’s work opportunities disappeared at the end March when COVID-19 popped up.

Navigating a non-existent industry was not the easiest time, the deep house and electronic deejay tells CityMag, but Felicity was lucky to land extra shifts with her day job, which was secure due to the JobKeeper wage-subsidy scheme.

“It was quite a distressing time,” she says, “especially coming off the back of the always euphoric Adelaide Fringe and Festival season.

“[And] it is hard to justify the frustrating and confusing no drinking/no dancing regulations, especially with so few active cases in the state, but that’s what SA Health have recommended and what we have to work with for now.”

Felicity admits to feeling “confusion, frustration and sadness” for a number of months, as the live music void in her life grew wider. Some of her prior life has since returned since, but it’s not exactly back to normal.

“Only one of the venues where I had a weekly residency has reopened… [whereas] other venues haven’t opened yet, or aren’t having deejays to beat the ‘no dancing’ restrictions,” Felicity says.

“I miss coming together with people who love music and want to interact.”

Here are five songs that soundtracked Felicity’s isolation.

 


Dave Kameniar (Lonely D)

Lonely D on the decks

 

Co-founder of club night Housing Boom, Dave Kameniar, aka Lonely D, says he was fortunate that during COVID-19 lockdown in March he was able to pivot to working from home for his job in the business and education sector.

Late-night gigs as part of his side deejay career, however, “came to a screeching halt”.

“Aside from playing out, I’m also an avid fan of going to the club to see other local selectors share their music, so that also was – and still kind of is – off-the-cards for the minute,” Dave tells CityMag.

“Fortunately, during restrictions, a bunch of crews jumped onto the streaming train, which provided an avenue for local deejays, including myself, to share their music and for people to consume it.”

Dave says platforms like Groundfloor Radio and a new podcast series Silent Palaces kept music fans connected virtually but also points out the ingenuity of an innovative Adelaide-made brand, Ravine, which livestreams deejay sets and curated events and has a large donation component.

Unfortunately, watching deejays mix tracks in a safe way doesn’t come close to the genuine experience.

“I also miss seeing other heads out and about at parties and hearing other deejays do their thing. It is one of the best ways to consume and appreciate music,” Dave says.

“The streams these past few months have been a cool way to keep sharing music and having fun with it, but nothing beats doing it in the club.”

Here are five songs that soundtracked Dave’s isolation.


If you’re feeling overwhelmed by coronavirus news and feel like you’re not coping, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 any time, or via text at 0477 13 11 14 6pm until midnight any day.

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