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Restrictions due to COVID-19 affects business for wedding venues, DJs

Posted at 4:49 PM, Mar 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-18 18:52:18-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo.  — The spring season is a busy time for DJs and wedding venues. However, the coronavirus gathering restrictions have many DJs concerned, fearing they won't be playing any music at all.

Fernando Esquivel's company, Fernando Productions, books 350 events a year. They live off of parties, events, and fun. All of that is at a halt now.

Gatherings are restricted to 10 people or less, which is not much of a party.

"All day yesterday and Monday, it's pretty much been phone calls and emails with brides, moms of the brides, other vendors, wedding planners," said Esquivel. "They’re scared right now. And they are heartbroken that this is affecting what was supposed to be a happy day of your life."

He's hoping people can reschedule so his team of 10 DJs won't take a loss, and also, so people can still have their important day.

Esquivel suggested people reschedule their weddings on a Friday or Sunday if they want to keep it in 2020, but no one knows how long these restrictions will last.

"Saint Patty's Day, all the DJs took a hit. That's a huge day for us. I was supposed to DJ from 3 o'clock to 6 o'clock last night. Didn't happen," Esquivel said. "Thousands of dollars of lost income in one day."

Esquivel works as a team with Jodie and Eric DeLeon, who own The DeLeon event space in midtown.

The DeLeon hosts upwards of 60 events and weddings a year.

Jodie said brides have called her crying. Caterers have called, panicked after being told by the health department they can't cater events anymore.

"With this eight weeks we’re having to reschedule six events right off the bat. That's six bride and grooms and their families and their vendors that are all affected by this. So we’re just trying to push through it all and help everybody as much as we can," said DeLeon.

It's a domino effect with weddings. When the venue is up in the air, that puts the DJ, the caterer, the photographer, the florist, the bakery in the air, too.

"We have no control over what’s happening on either side for them or for us," said DeLeon. "Financially, it’s impacting those families too. You have to think about people who are traveling, hotels, everything like that. We’re going to have to postpone and reschedule if they can even get in."

Esquivel said some businesses could be headed for bankruptcy if this continues. He and the DeLeons are small business owners, so they don't have as much backup as an employee who works for a corporation.

"We don’t have sick pay, we don’t have PTO. We don’t have any of that. And these companies that are small just like us are facing the same problems. So we’re all scared," said DeLeon.

They're still optimistic things will get back to normal soon so the party can go on.

"Stick together and help each other out as much as we can," said DeLeon.