Eased COVID-19 restrictions help Raleigh live entertainment, event planning businesses

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — For Joe Bunn, being behind his turntables on a Friday night is a feeling he’s missed for nearly a year.

“I mean we rescheduled 350 weddings last year. There’s never been a worse year to be a DJ,” said Bunn, the owner of Bunn DJ company.

However, that’s not just true for DJs. The live entertainment and event planning industries as a whole took a huge hit when they were forced to close up shop because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Nicole Flynn, marketing representative of Catering Works felt the blow, too. 

“We had to furlough pretty much all of our staff. Typically we have more than 100 staff here and now we are down to about 24,” said Flynn.

There is some light at the end of the tunnel. Starting Friday eased restrictions in North Carolina — including larger capacity indoors, a later curfew, and the ability to serve alcohol longer — are helping turn things around, and not just for bar owners. 

“Since the announcement was made our phones have started ringing a little bit more, a few more emails and inquires are coming in. I think my kick-off is the beginning of April and then it is every single weekend until next year. So I’m really excited about that. People really need to dance and hear music right now,” said Bunn.

Many businesses are excited for a chance to get back a small sense of normalcy amid a boost in business.

“People are becoming more confident and comfortable to schedule events again. There is still some hesitation, but we’re headed in the right direction, so that’s great,” said Flynn.

Both say they are aware that another shutdown could be possible down the road, but that they are optimistic people will keep wearing masks and continue social distancing.

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