Daniela Molina, founder of Out of Service, an event agency in Miami that hosts well-known reggaeton party El Perreo, had just held the second year anniversary of the event days before Miami was sent into quarantine in March due to COVID-19.
Not knowing what the future of nightlife was going to be like, Molina and her team went on to continue the engagement of throwing parties online and volunteer to help those in need.
The party scene remains uncertain everywhere. It just matters more in a place like Miami. Parties all across Miami-Dade County have been shut down by officials as the spread of the virus continues to reel thousands of cases a day.
This summer Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez ordered all entertainment venues to close down while imposing a countywide curfew.
Her event agency aims to create parties that host a safe and inclusive environment for all participants. Before the pandemic, fans could be seen lining up around Wynwood Factory just to attend the reggaeton party every two months.
Despite the closures, the Out of Service team has still managed to work during the quarantine. They currently host master classes via Zoom that teach the history and roots of reggaeton. The team teaches attendees the basics of the choreography that is typically seen at the events of El Perreo.
Fans of El Perreo can learn some of the common dance moves seen at the popular reggaeton party.
“The pandemic brought people together. Just giving everyone the time to slow down and help each other. We raise funds as we continue to throw these events online and then donate the money to black organizations, LGBTQ and bail funds to provide for the community,” Molina said.
Disc jockeys all around have transitioned to streaming their sets for fans to attend.
Alexandra Muggli, also known as Coffintexts, is an up-and-coming artist, producer, and former residential House DJ at Faena Art Center, where there have been collaborations with her team of music entrepreneurs, Paperwater.
Muggli passes her time in quarantine by connecting on social media with her listeners. The switch to performing live is new, but Muggli is experimenting with streaming platforms like Twitch and Zoom.
With the help of social media, Muggli promotes her music and keeps close contact with her team and collaborators.
“You have to adapt and go towards digital, at least for now,” said Muggli.
Norma Moreno, also known as Normanow, uses Twitch to host parties and invite local DJs to perform live. She is part of Good Intentions Inc., a team of event production curators and a marketing agency based in Miami. On July 10, Moreno hosted the event “Live House Party” on Twitch for party-goers who miss nightlife.
Barbara Herrera, 22, a regular partygoer at El Perreo, currently practices self-care by doing hair treatments as she waits for the party to return.
“This is so depressing. Partying at home in front of the mirror is not comparable. I miss the attention the most. Having eyes on you. People looking at you and wanting to dance with you,” Herrera said.
The culture of reggaeton cultivated a dance where two people move very close to each other. For Herrera this is a concern. Not being able to dance reggaeton has made her wonder whether venues could open if people wear masks.
“It’s so different. I know that they’re attempting these virtual parties and I commend them 100 percent, but it is nowhere near the same when you’re inside the club. Physical interaction is a big part of perreo because it’s apretadito, tight,” she said.