IDAHO CITY, Boise — In late March, the coronavirus closures changed everything for businesses in the Treasure Valley and all over the country. The state shut down and companies and businesses not deemed essential were stunned, left wondering what to do.
But one local company is finding an innovative way to stay busy and bring the dance party to neighborhoods around the Treasure Valley.
"Sound Wave Events, we are a local DJ and photo booth company, we do a lot of events here in the Valley, McCall, Sun Valley. On March first, we were gearing up for a really amazing season, and on March 20 our business was at a complete standstill," said Kristin Cole, owner of Sound Wave Events. "One day everything is business as usual, and two days later, I'm laying off most of our staff, and that is so difficult. That was a hard day, that was a really hard day for us."
All of the parties, events, and weddings that Sound Wave events had booked were canceled, and rescheduling was up in the air. A couple of weeks went by, and then a solution popped up when Cole's husband and business partner had an idea.
"One day my husband Adam said, 'Hey I have an idea. What if we built a sound system out of the back of my truck? We could take that and do yard parties or block parties for people,'" Cole said. "We can follow all the social distancing protocols, but still bring joy and hope to people. That was that, we got working on it!"
That's when beats. for your block. was born. A fun and innovative way to bring the dance party to the people, during a time when so many people are feeling isolated and lonely.
"Someone contacts us and says, 'Hey, yard party? Block party? That sounds amazing, let's do it!'" We are playing about 30 minutes for each person, or family," Cole said.
Right now, times are tough and so many Idahoans are unemployed. Cole said there is no official price for bringing beats. for your block. to your neighborhood, but they are accepting donations to keep their struggling DJs afloat.
"We don't have a set cost for this. We all need the morale boost so much! But, if people are willing to make a donation, that gets some money back into the pockets of our DJs," she said.
Cole explained that this is all about safety, the DJs come to you, there's no physical contact, and they remind all dancers to keep within their families, and stay six feet apart. They adhere strictly to CDC guidelines.
"So, we'll roll up with the music playing right up to their yard, just play some really fun upbeat music, we're taking your requests," she said. "It is so amazing, I think right away, just how unique the whole experience gets people so excited! I mean when in your life have you looked out your window and seen a truck with a DJ in the back with music playing go by your house? Never!"
There's more to this than just music though. Cole added that these parties are just as fun, as they are healing. She said school, birthday parties, graduations, and weddings are canceled, jobs are uncertain, finances are strained, and people just need this right now.
"We are seeing families come together in new ways, neighbors coming together in new ways, people are dancing and they are yelling like yeah!!! This is so awesome! and just having that moment where they can forget all the stress and uncertainty of what we are going through and just have fun for a minute," she said.
beats. for your block. is bringing the Treasure Valley fun and happiness, in our new normal, in a whole new way. Cole said it's been an unexpected shot of joy for her business, and her employees during a dark time.
"It's been a great opportunity to give back in a way that really helps people right now, and in a way that's meaningful," she said.
Sound Wave Events and beats. for your block. have put on over 60 block parties since this idea was born, and they have no intention of slowing down.
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