Suffolk DJs hosting virtual Christmas party – find out how you can get involved 

Man in Santa hat DJing at turntables

Pick & Mix Club Night is a course and event that teaches those with learning disabilities how to DJ and host events. Pictured here is one of the course teachers - Credit: South Street Studios

This Thursday, a group of Suffolk DJs are hosting an at-home, virtual club night – perfect for getting you into the festive spirit. 

Local businessman Ed Barnes, who also owns craft beer shop Hopsters, is one of the people behind Pick & Mix Club Night – an event that is organised by people with learning disabilities. 

“My other role outside of Hopsters is teaching those with learning disabilities and mental health issues how to create radio shows and how to DJ. Pick & Mix Club Night is part of Ipswich Community Media and Punch Studios, and was originally set up by Karl Butler, who sadly passed away earlier this year. 

“He had a heart defect, and had gone to discos for those with learning disabilities, but he said they were boring and that they treated them like children. So he said ‘Not only do I want to hear the music I like, but why can’t I DJ it as well?’ So we wrote a course based around that, giving people with disabilities the chance to learn how to DJ and host their own club nights.” 

The course – which lasts seven weeks – teaches students everything they need to know in order to run a successful club event. 

“It’s not just the technical side of picking the songs and how to mix them, but actually how a club night works, so we teach our students how to market it and how to brand it. We did that at The Smokehouse, but unfortunately we can’t now due to lockdown.” 

Following the success of Pick & Mix’s first virtual club night, Ed and his cohort of newly-qualified DJs can’t wait for the second event this week. 

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“We did one earlier in the year, and it went really well. We had over 100 people tune in, which was fantastic. The guys sent us their sets, and we broadcast them over Mixcloud.” 

The DJs taking to the virtual stage on Thursday December 17 are DJ Susanita with a salsa mix, DJ Bubblegun playing twisted disco, DJ Jayasarule playing big beat and DJ Tyrant rounding off the evening with a Christmas mix.  

So how can you get involved?  

“All you have to do is tune in on Mixcloud and crank it up, really. It starts at 7pm and finishes at 9.30pm, and it’s a real mix of music. It’s just a bit of an excuse to have a party at home, and we want to provide the soundtrack to that. 

“The DJs have all created their own mixes at home using the equipment from the course, and sent them into us. What we’ve done is put the mixes together so they can enjoy the night as well.” 

A handful of Ipswich-based businesses are also helping at-home clubbers get into the party spirit by providing discounts on all deliveries on the night.  

“We’ve teamed up with BMC Cakery, Hank’s Dirty, Lush Ipswich and Hopsters. All you have to do is sign up to attend, and you’ll be emailed a code which will give you a 10% discount on anything you order that evening.” 

To find out more or to sign up to the event, email or visit the Facebook event page

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