‘You’re painting the whole scene in a bad light’: Tampa’s DJ Ku to local DJs who flout local mask mandates

“We’re a special breed of stupid here. Zero attempt to move responsibly and then complain about when venues are targeted and get shut down."

click to enlarge DJ Ku (R) at Tangra Nightclub in Ybor City, Florida. - DJKU/Instagram
DJ Ku (R) at Tangra Nightclub in Ybor City, Florida.

At the start of the pandemic, Tampa’s DJ Ku was quick to say that he would do his part to stay home—and sadly watch his money dry up—to try and help keep the community safe.

Nearly a year later, Ku has re-started gigs and a few residencies like his Mischief Monday weekly at The Ritz (early this month, a City of Tampa spokesperson said the Ybor City club scene staple was issued a citation for violating mask and dance floor ordinances on a Friday, Jan. 1).

Mischief Monday: DJ Ku
Mondays, 10 p.m. Free for hospitality w/valid pay stub.
The Ritz, 1503 E. 7th Ave., Ybor City.

But Ku, who stays masked at his gigs, hasn’t stopped speaking up. On Sunday, he took to Twitter—and addressed fellow DJs who work at clubs hit hard by coronavirus restrictions—to explain that he had to take another night off because of COVID-19 crackdowns. He once again brought up City of Tampa threats to revoke alcohol licenses and expressed frustration in scrolling through his social media feed and seeing DJs posting themselves wearing no masks.

“We’re a special breed of stupid here. Zero attempt to move responsibly and then complain about when venues are targeted and get shut down. I’m not saying the ordinances aren’t a pain (and some even pointless), but wow we sure do love sabotaging our extremely rare ability to work,” he wrote. “And if you’re reading this and the shoe fits, just know you’re part of the problem. Whatever your view on Covid is, no matter how you put it, you’re (at the very least) painting the whole scene in a bad light to the city’s eyes so don’t bitch later if our venues close again…”

In a text message to CL, Ku reiterated that he sympathizes with the businesses trying to comply with the new ordinances.

“It’s crowd control and understandably difficult to enforce... But us? DJs? It’s the LEAST we can do,” he wrote.

Ku’s thread was shared over and again on social media, with one of Tampa Bay’s prominent radio figures, Wild 94.1’s Orlando Davis, chiming in to say that Ku’s sentiment resonated.

“ ...wisdom and perspective is one thing, but it hits different when It comes from one of the DJs, who you respect how they think and protect fam, as much as how they rock the room. Stay safe @djku ~ when its safe, bottles and bottles indeed, bro,” Davis wrote. He then called on his followers to be smart and safe, citing the fact that fans were banned at the Bucs’ playoff game and at all Lightning and Raptors games at Amalie Arena going forward. “ ...these places love money and activity just like we all do. The @nba @nhl and @nfl are losing mad money, but extreme numbers call for these measures. Lets all make it to the comeback! Bless.”

UPDATED: 01/13/20 11:32 p.m. Updated headline to make clear that Ku's issue is with DJs who flout ordinances.

See a list of Tampa Bay’s “Safe & Sound” live music venues here.

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About The Author

Ray Roa

Read his 2016 intro letter and disclosures from 2022 and 2021. Ray Roa started freelancing for Creative Loafing Tampa in January 2011 and was hired as music editor in August 2016. He became Editor-In-Chief in August 2019. Past work can be seen at Suburban Apologist, Tampa Bay Times, Consequence of Sound and The...
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