BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Bars and clubs have been shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic, but that doesn’t mean you still can’t have fun.

There are now some DJs out there who are trying out virtual dance parties.

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Saturday night, a father of three and part-time DJ hosted a virtual party in his Ellicott City basement and it drew an audience he never expected.

“We had 26,000 people watching at one time and overnight, the views on the actual video went to 1.5 million,” DJ Chris Kopec said.

The DJ streamed his set for four hours on on Facebook Live to try to have a little fun with his family and help other people de-stress.

“(We) lived through two nasty floods, saw our town get washed away and we tried to do good then, and I was like, ‘We(‘ve) got to try to do good, something that’ll make us all feel better,'” he said.

Kopec’s kids, wife and thousands of other families danced while he mixed together country, hip-hop and pop tracks, bringing them all closer together.

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“Teenagers got together with their parents, which they don’t really like to do, and they danced the night away, and we actually were pretty much brought to tears with the messages, heartfelt messages,” Kopec said.

He wasn’t the only one. DJ Carl Junior also hosted two parties online over the weekend after having to cancel several events because of the coronavirus.

“I just thought, let’s do a live feed and let people dance in their living rooms since they have to be home, let’s give them a little bit of a bright spot in what is otherwise a pretty trying time,” DJ Carl Junior said.

He drew in over 11,000 views and didn’t think it would have this much of an impact.

“I think for me, I was just really taken aback by how appreciative people were,” he said.

DJ Kopec is holding his next virtual party on Wednesday night. He will also host a virtual prom for high school seniors on Saturday, April 4.

He’s also taking donations through PayPal through these parties, which he’s been donating to local first responders who are still working hard during the pandemic.
DJ Carl Jr. told WJZ that he is not sure when his next virtual party will be.

You can follow both DJ Kopec and DJ Carl Junior on Facebook to join in on their next parties.

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For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

Stetson Miller