A Dream Come True. CityWalk Orlando, NYE

Performing on New Year’s Eve (2021/2022) at CityWalk Orlando was a dream come true.

Let’s back up… The world experienced a pandemic in 2020, which temporarily stopped all DJ performances at Citywalk for almost 2 years. Next, came a whirlwind of personal hardship including a divorce and the loss my my dad. Fast forward to November of 2021, when I got the call from my agent. “Hey Matt, CityWalk is booking you for New Years Eve.” I was shocked! It had been nearly two years since my last performance there. I let the news settle, along with the nerves, and I did what I always do. I practiced…planned…and reached out to my friends for support. I distinctly remember DJ Biggs saying, “Matt…you got this. Just go out there and have fun bro!”

December 31, 2021…

Upon arrival, the scene was quiet. There was so much empty space, nobody walking around, and the ominous threat of confetti cannons.

To be perfectly honest, I was not sure how the night was going to unfold…and I don’t think anyone else did either. Prior to this event, people wore masks, and we were socially distant.

What happened over the next few hours became a very unexpected dream come true.

7:26 PM ET – Arrival. Confetti cannons loaded on each side of the DJ booth
8:07 PM ET – View from the waterfront

After taking a few pictures, I went up to the booth for sound check. For this event, I used the Pioneer SZ2, which was owned by CityWalk. The audio techs told me they updated the firmware, which makes any DJ nervous. When software is updated on a controller or a laptop, there is always a chance for something to go wrong. Worse yet, this was now a completely untested setup making soundcheck EXTREMELY important. As it turns out, there was a glitch affecting the platter when used with the echo effect. Thankfully, I found this glitch quickly and managed to avoid issues during the show…mostly.

9:00 PM ET – Sound check!

After sound check, it was time to start this party. Enter…the robots!

10:00 PM ET – These robots know how to get the party started!

Next, I welcomed the guests and let them know that there would be confetti at midnight. I was hoping that would encourage the guests to stick around.

By 11:00 PM ET, the dance floor started getting packed!

11:00 PM ET – If you look toward the back, you can still see some empty space…but not for long.
11:50 PM ET – The crowd backed up all the way to the lagoon…and then to Hard Rock!
11:52 PM ET – Moments leading up to the ball drop…

By 11:55 PM ET, this crowd was absolutely electric!

The clock struck midnight, the confetti cannons fired, and I experienced the moment I had been waiting for my entire DJ career.

It’s taken almost a year for me to post this, but not many days go by where I don’t think about this moment. Ever since I was a teenager, I knew I wanted to be a DJ. In college, I began earning enough money to afford basic DJ equipment. I dedicated years to this craft hoping for a defining moment where all that hard work would pay off. This was my moment. A dream come true. I am so grateful for the people who have supported me along the way. From family to friends, my agent, and the staff who make these events possible, I am forever grateful. Thank you.

There is nothing left to do now, except keep dreaming.