Toronto club promoter attempts to throw illegal birthday party inside IKEA
"I can't have 10 people in my house, but I can bring 11 people to IKEA. It doesn't make any sense whatsoever."
These are the words and sentiments of a Toronto man who recently staged his own birthday party inside an IKEA store, complete with red solo cups, hired models, $45 worth of hot dogs, and an appearance by the local Instagram celebrity Debby.
He did it — hosted a party in defiance of provincial lockdown rules, that is — to prove a point about the oft-criticized "big box stores can stay open but small businesses can't" part of Doug Ford's Reopening Ontario Act.
Julian isn't the first person to challenge Ontrario's "grey zone" lockdown rules, which currently apply to everyone in Toronto and strictly prohibit indoor social gatherings (along with indoor dining, shopping in stores, getting one's hair done, etc.), but he may be one of the most creative we've seen to date.
"Basically, there's this guy named Julian. He's the biggest club promoter in Toronto... this guy makes a living by throwing literally the most lit parties at nightclubs in Toronto," explains YouTuber Cringe Daddy (Hunter Lewis) in a short documentary-style video documenting the event.
"So Julian's like 'f*ck, well if we can't party at the club'… Julian decided to throw a birthday party at the only place with unlimited capacity: IKEA."
Released on Sunday, CringeDaddy's "We Turned IKEA into a CLUB" video features some interview footage with Julian himself ahead of the party.
"It has to be done — somebody has to do it," says Julian of the party to Lewis between sips of Red Bull.
"The goal basically is just to prove a point — it doesn't make sense that IKEA can have like 800 people in their store... Like, it doesn’t make sense whatsoever you know what I mean?"
The promoter explains how he plans to pull off the covert IKEA party, noting that he put a fake date on the flyer for his party to trick anyone who might message the police, IKEA or Doug Ford.
"I got two models coming to IKEA at 5:15, we're gunna make them like, eat hot dogs sexually and shit," he notes.
On the day of the event, a handful of people are seen pre-drinking at Juilian's house.
Some of his friends joke about how the party is a terrible idea, but Julian shows that he took steps to keep everything on the up-and-up: At one point, he is seen filling an empty Grey Goose bottle with water so that the the group could look they're drinking at IKEA, without actually drinking.
Eventually, we see the aforementioned hot dog models join Julian and his friends outside the IKEA in Burlington, where someone has set up a full DJ rig with turntables.
"We cannot act suspicious, we've got to pretend like we're customers, and we're gunna get all the shots we need to make it look like we had a sick party at IKEA," says Julian in a pre-party parking lot pep talk.
The YouTube video then cuts to a montage of about 10 people dancing, holding red solo cups, and testing out IKEA couches and beds.
Set to Kemdilo Gold's "Met Her On OnlyFans" (an absolute banger, imho, and straight out of Toronto,) the montage also shows two pretty ladies in clubwear (the aforementioned models) hanging out near some IKEA signange, and a group of young men pretending to serve each other food in a kitchen showroom setup.
A representative from IKEA Canada confirmed on Monday that the group was booted from IKEA for "unauthorized filming" and that they were only in the store for a "very short time."
Upon reviewing CCTV footage from the Burlington IKEA, the company concluded that "no party took place" while Julian and his friends were inside the store.
Some creative editing made it appear otherwise in the final cut, but nobody was actually arrested or charged for violating pandemic orders.
"Yo they caught on to us, I spent like $45 on hot dogs," joked Julian in a post-party interview. "But it's okay because we're allowed to have this many people at IKEA... but let's get out of here, let's get out of here."
When asked later by Lewis about the inevitable backlash he'd recieve from members of the public for attempting to host an illegal gathering, Julian said that nobody would die as a result of his birthday bash.
"They're gunna say parties cause COVID, this cause COVID, that cause COVID, but I guarantee you — this party, nobody will die."
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