People in Toronto are beating the coronavirus nightclub ban by partying online
Toronto nightclubs are empty but evidently people are still raging in the midst of COVID-19.
Bars and clubs have temporarily closed on the recommendation of city public health officials and by the order of Ontario's provincial government, meaning we can officially say goodbye to Toronto's nightlife for the forseeable future as the population at large attempts to curb the growing number of coronavirus cases.
But from the pile of shuttered establishments has risen what's arguably become the hottest club of 2020: a virtual queer dance party called Club Quarantine.
The new event, which is held using the conference call app Zoom every night at 9 p.m. until midnight, held its first party this weekend.
Since its last party Tuesday night, the club's following has nearly tripled.
Party-goers practicing self isolation can still get their dance on from the comfort of their rooms thanks to a roster of local DJs.
Created by Mingus New, Brad Allen, Andrés Sierra, and Casey MQ (the latter two have DJ'd the event previously), Club Quarantine started as way for the queer community to stay connected during self isolation.
"We are all going through a really scary thing right now, and for the queer community, it can be extra hard. Our safe spaces are gone, no way to connect with each other, so I think this has allowed us to do that in some capacity," said organizers over e-mail.
"And simply put we love to party and will always find a way!"
Instead of lining up outside the club on a germ-infested sidewalk, patrons can enter the virtual club by going to the Zoom site and joining Club Quarantine's 'meeting' with a custom ID, which you can find in the club's IG bio at 9 p.m.
There's no obligation to turn your camera on, though it's much more fun with the custom screens option (and way less creepy) to have it going.
Naturally, like any club, there are a few rules of etiquette to follow, like putting your mic on mute, limiting your song requests, and of course, making virtual space for queer folk, for whom the party was made for.
I hopped into the club last night, ended up partying for an hour, and actually broke a sweat, which was a nice change from lying supine in my bed for 10 hours.
Club Q says they're hoping to find a funding model for their artists, DJs, and performers who make an appearance, especially given the number of jobs that have fallen victim to coronavirus-related closures.
Aside from playing DJ sets that are, objectively, straight fire, Club Quarantine also has some legitimate programming, like an upcoming appearance from local drag queen Vanity Bontemps on Thursday, and a stick and poke sesh that unexpectedly happened live last night.
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