'It was remarkable': Kiwi describes partying with Charli XCX at virtual queer clubnight Club Quarantine

'It was remarkable': Kiwi describes partying with Charli XCX at virtual queer clubnight Club Quarantine
Photo credit: Paper Magazine, Instagram/Charli XCX

All over the world, the live entertainment industry is scrambling to find new ways to bring the buzz of the dancefloor/moshpit/arena to bored fans are trapped at home due to the coronavirus pandemic.

One solution to the global bans on mass gatherings is the creation of 'virtual' nightclubs, hosted on video chat platforms like Zoom and attended by a global community of revellers in dire need of release.

Club Quarantine is one such online event that has quickly become an "iconic" outlet amongst the LGBTQ community, with thousands flocking to Club Q's nightly Zoom meetings since it began in mid-March.

Kiwi amateur virtual club kid Vincent told Newshub he logged in on Saturday at 3pm, dressed in "grey sweatshorts and a two-week-unwashed t-shirt", entirely unaware of what awaited him.

Otherwise known by his chatroom name Bjöckstrap - an homage to Björk, if you didn't catch that - Vincent just snuck in before the chatroom reached its maximum limit of 1000 users. He made it in time to see a surprise DJ set from British pop sensation Charli XCX, alongside a host of other acts.

"Within seconds I became pretty much mesmerised," Vincent said.

"While the DJ broadcasts the audio, the hosts choose different webcams to give everyone their moment in the spotlight. There were couples, flatmates, dance soloists and even the occasional infant.

"The looks ranged from near-nude, to latex bunny outfits, to bedazzled leotards with feather-covered shoulder pieces."

Unprepared without any dramatic lighting to hand, Vincent opted for a camera-off approach to the event, instead "engaging in vigorous capitalised typing in the chat room".

"Between the set the host would request [everyone in the chat] to light up the comments with phrases like 'GAY RIGHTS' and 'F**K TRUMP'," Vincent explained.

"As well as that, chat-goers would frequently double down with incantations like 'DEFEAT MISS CORONA'." 

The event took place on Friday night (US time), and was co-curated by Heav3n, a queer nightclub in Los Angeles, to raise money for the HEAV3N Fund, which plans to distribute resources back into LA's LGBTQ nightlife community.

"Club Q is for everyone," Vincent explained, "but it's primarily for queer folk, which made me feel right at home.

"This was the most body positive, POC positive, queer positive, and disability positive club I'd been to, providing the visible love and positivity that you don't often come across in a real club."

Vincent said he returned to Club Q the next day, making it the first time he's ever been clubbing two nights in a row.

"Let's ignore the fact that I was sitting on a couch drinking water the whole time, I'm a party animal now," he said.

And while Vincent thinks his efforts need some "serious improvement" in the lighting, make-up and costume departments if he's to meet the Club Q standard next weekend, just witnessing it made a huge impact on him.

"I can't even begin to say how much it lifted my spirits," he said.

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