Video conferencing app Zoom has seen a meteoric rise in popularity since the worldwide coronavirus pandemic forced us to work and learn remotely.
But when we’re not working or studying, many of us are using the app to socialise as well. Some are even paying to do so.
Over in Los Angeles, the nightclub scene has moved online. People are calling in from their homes and paying real money to get access to some of the most exclusive Zoom conferences in the city.
There are dress codes, bouncers and live DJ sets and entrance is tightly restricted.
‘At a Zoom party called Club Quarantee, all the usual trappings of a bottle-service club remain—except for the buckets of Champagne,’ explains a report on Bloomberg.
‘Guests purchase tickets for $10, or can pay $80 for a private room to party alongside Instagram-famous DJs and burlesque dancers. There is ostensibly a dress code. On a recent weekend, the party is full of European models and bearded men in fedoras, dancing along to Macarena.’
Essentially, every Zoom nightclub is the same. A DJ spinning tunes in one window while others dance and move about in their living rooms in the app’s carousel.
The format may be the same, but this newly-emerging scene gives people the chance to strike up conversations with strangers, enjoy some new music and spend a bit of time forgetting about the situation we all find ourselves in.
‘Parties have always been a form of virtual reality. Now it’s time to take them to the next level,’ writes the co-reality collective, a startup operating a virtual nightclub called ‘The Zone’.
The Zone boasts 16 rooms across five countries with a ‘chill yurt’, ‘hot tub’ and ‘flirtation station’ as well as multiple different DJs.
‘The most real place in the lockdown, the place where your deepest desires come true,’ it boasts. ‘Prepare accordingly if you require admission: Zoom account + secret code, Verified fancy dress outfit at door, Snapchat filters, commitment to party to the end.’
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