Earlier this month, Gay Twitter™ was in a furor over the so-called “Rona Rave” apartment party that took place in New York City during lockdown.
How do we know that this invite-only party happened? Because partygoers posted about it on social media, sharing photos and videos to their Instagram stories. Gay adult film star Ian Frost posted multiple videos of him on the “dancefloor” as shirtless revelers grooved to beats provided by DJ Alec Brian.
As it turns out, Frost and Brian are the subjects of a new digital series about NYC’s circuit scene, The Circuit.
The series, created and directed by Daniel Lui, premiered online back in February, with three episodes dropping before the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic shut down the city’s party scene. The newest episode, “Rona and the Rave,” focuses on virtual parties in the time of COVID-19—including the infamous “Rona Rave” with interviews from Frost and Brian about their participation in the event.
“The [virtual] party was great, but how sustainable is it to partying through a screen,” said series subject Trey Sherman in the episode. “You can’t keep these girls at home. If you think you can, you’re foolish.”
A week after the “Rona Rave,” Brian posted a video to his social media apologizing for attending. On The Circuit, Lui also confronts him and Frost about their involvement.
“People are angry with you because they have friends and family members who have coronavirus, who are still in the hospital right now,” he asks them during a rooftop interview. “I think our viewers really want to hear an explanation from you.”
Brian and Frost apologize, and they even go into detail about how they have received death threats, with Frost revealing he has received “hundreds, if not thousands.” Brian also said the party actually started on Saturday—not Sunday, as it was originally reported—at a different location with a different DJ, before moving to the apartment featured in videos and images that spread like wildfire on social media.
“We knew we had to do an episode on life during coronavirus, but when we heard about the party, we struggled at first on how to move forward,” Lui said in a statement. “We decided to continue our mission of documenting the lives of our cast members, and that meant allowing Ian and Alec to share their stories even when the entire community was against them. We took a more journalistic approach to also stress the importance of social distancing.”
Watch the full episode of The Circuit below.