'Club Quarantine' and its spin-offs provide virtual parties amid social distancing

The calls from authorities for social distancing have many people hunkered down inside their homes, missing the opportunity to interact with others. That pent up need's the motivation for Durham-based DJ Bigfella, whose government name is Ric Swiner.

The former television journalist hosts virtual dance parties from his basement, on Instagram. His earliest parties began about a week ago, as a way to help his followers handle the new normal.

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"But I figured we'd add an extra component and go live, because that way the people who were stuck in the house and who were feeling isolated and disconnected could hopefully get a sense of connection," said Swiner,

Days later, over the weekend more than 100,000 people checked out the epic party known as "Club Quarantine" hosted by DJ D-Nice.

"Here was an opportunity D-Nice took, to just play some music and let people come in, hang out and feel a sense of community, globally," Swiner said.

During the nine hour-long virtual party Saturday night, D-Nice said verified social media accounts for Oprah, Michelle Obama and many others checked in, thrilling others as they danced inside their homes while listening to him spin.

"It was like the most amazing VIP experience ever!" Swiner said. "Because you've got celebrities galore who are milling about in this same space, but we're all enjoying this music together. So it was cool to see how so many people embraced the social media tool and used it as a way to say connected, especially when everybody is feeling a bit antsy about the isolation."

Follow djbigfellanc on Instagram for notification of his next virtual party. Swiner says he spins middays in order to enjoy some of the DJs he admires when they're on at night.
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