Gay DJ who flouted lockdown to attend the infamous ‘rona rave’ offers grovelling apology

DJ Alec Brian was roasted by the LGBT+ community for spinning at a "rona rave" in New York City, a petri dish of coronavirus cases. (Screen captures via Facebook)

After days of mounting criticism, a gay DJ has broken his silence and addressed his reasoning for taking part in a “rona rave” and flagrantly flouting social distancing measures.

In a video uploaded Monday morning (May 11) to Facebook stretching more than nine minutes long, Alec Brian offered his response to stinging criticism he’s faced since attending a party of, attendees claimed, at least 30 people.

The “rona rave” was a New York City house party that occurred May 4, sparking seismic criticism from the LGBT+ community who accused attendees of putting lives at risk all to dance shirtless in an apartment.

The circuit DJ explained in his video statement that he accepted the gig as he “needed the money” as he is unemployed. He accepted that he put his own and attendees’ lives at risk by doing so, but didn’t directly apologise.

He said, “We all took that chance, and made that… made that… that… thought and chose to do that,” and added that he flipped the payment from the party to donate 300 face masks to frontline responders.

Confusion around Brian’s attendance at the party quickly turned into continued anger, with his excuse that “when I left that party, I went right back to putting my mask on and gloves on” doing little to tamper outrage online.

‘Rona rave’ DJ admits he made ‘a stupid decision’.

Brian began his video by giving a: “Huge, big shout out, thank you, to our first-line, front men, working-class that are out there slaving away to keep our lives safe”.

He added: “Thank you for your hard work and for putting your lives at risk for us to able to live.”

Brian explained that he was approached to DJ the party at 9pm on the night it took place.

Moreover, he reasoned that “in the spur of the moment, [he] made a stupid decision and agreed to DJ this party”.

He said that “before the party” he was disinfecting his home “from head to toe”, noting that he wears gloves and a mask whenever he leaves the apartment.

Brian reasoned that after not doing the things he’s supposed to be doing to limit the coronavirus, “I went right back to putting my mask on and gloves on and doing everything he was supposed to be doing, social distancing, et cetera”.

Decrying detractors, he called out “influencers” who are “behind your keyboard calling me a clown […] calling me a clown, bashing me down, that doesn’t make you much better than me”.

Although, as one Facebook user said: “[To be honest] someone calling you a clown is completely different than throwing a party during COVID-19 where people are dying and in comas.”

What was the ‘rona rave’?

Twitter was outraged after gay porn star Ian Frost posted a lengthy Instagram story taken at a crowded house party in New York – the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic.

The since-deleted 31 videos that tag each and every attendee with an Instagram account showed more than a dozen topless partygoers clearly flouting governor Andrew Cuomo’s stay-at-home order, dancing in close proximity and without face masks.

At the time, Brian confirmed on Instagram that he attended a “small house party” on May 4. He claimed to be wearing a face mask, although, mobile phone footage showed Brian DJing with a mask hanging loosely around his neck.

“I have been taking all precautions to socially distance, wear a mask and hand washing very seriously to stop the spread,” he wrote.


New York coronavirus death toll tops 20,000.

Within the first few weeks of the coronavirus – a deadly but delicate virus riddled with complexity – countless epidemiologists and world leaders recommended the public practise social distancing.

By minimising contact with other people as much as possible, they said, people could “break the chain, so to say, of infection”.

According to the New York City Health Department, at the time of the party, there were around 171,700 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the city with 13,700 confirmed deaths.

At the time of writing, the death toll has since surged to around 337,000 confirmed cases and around 21,000 deaths. The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention noted, however, that the number is likely even higher.