Following the success of last summer’s World Pride events at New York’s Javits Center featuring the likes of Bette Midler, Cyndi Lauper and Billy Porter and raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for LGBTQ+ charities, mega-events producer Jake Resnicow is bringing some Burning Man inspired innovation to Manhattan’s gay nightlife with what’s billed as the world’s first 5D nightclub experience at Club ZeroSpace.
The night launched in November 2019 and ahead of the third Club ZeroSpace this Saturday February 1st 2020, a Star Wars inspired Episode III, The Queer Review’s editor James Kleinmann spoke to Jake Resnicow about creating events on such a major scale over the last decade, helping to raise millions of dollars for charity, encouraging LGBTQ+ Americans to vote and bringing the 5D experience to NYC’s nightclubbers.
James Kleinmann, The Queer Review: You were very busy last summer with World Pride in New York, which of course marked the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising. Looking back what are you most proud to have achieved during 2019’s Pride celebrations?
“This past year was extra special. We raised over $500,000 for LGBTQ+ charities and I couldn’t be more proud. Special thanks to Bette Midler, Billy Porter, Brandy, Kygo, Cyndi Lauper, Cirque du Soleil and STOMP for delivering such stellar performances. I got chills when Kygo premiered his epic mix of “Higher Love” during our main event and also what was the 20th anniversary of Whitney Houston performing during NYC Pride.”
“I recently received a message from a couple that met during our Pride event in 2010 and are now celebrating their anniversary. It makes me so happy to hear how my events bring people together.”
How inspired were you by what you experienced in terms of club events in Ibiza?
“Ibiza has been a big inspiration and I’m always looking to elevate the production value and offer fresh never-seen-before experiences.”
How did you first get involved in producing events on such an epic scale?
“My very first event was on Governors Island during Pride 2010. It was magical as we celebrated under the sun and stars with a fireworks finale. At that moment, I knew this was my calling. As I begin planning what will be my ten-year anniversary producing events so I couldn’t be more excited to raise the bar again.”
Does having so many successful events to your name help you have confidence and belief that you can pull it off time and again or do you ever get pre-event jitters?
“I admit I’ve had pre-event jitters before some of my bigger events, but it’s mostly excitement. I always strive for perfection. I’m grateful to have an incredible team that shares the same commitment and vision.”
What other LGBTQ fundraising events have you been involved with over the years?
“I’m proud to produce the White Party Gala in Miami at Vizcaya Gardens as well as Main Floor at LifeBall in Vienna. We’ve helped raise over $34 million to fight HIV/AIDS. I’ve also been involved in fundraising for Trevor Project, GLADD, Stonewall Gets Back Initiative and LifeBeat. I love giving back. Philanthropy is a major part of my life.”
Towards the end of last year you launched the world’s first 5D Nightclub experience at ZeroSpace, with the third night coming up this weekend on Saturday February 1st. The obvious question first, what is 5D?
“Guests will touch, feel and live like never before. 5D is about putting you in the center of a total multi-media experience. I always look to create fully immersive experiences that incorporate all your senses. ZeroSpace is a 25,000 square-foot mind-blowing digital playground. There are 5 experiential rooms where you can interact with cutting-edge art installations. For example, the laser forest features an infinity room of rotating lasers. Another features the first-ever dynamic piece from the world-famous artist duo, Hybycozo. The 3 foot pendant features internal and external illumination, synced to music, in a room full of haze. The venue was inspired by and features art direct from Burning Man.”
How did the first nights go? Will there be anything different this time around?
“Our premiere night in November and our December event were both hugely successful. We sold out in advance and the feedback has been extraordinary. As a producer, I welcome the challenge to think outside the box and create one-of-kind experiences. Our next edition will be Star Wars-inspired. We have lots of surprises plus a huge upgrade in sound and lighting. DJ Pam Ann makes her NYC debut alongside Dani Brasil and Shane Marcus. The music will be incredible. Get ready for a fresh musical journey!”
Are you able to you enjoy your events while they are happening and what satisfaction do you get from a successful event?
“Of course. My joy comes from making people happy. I truly love creating memorable, inclusive experiences that celebrate the entire LGBTQ+ community.”
Who are some of the artists you’ve been most excited to work with over the years?
“I’m thrilled to be working with Sir Elton John, Sharon Stone, Sean Hayes and Laverne Cox on our our new movement #VoteProud. We will have some big announcements as we come together to demand all citizens are treated equally.”
What are you looking forward to achieving this year?
“I’m psyched for 2020. This will be my ten-year anniversary doing this work, and I’m excited to raise the bar and introduce several original events and launch in new cities. I plan to use my platform to increase voter participation in the next election. It’s shocking that less than 1 in 2 LGBTQ+ adults voted in 2016, despite the fact that our rights are constantly under attack. From housing discrimination to adoption policies, the fight for equality continues.”
Yes, it’s an election year, will you be encouraging partygoers at your events to get out and vote in November?
Absolutely, in fact we just launched VOTE PROUD – a non-partisan movement to inspire the LGBTQ+ community to register and vote. We must combat voter apathy among all marginalized Americans! We’re planning multiple concerts and voter registration drives with our celebrity partners around the country. So please check out VoteProud.org and take 30 seconds to check your registration status. Share on social media and call out your friends to do the same.”
Club ZeroSpace is located at 136 W 33rd Street at 7th Avenue in Midtown Manhattan and the next event is this Saturday February 1st 2020. For more details and to purchase tickets in advance head to ClubZeroSpace.com.