Nightlife Legend Jake Resnicow Gives Life to the Biggest Gay Parties
By Tom Tietjen
Jake Resnicow's ascent into the fabulous world of parties began
over ten years ago. Since then, the Boston native who now splits
his time between NYC and Miami has become one the world’s
most prolific gay promoters.
“I grew up listening to songs like ‘Pocket Full of Sunshine’ and
‘Unwritten,’” laughs Jake Resnicow, pausing in his narration of
the nearly decade-old photograph that sits on his desk in his
Miami office. “This was right before Natasha Bedingfield went
on stage to perform at my Pride event on Governors Island in
New York. It was that moment when I knew this would be career.”
Today, Jake Resnicow is among the most in-demand gay party
producers in the world. Last year he was tapped to produce the
main floor for the 25th anniversary Life Ball gala, an HIV/AIDS
benefit held annually in Vienna. Locals will remember him best
for his recent spectacle at the Vizcaya Gardens where he was
Talent Coordinator & Promoter for Miami’s White Party gala.
He’s also produced notable events for TrevorLive, the Ali Forney
Center, Lambda Legal, and the It Gets Better Project, helping to
raise over $2 million for LGBTQ charities. This past year, OUT
Magazine recognized him as the Most Influential LGBTQ Person
of the Year.
“Most people think I got my start in New York,” he says referring
to his monthly M.E.A.T., U-NITE and RHYTHM NATION parties that
initially put him on the gay party-planning map, “but I actually began
in Newton, Massachusetts.”
It was in Newton where Resnicow launched his first entertainment
company, a mobile DJing company that serviced local sweet
sixteens, bar-mitzvahs, and school dances. He was 14. “I would
do it with such passion,” he recalls. “I would load my Toyota
4Runner up with all my equipment, going from gig to gig. I was
always obsessed with having the best lights and sound.”
He continued DJing at Georgetown University, where he majored
in government. In fact, his first celebrity event was for a politician.
“It was the John Kerry presidential campaign in 2004 in Boston,”
he confirms. It didn’t run as smoothly as he hoped it would. "We
were at 100% capacity and the Fire Marshall warned me that if I let one more person in the door, he would shut the party down,”
Resnicow explains. “Then, in the corner of my eye, I see a band trying to push through and of course, it was the Black Eyed Peas! I
begged and pleaded with the Marshall to let them in. He stood firm but, thankfully, the band waited patiently, I apologized profusely, and
all worked out in the end.”
It was the first major event producing calamity he would face, but not the last. He points to his very first event as a gay event producer
when he had triumphantly managed to book one of New York’s hottest spots, Crobar Nightclub, for his big debut. It was a major feat, or
so he thought. Two weeks before the event, the venue closed down, and he considered pulling the plug and cancelling the event.
Resnicow assumed his party was sunk until he happened upon a ferry to Governors Island and was introduced to an incredible outdoor
venue. With full creative control, he found a new launchpad for his first music festival, welcoming international DJs, Broadway dancers,
aerialists and a finale complete with fireworks.
That event would go down in pride history in New York and Resnicow says
it was when he knew he had found his calling. “I’m always searching for
exciting venues that will allow me to showcase my theatrical flair and create
a fairy-tail experience.” A fact that revelers who attended his White Party
gala at Vizcaya Gardens can attest to.
“I think Jake’s desire as a kid to fit in and be
noticed, something that is not uncommon with
gay people who grew up as outsiders in many
circles, is what has driven him to the success
he is experiencing today,” says Paul Nichols,
an LA-based producer who has partnered
with Resnicow on several parties through the
years. “I think it has also fueled his desire to
impact the community.”
Resnicow predicts this year’s Pride event in
New York will be his grandest undertaking yet.
Celebrating the 50th anniversary of Stonewall,
the WE Party Pride Festival Main Event is
being billed as the biggest Pride music festival
in history. It will take place at the Jacob Javitz
Center, a mammoth 1.8 million square foot
venue that covers the entire city block between
33rd and 34th Streets, 11th and 12th Avenues.
Resnicow is planning to build a nightlife
amusement park that will feature celebrity
performances. Helping him to achieve his
grand plan is a production designer that has
produced large-scale music festivals like
Ultra Music Festival and Coachella.
“Millions of people from all over the world will
be in NYC for the 50th anniversary of Stonewall
and the Javitz party will bring them all together
on one amazing dance floor.”
One hundred percent of the net proceeds from
the WE Party Pride Festival Main Event will
benefit Stonewall Gives Back Initiative (the
official charity of the Stonewall Inn) and
For more information, visit jakeresnicow.com
Follow Jake on Instagram at @ jakeresnicow.
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