Graphic from Joy Ruckus Club
Founder of Joy Ruckus Club wants to gather Asians together into the world’s largest Asian community event.
By Mimi Chen, AsAmNews Staff Writer
Joy Ruckus Club, the name a play on the moniker for the movie Joy Luck Club, has only been in business for six months, but already they are ready to launch the world’s largest virtual Lunar New Year’s Festival online starting today, February 16
The event spans six days across several world stages, including not only American based stages, but also, stages that are based in Australia, Europe, Dubai, Canada, and Asia. Founder Kublai Kwon states that they will present the stages in their respective time zones so that it’s almost 24/7 and hopes one day the Joy Ruckus Club (JRC) will eventually “run events 24/7.”
Musical artists include notable names such as Korean K-pop star Hyolyn, and Asian nAmerican musicians Megan Lee and Run River North. The roster also includes 177 other artists on the 9 virtual stages across 6 days.
Kwon explained how the event came together.
“I started as a live concert promoter in the Asian American scene, this was the early 2000’s, and there weren’t any Asian concerts. So I kind of set out to do that and graduated into the general industry. After the pandemic hit, I was pulled back into the Asian American scene and really wanted to do just a virtual concert because all my tours had gotten canceled. I started booking them again, just on a whim and the reaction was, like, pretty intense,” he told AsAmNews.
His foray into the virtual events space eventually led to his events being noticed by the online concert streaming platform Sessions and Kwon’s dream of having online virtual festivals came into being when they offered him a partnership. Kwon cited how tough it was for him to obtain funding for his events, noting the skepticism from the Asian American community, “when we have so few things, cultural institutions like this. And we have so many resources and so much money in our community, you would think that it wouldn’t be an issue, you know, for cultural activists to get supported. But no, it’s like, this is a waste of time, I’m not going to help you.”
Kwon talked about how easy it was to produce events around May, the month dedicated to Asian Americans, but he wanted to expand on that.
“It’s easy to like to throw an event during Asian American month, because that’s what is politically correct to do. But it’s harder to do it when you’re not supposed to do it. But none of these outfits had any intention of throwing an event outside of Asian American month that I knew. So that kind of pissed me off a little bit, because I was like, wait, our community deserves more than just Asian American month. It can’t just be this. So that’s what sort of inspired me to do the first Joy Ruckus Club, in August.”
But what also inspires his actions, he notes, is his Asian cultural activism, his drive to help the Asian community become more of a driving force in America by trying to get them to all band together. But he notes, it’s a tough struggle as it seems Asians are unwilling to support each other.
He thinks it’s due to the Asians in America having been originally oppressed by Americans in their homelands. He states, “ it’s kind of like psychological pressures that we’re talking about. We are all under mental attack, or psychological attack, living in America. So it’s like self hatred, it’s in our blood basically.”
He is hopeful however, that his efforts will help build the Asian American community, “hopefully we can build it up and maybe normalize Asian American music into its own genre. And if we can normalize recorded music, maybe it will encourage the growth of the Asian community, encourage more Asian Americans or Asian diaspora to go that route and provide a voice for the community.
To view the festival – go here:
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