Gold Rush! A Look Inside the 2024 Gold Gala After Party

A100 honoree Steve Aoki DJs the Billboard x Gold House Founders Party. (Photo courtesy of Gold House.)

All that glitters isn’t gold… Unless, of course, you’re at Gold House’s Gold Gala. 

Now in its third year, the 2024 Gold Gala took place Saturday, May 11, honoring the organization’s A100 list — a collection of 100 Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders who impacted American culture in the past year. This time around, actor-director Lucy Liu, video game streamer Rachell “Valkyrae” Hofstetter and the Maui first responders were among those honored, alongside NBCUniversal CFO Anand Kini, senior Variety editor Jazz Tangcay and Scale AI founder Alexandr Wang. After an awards dinner full of cheers, tears and music from A1 honoree Saweetie, guests were invited to the exclusive inaugural Billboard x Gold House Founders Party — a place to let loose, have fun and celebrate being AAPI. 

The main dance floor of the Billboard x Gold House Founders Party. (Photo by Emily Chung.)

The party was held on the second floor of downtown Los Angeles’ historic Music Center, a grand mirrored staircase separating it from the main reception. Music from DJ Hu Dat scored guests’ arrivals, and a choice of Martell Cordon Bleu or Sainte Marguerite en Provence Rosé greeted them at the door. At the heart of the ballroom, a wide, technicolor dance floor glittered beneath a crystal chandelier, welcoming everyone to the festivities. 

The bars were abuzz as soon as the doors opened, serving three signature cocktails and a host of other drinks. While Gold House Futures musicians Towa Bird, Emei and Paravi downed a shot with singers Mad Tsai and Renee Rapp, influencer Bella Poarch and makeup artist Patrick Ta caught up at a nearby table. As guests continued to trickle in, live-action “Lilo & Stitch” star Maia Kealoha was the first person to christen the dance floor, showing off her hula skills to an adoring audience. 

Maia Kealoha takes over the dance floor. (Photo courtesy of Gold House.)

A quick look around the room showcased friendships new and old: In one corner, Olympic gold medalist Chloe Kim bonded with McLaren F1 Academy driver Bianca Bustamante; in another, content creator Eugene Lee Yang shared a laugh with writer Alok Vaid-Menon and actress Margaret Cho. K-pop stars BM and Woo-sung Kim posed for a mirror selfie, while actors Xochitl Gomez, Dallas Liu and Ian Ousley snapped some memories on a digicam. And the party was just getting started. 

Promptly at 11:00 p.m., roaring applause from the dance floor signaled the arrival of Nymphia Wind, the recently-crowned queen of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” Dressed in a dazzling two-piece set and her signature yellow wig, her spirited lip sync to Lady Gaga’s “You and I” was the perfect way to kick off the headlining performances of the night. 

Steve Aoki enters the DJ booth. (Photo courtesy of Gold House.)

A100 honoree Steve Aoki was the next and main act, getting everyone (and I mean everyone) on their feet. Across the dance floor, “Never Have I Ever” actor Darren Barnet busted a move next to Olympic figure skater Nathan Chen, and magicians Shin Lim and Casey Kathleen Thomas bobbed their heads to the beat. To the side, Gen-Z it girls Elizabeth Yu, Minnie Mills and Piper Curda giggled as they sang along to the biggest hit of the night: a roof-raising mash-up of Rihanna’s “We Found Love” and Taylor Swift’s “You Belong With Me.”

For anyone needing a break from the action, hot orange chicken, eggplant tofu and crispy apple pie rolls were served fresh all night long — satiating any midnight snack cravings. On the other side of the hall, a specialty boba bar offered an enticing selection of jasmine milk tea, matcha and an exclusive blend of lychee juice, green tea, coconut and blue spirulina. 

After a little dancing (and a lot of drinks), everyone from Korean star Taecyeon to TikTok creator Erika Titus found their way over to the karaoke room, inspired to take their chances behind the mic. Ross Butler and Tisha Alyn’s performance of “Genie in a Bottle” was an instant crowd favorite, while “Mean Girls” actress Auli’i Cravalho’s “Tennessee Whiskey” blew everyone away.

As the clock struck 1:00 a.m., the party was still going strong. While actress Sarayu Blue, comedian Atsuko Okatsuka and TV personality Bobby Berk posed for a portrait with the Lounge Booth, young stars Maitreyi Ramakrishnan and Avantika joined a Bollywood number that was taking over the dance floor. And, of course, the night couldn’t be complete without a trip to the Goldbot with Cole Walliser

Eventually, the music died down and the lights flipped back on, bringing this year’s Founders Party to a heartwarming close. As the newest addition to Gold House’s blossoming Gold Gala, this reception was the perfect way to celebrate the accomplishments of the AAPI community — illuminating the golden futures we have ahead.