“I still don’t know anything about F1,” said Diplo, the DJ and producer, who was in Miami this past weekend for the city’s first Formula 1 Grand Prix, which attracted celebrities, athletes and car enthusiasts for what was a days-long, city-wide celebration. became.
It was Sunday, just after midnight, and Diplo was sitting in the backseat of an SUV on his way to an outdoor gig in the Wynwood neighborhood. Celebrities had gathered in Miami to watch the race, but Diplo used his time not to spot fast cars, but to watch the best scene.
“I don’t care at all about Formula 1, but about parties,” he said.
He’d been watching the race all day at the new Miami International Autodrome, a temporary racetrack that wraps around Hard Rock Stadium, just north of the city. His day started at noon in a Red Bull sponsored VIP suite. He hated it.
“It was this bad box, like a prison,” he said. “They also had no food and I just wanted a sandwich, so I left.”
His friends Andrew Watt, the record producer, and Charlotte Lawrence, a singer, were in the Ferrari suite, a three-story tent with a manicured yard, espresso bar, and pouring Bollinger champagne. So he snuck in, without paying the entrance fee. (“I saved $10,000,” he said.)
“We were a group of seven and three people didn’t have a pass, neither did I,” he said. “A woman came up to us and I thought she was going to kick us out, but she just said, ‘I see you have some extra friends here.'”
“Ferrari had already tagged me on social media so I knew it was going to be okay,” he added.
Bored of that party, he talked his way to a trackside work area, where mechanics were spinning tires and data scientists spinning metrics. He was surprised to meet former first lady Michelle Obama.
“Her guard actually attacked me, but that was kind of cool,” he said.
Around 4 p.m., with temperatures in the 90s, he was sweating through his cowboy boots and several T-shirts. So he left before the race was over and returned to the Faena Miami Beach hotel, where he was staying, to watch the rest on television.
“When you watch it on TV it’s so sick to see the recording, but being there live I couldn’t get any atmosphere,” he said. “It was a little stressful, like being at Coachella. It was just a lot of walking around for no reason.”
Diplo, a three-time Grammy Award-winning DJ who has collaborated with the likes of Madonna, Justin Bieber and Beyoncé, had been in Miami since Thursday to work at some parties and attend others. (He took a short break on Friday to fly to Louisville for a Kentucky Derby party. “We took a jet and landed back in Miami at 6 a.m. Saturday morning,” he said. “I tried to go to a nightclub, but it’s did not work out.”)
While super-fast cars racing through loops may not have impressed him, the fuss surrounding Formula 1 did. “F1 has more high rollers than even something like Art Basel,” he said. “The parties this weekend were insane. They are packed until 5am, 6am”
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“My Oura keeps telling me I’m dead,” he added with a laugh, referring to the smart ring that monitors sleep and physical activity.
Sunday evening, after the final race, the celebrations reached a climax.
With their races over, the drivers were finally able to let go. Max Verstappen, the 24-year-old Dutch driver who won the Grand Prix, hosted a party at Story, a rowdy, neon-lit dance club in South Beach, before taking the party to E11even, an after-hours club near the Wynwood neighborhood. .
Lewis Hamilton hosted a party at Socialista, a private Caribbean-themed club in the Brickell area operated by Cipriani. Daniel Ricciardo, the driver made famous by Netflix’s “Formula 1: Drive to Survive,” hired a private folk band to perform for family and friends at his sprawling rental home in Davie, a town north of Miami.
And a group of celebrities — including LeBron James, Busta Rhymes, Jamie Foxx and Lindsey Vonn — ate uni from an ice sculpture and drank espresso martinis at Carbone Beach, an American Express sponsored pop-up restaurant on Miami Beach where dinner seats went for $3,000. Nas performed for the chic crowd, decked out in sports jackets and sequined dresses.
Diplo didn’t have to work until 1:30 a.m., when he played a closing party at Oasis, an open-air stage in Wynwood. So he got the party started early.
His first stop, around 10 p.m., was Fillmore Miami Beach, an Art Deco theater where his buddies from Khruangbin, a Houston trio that mix rock, soul and psychedelia, played. The journey was productive: during the 15-minute drive to and from hotel Faena, he made his playlist for later.
“I literally make a DJ set for every party I do,” he said in the backseat of his private SUV, dressed in a white T-shirt and camo-print cargo pants. “I never do the same set twice. It’s the most tedious job. It’s not fun at all. I have folders with folders in them from more sets.”
At around 11 p.m., he returned to the Faena, which Red Bull had converted into its Formula 1 headquarters. The opulent grounds of the hotel were filled with women in their twenties in tight dresses and men in T-shirts and trucker hats. “The girls all look so nice, but the guys dress like they’re on a bus,” Diplo said. “I mean, I dress like that, but I’m a DJ, so I can wear whatever I want.”
In the hotel’s red velvet theater, the team behind Club Space, a beloved Miami techno club, had put together an evening of immersive dance. Diplo made his way through the crowd, taking selfies with fans and greeting regulars. He is often received enthusiastically – a testament to his enduring popularity despite recent allegations of sexual misconduct, which he has denied.
“The space is where you go from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m.,” he said of the nightclub. “My friend was there today at 11am. He sent me a photo of him still clubbing in daylight.”
Diplo had been there for a little over an hour when his tour manager, Keaton Kinnaman, a jolly bearded man, dragged him along for the 20-minute drive to Oasis.
He arrived around 1am and stepped into a trailer behind the stage where his small team had gathered. Diplo offered everyone a shot of Tepozán, the brand of tequila he invests in, even though he didn’t drink anything himself. “We don’t have shot glasses, but we can put some in garbage bags or you can drink from the bottle,” he said.
At 1:30 AM, Diplo took over the turntables and played an upbeat mix of house, pop and hip-hop music, including tracks from his new album, “Diplo”. About 2,500 fans screamed and started dancing as soon as he took the stage.
“When you’re a DJ, you’re on the move and your senses are challenged,” he said just before taking the stage. “You don’t get tired because there are all these sensations.”
After playing his last song, around 3 a.m., he was overrun by adoring fans as he returned to the trailer. His love of Formula 1 cars may not have changed, but he was apparently smitten with the Grand Prix lifestyle.
“I’m going to the Monaco,” he announced in his trailer. “I play in Cannes, then I do a wedding in Nice, then I play against Jimmy’z Monte-Carlo, a big nightclub in Monaco, on Sunday, and then I go to the race.”
In addition, he wants to drive the next Formula 1 race in the United States: Las Vegas in 2023. “The one in Vegas will be hot,” he said. “They are going to crush F1. I can already tell.”