Podium Lounge have been hosting their celebrity focused Formula 1 track-side event in Singapore since 2009 at The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia and only recently expanded their brand to include Abu Dhabi (Yas Viceroy Hotel), Melbourne (Ms Collins) and Monaco (Zelo’s at The Grimaldi Forum). We catch up with Robbie Hoyes-Cock, a 33-year-old British mastermind, CEO & Founder of The Podium Lounge, to hear about the vibrant side of the events industry.
In Singapore there has been an explosion in the number of parties each year and it’s really great to see so many restaurants, bars, clubs and hotels in close proximity to the Formula 1 track getting involved and hosting their own events. One of the advantages of a street circuit (especially one that is 5km long) is that it touches so many different establishments and venues and, with the vast number of vantage points of the track, there are endless possibilities for throwing parties in celebration of the Formula 1 weekend.
There have been several events that have gained momentum and then disappeared, which is a shame, but as a major fan of Formula 1 I always like to see more entertainment options which make it such a special sport so far as it combines motorsport with music, fashion with celebrities and nightlife with the international jet set.
We are expanding to include Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, Austin and possibly Mexico next year as well, depending on when the dates are set. I think there is a huge appetite for quality Grand Prix Weekend events that travel between cities. Our model is to work with top tier luxury brands in each market and connect them with the A-list crowd who follow Formula 1 and want to party with the wolves of the racing community. We always book international DJs, live celebrity vocal performances and stage The Fashion Circuit together with a leading fashion brand. This year we have branched out into the culinary side of things as well and are hosting a 3-Michelin-star race dinner with Quique Dacosta, paired together with wines from Castell d’Encus on Friday 19th and with Chateaux Margaux on Saturday 20th of September, within our ultra lounge-styled venue at The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia, Singapore. So yes, it’ll be a pretty busy time for us.
I think it’s extremely valuable to attract celebrities to your events and celebrity endorsements are always a testament to the quality of your party. We like to find a nice balance between booking celebrities and hosting those that just rock up to party as they’re in town for the Formula 1 races. This year we have two very high profile Guest Hosts in the way of Jacques Villenueve (Former F1 World Champion) and Freddie Hunt (son of British F1 Racing Legend James who was immortalised last year in the Formula 1 biopic “Rush”).
Grammy-nominated, IDMA-awarded vocalist and songwriter Nadia Ali, known for her chart-topping 2001 hit “Rapture”, will be performing on race night. Described by MTV as one of the “enduring empresses” of electronic dance music, Ali’s captivating vocals and combined upbeat dance music must not be missed. She will be joined by her dancers from Los Angeles, which we are hugely looking forward to.
Our official broadcast partner this year is Channel E!, they will be inviting their celebrity hosts to interview many of our guests this year. We are also unveiling the 12 contestants for this year’s Supermodel Me reality TV series at The Podium Lounge on race night which should be a lot of fun as they walk our catwalk!
Gnossem will be showcasing 10 of their latest, curated designers on the catwalk, with a highlight on A-list celebrity favourites from New York: BiJules and LARUICCI. Both New York-based designers for the stars, Jules Kim and Lauren Laruicci will be in attendance for Gnossem’s weekend Fashion Circuit and this is yet another celebrity aligned angle, which makes working in these events so special and exciting for us.
Formula 1 is a very powerful sport with extraordinary global viewer numbers, brand engagements and celebrity appeal. I think everyone is doing a fabulous job in changing the yearly line-up of races and constantly pushing the boundaries of the spectacle. It is the Formula 1 teams though that I think are the biggest ambassadors of the sport, constantly thinking up new ways to entertain, excite and engage with their fans both on the track and off it as well.
However, there is at present no formal business relationship between Formula 1 and the events industry. In Singapore the Grand Prix Season Singapore is a fantastic initiative funded by the Singapore Tourism Board which champions certain track-side events and lends themselves to promoting events that have international appeal in particular; but this has sadly never led to any partnership opportunities with Singapore GP or indeed the FIA. I’d be very open to building such relationships and opening up our network of clients and loyal fans in our respective Podium Lounge markets to drive increased participation in the Grand Prix itself. For now, when the champagne corks are popped and bubbles are sprayed on the podium, that is our cue to Go! Go! Go! and party the night away with the stars.