“I still don’t know anything about F1,” said Diplo, the DJ and producer, who was in Miami last weekend for the city’s first Formula 1 Grand Prix, attracting celebrities, athletes and enthusiasts. of cars for what became a one-day, city-wide party.
It was Sunday, just after midnight, and Diplo was in the back seat of an SUV, heading to an outdoor concert in the Wynwood neighborhood. Celebrities had gathered in Miami to watch the race, but Diplo used his time not to focus on fast cars, but to explore the best scene.
“I don’t care about Formula 1 at all, but I do care about parties,” he said.
He had spent the day watching the race at the new Miami International Autodrome, a temporary race track that circles Hard Rock Stadium, just north of the city. His day started at noon in a VIP suite sponsored by Red Bull. He hated it.
“It was this bad box, like a prison,” he said. “Also they had no food and all I wanted was 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 garden, espresso bar and flowing Bollinger champagne. So he snuck out without paying the entrance fee. (“I saved $10,000,” he said.)
“We were a party of seven and three people didn’t have passes, including me,” 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 I would be fine,” he added.
When he got tired of the partying, he made his way to a work area along the track, where mechanics were spinning tires and data scientists were running measurements. He was surprised to bump into former first lady Michelle Obama.
“His security guard basically dumped me, but that was pretty cool,” he said.
By 4 p.m., with temperatures in the 90s, he had sweated through his cowboy boots and several T-shirts. So he left before the end of the race and returned to the Faena Miami Beach Hotel, where he was staying, to watch the rest on TV.
“When you watch it on TV, it’s so gross to watch the shot, but being there live, I couldn’t get a vibe,” he said. “It was a little stressful, like being at Coachella. It was just a lot of walking for no reason.
Diplo, a three-time Grammy Award-winning DJ who collaborates with Madonna, Justin Bieber and Beyoncé, had been in Miami since Thursday, working some parties and attending others. (He took a short break on Friday to fly to Louisville to host a Kentucky Derby party. “We took a jet and landed in Miami at 6 a.m. Saturday morning,” he said. “I tried going to a nightclub, but it didn’t work out.”)
While the lightning-fast cars that race through loops may not have impressed him, the hype around Formula 1 certainly did. “F1 has more big players than even something like Art Basel,” he said. “The parties this weekend have been crazy. They were 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.
The parties reached their climax on Sunday evening, after the final race.
With their races behind them, the drivers were finally able to let loose. Max Verstappen, the 24-year-old Dutch driver who won the grand prix, threw a celebration at Story, a rowdy, neon-lit dance club in South Beach, before partying at E11even, an after-hours club near of the Wynwood district.
Lewis Hamilton threw a party at Socialista, a Caribbean-themed private club in the Brickell area operated by Cipriani. Daniel Ricciardo, the driver made famous by Netflix’s ‘Formula 1: Drive to Survive’, has hired a private folk band to perform for his 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 on an ice sculpture and drank espresso martinis at Carbone Beach, a pop-up restaurant sponsored by American Express in Miami Beach where the seats of dinner went for $3,000. Nas performed for the upscale crowd, who wore sports jackets and sequined dresses.
Diplo didn’t have to work until 1:30 a.m. when he DJed a closing party at Oasis, an outdoor stage in Wynwood. So he started the party early.
His first stop, around 10 p.m., was the Fillmore Miami Beach, an Art Deco-style theater where his pals from Khruangbin, a trio from Houston that mixes rock, soul and psychedelia, were playing. The trip was productive: during the 15-minute drive to and from the Faena Hotel, he prepared his playlist for later.
“I literally do a DJ set for every party I do,” he said from the back seat of his private SUV, wearing a white t-shirt and camouflage-print cargo pants. “I never do the same set twice. It’s the most boring job. It’s not fun at all. I have folders with folders inside them of multiple sets.
At around 11 p.m. he returned to the Faena, which Red Bull had turned into its Formula 1 headquarters. t-shirts and trucker hats. “The girls all look so nice, but the guys dress like they’re getting 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 crew of Club Space, a beloved Miami techno club, had hosted an immersive dance party. Diplo made his way through the crowd, taking selfies with fans and waving at regulars. He frequently draws a rabid reception – proof of 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 at 11 today. He sent me a picture of him still bludgeoning in daylight.
Diplo had been there for just over an hour when his tour manager, Keaton Kinnaman, a cheerful, bearded man, took him on the 20-minute drive to Oasis.
He arrived around 1 a.m., and entered 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, although he himself hadn’t had a drink. “We don’t have shot glasses, but we can put some in trash bags or you can drink from the bottle,” he said.
At 1:30 a.m. sharp, Diplo took over the decks and played a lively mix of house, pop and hip-hop music, including tracks from his new album, “Diplo.” About 2,500 fans screamed and started dancing the second he took the stage.
“When you’re a DJ, you 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 swarmed with adoring fans as he returned to the trailer. His love for Formula 1 cars may not have changed, but he was apparently enamored with the Grand Prix lifestyle.
“I’m going to the one in Monaco,” he announced in his trailer. “I play in Cannes, then I do a wedding in Nice, then on Sunday I play at Jimmy’z Monte-Carlo, a big nightclub in Monaco, and then I go racing.”
On top of that, he wants to take part in 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.