With the aim of extending its contract with Formula 1 beyond 2024, and to cater further for the new demographics among British Grand Prix attendees resulting from the hit Netflix series Formula 1: Drive To Survive, Silverstone is to expand its live music offering to create a “festival feel” at the motor racing event from next year onwards.
Silverstone hosted four days of live music over the British Grand Prix weekend, which was attended by 140,000 people per day. Among the headline acts to perform on the event’s main stage were Bastille, Mabel and Example.
Silverstone Circuits MD Stuart Pringle said the aim next year is to increase the live music audience capacity from 40,000 to 50,000, and expand the entertainment offering.
“We will do some significant ground works to move the stage further back to create a bigger area in front of the stage, and also build a kart circuit in that same area,” said Pringle.
“We had a new type of customer that came to the British Grand Prix for the first time this year, and we do attribute that to Netflix, principally. The show has brought Formula 1 to life for a whole new tranche of society. It brought the heroes out from behind the crash helmets and inside the cars and made them more relevant. We want to give these people more value. It’s a balancing act for us as a promoter because we’ve got to make sure we don’t alienate our core fanbase.
“Formula 1 is very keen to make the races massive sporting moments and that’s why I’m pushing to create a major event with a festival feel. That is the right route for us to go down because we are essentially a greenfield site in a rural location. In Las Vegas they race down the strip with neon lights everywhere, Miami has an incredible city backdrop. Those are things that we don’t have. So, let’s not try and be those things. Let’s create that big event feel but in our own unique and British style.”
Pringle said he is confident but not complacent that Silverstone will be able to renew its Formula 1 contract: “If we can create the type of event that Formula 1 really wants, and they think it reflects well on their brand, then I’m optimistic that we will retain the race for the medium and indeed, long term.”