Singapore F1 Grand Prix weekend guide

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Heading down to Singapore for their huge F1 weekend? Best be prepared. Ahead of this year’s race, Benita Lee rounds up all the music and parties you should hit up

Unless you’re a devoted motorhead, Singapore F1 weekend is as much about the week-long party revelry as it is about the race – and a destination for many a hedonistic Hongkonger in search of a good time. To help you sort your way through the massive lineup of pop names and DJs gracing the Lion City over the week, our friends at Time Out Singapore pick out the must-see gigs to hit up this year – just don’t blame us for the hangover…

Music

The F1 Concerts Sep 20-23

This year’s Formula One Grand Prix features a stellar line-up with something for everyone – there’s K-pop superstars Big Bang (Sep 20), alternative rock band The Killers (Sep 21), sexy R&B songstress Rihanna (Sep 22) and Justin Bieber (Sep 23), the world’s biggest 19-year-old Canadian pop star with his hoards of screaming teenage female fans, to close the festival with a bang. Other performers include Grammy Award-winning singer Tom Jones (Sep 22), veteran musician and ex-frontman of Irish rock band The Boomtown Rats, Bob Geldof (Sep 21), UK’s soulful Laura Mvula (Sep 20) and local acts like The Great Spy Experiment, weish and The Sam Willows. Marina Bay Street Circuit, Zone 1 & 4. Justin Bieber and Owl City separately ticketed. singaporegp.sg

The 1 World Music Festival Sep 20 & 21

Adding to the excitement of F1 is the brand new 1 World Music Festival, featuring an epic line-up of music and DJ acts like Snoop Lion, Moby, Cosmic Gate, Far East Movement, Infected Mushroom, Tinie Tempah, Cobra Starship, Taboo (from the Black Eyed Peas), The Cataracs, Iggy Azalea, N*E*R*D, Krafty Kuts and more over two days on an outdoor stage. Also joining the international performers are local and regional artists like Kevin Lester, Wicked Aura, Bangkok Invaders, Jon White, Nicole Chen, Stereo Vixens and many more. Marina Barrage, weekend: SG$250 ($1,525); Day: SG$150 ($915); 1worldmusicfestival.com.

Clubbing and DJs

Zouk Fri Sep 20

To kick off the F1 weekend festivities, Zouk’s bringing in the big guns with Dutch DJ/producer Hardwell, who makes a pit stop here as part of his world tour, I Am Hardwell (he’s already been to Ibiza, Miami, Liverpool and Jakarta, among others). Sixth on DJ Mag’s list of Top 100 DJs in 2012, the 25-year-old spins a neat mix of chart-hitting progressive and electro house. Plus, Zouk’s throwing the official I Am Hardwell after party at the club, so it’s pretty much two parties for the price of one. Even if you don’t know his tunes, the spacious, al fresco setting of the park (not too far from the race circuit) is ideal for sweatin’ it out and gyrating with a swarm of lithe bodies to the mesmerising, thumping beats. The F1 elite crowd may not be mingling among the masses here, but it’s a no-frills, no-holds-barred rave to snap you into party mode for the rest of the weekend. Early bird tickets are already sold out, so get yours while you can. Fort Canning Park, 7pm-midnight, SG$78 ($475)-SG$88 ($540); zoukclub.com

KU DE TA Night Race Weekend Sep 20-22

Take in stunning bird-eye views of the Singapore Grand Prix to the tune of dizzying beats by the likes of headliner DJ Latin Prince (Sep 21), founder of the influential Bum Squad DJz, French-Caribbean DJ/supermodel Willy Monfret (Sep 20) and KU DÉ TA residents Yafifth, Suren and Styluxtakut (Sep 22).  KU DÉ TA, 6pm, SG$100 ($600)-SG$200 ($1,200); kudeta.com.sg

The Podium Lounge & boujis Sep 20-22

Returning for the fifth year in a row, The Podium Lounge joins forces with boujis (the distinguished private members club here in Hong Kong and London) to throw a three-night fiesta just two minutes away from the race pit building. Renowned for attracting revellers like race drivers, celebs, models and musicians, this is one sophisticated shindig for those who want to rub shoulders with the ‘It’ crowd. The line-up for this year’s party features headliner UK DJ Seb Fontaine spinning hit house tunes over three nights, Dutch DJ Sander Kleinenberg and supporting DJs Miles Slater, Modium, Stephen Day, Giuseppe G and SiFi, plus musicians Pablo Calzado and Greg Moore on percussion bringing the beats of international funk, latin and jazz.
L1 poolside, The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia, 10pm-late, SG$138 ($840)-SG$458 ($2,800); podiumlounge.com

Bacchanalia Brunch Series: GPSS Edition Sat Sep 21

Hit up the renowned Bacchanalia Brunch with an F1 twist – held at Pan Pacific Hotel (just like last year), this coolly decadent daytime party features a medley of brunch delights and a triple bill of DJs behind the decks. Expect a sweet mix of wicked beats from UK’s Stephen Day, Jesse Marco from the US and Sungus from Korea. Pacific Ballroom, The Pan Pacific Hotel, 1pm, SG$100 ($610)-SG$418 ($2,550); tables from SG$2,500 ($15,250). Email gpss@bacchanalia.asia for tickets and reservations. 

Bed Invasion Sat Sep 21

Bangkok’s iconic Bed Supperclub is set to whip up beach lovers into a frenzy from day to night as the first in a series of on-location parties around Asia hits the shores of Sentosa. The 50s Miami White party features international and regional DJs like Australian duo Yolanda Be Cool, Bed Supperclub Bangkok residents Fred Jungo, Eddy Frampton and Bobby Suryadi as well as Modium and Avneesh. Tanjong Beach Club 2pm, SG$45 ($275)-SG$95 ($580); VIP from SG$688 ($4,200); bedinvasion.com

Amber Lounge Sep 21 & 22

This legendary Grand Prix after party is one of the world’s most exclusive experiences, where celebs, models and every A-list personality worth knowing mingle among the F1 drivers from night till dawn. It’s the ultimate star-studded party that everyone’s hankering for, and previous years have seen names like Beyonce, Jason Statham, Sir Richard Branson, Taio Cruz and other rich and famous guests. This year features John Martin, the vocalist from Swedish House Mafia’s chart-topping hits, performing for the first time in Singapore as part of Amber Lounge’s 100th Anniversary Tour. Temasek Reflections, Millenia Walk. 11pm-late. SG$900 ($5,500); tables from SG $8,000 ($49,000). amber-lounge.com

Singapore Grand Prix Marina Bay Street Circuit Sep 20-23. Tickets: From SG$68 ($415); singaporegp.sg.

And if you actually want to watch the race… 

Star Sports’ Steve Slater shares with us the best vantage points for the Marina Bay circuit

Turn 1: Marina Boulevard 
Straight after the starting line on the riverside, just after the cars have passed the pits. “The first corner on any track is always exciting, but this corner on the only purpose-made section of the Singapore track is set to be a great overtaking point.’ 

Turn 7: Raffles Boulevard 
“After running flat-out through Turn 6, the cars will have to slow their pace for a tight left-hander onto Nicoll Highway. It’s another overtaking opportunity – expect plenty of action there.”

Esplanade Park grandstands 
“Nowhere in Formula 1 will give you so much action in one place. On one side you’ve got the cars coming down Nicoll Highway and away around the Padang, while on your other side you’ve got the sight of the cars howling across the Esplanade Bridge and braking for the tight turn by the Theatres on the Bay. Awesome.”

St Andrew’s Road 
“The Anderson Bridge will, of course, grab the headlines, but if you want a great background for your photos, St Andrew’s Road will deliver. Point the camera one way and you’ve got the old buildings that make it look like Monaco’s Casino Square. Point the camera the other way and you’ve got the stunning skyline that’s – dare I say – uniquely Singapore.”

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