Ecclestone and Universal to stage rock shows at GPs

Despite Eddie Jordan’s efforts behind a drum kit and Jamiroquai singer Jay Kay’s groupie-ish devotion to all things Ferrari, Formula 1 could never claim to be dripping with rock ‘n’ roll attitude. But a new deal between Bernie Ecclestone’s Formula One Administration Ltd and Universal Music Group’s joint venture operation, All The Worlds, promises to light up Grand Prix weekends with live music spectaculars under the banner of F1 Rocks.

Apparently Bernie and Universal supremo Lucian Grainge have been working on an idea to combine music and motor sport for a year, hence Ecclestone’s appearance as Grainge’s guest at this year’s Brit Awards. While specific dates and details won’t be announced until June, F1 Rocks is due to run in the latter part of this season.

“There’s a real appetite for this among the stakeholders, be they individual race tracks, promoters, governments or whoever,” said All The Worlds chief executive Paul Morrison, who explained that F1 Rocks events will be staged at race circuits or in nearby cities over two or three days of a GP meeting.

The shows will feature a range of acts from the young and hip to the mature and megastar-ish (and they won’t all be signed to Universal, Morrison adds). To boost their global broadcasting and web-streaming potential, TV celebrities will host the events and there will be extra “lifestyle” features where drivers and pop stars hobnob in an aura of F1 glitz. Sounds custom-made for Lewis Hamilton and his Pussycat Dolls girlfriend, Nicole Scherzinger.

“I’ve always said that we are in the entertainment business, and this deal marks a new dimension for F1,” claimed Ecclestone. Boogieing on down to Status Quo at the British GP is going to look so, like, last century.