by Stef Schrader, Jalopnik.com December 5, 2015
Many race tracks host non-racing events on-site to bump up their revenue stream, but Lime Rock Park’s Grand Weekend finally thought to integrate some automotive fun into a music and comedy festival. In addition to all the shows, you can test drive luxury cars and ride along in supercars on the circuit itself.
Grand Weekend is billed as “the first civilized festival for grown-ups,” but let’s be honest: I’ve known plenty of middle-age miscreants who’ve raised irresponsibility to an art form at the likes of the Austin City Limits Festival and Burning Man. After all, you don’t quite master the skills of being a professional nuisance until you’ve had many years of experience.
I’m not sure how civilized you can be in a supercar on track, either. If a ride-along is not civilized, they’re doing it right.
But I digress—they’re aiming for a different kind of festival with functional restrooms and a cleaner venue, and it sounds kind of neat. They’ve got a little bit of everything planned: music and comedy shows, gourmet food and drink, art, and #brand exhibits from everything from fashion to wellness.
They’re limiting the event to those who are 21 and up, as the event includes all the wine-and-cheese-type events you’d associate with a stereotypical Porsche Club outing: cooking demos, golf, and massages, for example. One stage is even air-conditioned, for Pete’s sake. Now that’s luxury.
That’s not what most of us go to Lime Rock Park for, though. We go for the cars, so that’s what captured our attention.
In its three-day run on July 8-10, you can test out various luxury and sports cars — ranging from sedans and convertibles to even SUVs — on the magnificent roads around Lime Rock. Taking automakers’ latest and greatest kit out on some curvy backroads sounds like the best test drive ever.
Looking for a bit more excitement? Try out the zip line, or get a balls-out ride-along in a supercar at around the circuit itself.
Additionally, they will feature a car show of rare and classic cars, although with all this brou-ha-ha about a “civilized” experience, I will personally fist-bump anyone who shows up with a Yaris covered in rubber duckies.
As for the event, I hope this idea catches on. Most of the concerts I’ve been to at race tracks have been relatively isolated from the track itself — as in, there’s a stage at the track that gets used, and no one lays a single tire on the track surface itself. The only clue you’re at somewhere vaguely related to automobiles is the dark expanse of unused space around the stage. That’s lame. If you’re using a race track as a venue, why not play it up?
More information on the Grand Weekend can be found at their website here. A full line-up for all the shows will be released in February, right when tickets go on sale.
Photo credit: PUPPYKNUCKLES
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