Silverstone is preparing to host four days of live music as part of the Formula 1 Aramco British Grand Prix 2023.
Taking place on July 6-9, Calvin Harris will headline the opening night alongside performances by Jess Glynne and Cat Burns.
Jax Jones, Black Eyed Peas and Tom Grennan will headline the weekend slots. The live music and entertainment is provided at no extra cost for Grand Prix ticket holders.
This year’s music offering has been curated by Grammy-nominated and Ivor Novello Award winning British songwriter and producer Jamie Scott, who was appointed director of music and the arts at Silverstone last year.
As well as securing the headline acts, Scott has also recruited industry pioneers Library Productions, who manage the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury, to create bespoke staging for the expanded music arena, which now accommodates up to 45,000 people.
Here, Jamie Scott opens up about this year’s F1 event and line-up…
What does the music offering at the British Grand Prix look like this year?
“The music offering this year is completely different to previous years. It marks a new era of music and the arts at Silverstone - starting with one of the biggest artists in the world, Calvin Harris, headlining our Thursday night launch party. This is the first time we’ve ever had a Thursday night launch party, and Calvin will be supported by Jess Glynne and Cat Burns to create a best of British line-up. Other huge festival acts like Black Eyed Peas, Tom Grennan and Jax Jones will then play across the weekend, so it’s a huge step up on previous years and it will all be offered at no extra cost to ticket holders.”
Tell us about your role in pulling it all together?
“Last year I was appointed director of music and the arts at Silverstone, so that’s a role that covers Silverstone’s offering across the board. Be that the British Grand Prix, Silverstone Festival - which used to be called the Classic - or MotoGP. All these events have a growing music and the arts element attached to them.
“From the moment I met the team at Silverstone, I fell in love with the idea of using the two worlds that I am so passionate about and fusing them together - and that is motorsport and music. Our long-term ambition is for Silverstone to be recognised as a year-round venue that artists love to perform at. The biggest moment of the year for Silverstone is the British Grand Prix, so delivering a special experience and line-up for this year has been my main focus - from stage design to logistics, picking the right artists and everything in between.”
We are taking it to a completely new level this year
How did you choose the line-up across the weekend?
“Firstly, it was important that the line up reflected the magnitude of the British Grand Prix. It’s the biggest and best sport in the world and one of the biggest events on the British summer calendar, so the artists had to be the best of the best. We are obviously really pleased to secure the line-up we have - with Calvin Harris, Jess Glynne, Cat Burns, Tom Grennan, Black Eyed Peas and Jax Jones all performing. Artists that sell out the biggest shows and festivals around the world. Can you please 100% of people? Probably not, but we believe we’ve delivered an eclectic line-up that will add to the weekend experience as a whole.”
What can people expect from the Thursday night launch party?
“It’s the first time we’ve had live music on the Thursday night, and we are taking it to a completely new level this year. Calvin Harris is one of the biggest artists in the world and Jess Glynne and Cat Burns bring so much to their live shows. It’s going to be incredible. Away from the artists, we’ve designed huge new staging, expanded the music arena and are working with Library Productions who manage the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury to put on the show, so we’ve not done this by half measures. We want to create those ‘I was there’ moments and that’s exactly what the Thursday night launch party will do.”
Where did the inspiration come from for this? And what challenges do you expect to face?
“The Formula 1 audience has obviously shifted significantly over the past few years thanks to Drive To Survive and lots of other factors. It’s important that Silverstone, as one of the most historic tracks on the circuit, evolves and can entertain and deliver for that growing and shifting audience. There’s been a lot of work at other tracks like Miami, but that’s not something we are trying to replicate at Silverstone. We don’t want to be the next Super Bowl half-time show because that’s not authentic and it’s not what people want. Anyone who has visited Silverstone knows it already has the feeling of a British summertime festival and that’s what we want to build on. Over 400,000 people visit over the course of the weekend because they love that spirit and that’s what we have to deliver more of.
“In terms of challenges, there will be plenty. That’s always going to be the case when you are doing something that has never been done before. The obvious first challenge is logistics. Expanding our music offering, in particular, creates another logistical challenge on top of what is already a huge weekend operation. We’ve reconfigured the site to be able to counter this, and we are confident we have everything in place to be able to host the biggest music event that Silverstone has ever seen.”