Formula One Management has signed a deal with Universal, the music company, which will see the inauguration of some special music concerts and television programmes. At the moment, details on this are a little thin, but the announcement is quite interesting. The concerts are planned to take place at the grands prix and will be made into TV shows which will then be made available the world over.
Bernie Ecclestone believes Formula One is an entertainment business, and this concept, named F1 Rocks, therefore falls into line with this. To be organising concerts for the fans of the sport as well as locals who get invaded by the sport each year is great news. It will add to the weekend for those present and will provide further entertainment away from the track.
I’m very much looking forward to working with Bernie. He had the imagination to see the potential in F1 Rocks from the very beginning, and we want to make it a huge success on a global scale. Lucien Grainge, Universal.
However, the cynic in me also says that this is a further way of Ecclestone to gain control of everything that happens at a grand prix. Currently there are many things that happen around a Formula One race and concerts already take place, perhaps the most famous in recent times is at the British Grand Prix where the likes of Damon Hill and Eddie Jordan have played for the crowds. But by having the deal in place with Universal to stage these shows, FOM now has a little bit more control. Perhaps even, a little more cash.
I just hope Ecclestone doesn’t stick his nose in and insist on artists from his generation. While some of the greatest popular music was written in the sixties and seventies, I think the youngsters these days are more in to those artists who are somewhat younger themselves.