Alas, the social summer is all but over. But then again, did it ever really start? It went into anti-stall and never got going after that. The Olympics, Euro 2020, Wimbledon, Glastonbury, Chelsea Flower Shower and the Grand National, the list of our favourite cancelled events goes on. And although our beloved British Grand Prix went ahead, it did so behind closed doors which just wasn’t the same without you, the fans.
So before everyone reaches Eeyore-levels of disheartenment, we got to thinking: if you can’t come to us at Silverstone this weekend, then why can’t we bring the legendary Silverstone atmosphere to you? Well, that’s exactly what we’re doing with McLaren HomeFest – a virtual fan festival in celebration of Formula 1’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, which will reimagine the famous Silverstone atmosphere through a line-up of unique content and live music sets for you to enjoy from the comfort of your home.
You see, the way we look at it, the race being held behind closed doors is actually an opportunity to get you closer to the action, and that makes this the festival you don’t want to miss this summer. So here’s our guide to make sure this week lives up to the hype and is one you’ll never forget…
Do make tickets
There’s something extra special about holding a ticket to a major event in your hand. Perhaps it’s the sense of power and occasion that comes with it, the fact it grants you access to an event that many people would give their right arm to be at. Whatever the reason, McLaren HomeFest is one of those unmissable events, so make sure you download and print your tickets from our essential fan toolkit.
The toolkit is more than just your source of tickets, it’s packed with everything you need to bring papaya into your home and get festival ready. From bunting that will set your pulse racing – yes, we didn’t think that was possible either until we made it – to super cool posters and colouring kits for the kids, we’ve got you covered.
Do look the part
At a festival everyone wants to let their hair down, have fun and be free. We totally get it. But there are ways to do that and still look good. And wearing a skirt and flowers in your hair just doesn’t cut it. Instead, it’s time to hit the McLaren Store to make sure there’s a great swathe of papaya in your wardrobe.
Stick to the Store and you can’t go wrong, but whatever you do, even if the weather is hotter than the sun this weekend, do not go shirtless. Unless you’re Chris Hemsworth or Zac Efron, no one wants to see it. Instead, treat yourself to a #WeRaceAsOne tee. You’ll look the part and you’ll be doing your bit too, with all profits going to charities supporting those most affected by covid-19.
Don’t forget the We Race As One Fan Bundle either. It’s packed with Carlos and Lando stickers and face masks, wearable paper helmets for you to make at home, special edition pin badges, and a fisheye camera lens to help you show off your new items. Yep, this bundle is your must-have McLaren HomeFest companion and, once again, all the profits go to charity.
If the sun does shine, don’t be afraid to embrace the bucket hat either. Thousands of you asked for it, and we duly delivered in time for the Silverstone double-header. The extra brim keeps the sun off your neck and, even if the sun isn’t out, it’s a good way to zhuzh up your look, Kevin and Perry Go Large style. Oh, and while you’re at it, make sure you add some day-glo yellow into the mix with the Lando Norris Neon collection. After all, where would any festival be without a little ’90s rave?
You’re pumped, you’re all fired up. You’re ready for the best weekend of your life. And BAAMMM! You’re brought crashing down to earth, all thanks to a two-hour long queue to get in. But not this weekend folks, not this weekend. Your home is where the magic is happening which means you have access all areas, even behind the scenes… or should that be behind the sofa?
Do put up a tent
Even if you don’t have a garden, just do it. But we do understand that erecting a tent is never straightforward, even when you have a PhD in Construction and Project Management. And this task will only be made harder if you are still only part-way through coming out of your lockdown slumber.
Don't queue for the loo
Because there’s always one toilet drama…
Do go to see all the headline acts
A festival isn’t a festival without its headline acts. These are the crowd-pullers, the pinch-yourself moment makers, the reason why you lose all rationality and scream: ‘shut up and take all my money!’ Experiencing these acts is the kind of thing you live for, they provide the life-affirming moments we all crave and when it’s all over, you can proudly say, ‘I was there when…’.
McLaren HomeFest is filled to the brim with them, including world-class DJ sets, exclusive giveaways, the chance to chat with Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris in the McLaren garage, and one of the greatest driver challenges you will ever see. We can’t give away too much yet, but let’s just say it involves Carlos, Lando, their helmets, gallons of paint, and a good cause.
Oh, and there just so happens to be a grand prix taking place around one of the world’s most iconic race circuits. Yeah, mustn’t forget about that one…
Don’t worry about the line-up
Every year, festivals tease their line-ups in an attempt to build the hype and, every year, as the full picture of acts becomes clearer, out come the detractors who say the event isn’t what it used to be and that the musical talent set to perform is not a patch on a previous year. Well, there’s none of that with McLaren HomeFest. We’ve ensured that it’s guaranteed to be a sonic success by creating the ultimate ‘70 Great British Anthems’ playlist on Spotify. Stay tuned for that one.
It’s so good, that it’s what The Killers drummer Ronnie Vannucci would deem: “nutritious – it has good calories, complete proteins with all the amino acids.” And all you have to do for a taste is crank the volume up to 11, hit play and then sing and dance to your heart’s content…
‘I said maybeeeeee, you're gonna be the one that saves meeeeeeeeee
And afteerrrrr aaallllll, you're my wondeeeeerwaaaaaallllll.’
Do go behind the scenes
While we do admit that, with everything we’ve got going on for McLaren HomeFest, it might be easy to forget there’s a grand prix taking place this weekend, make sure you don’t by downloading the McLaren App. Not only is it your go-to place for behind-the-scenes access and interactive content straight from Silverstone, but it’s also the easiest way to keep up to date with everything that’s going on at the track thanks to insight from the drivers, other team members and real-time commentary during every session.
Do have a ball(s)
With its fast, sweeping corners and average speed pushing nearly 150 mph, Silverstone is one of the fastest circuits on the F1 calendar, so try not to lose your mind as man and machine take full advantage of mind-bending levels of downforce to remain glued to the tarmac and turn corners into straights. Once you’ve seen the drivers seemingly defy the laws of physics, you’ll suddenly understand why James Hunt famously said that to be extremely fast you need: ‘big balls’.
Good news! You’re at home. This means you can wave goodbye to the wet wipes and take full advantage of the basic amenities which we, apparently, cannot live without but are seemingly happy to forgo when camping. You know, things like electricity and warm running water.
We do, however, appreciate this may be a contentious one, and some of you will want an authentic Silverstone camping experience. In which case, feel free to embrace a nice crusty layer of dust and grime, and wallow in your own funk à la Shia LeBeouf.
Don’t be a loser
Be a winner! We’ve got loads of exclusive giveaways lined up throughout the week. We kicked things off with a chance to win a pair of money-can’t-buy Puma McLaren Edition trainers and we’re building up to the big one on Sunday. In a first for any F1 team, we’re going to invite 500 fans to take a seat in our McLaren Plus virtual grandstand to give you the opportunity to speak directly with drivers Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris right before the race.
Want in? Complete this form. Want to get your hands on other epic prizes? Keep a close eye on our social channels for more awesome competitions that are about to drop.
Do get creative in the kitchen
No festival is complete without savouring the taste of some truly mouth-watering dishes, which, truth be told, are probably not conducive to your good health or keeping your waistline in check. But hey, it’s a festival, you only live once, and there’s no fun to be had with quinoa and kale.
You have two options here. You can go down the Silverstone campsite route and get some of Brundle’s Bangers on the barbie, plus a large helping of Scenario 7 Chicken and Buttonut Squash, and wash it all down with copious amounts of Estrella Galicia 0,0, or you can go full F1 Paddock Club by indulging in a world of decadent canapés and bottle after bottle of champagne.
But regardless of whether you’re rubbing shoulders with royalty or awkwardly trying to keep away from that next-door neighbour with the lazy eye and a back hairier than Mansell’s moustache, dessert has to feature the legendary McLaren brownies. These little chocolatey bites of heaven are the stuff of dreams and the perfect finale to any McLaren HomeFest menu.
Whatever you choose, we've got you sorted with full recipes and instructions for your weekend at home. Keep an eye on McLarenHomeFest.com for more...
Don’t lose your friends all at once
There are certain things that will happen to you at any festival. Like death and taxes, they are inevitable and there’s no escaping them. Whether it’s paying the price of a small island for a bottle of water, poor phone signal, highly suspect tan lines or, for at least one brief, terrifying moment, losing all your friends in a sea of the great unwashed. The good news is, if everyone can’t come over to your house in these ‘new normal’ times, you can still party all day and all night in one place. Just install a video call app on your laptop, invite your fellow festival-goers to the chat and away you go safe in the knowledge that, Wi-Fi permitting, you’ll never lose them.
Do stick around after hours
As any experienced festival-goer will tell you, when the party stops, it’s actually just getting started. And that’s no different with McLaren HomeFest. Soon after the chequered flag has fallen on the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, VELO is throwing the official afterparty on its YouTube channel, with epic, live sets from DJ duo and festival veterans Stanton Warriors at the McLaren Technology Centre and multi-award-winning DJ legend Carl Cox.
Like all good DJs, they’re going to get you out of your head and into your bodies. So you can expect your heart to be racing at around 180 bpm – just like an F1 driver during a lap of Silverstone – as you dance the night away at the speed of sound.
Do share your experience
Over the last few months, although we’ve been apart, we’ve been in this race together, and that’s no different for McLaren HomeFest. No matter how big or small, brilliant or bizarre, your festival setup ends up being, we want you to share what you’re up to on social to make sure the digital hills are alive with the sound of papaya. Photos, videos, comments, we want to see and read them all, and share the best ones on our channels, so when you post just remember to use the hashtag #McLarenHomeFest and we’ll do the rest.
And there you have it. Now you know what to do and, more importantly, what not to do…
LET’S. GET. THIS. PARTY. STAAAAARRRRRRRRRTEDDDDDDD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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