How The Hard Rock Beach Club Has Mastered The Art Of Entertainment For The Second Miami Grand Prix

Keith Sheldon Has Mastered The Art Of Entertainment At The Hard Rock Beach Club At the Miami Grand PrixPhoto Credit: Courtesy of Formula 1 CRYPTO.COM MIAMI GRAND PRIX

The second-ever Formula 1 Miami Grand Prix returns this week, with drivers making their first appearances on the newly-improved track just today. As Miami hosts its second race weekend, the second year is proving to further elevate the race experience, from the new Paddock Club and luxury hospitality experiences to the entertainment. Leading the entertainment sector once again is Keith Sheldon, the President of Entertainment For Hard Rock International, Seminole Gaming. Haute Living sits down with Sheldon to find out what to expect this year at the Hard Rock Beach Club — and disclosure: he’s raised the entertainment bar. 

HAUTE LIVING: As we enter the second F1 race for Miami, what has evolved with the beach club? What can we expect this year? 
KEITH SHELDON: Hard Rock Beach Club at the inaugural Formula 1 CRYPTO.COM MIAMI GRAND PRIX was an incredible experience. It far exceeded consumer expectations, so our goal immediately was to raise the bar this year. As the most visited hospitality space at Miami International Autodrome last year, Hard Rock Beach Club is still located on the outside of Turns 11-13 of the track, but this year the space has been enhanced via the efforts of our partners at the Dolphins organization and Miami GP with more cabana-style seating, signature pools surrounded by increased decking, a larger stage for world-renowned performers complete with the accompanying bars, bottle service, and outstanding all-day cuisine elevated as well. We are fortunate enough to be in a situation to level up the Beach Club solely based on how sought-after it was last year.

Last year we had superstars such as Post Malone and The Chainsmokers grace Hard Rock Beach Club, so naturally, this year’s talent had to live up to lofty expectations. On Saturday afternoon, pop superstars, the Jonas Brothers, will take the Hard Rock Beach Club stage; and later in the day, Latin music’s most iconic reggaeton duo, Wisin & Yandel, will perform. On Sunday, Miami-based superstar DJ Cedric Gervais will take to the stage before the race and will be followed by a post-race set by none other than the legendary Tiësto. In addition to these acts, we expect more headliner surprises to come for the guests fortunate enough to be in Hard Rock Beach.

The music from our activation has become the soundtrack of Miami GP, and based on last year’s success, Hard Rock Beach Club will once again be streamed across the entire MIA campus for all race fans to enjoy.

Keith Sheldon Has Mastered The Art Of Entertainment At The Hard Rock Beach Club At the Miami Grand Prix
Keith Sheldon, Sergio “Checo” Pérez, Max Verstappen, and David Hoenemeyer, COO of Seminole Gaming

Photo Credit: Courtesy

HL: After last year, what were some major takeaways and key learnings you wanted to improve upon at the beach club? 
KS: Last year’s Miami Grand Prix was unchartered waters for everyone involved, but we were able to make everything unforgettable for our guests. Heading into year 2, I’d like to think we are much more prepared and better understand what to expect. Things such as expanding the viewing experience and increasing the number of cabanas at the Beach Club are both direct results of receiving customer feedback last year and incorporating it into tangible changes to enhance the viewing experience. And we’ve certainly taken artist feedback to heart to ensure that the experience is also unlike any other for them. We’ve ultimately created an environment where customers want to be there and artists want to play there, given the incredible spectacle of it all. 

HL: How do you plan to continue evolving the beach club each year? What are your main goals? 
KS: The Hard Rock brand is synonymous with being one of the premier entertainment destinations in the world, so we have a responsibility to our fans to constantly remain fresh and upgrade our performances year after year. One of our main goals is to continue introducing contemporary and diversified programming at the track that reflects the South Florida culture and the spirit of the Hard Rock brand. The sport of Formula 1 racing is new to many fans across the globe, so in creating an environment that is inviting for race fans and big event fans alike, we feel like we can cast the widest net. Based on the programming, the demand for tickets to Hard Rock Beach Club has been tremendous, and it is a testament to our amazing talent and loyal customers who want to enjoy the intersection of sports and entertainment in a unique way that only the Hard Rock brand can deliver at the track.

HL: How did you land on this year’s line-up?
KS: Since the F1 Miami Grand Prix is becoming a sporting and pop-culture spectacle in the United States that I would say is potentially only rivaled by The Super Bowl, our line-up comes from a pretty short list. We need the absolute best in the business that is super relevant now, and I’d be hard-pressed to find anyone more relevant today than Jonas Brothers. They just announced their new album, hit song, tour dates, and sold-out performances at Yankee Stadium. Seeing that they are also big F1 fans, this is the kind of talent that just makes sense for the caliber of star Hard Rock Beach Club guests are expecting. Grammy Award-winning reggaeton duo Wisin y Yandel are also continuing to sell out arenas, and they were perfect to cap off Saturday’s festivities. Superstar DJ Tiesto and Miami-based electronic superstar Cedric Gervais taking the stage on Sunday will bring high energy and ensure the party is in full swing all weekend long.

Keith Sheldon Has Mastered The Art Of Entertainment At The Hard Rock Beach Club At the Miami Grand Prix
Hard Rock Beach Club 2022

Photo Credit: Courtesy

HL: While the Miami race has certainly changed America’s involvement in F1 and set the stage — How are you expanding into the Vegas GP? What can we expect?
KS: Formula 1 is a global sport enjoyed by viewers all over the world, with a cumulative audience in the billions. The entrance of the sport in the United States market has absolutely sent viewership through the roof amongst Americans, and in addition to the popularity of Netflix’s Drive to Survive, we definitely think the Hard Rock brand has played a part in that spike as well in the business sector as you look at the growth of American corporate partnerships in the sport. 

The past year with Oracle Red Bull Racing has far surpassed all of our expectations but given that we activated the partnership midseason in 2022, we still haven’t had an opportunity even to scratch the surface. In the coming months, we’ll be expanding even further by introducing new Hard Rock x Oracle Red Bull Racing retail capsule collections, opportunities to cheer on Red Bull from select Hard Rock Cafe watch party locations, limited-time-only Red Bull menu items, and enhanced connectivity with the Red Bull Racing e-sports team at Hard Rock locations. Of course, we’ll also be taking care of our best customers at Hard Rock with once-in-a-lifetime, money-can’t-buy experiences at races around the globe, thanks to our involvement with such a great partner.     

Additionally, we are thrilled for the opportunity to grow our presence in the amazing world of Formula 1 racing by joining the team for the FORMULA 1 HEINEKEN SILVER LAS VEGAS GRAND PRIX. As a presenting partner, we will have our own Strip-adjacent grandstand structure, designed to seat up to 3,000 fans which is a great moment for our brand. The Mirage, which is now owned and operated by Hard Rock International, will also host a variety of F1-centric events that fans will love. We think the Vegas Grand Prix will have a similar cultural effect on the city as the Miami Grand Prix did and hopefully will bring more eyes to the sport while infusing more entertainment elements into the racing experience. We will also work with the Las Vegas Grand Prix team to launch a made-for-Vegas educational program focusing on global hospitality, which we will share more info in the coming months.