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The Miami GP Pop-Ups, Fan Zones, and off-track activities that you can't miss

author: 
Kaitlin Tucci
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The FanAmp Team attended the Miami Grand Prix this year - here are the best team pop-ups, watch parties, events, and fan zones off of the track!

Racing isn’t the only part of traveling to a Formula 1 race that matters to most fans - myself included. When visiting a new city or country, the events off the track and ambiance of the host city can set the tone for the entire weekend.

The Miami Grand Prix just celebrated its 3rd birthday and every year the event organizers challenge themselves to ‘up their game’. This doesn't just apply to the track - many fans stay in Downtown Miami, South Beach, and the surrounding neighborhoods like Aventura and Hollywood. These fans are looking for activities in the days leading up to the race, before and after leaving the circuit, on days that they don't have tickets, and activities to set the general 'race weekend' ambiance!

If you want to hear more about the FanAmp team's experience on the track (including how to attend on a budget) check out our guide here! Are you looking to attend the next Miami GP? Check out our Seating Guide and then visit P1 Travel for tickets.

And most importantly, join FanAmp to chat with other racegoers!

What F1 teams and drivers have Fan Zones and merch pop-ups?

As with many other North American races (and very popular races across the F1 calendar) many teams choose to do special pop-ups and events that feature everything from race-specific merch to racing simulators, sponsor activations (I'm looking at you Givenchy), and driver appearances.

Williams Fan Zone

Miami GP Williams Pop-up
Miami GP Williams Pop-up

I attended the Williams Pop-up in Austin at the US Grand Prix and at the Inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix. So, what new things would Williams bring to the table in Miami?

The Williams Pop-up was located in South Beach Miami (near most of the other activations) in the Lincoln Rd Shopping Mall. The pop-up was very easy to access via Uber (or by walking through South Beach, which is what I did). As compared to Austin and Las Vegas, the pop-up was slightly smaller - with noticeably less merch but the same amount of activations - including the Williams Show Car. It was open from the Monday of race week through 5:00PM on Race Sunday.

I went to the pop-up on the Sunday of the race at 12:00 PM and the store was nearly empty. This is generally not the case in the days leading up to the a grand prix weekend, especially because Logan Sargeant, Alex Albon, Jamie Chadwick, Lia Block, James Vowles, and Jensen Button all have appearances throughout the week. This is a HUGE perk of the Williams Fan Zone that is true for ALL of their fan zones around the world!

Miami GP Williams Pop-up
Miami GP Williams Pop-up

One of the best parts of the Williams Fan Zone is its interactive nature. Through the Williams App you can get a Grid Pass and interact with each of the stations from free Givenchy Samples to Michelob Ultra and MyProtein samples, racing simulators, reflex tests, customizable merch and more! For the first time, I went around to each of the stations and interacted with the Grid Pass to win some exciting Miami GP Williams Merch! All in all, Williams Fan Zones are always a MUST ATTEND.

Lewis Hamilton, +44 x Almave

Miami GP Plus 44 (+44), Almave Pop-up
Miami GP Plus 44 (+44), Almave Pop-up

Similarly to the Williams FanZone Pop-up, I have attended a +44 and Almave pop-up in Las Vegas. Unlike those pop-ups, the Miami edition was a two in one experience!

The Plus 44 (+44) and Almave Pop-up was located in South Beach Miami in the Curio at Faena Bazaar shopping center. The pop-up was directly next to the Faena stores and a delicious coffee shop, easy to access from South Beach and the hotels nearby. The pop-up itself was much smaller than the two individual pop-ups in Las Vegas (especially considering the Almave Pop-up in Las Vegas was an official brand launch). However, the merchandise itself was unique to the Miami race (space themed).

I went to the pop-up on the Sunday of the race at 11:00 AM and the store was completely empty, but most of their merchandise was gone as well, so try to go earlier in the weekend if you're looking to purchase! A VERY fun surprise was also in store for fans who went to the store the day that it opened (Friday Morning)... LEWIS HAMILTON MET FANS! This is something that Lewis has done at a handful of pop-ups, so keep an eye on his socials when there is a +44 or Almave pop-up in your city.

Alpine Fan Zone

The Alpine Pop-up was located in South Beach Miami (directly next to the Williams Fan Zone Activation) in the Lincoln Rd Shopping Mall. The pop-up was very easy to access via Uber (or by walking through South Beach, which is what I did). I have not attended an Alpine Fan Zone before at races in the US (and this may be their first fan zone in the US).

The pop-up itself was outside and more of an 'open air store' than an actual fan zone. I went to the pop-up on the Sunday of the race at 12:30 PM and the store was nearly empty other than random passers-by. On Thursday afternoon, this was not the case because Jack Doohan, Alpine Reserve Driver, did a meet and greet at the fan zone.

The Alpine store was very standard, with merch stands (Miami specific Merch was in stock), a few racing simulators, a show car, and a live DJ. The part that stood out to me the most was the spin-to-win activation. You could scan a QR code to win Alpine prizes from 10% off merch to free Miami Race Gear, a virtual meet and greet with Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly, and Miami Grand Prix tickets (only on Wednesday - Friday)!

How can fans attend special events, panels, or shows?

The Miami Grand Prix is known to be surrounded with 'pomp and circumstance' as a newer race, and due to the culture of the city of Miami! Additionally, F1 Academy would be racing at the Miami GP in 2024 for the first time. With those two variables in mind, there were a few special events happening leading up to the race week!

F1 Academy x American Express, Women with Drive Event

F1 Academy x American Express, Women with Drive Event
F1 Academy x American Express, Women with Drive Event

F1 Academy announced their partnership with American Express (AMEX) prior to the Miami Grand Prix including a special livery for Jessica Edgar for the rest of the season! To celebrate this partnership, F1 Academy and American Express threw a ticketed event in South Beach on the Wednesday of Miami's race week for fans to experience Miami Culture, Food, Music, and to launch the new livery!

I attended this event with my friend Devyani and we were absolutely blown away by the activations, the powerful women that we heard from, the food and beverage, and the entire vibe of the event. First off, the speaker panel included: Susie Wolff (F1 Academy Director), Camilla Cabello, Jessica Edgar (F1 Academy Driver), Marta Garcia (F1 Academy 2023 Champion), Monica Leon the founder of Caja Caliente (Miami based business, with AMAZING food who catered the event), American Express’ Shiz Suzuki, and hosted by the amazing Natalie Pinkham! What. A. Lineup.

The event featured free food from Caja Caliente, free drinks courtesy of Temple House, a photo station with American Express themed props, a live DJ, multi-level event space (Temple House) including an outdoor terrace, and a private performance by Miami's own Camilla Cabello. We were also able to see the American Express Livery Reveal prior to the weekend. All of this for just $25!

TIP: Search for events such as this prior to a race weekend, especially if there are support series or sponsors such as AMEX sponsoring the race!

F1 Academy Pilates on the Beach

At the exact same time as the F1 Academy x American Express, Women with Drive Event, just down the beach, F1 Academy hosted a FREE Pilates social for fans, content creators, and celebrities alike! This event was free for ALL and was held at the Faena Hotel (just across the street from Lewis' +44/Almave pop-up).

Although I was not able to attend the event - here is what our team heard from our partners! Guests and fans were greeted with popsicles, merchandise (courtesy of brands such as Charlotte Tilbury and Puma), and a social garden area. This was followed by the group pilgrimage to the beach where the pilates class overlooked the Miami Sunset. People such as Ruth Buscombe (F1 Commentator and prior Alfa Romeo Chief Strategist), F1R the Girls (F1 Content Creators and Podcasters), Toni Cowan-Brown (F1 content creator), Kika Gomez (girlfriend of Pierre Gasly), and F1 Academy Drivers: Aurelia Nobelis, Lia Block, and Lola Lovinfosse were in attendance!

TIP: Search for events such as this prior to a race weekend, especially if there are support series or content creators such as Grid Clique attending the race!

Motorsport.com Panel

Motorsport.com Panel
Motorsport.com Panel

On Thursday, there were a number of private activities at various locations around Miami (primarily South Beach) including panels and live podcast recordings. The bad news: the Motorsport.com panel that my team attended was at Soho Beach House (membership only venue). The good news: throughout this weekend, Soho House was lenient on guest policies - allowing non members to attend certain events.

This panel was held Thursday night near the pool at Soho House, and Motorsport.com held the space for most of the day for live podcast recordings with content creators, journalists, and F1 team members. This panel was hosted by Motorsport.com and featured the CEO of the Las Vegas Grand Prix, Renee Wilm, Alpine Reserve Driver, Jack Doohan, CEO of Puma, and the Editor of Autosport, Rebecca Clancy. They discussed everything from the path of journalism and marketing of Formula 1 in general for the forseeable future, the Las Vegas Grand Prix adding affordable options for fans, and what celebrities they hoped would show up to the Miami Grand Prix that weekend.

Where are the Miami Fan Festivals?

Miami, as with other races globally, sets up small 'festivals' outside of the race. These 'festivals' can most notably be compared to those at the Canadian Grand Prix (on a much smaller scale than Canada), allowing fans to interact with F1 related activities, purchase merch, and watch the sessions even if they do not have a ticket.

Wynwood Racing Fan Festival

Wynwood Racing Fan Festival
Wynwood Racing Fan Festival

The most popular Fan Festival for the Miami Grand Prix is held in Wynwood (Downtown Miami). This fan festival is hosted by the events company Swarm and is specifically endorsed by Red Bull, although it is open for all fans, of course.

It is relatively easy to reach the location of this festival with plenty of parking (~$20) or by Uber, even on race day. In the week leading up to the race, and throughout the race weekend, the tent has a DJ and MC who not only play music but interact with the fans (playing games for prizes). There were racing simulators, merch, show cars, special road cars, pickleball courts, shops, and art. Of course, there was food, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. The food options ranged from standard festival options such as hot dogs, nachos, and pizza to spanish food stalls. This was Cinco de Mayo (race day) so the drinks and drink vendors were countless including Red Bull bars, Heineken Bars, and small independent vendors.

Wynwood Racing Fan Festival
Wynwood Racing Fan Festival

On Sunday for race day, the area was crowded but still comfortable. Although it was very hot outside, the tent and shade helped festival-goers cool down and enjoy their day. There were fans from nearly every team in attendance and even though the tent was very busy, the TV was large and the audio was VERY loud. Of course, other than refreshments everything is free!

Aventura Mall

While the Aventura Mall may not particularly be a 'festival' there are a number of activations during race week throughout the mall including: TAG Heuer x KITH Red Bull Racing, HUGO Formula 1 Racecar, BRITTO – F1 Lotus Vehicle, Champs Sports x Puma Pop-Up, Racing Miami Pop-Up, and Avant Home: Speed Racer.

Visit this link to see what the Aventura Mall had for the 2024 Miami GP: Aventura Mall F1 Miami Pop-Ups

** FanAmp user insider information: some of the merchandise specific to the Miami GP was less expensive than merch at the track!**

Does FanAmp host any events?

Short answer: Yes! We host events at every race that either our team, or community members are attending!

FanAmp Miami GP Meetups
FanAmp Miami GP Meetups

TopGolf Meetup

After the Friday sessions on the track, our team hosted a meet-up at the TopGolf, just a few miles from the Hard Rock Stadium. Our meetups are open to all, whether on FanAmp or not. We have food, drinks, do activities (so in this case, golfing!), chat, and relax after a day on the track. This is also a great way to bypass the traffic on the way back to your accommodations. Many FanAmp users and attendees of meetups have met up on the track days after the meetup, so it's also a great way to make friends!

Missed Apex Live Show

After the Saturday sessions on track, our team as well as Grand Prix Travel hosted another meetup at the Missed Apex Podcast live recording! This meetup was also held at a car club in Miami, so attendees could watch the podcast recording AND get a tour of the garage with a number of classic road cars. This podcast recording also featured Cristina Lee Mace (Cristina FastCars), who was an amazing addition to the event!

What is the general ambiance of Miami during Grand Prix weekend?

As someone who has individually attended 4 grand prix's in North America and our team who has attended over 10 Grand Prix's around the world in the past few years, Miami's general ambiance was a happy surprise. As compared to Las Vegas and Texas (where festivities really only occurred at or around the track), Miami was much more comparable to the Canadian Grand Prix (the entire city of Montreal transforms into an F1 festival from top to bottom).

Although Miami's race is generally known for pomp, circumstance, celebrities, and parties, this race is perfect for ANY F1 fan new or old. Not only were there activities all around the city, but the race itself was absolutely packed with fans from all different walks of life from children to fans for 50+ years. While, of course, there are parties and club related events (not covered in this article as we did not attend), there is something for everyone in Miami.

FanAmp's takeaway: Miami is worth a visit for the Grand Prix.

If you want to hear more about the FanAmp team's experience on the track (including how to attend on a budget) check out our guide here! Are you looking to attend the next Miami GP? Check out our Seating Guide and then visit P1 Travel for tickets.

And most importantly, join FanAmp to chat with other racegoers!

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