Hubert Burda Media

Race Night Revelry

Meet the man behind The Podium Lounge: Robbie Hoyes-Cock talks about the much-anticipated Formula 1 party and what to expect this year. By Sidera Tahir

Race Night Revelry

Mention Podium Lounge and you will immediately associate it with the Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix party. Celebrating its sixth year, the event gets bigger and better each time. It all started in 2009 when Robbie Hoyes-Cock envisaged having a luxurious yet fun platform for the Grand Prix weekend.
This year, the ultimate A-List after party — which is situated within the F1 track — will include a two-night wine-pairing dinner with three-Michelin-starred Spanish chef Quique Dacosta, a Dom Pérignon-themed island bar and guest hosts Freddie Hunt and Jacques Villeneuve.
Hoyes-Cock has also taken his event to the global stage, starting with Abu Dhabi in 2013, before reaching Melbourne and Monaco. This year alone, The Podium Lounge has already signed partnerships with new venues in Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai and Texas.
So how do you maintain The Podium Lounge as a world-class party venue?
We always endeavour to deliver flawless table service for our VIP table guests and work exclusively with luxury brands on striking showcases, such as the launch of the new Lamborghini Huracán or the iconic Dom Pérignon island bar, which will house our catwalk over the top of it. Making sure we book the right artists and talent as part of the entertainment is always critical, and working with the right media partners to ensure we maintain our high-society guest list — including Formula 1 drivers, teams, royalty, ambassadors, models, musicians and the jet-set crowd — is equally important.
What goes into the planning of such an event?
We spend six months of the year working on each individual Podium Lounge event and always maintain the ethos that Rome was not built in a day. Planning all angles of the event concurrently is important to make sure the final show is spellbinding. Also, you're only as good as your last event so we are always trying to outdo the previous year's setup, line-up and celebrity attendance.
Why is that important?
At The Podium Lounge, we are actively building an international brand that operates within the Formula 1 realm. It's a highly coveted but extremely competitive space and in order to stand out you really need to put on a mind-blowing show that people talk about for months after the event.
What is one thing patrons can expect at this year?
The most striking change to The Podium Lounge Singapore event since 2009 is that we have moved the venue from The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore poolside to The Grand Ballroom. We are investing over $250,000 in just the outfit of the space alone, which will undergo a dramatic and glamorous transformation. The room will be completed with Singapore's largest pop-up island bar, a dizzying overhead catwalk and VIP balconies offering a magical ultra lounge experience with the racing.
The event includes a charity auction as well. Tell us more about that.
There will be a nightly auction of authenticated Formula 1 memorabilia, with proceeds to a good cause. Auction items including a signed and framed photo of triple Formula 1 world champion Sir Jackie Stewart, Fernando Alonso-signed race shoe framed with a custom matboard, Michael Schumacher-signed full-size Ferrari Race Suit, Sebastian Vettel-signed race glove, Lewis Hamilton-signed photo, an Andy Warhol item and a Formula 1 race helmet signed by all of the drivers of the 2013 season. The local charity for our 2014 event will be announced on the night for maximum impact.
The Grand Prix Weekend parties will at the Ballroom, Level 1, The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore on September 19-21, 2014