Ever since Dr M ambitiously built the Sepang International Circuit back in the late 90s, F1 fever has been a part of Malaysian life. Who can resist the roaring engines of the most prestigious and thrilling motorsport on the planet? We have the infrastructure, the manpower, the corporate sponsors, the know-how and the moolah to make these races spectacular. So why can we do the same for the entertainment?
Last year, Singapore’s F1 Rocks saw the likes of the BEP, NERD, No Doubt and Beyonce while across the border we had cosmic funk dinosaur Jamiroquai and some acapella group whose name nobody remembers. To be fair, Jamiroquai rocked even if charismatic vocalist JayKay was already 40. But somehow the feeling that we could have done better was still lingering in the mud-trapped venue. Plus, it was a nightmare for crowd-control with the entrance packed, bodies were squashed and security kicked deviants (those with and without tickets) who tried to get in under the fence.
This year we have Fatboy Slim and Wyclef Jean. A DJ who was cool in the 90s and guy who (although helped Haiti tremendously) has had a dwindling career since the Fugees went bust. The official race rave party happening the night before (SpeedZone) looks to be another bore-fest with Paul Oakenfold returning for the millionth time.
What really tugs our tailgates is the event’s ticket policy. Why is entrance to the concert free for certain ticket holders (Emerald, Diamond, Sapphire, Ruby and Tower 2 Upper Tier Main Grandstand), whilst other ticket holders have to top up RM100 to enjoy the show? And if you’re only interested in watching Wyclef Jean and Fatboy Slim, then it’s RM250.
F1 or no F1, Malaysians deserve better. At this rate, it’s going to be a long time before anyone says “we’ve come a long way, baby.”
The 2010 Malaysian Grand Prix Concert will take place on Sunday 4 April at the Sepang International Circuit Helipad at 7pm, an hour after the race and podium ceremony ends. Tickets are available at www.sepangcircuit.com and www.ilovef1.com.my. Ticket hotline: 03 8778 2222.