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Diplo and Mark Ronson, AKA Silk City, Closed Out Miami's F1 Festival

Who stole the show, a Grammy-winning supergroup or a supercar doing doughnuts on Biscayne Boulevard?

Supergroup Silk City — a collaboration between Diplo and legendary producer Mark Ronson — closed out the F1 Festival held in Bayfront Park this past Saturday, October 20. But the fact that it was impossible to tell if 80,000 people showed up for the cars or for the concert is a testament to the sheer badassary of a supercar flying down Biscayne Boulevard at 170 mph.

At first glance, one would think Formula 1 booked the performance to gin up buzz for the free event, which was billed as a way to introduce more Americans to a Euro-centric sport. Diplo is one of the most prolific DJs around, and Ronson is a legend in his own right. The producer has won four Grammys for his work with Bruno Mars and Amy Winehouse. More recently, Ronson produced Lady Gaga’s latest album, Joanne, along with BloodPop.

But the vehicles — a few F1 cars and the $1 million McLaren Senna with a couple Ferraris and motorcycles thrown in — spoke for themselves. And they really had something to say: The engines were deafening. Imagine putting a firecracker directly in your ear.

Biscayne Boulevard turned into a block party when throngs of spectators rushed the barricades to watch drivers do doughnuts, while other (some might say more enterprising) onlookers caught a clearer view from the One Biscayne parking garage.

This magnetism held throughout the park: Human walls wrapped each of the four F1 cars stationed at the fest, and hundreds of attendees sat in the grass near the stage to catch the broadcast of the qualifying run for the United States Grand Prix in Austin.

As the sun set, the mood of the fest shifted. The number of people draped in Ferrari or Mercedes swag dropped considerably, as did the age demographic.

Music began at 6 p.m. with acts that included Abraham Mateo and Miami act Coastcity. The crowd had thinned by then, and a trip from the outskirts of the audience to the front took no more than five minutes. But by 8 p.m., half an hour before the show, the crowd began forming the smooshed mass typical of most outdoor festivals. Then, five minutes before Silk City was to take the stage, came the chanting: “Diplo, Diplo, Diplo!” Right on time, the two came out to rowdy cheers as they took their places at a DJ booth emblazoned with a neon Silk City sign and flanked by morphing images projected on walls.

Silk City played a typical pop-tinged house mix interwoven with remixes of popular songs (“Milkshake” by Kelis, “All Night” by Chance the Rapper, “Bodak Yellow” by Cardi B), though still lighter on the hip-hop that’s present in Diplo’s solo sets. The pair also played a few of their own songs, including their most recent single with English pop star Dua Lipa, “Electricity,” and “Loud” featuring rappers GoldLink and Desiigner.

Diplo, by far the more experienced of the two in a live setting, was mainly responsible for connecting with the crowd. The concertgoers, fueled by a generous amount of Heineken and Red Bull, seemed to eat it up. Diplo and Ronson had the audience captivated and compelled it to erupt on command.

As the hour-and-a-half set drew to an end, Diplo announced he was set to play another show at Story Nightclub in Miami Beach.

“Come to Story tonight. I’ll play more of this with more hip-hop.”

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