For the worldwide MINI Community there was only one place to be from 11 – 13 May: MINI United 2012 in Le Castellet, France. Last weekend’s event once again pulled in MINI fans from around the world, and the MINI faithful from almost 50 countries were greeted by a unique combination of live music and car-fuelled action at the Circuit Paul Ricard. The erstwhile host of Formula One grands prix proved to be the ideal venue for races in the MINI Trophy and MINI Rushour race series, and the assembled masses were also treated to a high-class line-up of live music acts and an array of fun sporting activities. Indeed, the MINI brand was there to be experienced in all its glory with a programme that also included stunt shows, test drives with the latest MINI models and Track Drives, which allowed MINI drivers to hustle their own cars around the legendary circuit in the tyre tracks of a professional racing driver. A particular highlight of the weekend was an exclusive preview of the new MINI John Cooper Works GP.
Iggy Pop and Gossip rocked the stage.
Motor sport buffs and design aficionados were joined at the largest get-together of the MINI Community by enthusiastic followers of the international music scene. Which was no surprise given that some of the world’s hottest stars were on the bill. On Friday, for example, rock legend Iggy Pop had the stage buzzing to the sounds of his band Iggy and the Stooges, before Paris-based house DJ Martin Solveig whipped the crowd into a dancing throng with his infectious club repertoire. That was followed on Saturday by a line-up including the punchy punk-pop of Grammy award-nominated duo The Ting Tings. And a sensational set from Gossip reminded us why front woman-cum-fashion icon Beth Ditto has been anointed the “Coolest Woman on the Planet”.
Record numbers set up a feast of the spectacular.
Records were being broken as well as played in Le Castellet, as the number of enthusiasts from around the world attending the previous MINI United at Silverstone, Great Britain (25,000) was bettered once again this year. 30,000 fans took over the Circuit Paul Ricard during the three days. The majority did the honourable thing by turning up in their own MINI, some even driving 6,490 km (4,032 miles) from the outer reaches of Russia to France. There, they mingled with fellow MINI devotees from the USA, Japan and Canada, who had also etched the event into their calendars. This unique gathering of MINI models ensured that the MINI Club Area, in which 24 MINI clubs from around the world were represented, the already legendary stage for ultra-spectacularly styled cars a.k.a. Beauty Parking, and a line-up of the full MINI product family were an even greater attraction than ever for the MINI fans.
Norm checks in from France: Miniology is on site at MINI United 2012 in Le Castellet Paul Ricard Circuit in southern France as Mini enthusiasts arrive by Mini, plane, train, and ferry. Its a beautiful setting in a georgeous little coastal town on the “French Rivera”. The sun has just risen with clear blue skies. I will unpack the cameras and microphones and get to work!
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MINI United time is here again.
The international Community growing up around the British premium small car brand is set to come together for the fourth running of a very special open-air festival from 11 – 13 May 2012. Lying in wait for the MINI United 2012 crowd at the Circuit Paul Ricard in Le Castellet, France – which played host to Formula One races over several decades – alongside the popular Community activities will be a top-class line-up featuring live music acts, motor sport and lifestyle action.
For MINI enthusiasts the world over MINI United has always been the festival of choice. And this year it will also be the first date in the diary for those of us powered by the music vibe. Indeed, with the official unveiling of the MINI United line-up it’s clear MINI aficionados won’t be the only ones to have their appetites fully satisfied; festival-goers from around the world will also be purring at the prospect of seeing their national and international music heroes perform live.
Confirmed line-up for MINI United 2012:
Friday, 11 May:
Iggy and the Stooges, Martin Solveig, Hubert-Félix Thiéfaine, The Rifles, Naive New Beaters
Saturday, 12 May:
Gossip, The Ting Tings, Ben Mazué, SOMA, Charlie Winston, Birdy Nam Nam
Some 25,000 fans from more than 40 nations flocked to Silverstone in England for the MINI United festival in 2009 to celebrate not only the third Community catch-up but also the 50th anniversary of the brand’s founding.
Indeed, the event programme is richer in depth and variety than ever before. As well as live appearances by leading lights of the international music and DJ scene, it goes without saying that the MINI product family will also be taking to the stage in all its glory. The MINI John Cooper Works models will feel particularly at home in an arena where so much Formula One history has been written. Motor sport buffs will be in for a treat as the drivers do battle in a string of races in various MINI series, and the exclusive presentation of a new MINI model adds another highlight to the schedule. Last but not least, an array of fun sporting activities, stunt shows and an exhibition of exceptional Classic Mini cars ensure an attractive blend of al fresco party and car-based MINI action in every shape and form.
An extensive entertainment programme for younger MINI fans is guaranteed, as are a broad spread of culinary treats. Other essential features of a MINI United festival are the MINI Club Area and Beauty Parking, which serves as both a car park and stage for the more strikingly styled members of the MINI fleet. Indeed, for the majority of the fans at the fourth MINI United festival, driving to the venue in their own MINI is a key part of the event.
Further information on MINI United 2012 is now available at www.MINIspace.com/MINIunited. Regular updates on the event programme, motor sport and music line up will also be posted on the site, as well as tips and links on the event location, registration, ticket bookings and accommodation reservations in the area around the venue.
[Source: BMW Press Group Global, 23.03.2012, Munich/Le Castellet.]
Photos Include Music Acts, MINI United 2009, and a revised Poster art suitable for plastering all over town