Racetrack to Host Cool Music Fest “for Grownups”

How do you keep a small circuit alive? Hot tunes and wine tasting, man.

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Connecticut isn’t exactly a big state, and developers have eyed Lime Rock Park’s trove of open acres for a generation. Wealthy and influential neighbors have long given Lime Rock a hard time about noise, too, despite the track’s historic roots; there’s even a permanent injunction against Sunday racing now. Of course, the circuit has influential friends of its own, including driver training impresario Skip Barber and Trans-Am hero Sam Posey, among many others. But like any small venue, keeping the gates open in a challenge. That’s why the new Grand Weekend Lime Rock Park is so intriguing.

The new event is an effort to combine luxury lifestyle, automotive culture and music. There’ll be A-list talent, stand-up comedy, a food and wine festival, on- and off-track test drives, vintage and exotic car ridealongs, a car show, and seminars. All Grand Weekend is missing are unicorns and a reanimated Bob Hope to emcee.

It's all the brainchild of two middle-aged car event promoters from Ridgefield, Connecticut. In 2013, Roger Garbow and Dave Goldenberg made the trek to Bonnaroo in a Land Rover LR4 and Airstream trailer, documenting the trip for Road & Track. “There were people standing in line in the mud for port-a-potties,” they told The Hartford Courant. “We looked at each other and said, This is why people our age don't go to festivals.” So the two hatched a plan for the Grand Weekend, “The first civilized festival for grownups.”

It’s a huge risk. It’s largely outdoors, July 8-10, in a location that’s usually in the upper 80s and humid to begin with—when it isn’t raining. If Garbow and Goldenberg pull this off, it could be a model for tracks around the country. They promise no jam bands at Laguna Seca, and we approve. That ship has already sailed.