Rock Stars and Fast Cars

BMW Performance Center West kicks off a historic musical weekend with Fly + Drive experience.

Erin Peters Attractions


“Baby, you can drive my car, Yes I’m gonna be a star… Beep, beep ‘n beep, beep! Yeah!” — The Beatles

Since rubber first hit the road, musicians have written and sung countless songs about cars. The Who amped up the horsepower in Bo Diddley’s song “Roadrunner,” and Neil Young’s “Long May You Run” was an elegy for his first car, “Mort.” The Rolling Stones’ 1981 album Tattoo You featured a track called “Black Limousine.” 

Rock ‘n’ roll and fast cars go together like Thelma and Louise. That long-standing partnership will be loud and clear during the opening weekend of the Desert Trip Festival, Oct. 8-9, at BMW Performance Center West in Thermal.

• See related story about the event: Art in the Fast Lane

These highly fueled passions will join forces when the performance center transforms into a creative, energetic, and interactive BMW driving experience. Guests will climb behind the wheel of an M series and challenge their driving skills on the track. A team of expert driver instructors and a premium facility will help create a high-octane, rock-and-roll weekend.

The racetrack grounds will feature Babe’s Brewhouse and wine gardens, a music lounge, small bites from Lulu California Bistro, a Margarita Bar plus chips and salsa from Rio Azul Mexican Bar & Grill, and a desert recovery lounge with juice. Free shuttles will be provided to the festival grounds.

Guests can enjoy live music and a DJ, a surprise onsite activation by Sicky eyewear and an art lounge furnished by Modernica.

The Urban Art Group CAL gallery will unveil photos featuring performers from Desert Trip by Iconic Images photographer Terry O’Neill, who has photographed numerous music legends including The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. Los Angeles based artist, Spencer “MAR” Guilburt will be finishing painting abstract art onto the next BMW ART CAR.

Realtors James Bianco, Jeremy Avriette, and Debbie Bianco of Gilbert Avriette, Inc. will provide The PS Playhouse to house the artists and influencers.

“We work with selected guests to offer all packages for this experience. Including transporting them to the track from Ross Aviation hanger where VIP’s will land their jets. So it’s something you can’t find anywhere else,” says Luis al-Calderon, founder of The Urban Art Group CAL. “It’s more than just an experience at the racetrack. It’s where BMW meets urban art.”

Here is a sampling of the driving experiences:

✓ Rat Race: Two drivers compete against each other with the goal to catch the other driver.
✓ Drag Race: Two drivers go head-to-head in an old-fashioned drag race.
✓ Timed Runs: Individual drivers try to beat their best time on a handling course that includes slaloms, chicane complex turns, and an end-of-race stop box.
✓ Hot Laps: Ride in the passenger seat for a heart-pounding, smoking-tire, fast-lap with a professional driver behind the wheel.
✓ Test Drives: Take a spin in BMW’s most innovative vehicles to date.

Enjoy the entire experience for $199. Bringing a friend who just wants to ride shotgun? The Fly + Drive experience is offering a $250 two-ticket special for one driver and one non-driving guest.

BMW Performance Center x Mar Fly + Drive Experience, Oct. 8-9. BMW Performance Center West, Thermal. 888-345-4269;

Share your experience on Twitter and Instagram with the official hashtags #BMWPCxMAR and #thismeansmar.