Sidepodcast // All for F1 and F1 for all

A live Aside // Spending an evening with the wisdom of Joe

Published by Mr. C

I like to judge the success of an evening by how long it takes one to recover, and given that Christine and I were still feeling the after effects of Friday's inaugural Evening with Joe on Monday, I'd consider it a blinding success.

Joe tackles Formula 1's big questions with a microphone and a glass of wine

Friday 26th was a busy day for us. We arrived in London uncharacteristically early, which gave us plenty of time to look around the designated venue, The Engine Group, just off Oxford Street. It's a great place, in an ideal location and Joe had booked the entire upper floor for the evening, bar included.

Wifi was provided, which was a great boon for Christine who was planning to live blog the whole evening, providing text and picture updates throughout the night for those unable to attend.

Before the doors opened, a quick soundcheck revealed the only major headache of the day - the building offers a fully integrated audio/video system to feed satellite TV to various speakers and screens, but there was no means of obtaining a direct audio feed of Joe's talk.

Let us not discuss the unfortunate incident with the locked door.

Joe took his seat just after 7pm to an almost full house, and from that point the night turned into something of a blur. Questions came from the floor thick and fast, and Joe tackled each one with candour. Every question was a good one, every answer detailed, insightful and often humorous. Still the questions came.

Although the original plan was for a Q&A session followed by a meet and mingle, the never-ending quest for knowledge meant questions continued past the enforced break, and kept on coming until event organisers eventually shut the bar and threw us out... well almost. I have no idea how Joe managed to talk for a whole evening and make it feel like five minutes had passed, we all wanted more and the night came to a close far too soon.

If we had a complaint it was only that there wasn't quite enough time at the end of the evening to meet everyone present. Being in the company of so many dedicated and intelligent Formula 1 fans must be a very rare thing, and I wish we could've spoken to everyone and for longer.

Eventually we really did get thrown out, packed up our recording equipment and headed to the nearest pub for yet more F1 chat. Sometime around 3am, we found our way home.

If you didn't manage to make the inaugural Evening with Joe, you really missed out. There is a second event planned for March 29th in Melbourne, and further talks around the world throughout 2010. Don't miss them.

We did eventually manage to record the whole evening using a room mic, but we've ended up with something like 3+ hours of content, so it might take an extra day or two for the podcast to see the light of day. Lou was designated official photographer for the evening, so watch out for plenty more pictures coming soon as well.

In conclusion, I think Joe's onto a winning idea, and I'm hoping that more F1 journalists give some thought to reaching out and meeting fans. F1 may be becoming more open than ever this year, but it could do with getting a bit more personal too.

A big thank you to Joe for putting together a fabulous evening's entertainment, to everyone who came over and said "hi", and to those who bought us drinks. I wonder how we can get to Melbourne?

All content in the series An Evening With Joe