Sand Between Your Toes
It's hard not to be happy when you're dancing bare foot, swaying in the breeze like a boozy palm. The Collins Avenue location was pure perfection and well planned. Though there was no surf access or watery view, the stage was erected on a strip of golden sand, giving partiers permission to kick off the flip-flops and let their wild side reign. A Bose-sponsored sandcastle depicted a smiling Gronk behind giant sunglasses, and there were plenty of shady tents to beat Florida's winter heat. A grassy field to the side was converted into a vendor playground, along with some fun photo opps and promotional games. Gronk Beach is brought to you by the same people that put together Shaq's carnival-themed Fun House which has become an absolute behemoth. Gronk's gathering has room to grow, but they kept promising to come back to Tampa in 2021, and we're quite certain the sunny silliness will swell.
Stuff We All Get
With general admission ticket ranging on timed-tiers of $150 to $500 (to say nothing of Wynn-sponsored tables and VIPs), fans were smart to get on board early, but even those who paid top dollar saw a return on investment. Besides drinking one's fill on cocktails, Bud Light, Babe bubbled wine cans, and Monster energy drinks, revelers ravaged the endless noms, provided by local vendors including Bodega tacos, STK Steak House sliders, and top-notch pastries from Salty Donut. Wendy's was there treating everyone to new breakfast items. There was even a full roasted pig on a spit, because this is Miami. Besides the food, fans could get a free CBD oil massage along with take home samples, but sexiest of all were the free-for-all goodies from Pure Romance. They were handing out vibrators, vanilla cream whipped lube, warming oil and lemon-flavored, gag-suppressing oral enhancing lubricant. Gronk wants everyone to keep the party going when they get home, and we are 100 percent down with that.
Flo Rida Brings That Fire
The day-time DJs certainly got the mood set. Special shout out to bass boss Carnage who came straight to Gronk Beach after a 10-hour b2b with Diplo and local man Danny Daze at Club Space. Still, it all felt pretty chill until flippin' Flo Rida brought his thunderous mix of party-starting hip-hop. Dude came out blazing, thanks to a special intro from local legend and official Miami Heat music man DJ Irie. He threw the door open and tore into "GDFR," the sun setting slowly behind the stage. The darkening sky only made the lights shine brighter, and Flo Rida positively glowed. He brought a gaggle of ladies on stage for crowd-pleaser "Low," no Apple-Bottom jeans required. It felt like it couldn't get any more hype, then he jumped on a bouncer's shoulders and came roaring through the crowd for "Wild Ones." A consummate master of ceremonies, he brought Gronk out front and center to rap-along to "My House," and it was Gronk's house indeed. He and his fam started spraying champagne bottles, showing off their drinking tricks and joining the women on stage in unabashed dance madness. It felt like we were all at the center of a music video, jumping and shouting as the clouds broke and began to rain. “Make some noise if you don't melt,” Flo Rida joked. It brought on a magical mood, and the energy never came down.
Rick Ross in the Rain
What began as a light rain during Flo Rida's set turned into a full-on Florida down pour as soon as he walked off stage. DJ Irie kept the hype going for the couple hundred that didn't immediately run for cover, and he didn't have to try too hard. Miami icon Rick Ross was next up, and the Teflon Don can't be stopped by a little water. He came out hard and reminded everybody that “Ima Boss” ain't just a catch phrase. As the rain came down harder, so did the bass and the crazy crowd of dancers that wouldn't be tamed. “Only a hurricane can stop us,” he boasted. “It feels good. Clean yourself off.” He worked through big hits “Hustlin'” and “B.M.F.,” and you know he had the Gronk's going nuts when he rapped “Pop That,” screaming “ballin', ballin', like I play for New England.”
The Gronk Family Get Down
Without a doubt, the magic at the heart of Gronk Beach lies with the Gronkowski clan. The stage was an absolute madhouse with the 30-year-old retiree wildin' out as ringleader. Once Flo Rida brought him and his crew to center stage, they stayed drinking, dancing and taking their clothes off in the rain until the show was physically shut down. Rick Ross even got everyone to “do the Papa Gronk” when Rob's dad took off his own shirt and moved his arms like he was mixing a giant cauldron. It was a frat party up there, with WWE championship belts blinking in the lights and smiles big enough to see from space. By the time Diplo came on to play out the last half hour, it felt like the whole festival had turned into some cool Gronk family beach bar-be-cue. The rain subsided as if by magic, gathering everyone back on the beach for a final dance off to house and hip-hop hits. They ran past the 7 p.m. curfew, and when Diplo let the music stop, Gronk convinced him to keep going. He started the crowd in a chant of “one more song,” then one became two as DaBaby's “Suge” turned into Rick Ross and Skrillex' “Purple Lamborghini.” Someone pulled the plug on the party right after the first roaring “Rose,” and we knew it was time to file into the street. Gronk grabbed the mic one more time to thank the wet, happy masses. “Get home safe,” he said. “We'll see you in Tampa.”