Rob Gronkowski has a long and champagne-soaked history in Las Vegas. He’s partied there after winning the Super Bowl with the New England Patriots in 2015; he’s partied there to celebrate his brother’s birthday; he’s partied there to celebrate his own birthday; he’s partied there with David Guetta; he’s partied there with LMFAO; he’s partied there just because it’s a good place to party — especially if you’ve got millions of dollars, four Super Bowl rings and an affection for EDM.
Logic thus follows that Gronkowski — the famed 32-year-old NFL tight end who’s known to fans as just Gronk — would throw his own Vegas bash.
That fête, Gronk Beach, launched in Sin City last year and will return later this month, on Friday, April 29, to coincide with the NFL draft that’s also happening in Vegas that weekend. The Chainsmokers are headlining Gronk Beach, which will go down at the Encore Beach Club at the Wynn and also feature the club’s resident DJs Kim Lee, Deux Twins and DJ Five. The event will feature music, food, libations, an allotment of free passes for former and active military personnel and maybe, Gronkowski tells Billboard via Zoom, a limbo contest. Tickets are on sale now.
This offseason fun follows Gronkowski’s second season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, whom he came out of retirement to play for in 2020 after his football BFF Tom Brady left the Patriots to play in Florida. With Brady coming out of retirement last month — less than two months after announcing he was winding down his career — Gronkowski, a current free agent, has said that while he’s not sure if he’ll play next year, doing so is “always a consideration. I’m always going to be ready to go. That’s why I throw these parties.”
It seems like you have fairly significant love of EDM and dance music. Is that right?
Who doesn’t love dance music and EDM? Yeah, there are some people out there, but if you’re a high-energy person, those are usually the go-to’s. Especially at a party. Growing up in my 20s when my friends and I would go out all the time, with EDM, you just get that feeling. You get that vibration in your body when you hear a good song. One of my favorites back in the day was by Calvin Harris, the song “Summer.” Every time you’d hear it you’d get the chills from your forehead down to your toes. I love that type of music. I love those EDM beats. They make you feel great and move and jump up and down and lose your mind, basically.
What is it about The Chainsmokers specifically that made you want to recruit them for this event?
I’d met The Chainsmokers before, when I was down in Miami. I’ve seen them play many times. Right now they’re one of the top acts in Vegas, they’re basically the kings of Vegas. They’ve got a lot of great music that plays into the vibe I’m looking for. Great beats and upper music, where it gets the crowd going. They’re great kids, and it’s going to be great working with them.
Do you have a favorite Chainsmokers song?
I would say probably “Don’t Let Me Down.” Also the old-school one, “Roses.” Hopefully they play them all. I love their big hits. Another one I like is “Something Just Like This.”
Last time you did this event the lineup included Kaskade and Diplo and it sounds like it was pretty wild. How are you going to top yourself?
It’s very tough to do that, because we just bring it every single time and go all out with everything. In my 20s, we’d go out to a party or a club and go so crazy and have a great time. Then the following week we’d be like, “How are we going to top that when we go out?” We always found a way to top it the next time! We did that for so long throughout our 20s. We don’t do it so much anymore, because you kind of grow up a little bit when you’re in your 30s, but you still like to have a good time.
We’re just going to find a way the day of the party to top the last Gronk Beach. That’s what we do: We don’t worry about it, how to top it, it just comes to our mind when we hit the stage. Maybe limbo! Maybe bring out a limbo stick! Or a dunk tank. I don’t know how yet, but we’ve got The Chainsmokers to kick it off.
You wrote in your book, 2015’s It’s Good to Be Gronk, that partying made you a better player. How is that so?
After you party a little bit, Monday comes and you’re just sitting there, maybe you feel a little doozy from the party still, and you just don’t like that feeling. You know you want to get back to that party. But partying is only cool if you get all your work done that week. So then that Monday comes and you’re like, “Man, I want to party again, but I’ve gotta work hard first!” So that’s where that motivation came from: I’ve gotta get jacked, I’ve gotta get my abs poppin’, then two weeks later, boom, you’re ready for the party again.
Have you had a specific night out in Vegas that was particularly remarkable?
There’s been a lot of nights out, no doubt about that. For sure I would say some of the pool parties. Gronk Beach is going to be at Encore, which I think is the the best venue in Vegas, and my favorite event was actually at Encore. It was my brother’s bachelor party when it was at Encore and David Guetta was DJing and my other friend was there. We went up onstage with David Guetta, and we absolutely drenched my brother and his friend with a champagne shower. It wasn’t actually even my idea, it was Encore’s idea, because they’re great people and they always take great care of us.
One other time we were at XS, and I drop-kicked my brother onstage when Redfoo was playing. It was all over the internet, everywhere. I kicked my brother right in his nuts, and I frickin’ stone cold stunnered him, and it was everywhere. I had a broken arm at the time, I was like, 22, 23 years old. That was one of the most epic moments of my career in Vegas, no doubt.
If you had to pick an EDM act to play the Super Bowl halftime show, who would you chose?
Ooh. I would just say Calvin Harris, because that’s kind of where I was first introduced to EDM. I was one of his biggest fans throughout my 20s when he was coming out with all his hits. It just made me rage all the time when I listened to it. My favorite EDM song is “Summer,” so it’d have to be Calvin Harris. He’s one of the OGs in the EDM world.
Anything else you want to say?
Yeah, the NFL draft is in Vegas on that Thursday night, so that’s why we’re hosting this party in Vegas on Friday. I’ve played 11 years in the NFL so far, so it just makes sense.
Wait you said you’ve played 11 “so far.” It sounds like maybe you’re considering playing next year?
It’s always a consideration. I’m always going to be ready to go. That’s why I throw these parties. They juice me up; that’s where I get in shape, move my hips around, shake my booty, make sure everything is loose still. I don’t just throw them to get hammered. I throw them for a reason. I’m running around for four hours, a game is three and a half hours. All the dancing keeps me in shape.