Sun FM Gossip
Shaquille O’Neal has been shoring up a trademark on “fun” for decades now. Through sponsorships and investments, television appearances and parties, he’s proven both a student and a master of R&R. Here, see him losing it over his new tree house on Animal Planet’s Treehouse Masters.There, see him causing general mayhem as the face of Carnival Cruise Line. Back over here, he’s giving the New Jersey Devils’ Zamboni a whirl. Fun! And now Shaq is taking everything he’s learned about the concept and he’s throwing a big party.
On March 23, the same day that the Ultra Music Festival starts, and as the rest of the city is winding down, Shaq’s Fun House will fire up at a to-be-disclosed warehouse location in Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood. It’s just one humble N.B.A. star‘s fully formed idea of a good time. The main event is 10 D.J. sets (Shaq won’t name names yet, but told me on a recent phone call that they are among the top in the world, and Shaq himself is one of them), plus a handful of sideshows. It’s part carnival, part cabaret show, part E.D.M festival. The list of 700 or so invitees will include Miami luminaries, Shaq’s friends, his D.J. friends’ friends, various and sundry celebrities, and those night-defying souls who get “drafted to the party” so to speak, which anyone 21-and-older can attempt at the Shaq Fun House site. There will be adults walking around on stilts. There will be a cabaret show. There will be complementary Shake Shack. If you thought there weren’t going to be flamethrowers, you’re still not getting this. It’s like The Greatest Showman, but with 100 percent more E.D.M. This is Shaq’s brain on fun.
This idea for the Fun House came from Shaq’s 2nd or 3rd or 45th act as a D.J. In 2015, he went to TomorrowWorld, the American extension of Belgium’s Tomorrowland, the theatrical E.D.M. festival. The festival had landed in Chattahoochee Hills, Georgia, which is less than an hour west of Shaq’s home base outside of Atlanta, and he had a run-in with Joe Silberzweig, then the marketing and talent director of TomorrowWorld. “I actually broke in,” he explained. “We were told they didn’t have any passes and so we broke in, and they were getting ready to throw me out and Joe saved the day, and said, ‘No, that’s Shaq.’”