Article by Corey Davis. Photography by Corey Davis and Ryan Randels
This year we had the opportunity to not only attend but also enjoy one of the world’s largest BMW M festivals, MFest VII "The Super Show.” Typically held in Las Vegas during April, this year’s event fell on Memorial Day weekend. To some, this date was a blessing, as it provided an extra day of reprieve from the chaos that is Sin City. To all, MFest epitomizes what we care about in the automotive lifestyle—that it’s not just about the cars; it’s also about the common passion and camaraderie with like-minded individuals for a few nights in America’s party city.
Intent on getting the full experience, we decided to undertake the long drive across the Rocky Mountains as part of the Colorado MFest caravan. Organized by a local forum chapter, the plan was to meet near Denver at 7 a.m. on Thursday and head west to Vegas in a single shot. Going into it, we were in the dark as to what to expect, but it didn’t take long to realize that we were with a solid group of people. Like us, many members of the group didn’t even know each other by name—only by usernames on the forum. With a common destination, however, we embarked on the journey to the automotive lifestyle event that is MFest VII and couldn’t help but enjoy some spirited driving through some of America’s most beautiful scenery along the way.
Twelve hours and one lost GoPro later, we arrived in Vegas, and the real party soon began. The Palms Casino Resort was MFest HQ and offered hotel and parking accommodations for the participants. They had even reserved an entire parking section in their parking garage just for MFesters’ rides—gated and complete with a personal guard. With car wash concierge service as well, what more could you ask for after traveling twelve hours across the desert?
On Friday morning, we cruised down to Jean, Nevada, to witness the cruise that set the Guinness World Record for the longest line of BMW vehicles. The group consisted of the Vegas people from the night before and the combined forces of two major caravans that had traveled from Texas and LA. It was from the parking lot of the Gold Strike Casino that the MFest caravan would make their entourage entrance into Las Vegas. There were so many cars that police had to shut down I-70 to allow the clutch of vehicles to merge onto the highway. It must have been quite a scene for bystanders as they watched hundreds of BMWs go by as MFest literally took over the city. Most of the day was taken up by event registration, and we spent most of it eyeing all the fresh rides. As the sun set behind the Spring Mountains, Las Vegas Motor Speedway opened their drag strip to MFest participants. This would be the first venue where sponsors such as Maximum PSI were able to showcase their latest performance achievements. Afterward, many of the participants made their way to the Palazzo Resort for the Lavo Nightclub and a night out on the Strip.
The main event kicked off on Saturday, as cars made their way to Las Vegas Motor Speedway, where they once again formed what seemed to be a never-ending wall of Bimmers. For entertainment, the event offered vendor booths, raffles, a DJ, food trucks, and a drift demo. At the heart of the event, a grouped-run open road course track was available during the day, where you could run against fellow participants to see whose car had the performance to back up the menacing facades. Near the end of the event, the tuner shootout was the second opportunity for various shops to showcase their latest efforts as the shop cars took to the track.
After the main event, everyone headed back to event central and rested for a couple of hours before the night event. The setting was the rooftop pool of the Palazzo, Tao Beach Nightclub, which was taken over by the MFest entourage. An open bar was available, and a DJ was on hand to spin tracks with no public access until 11 p.m. Naturally, the party got pretty wild. After a long day in the sun hanging out and talking shop, it was nice to get together and party and live up Vegas the way it was meant to be.
When the sun rose the next day, the event started to wind down, as many of the enthusiasts got a jump on the Memorial Day weekend traffic and headed home. For those of us who were hungover from Saturday night’s shenanigans, returning to Tao Beach for a lazy day by the pool provided a most welcome respite. With one last hurrah at Lavo in the evening, MFest VII 2013 finally came to a close.
MFest is more than just an automotive festival. Of course, it’s about hard work and preparing cars for a show, but even more so, it’s about enjoying the company of those who like to have fun and get together with other people. Although our group had just met, we connected and felt as though we’d known each other for years. After all, isn’t that what it’s all about?