Last year, during Miami’s Ultra Music Festival, Shaquille O’Neal hosted an invite-only party that started at 2 a.m. and ran until 8 a.m. Called Shaq’s Fun House, the over-the-top event featured costumed dancers and fire breathers, carnival games, copious amounts of Shake Shack burgers, and appearances from EDM superstars such as Diplo and Steve Aoki. Shaq himself even DJ-ed at the event, and famously hoisted New England Patriots tight end Rob “Gronk” Gronkowski onto his shoulders at one point.
Now, Shaq, who owns a house in McDonough, is bringing the party’s second iteration to Atlanta for the Super Bowl, and it almost sounds like something out of a “Stefon” sketch from Saturday Night Live: This place has everything—confetti blasts, Migos, Cirque Du Soleil performers, a circus sideshow, and a replica Waffle House. Oh, and the whole thing takes place in Cobb County—at Live! at the Battery Atlanta on February 1.
“Something like this has never been done before,” Shaq said in an interview Thursday. “I’ve been to all the other Super Bowl parties—you just come in and stand around. No food, maybe one or two [musical] acts, that’s it. But this one, you come in, stand around, [and say] ‘Oh, did you see the guy with the flamethrower? Oh, did you see the guy that’s nine-feet tall? He’s bigger than Shaq. Oh, STK has a little room and they’re serving prime steak? Oh my god, Waffle House.’ There’s just a lot of stuff to do.”
The party boasts the same carnival aesthetic as the original in Miami, along with the EDM headliners—Diplo is again on the lineup, as is Dutch DJ Tiësto. Expect a carnival midway with games and rides, and acrobats from Cirque Du Soleil Mystère are also set to do a special performance. Shaq said he’d “of course” perform another set as DJ Diesel. (If you didn’t know, the NBA legend has been DJ-ing since college, performed at the now-defunct TomorrowWorld EDM festival in Chattahoochee Hills, and said he plans to go on tour with Diplo this summer.)
But this version of Shaq’s Fun House will have also some uniquely Atlanta elements. The biggest, of course, is that Migos is scheduled to perform, just one night after playing the Bud Light Super Bowl Concert Series with Ludacris. (“The Migos are personally good friends with my children,” Shaq noted.) Atlanta native Lil Jon is also on the lineup, along with T-Pain and Miami’s DJ Irie. STK steakhouse will be serving up bites, and High Road Craft Ice Cream will make custom ice cream sandwiches. There will be a full pop-up version of Killer Mike’s Swag Shop barbershop, and Van Michael Salon will also offer services for VIP ticket holders.
As for that pop-up Waffle House? When asked how that collaboration came together, Shaq said, “I went to them and asked. I said, ‘Excuse me, Mr. Waffle House Man, can we get some waffles and omelettes at my party?’ And they said ‘Sure, Shaq.'”
That’s slightly exaggerated, of course, but Shaq did meet with the VP of Waffle House to plan the pop-up, which will be a full replica of the beloved diner complete with booths, signage, and decor. It’ll also offer an exclusive dish, the “Shaq Hashbrown Bowl,” a double order of hashbrowns that are “covered” (with American cheese), “smothered” (with grilled onions), and topped with grilled Springer Mountain Farms chicken and thin-sliced ribeye.
All-inclusive tickets for Shaq’s Fun House, which include food and open bar access, are currently selling for $300 but will increase to $600 before the event. VIP tickets are currently $1100 and include exclusive food, services, and lounge access. There are also packages for a Vegas-style mezzanine area with bottle service, if you seek the most plush experience.
Shaq promises the event will be “epic,” with plenty of VIPs on the guest list. “And I guarantee if the Patriots are not in the Super Bowl, Gronk will be up on stage with me all night, jammin’, jammin’, jammin’.”