On Friday night I attended the first night of Rock in Rio, the largest music festival in the world! Since this was such a huge event, I am going to cover it in two posts so make sure you check back for the actual concert videos and details! This concert series takes place September 23rd-October 2nd in Rock City, a 150,000 square meter area in Barra. Getting there: The only way to be dropped off at the entrance of Rock City, is by bus (which you will have to wait in insane lines to get tickets for), otherwise get dropped off about a mile away and walk(I promise it’s not so bad-for those of you reading this, if you couldn’t get a bus ticket, don’t worry you will make it there). Actually, the benefit of the ‘drive/walk’ is that when the concert is over, you won’t need to wait in the long lines for the bus because cabs are allowed to come to the entrance (at the end) so its a piece of cake getting home:)When I finally got to the entrance I was truly blown away. There, in the middle of what seems to be an Olympic construction area lies Rock City, a full city with bright lights, rides, restaurants and more! Rides: There are a number of amusement park rides including a giant Ferris Wheel (see above), a roller coaster, a Free Fall and Heineken Tyrolean (zip-line shown below). It was pretty cool to see people soaring above the crowd, but unfortunately the rides are shut down as soon as the show begins.
After you have seen the rides (FYI the lines are insane so you probably won’t get to ride them- sorry), explore the left area to the left of the entrance. There is so much going on and millions of people that its hard to decide where to focus your attention. Between watching the random bands and performers, exploring Rock Street and waiting in the drink lines you will have a ton to do before the concert actually starts. Drinks: Heineken is an enormous sponsor of Rock in Rio, you will see at least 4 different Heineken sponsor booths/games/trucks etc). Due to their take over, Heineken is the only alcoholic beverage you will encounter on the property (it’s even served at every restaurant and stand!) If the drink lines are too long for you, find one of the ‘Heineken Men‘ (below) for a quick refill!
Rock Street (shown above) is a “New Orleans” inspired street of shops and restaurants, which in my opinion felt more like Epcot Center without as many choices. If you are or were planning to be on a diet, accept ahead of time that you will be breaking every rule! The only ‘healthy’ option is the fro-yo (and you can’t / don’t want to eat that all night). For your ‘dining’ (munchy/drunk whatever) pleasure the Restaurant options on the right side include: French fries in a cone, Bibi, Yogoberry, Heineken, Bob’s, Kong and Informal. Restaurants on the left side (which I preferred) include: Taco bar, Spoletto, Bob’s, Bibi, Pasteleria, Habab and another ice cream shop. FYI Bob’s (think McDonalds) was also a huge sponsor and had shops set up in every direction of the property- but pay attention as only a few of them served their delicious burgers, while the others only had chicken or tuna salad sandwiches (highly disappointing!)Not hungry yet? Do some shopping, have a Heineken, or explore the sponsored booths. There were dance competitions in to Coke and Heineken booths, give a ways/ prizes at Claro, Philips, and Sky, I mean really, you are bound to find or do something fun in Rock City while waiting for the concerts to start. Once you made your way through the row of shops on the left side, check out the Tenda Eletrônica (electronic music stage below) featuring national and international DJs including Ferry Corsten, Above & Beyond, Life is a Loop, Leo Janeiro and DJ Dri.K. They played till 4 in the morning, so it was a great place to pop over to between main acts.After you explore the left side, head over to the right where you will find more restaurants, more sponsor booths including Maybelline, a hair salon (yes ladies were getting all done up), a super hero hut (people running around in costumes) and even a Philips sponsored video game/ cycling area (below)!
Tired of walking/standing around? Head over to the large ‘grass’ area (fake grass which I must say was a lot better then the real thing- no mud, less of a mess, not as cold!) for you to ‘picnic’ at in between acts, this was my favorite spot. Perfect positioning to enjoy the acts on the Sunset Stage (below), which featured duets and jam sessions by: The Astroids Galaxy Tour+ the Gift, Ed Motta+Rul Veloso+Andreas Kisser, Bebel Gilberto+Sandra de Sa, and Movies Colonias de Acaju+Leteirs Leitte & Orcestra+Rumpilezz+Mariana Aydar
The festival consists of four stages in which the concerts are expected to last up to 14 hours a day, with the participation of International stars including Elton John, Katy Perry, Shakira, Rihanna, K$sha, and bands Metallica, Evanescence, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Coldplay and System of a Down. After the fest, the Rock City area will be converted into a leisure area to athletes in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Check back for full Katy Perry, Elton John and Rihanna concert coverage!!!
More pictures from Rock In Rio HERE