I’m going to put it out there and say I am one of ‘those people’ that love going to concerts. In the last 2 weeks I have been fortunate to spend 2 weekends back to back at shows so I wanted to tell you a little bit about them and some tips on how to survive going to a concert in Brazil.
Rock in Rio is one of the largest music conferences in the world and takes place in Rio every 2 years. I went in 2011, (Full recap here), as far as the set up of “Rock City ” not much has changed; the venue is massive and divided into different areas with 5 separate stages so artists are performing simultaneously. Obviously the sponsors change from year to year; however there are a few you can count on like Bobs and Heineken. The coolest thing that Heineken does is set up a zipline that goes over the crowd! One artist that made the most of the zipline this year was Thirty Seconds to Mars frontman Jared Leto (see below).
Tips for Rock in Rio:
1. Getting there: It takes about 2 hours to get there because the traffic out to Barra is always a mess and with an event like this it just makes the traffic worse so you have a few options: 1. You can take a regular bus however they are extremely packed (ie no where to sit, smashed up against people etc), 2. Take a luxury bus which will cost you R$50 per person each way…so total of R$100 per person, 3. Take a cab, this is your best option, it cost about R$85 to get there and the 4 of us split the cost… end of the day you will not only save money you will be a lot more comfortable. 4. Drive your car….I would not recommend driving, there is no where to park and le seca is set up everywhere but figured I would put it out there since it is an option. Note: Whether you take a car, cab, bus or luxury bus you will have to walk at least a mile before you can get into the stadium as police set up blockades forcing everyone to walk.
2.Ladies: WEAR COMFORTABLE SHOES!!!!! You will hate yourself and be miserable the entire time if you are in heels. The walk to Rock City is a little over a mile, there are lines, the concert grounds are huge and there aren’t any sitting areas besides the ground… it’s a long festival so wear sneakers or flip flops!
3. Rides: There is a ferris wheel, roller coster, zipline, bungee drop thing..If you want to do any of the amusement park rides then try to head to Rock City early, the lines are insane (like 2+hours!).
4. Food: Bobs is a huge sponsor of Rock in Rio so there are a lot of Bob’s set up all over. Don’t freak out, if you don’t like Bobs (it’s not my thing either) there are other options that change from year to year. This year there were options like sushi/yakisoba noodles, Mexican tacos, ice cream, skewerks, french fries and Domino’s pizza. You are at a music festival so there aren’t many healthy options, if you are a health nut, bring some of your own snacks otherwise consider it a cheat day and enjoy yourself. The lines for food get crazy in between performances on the main stage so if you are hungry, try to get in line for food right before the artist sings their last song otherwise you will be in line waiting till the next artist starts.
5. Drinks: Heineken is the sole alcohol sponsor so if you want to drink during the shows beer is your only option. Keep you cup! Instead of tossing your cup when you are done then going to wait on a long line every time you want another drink look for the guys wearing Heineken backpacks! You can get a fill up right on the spot.
Concerts in Sao Paulo & Rio
1. Seats: Generally speaking if you can it is worth buying tickets for premium seats that offer coverage. We went to Bon Jovi last night and it poured the entire time… everyone in the main pit was completely drenched and it was cold out so it wasn’t a ‘refreshing shower’. Well worth an extra R$50 ($25) to have coverage from the rain.This is extremely important for concerts in Sao Paulo!
2. Smoking: If you are a smoker of any kind.. anything goes, so enjoy your concert:)
3. Bathrooms: The bathrooms at these places are always pretty gross and never have toilet paper so always remember to bring a small packet of tissues with you! You will thank me:)
4. Timing: It is normal for people to show up late to your house, to a dinner, to a meeting however concert series are shockingly run on time! They even give you a ’15 minute, and 5 minute’ heads up so if there is a band you want to see, get their on time or you could miss it!
5. Lights up: No longer are musicans asking for you to hold your lighters up… its all about your smart phones now! Bon Jovi shouted for everyone to turn their flashlights on their cell phones on for one of his sounds… it was amazing, check it out below: