By Lisa Flueckiger, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Rock in Rio 2013 is about to hit the city and will offer seven nights of star-filled music line-ups, as well as a setting to match. The 150 square meter Olympic Parque dos Atletas has been transformed into a giant rock arena and will be offer five spectacularly designed stages, and even a roller-coaster.
The Cidade do Rock (City of Rock) lies in Barra da Tijuca on the shores of Lake Jacarapaguá and just in front of convention center Riocentro on Rua Salvador Allende. The current venue is also the birthplace of Rock in Rio hosting the festival’s very first edition in 1985.
Construction for Rock in Rio started on July 29th and is now in the final phase. Some 600 workers are expected to put on the finishing touches, laying out 40,000 m2 of synthetic grass, more than 60km of cable and use about five million kilos of metal structures and install ninety tons of sound and light equipment.
Sixty generators are ready to ensure sounds and light effects all go as planned, adding up to almost 20,000 kVA, sufficient energy to illuminate everything from Leme to Pontal in Recreio, according to Walter Ramires, Rock in Rio’s chief engineer.
The festival’s five stages – the three main stages, as well as Rock Street and Street Dance stage – are all designed differently to give the Cidade do Rock unique looks. The Palco Mundo (World Stage) is Rock in Rio’s main stage and is 25m high and 86m long and features a futuristic silver construction with 150 concave and convex metal pieces. The artists’ stage is 24m long and three large screens display the performances. The sound of the World Stage carries until up to 600m.
Speaking about her 2011 Rock in Rio experience, Ana Espinola reveals that, “The sound set was surprisingly good and the main stage was wide enough so I could see the entire band. [...] I remember being a little concerned about the acoustics because of the disposition of multiple stages, but it all worked just fine.”
The Palco Sunset (Sunset Stage) is the second largest and is 22m high and 44m long and the room for artists has been significantly enlarged since Rock in Rio’s last edition in 2011. The whole stage weighs forty tons and features an interesting design with fifteen pyramids entwined around the stage.
Perhaps the most unusual design however can be found at the Electronic Stage, which will see DJs turning the tables every day from 10:30 PM until the early morning hours. The stage has the form of a spider with 11m high pillars or feet that create light effects by projecting images to a wall.
In addition to the stages, the Cidade do Rock will have its own amusement park with a roller coaster, Ferris wheel, a zip-line with view onto the World Stage, a climbing wall and turbo drop. Attractions are free of charge, but waiting times of up to several hours will be the norm.
The expected daily 85,000 visitors in the concert grounds represent a logistical challenge, but “Rock in Rio  was very well organized. Thanks to the large screens you could see the main stage from afar. Also with minor constructions, such as toilets and drinks, everything worked really well,” Malin Borg, who attended the 2011 edition, told The Rio Times.
The Cidade of Rock is located on part of the 250m2 of what will be the Athlete’s Park in the 2016 Olympics. During the games, the park will be used for the athlete’s leisure and training activities.