By Chesney Hearst, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The eagerly awaited 13th edition of Rock in Rio will begin this Friday, September 13th with American mega-star Beyoncé headlining the opening night of the seven non-consecutive day festival at Barra da Tijuca’s Cidade do Rock (City of Rock).
The line-up is complete and the 150 square meter venue has been officially transformed from an Olympic Park for athletes into a City of Rock for more than 160 musicians and their anticipated 595,000 fans.
For those attending, traveling by car is not recommended as many of the roads around the Cidade do Rock will be closed with no available parking near the venue. There are two bus options for attendees with more in-depth information about transportation to and from the festival here.
“I took a special bus in Praça General Osório (Ipanema) to Terminal Alvorada [bus terminal in Barra da Tijuca]. From the Terminal Alvorada several special bus lines left directly to Rock in Rio. It was a bit time consuming but it was easy to get there,” 2011 Rock in Rio attendee and Rio resident Fabio Guedes told The Rio Times of his transportation experience.
Once inside the City of Rock, getting around becomes the main issue for attendees. The festival has prepared a 360 degree virtual tour of the venue (available here) for those who would like to get a basic lay of the land before they step through the gates.
In addition to the five stages for performers, the venue will be equipped with a VIP area, various food vendors, additional merchandise vendors, amusement rides, bathrooms, and safety stations. Lines and wait times for food and drink vendors varied during the 2011 edition of the festival, as did those for the bathrooms, but it is best to plan on the safe side.
Besides waiting times, general safety might be a concern for many attendees to the festival this year. During the second week of the 2011 edition the police force was increased to prevent occurrences of theft and a ‘Lost and Found’ booth was opened near the Ferris wheel.
Rio resident and Rock in Rio 2011 attendee Mônica Dias told The Rio Times; “I felt perfectly safe. I only heard about thefts on TV; I know no one who experienced any theft or even who lost anything while there.”
“However,” Dias added, “I took preventative measures, taking as little as possible and not keeping phones and money in my pockets, where someone could grab them. Common sense.”
“My advice,” added Guedes, “is to always wear shorts with zip pockets and to avoid carrying a bag that can allow thieves to take your wallet without you seeing it happen. Also take care with your camera.”
Taking a jacket or raincoat is also suggested by previous attendees. The area where the venue is located is often windy and frequently has slightly lower temperatures than other areas of the city.
Those considering traveling to the City of Rock in the hopes of buying tickets (or selling them) outside of the event should be aware that selling tickets above their original resale price is a crime.
Plain-clothed police officers will monitor the event near the entrances of the festival for scalpers attempting to sell tickets for higher prices. They will also be on the lookout for sellers of counterfeit tickets.
Finally, for those who cannot attend the festival, the shows will be broadcast live on the official Rock in Rio YouTube channel and on Globo TV channels. For the 2011 festival, organizers state that fans from over 200 countries viewed the live broadcasts.
The festival will take place on the seven days of September 13th, 14th, 15th, 19th, 20th, 21st and 22nd. The headliners for the festival are; Beyoncé, Muse, Justin Timberlake, Metallica, Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, and Iron Maiden, respectively. Gates will open each day of the festival at 2PM.