By Lisa Flueckiger, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Amidst sunny weather, a euphoric audience and world-class musical performances, the first weekend of Rock in Rio 2013 was deemed a smashing success by most accounts. Now, fans are preparing for the second week, starting on Thursday, September 19th with the festival’s final four days featuring Bon Jovi, Metallica, Iron Maiden and Bruce Springsteen as headliners.
The first Rock in Rio weekend opened on Friday, September 13th with American superstar Beyoncé and closed on Sunday, September 15th with king of pop Justin Timberlake, with the Saturday in between dedicated to indie rock.
So far, the festival has appeared very well organized. Although getting to the Cidade do Rock (City of Rock) is an approximately three hour process by public transport from Zona Sul (South Zone) commuting to and from Rock in Rio has run relatively smooth, as there are many buses available.
For those, who booked the special RioCard bus it was even more comfortable, with travel times of around 1.5 hours. “We liked it a lot. Going there was quite comfortable. Everything is well organized and the stages are well positioned, so you can attend all the shows,” Anick Peach and Camila Chiecchi from São Paulo, who attended on Saturday and Sunday told The Rio Times.
Anderson Rugero, a Rock in Rio veteran, added, “in relation to previous editions I think the reduction of the audience [from 100,000 to 85,000] was a good idea. It let people be more comfortable walking around and watching the shows. The number of trash bins was increased and what I liked best was that drinks and food were sold where the audience was, which made the stalls less crowded.”
However, some negative points also have been voiced. There were several reports of theft, as pickpockets tried to snatch people’s wallets and cellphones out of their bags or even out of their hands when holding them up to take a picture. Adding to the situation, the police station within the City of Rock was out of order on Sunday, as an internet connection failure impeded them from registering the incidents.
Many visitors also complained about the high prices for food and drinks, “The atmosphere is great here, but prices are too high,” Fernanda Carneiro de Azevedo explained. Water cups of 350ml cost up to R$5, a portion of French fries R$12 and a beer from a mobile vendor is R$10.
It should be noted however, people are allowed to bring up to five bags of food items and water bottles, without the lid, which can be refilled at the drinking fountains. If the weather continues as bright in the second week, bringing liquids and wearing a hat is advisable, as shadow is scarce.
The second week will start on Thursday, September 19th with the festival’s first of two metal days featuring Metallica, Alice in Chains, Ghost B.C. and Sepultura. Friday will be a pop-rock day with Bon Jovi, Nickelback and Matchbox Twenty.
On Saturday, September 21st, the boss Bruce Springsteen will play with his E Street Band preceded by John Mayor, Phillip Philips and Skank. The final Rock in Rio day on Sunday will be another metal day with Iron Maiden, Avenged Sevenfold and Slayer.
Rugero is also looking forward to this week’s shows, “I’ll go Friday, which will be great, because I like every single band that is playing and on Saturday, Bruce Springsteen will be a blast.”