By Fiona Hurrell, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The fifth edition of Rock in Rio, Latin America’s biggest open-air festival, has been confirmed for September 2013. With tickets now on sale, some of the music industry’s biggest names have already been confirmed as headline acts including Bruce Springsteen, Metallica, Iron Maiden and, most recently, Ben Harper.
Without doubt the most popular festival in Brazil, this latest edition of Rock in Rio will have to do a lot to beat the success of 2011 in which a whopping 700,000 people gathered to see knockout performances from the likes of Guns ‘N Roses, Motörhead, Rhianna, and Coldplay.
The festival will take place at the Parque Olímpico, Cidade do Rock, on the edge of Jacarepaguá Lake in the Zona Oeste (West Zone). The same venue as 2011 and that which will host athletes in the 2016 Olympic games.
The dates have been confirmed on the Rock in Rio official website as 13th-15th and 19th-22nd of September. A reported US$35 million is to be spent on preparing the festival, which the organizers hope will outshine that of 2011.
Carioca entrepreneur Roberto Medina, who was responsible for introducing the first version of the festival to Rio in 1985, has continued to organize Rock in Rio. Speaking at a press conference at the Christ Redeemer Statue in October, Medina revealed, “We are better than any city in the world to do big events. I’ll make an event better than I did before.”
As of October 30th admission to Rock in Rio can be secured early by purchasing a special Rock in Rio card for R$260 (R$130 student half price) from the festival’s official website. An increase compared to 2011 in which tickets cost R$190 and R$90 for students.
The card guarantees access to the festival before the acts have even been confirmed and allows individuals to attend any day of their choosing. Regular tickets will officially go on sale at kiosks around the city in February 2013.
The latest act to be confirmed for the lineup is American musician and songwriter Ben Harper. No stranger to the festival or the city of Rio for that matter, Harper performed at the Lisbon edition of Rock in Rio in 2004 and has already played a number of concerts both in Rio and other major cities in Brazil.
Harper, who is set to share the stage with an, as yet, unconfirmed act, will be heading performances at the sunset stage on September 20th. The sunset stage is renowned for the more imaginative acts so one should expect the unexpected.
In addition to the musical acts, Rock in Rio, as always, puts on a variety of entertainment adhering to a specific theme. For 2013, the festival will take inspiration from Great Britain, from whom Brazil recently inherited the Olympic torch.
The eclectic and bohemian atmosphere of London’s Camden and Ireland’s Grafton Street in Dublin will provide the main stimulus with colorful characters and dance performances, whilst bars and food kiosks will even take on the appearance of quintessential English or Irish pubs.
Carioca Vinicius Marques attended Rock in Rio in 2011 and hopes to secure tickets for next year’s festival. Speaking of his experience, he states, “I think Rock in Rio is one of the best organized events in Brazil, the high number of big name bands also boosts the profile of Rio. The motto of the festival is to unite people and you really get a sense of that when you are there.”
To find out more about ticket sales and information on the latest confirmed acts visit the Rock in Rio official website.