By Chesney Hearst, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Following a successful opening weekend with three days and nights of live performances in Rio de Janeiro’s Cidade do Rock (City of Rock), Rock in Rio fans look forward to the second and final weekend of events which will begin on Thursday, September 24th and continue through Sunday, September 27th.
The festival began in the Cidade do Rock, located in the Rio de Janeiro neighborhood of Barra da Tijuca on Friday, September 18th and continued on Saturday, September 19th and Sunday, September 20th. With temperatures reaching 40°C, at times, fans packed the festival grounds.
On the 18th, Roberto Medina, founder of Rock in Rio, welcomed attendees to the start of the 30th anniversary of the festival saying, “The opening of the gates is one of the most exciting moments. Today the Cidade do Rock (Rock City) is more mature. We all work hard for these people to have unforgettable moments, moments they can tell their children about. In 1985, when I saw the crowd gathered for the festival, when the gates opened, I got very emotional, I saw that they had bet on my project and still believe to this day.”
Performances during the weekend included headlining shows by Metallica, Rod Stewart, and on opening night, Queen with Adam Lambert, who performed a re-worked version of his hit single “Ghost Town” with the band as well as their hits including “Love of My Life.” That show marked Queen’s first appearance at Rock in Rio in 30 years, following their performances with the late Freddie Mercury during the premiere edtion of the festival in 1985.
Rodrigo Coletto, the first fan to enter the festival grounds this year according to organizers said, “I can not believe I was the first. I’m very eager to see Queen plus Adam Lambert. I’ll never forget this experience.”
Additional performers on the festival’s five stages included Barbara Tucker, IRA!, The Script, and One Republic, on the opening day; Tropkillaz, Crookers, Korn, and Dee Snider on Saturday’s Metal day; and Alice Caymmi, Paralamas Do Sucesso, Baby do Brasil, John Legend and Elton John on Sunday, September 20th.
During the current brief pause in the festival, fans are eagerly awaiting the second weekend of shows and performers which will include Carl Craig, Deftones, Queens of the Stone Age and headliners System of a Down on the 24th; Nightwish, Mastodon, Faith No More, and Slipknot on the 25th; Sérgio Mendes with Carlinhos Brown, Angelique Kidjo, Lulu Santos, Sam Smith, and Rihanna on the 26th; and Al Jarreau, AlunaGeorge, A-Ha and Katy Perry on the festival’s final day.
Cidade do Rock will once again be open from 2PM to 3AM on each of the remaining four days of events and public transportation and the Rock in Rio buses will again be the only way to arrive at the festival. The parking bans will begin at 7AM and continuing until 5AM on each remaining day of the festival. For those who did not purchase a RioCard bus pass, the BRT tickets are R$6.80 – R$7.80 (round trip). Passengers can board those buses at the Alvorada Terminal in Barra da Tijuca.
For more information about traveling to and from the festival, getting around inside Cidade do Rock and the things to see and do there including the complete program of events during the remaining days of events, see the official Rock in Rio website.