By Chesney Hearst, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The 2015 edition of the Rock in Rio music festival ended on Sunday, September 27th after seven nonconsecutive days of more than 150 international and national musical acts providing over 91 hours of entertainment on five stages in the Cidade do Rock (City of Rock), located in the Rio de Janeiro neighborhood of Barra da Tijuca.
This edition, which took place from September 18th through September 20th and then again from September 24th through the 27th, was the sixth edition held in Rio de Janeiro. The festival was born in the city in 1985 and returned in 1991, 2001, 2011, and 2013. Additionally the festival has taken place in Portugal six times, in 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, and 2014; in Spain three times, in 2008, 2010 and 2012; and it took place for first the time in the United States earlier this year in Las Vegas.
Throughout this edition in Rio, the festival included celebrations of its 30th Anniversary with special commemorative shows and return performances by bands and artists loved by Rock in Rio fans. The band Queen, who first performed with the late Freddie Mercury during the premiere edition of Rock in Rio in 1985, returned to headline the opening night with singer Adam Lambert.
Other performers who appeared on the 1985 lineup and returned for this edition included Rod Stewart, Al Jarreau, and Lulu Santos. Additionally, many other performers during this year`s festival were no strangers to the Rock in Rio stage. Faith No More and A-ha returned after their performances during the 1991 festival. Rihanna and Katy Perry returned after their performances in 2011. System of Down was back after their show in 2013; and Metallica, veterans of the festival, having played no fewer than six times at various locations of the festival, headlined the second night of this edition.
Newcomers to the festival included Sam Smith, One Republic, The Script, Royal Blood, Queens of the Stone Age and Aluna George, among others. Also new to the festival this year was the Capela da Cidade do Rock (City of Rock Chapel), an area located in the Rock Street section of the festival that hosted wedding ceremonies for the winners of the “Eu Vou Casar no Rock in Rio” (I Will Get Married in Rock in Rio) contest. During the festival, a total of eight couples were married including a lesbian couple on the sixth day, Saturday, September 26th.
Additionally on the 26th, Roberto Medina, creator of Rock in Rio, announced, during a press conference held in the VIP area of Cidade do Rock, the confirmation of two upcoming editions of the festival to be held in the Rio de Janeiro in 2017 and 2019. Medina noted that Itaú, Ipiranga, Rede Globo and Multishow will be official sponsors of the 2017 edition.
“Over our 30-year history, Rock in Rio won the world and conquered people. We grew to become an international event and we are recognized as the biggest music and entertainment event in the world,” said Medina. “This is a space for joy as well as a megaplatform relationship with consumers, that generates business opportunities and showcases brands. Sponsors are essential to enable Rock in Rio as an infrastructure and for the delivery of services.”
“The wide variety of attractions and the line-up with so many national and international stars happen because of the investment of the brands that, during the event, aren’t present as sellers of products, but as entertainment, enriching the consumer experience.”
Rock in Rio organizers estimate that during the past thirty years, more than 8.2 million people have attended the sixteen editions of the festival and more than one billion people viewed the events on television and the internet.