By Kim Dumo, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Rock in Rio has finally arrived, and with over 700,000 tickets sold the city is prepared to be overrun starting Friday, September 23rd, for seven days of music over the span of ten days. This is the first time in ten years that Rock in Rio has returned to its hometown, and fans from around the world are excited for this epic event.
Rock in Rio has many artists to look forward to, and the Palco Mundo (World Stage) headliners for the first three-day weekend will be Elton John/Rihanna on Friday, Red Hot Chili Peppers on Saturday and Metallica on Sunday.
On Monday,September 19th, organizers of the event announced that the opening night would have a swap of times for headline artist Elton John and Rihanna, with Elton John now performing before Rihanna.
Although Rock in Rio has major international artists from all over the world, this year’s edition will also make way for many performances that amplify local culture. Brazil’s own Claudia Leitte will be performing on the opening night, and countless other amazing acts will be spread across four stages in this tremendous lineup.
Victor Mizarelli, a local from Rio and founder of Mizarelli Productions, quotes, “This is my first Rock in Rio. I don’t even know what to expect, but I’m sure it’s going to be awesome!”
While the Cidade Maravilhosa will certainly provide the majority of spectators, with such an international lineup of artists it will not just be Cariocas in the audience. An expatriate that lives in Salvador and is coming down to attend Rock in Rio offers, “I am looking forward to seeing Coldplay the most. I am from England and have never seen them as I spend so much time traveling. I didn’t want to miss it.”
Among Rock in Rio’s concertgoers, sixteen percent of the audience will be coming from outside of Rio State to attend. Organizers report roughly 45 percent of those attending the festival are locals of the city of Rio de Janeiro or the surrounding metropolitan area.
According to the Secretariat of Tourism of the City of Rio de Janeiro (Riotur), the event brought about R$461 million directly into the local economy, with a huge multiplier effect. Reports also suggest that more than 10,000 jobs have been created directly and indirectly during the event.
In December of 2010 construction started to prepare the Parque Olimpico Cidade do Rock (Olympic Park City of Rock) in Barra de Tijuca, on the avenue of Salvador Allende in Jacarepaguá, the West Zone of the city. The area will also be used for the 2016 Olympics and Paralympic Games.
In May 2011 approximately 600,000 official tickets, priced at R$190 (R$90 for students), were sold within four days, catching even the organizers by surprise. Unofficial sales from scalpers have reportedly been selling between R$700-900 on social media sites like Facebook.
As part of the transportation plan for Rock in Rio, fifteen roadways will be shut down to prevent traffic, with a special bus system in place. There will be no cars allowed in or around the concert, and even taxis will be prohibited from 11AM to 10PM, the nearest point for hailing taxis will be two kilometers from the entrance.