By Jack Arnhold, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – It may still be two weeks until the biggest party on the planet, but cariocas and gringos alike are already getting well into the Carnival spirit, with tons of pre-Carnival ‘blocos’ (Carnival street parties) popping up all throughout the month. Here are five of the best pre-Carnival blocos this weekend.
This Friday, February 15th is the night for ‘Bloco da Silva’ at Rio’s legendary Fundição Progresso cultural center and concert venue in Lapa. Starting at 10PM, this is a party organized by Brazilian singer-songwriter Silva, who will be playing plenty of hits from his own back catalogue.
Expect to hear his recent collaboration with Anitta, plus songs by Caetano Veloso, Gal Costa, Jorge Ben, Marisa Monte, plenty of glitter, and special guests including musical acts Moraes Moreira and Illy. Tickets start from R$70.
Why not get up early on Saturday, February 16th and join the free ‘Bloco Desliga da Justiça’ (League of Justice bloco) at 9AM in Praça Santos Dumont, Baixo Gávea?
This is a bloco for the superhero inside of you, as all the participants don their favorite capes and spandex to create quite the spectacle as they march through Gávea to the sound of their rhythm section.
Then for Saturday night, there’s another pre-Carnival bloco starting at 6PM for ‘Bloco do Sai, Hétero’ (Bloco “Leave, Hetero”) at one of the city’s most exciting new nightspots: HUB RJ in Rio’s Santo Cristo neighborhood.
Their pre-Carnival party will run until 10AM the next morning with an incredible line-up of top Djs and musical acts over four stages. The Bloco do Sai, Hétero was created as an answer to prejudice, bringing freedom of expression to all, especially during Carnival.
It is open to all-comers with an emphasis on respecting everyone’s right to have a fun and safe time during the biggest party on the planet. Debuting in 2018, it attracted around 11,000 participants, and this year is going to be even bigger.
On Sunday, February 17th at 4PM, ‘Bloco da Amy’ – a tribute to late British singer Amy Winehouse – will arrive again at the ExC center in Rio’s Jockey Club. This party will feature Lica Tito’s famous tribute to Winehouse, as well as special guests, Samba da Santa Clara. And from 4PM-5:30PM there will be an open bar of beer and vodka. Tickets start at R$45.
For possibly the most upmarket pre-Carnival bloco, head to Belmond Copacabana Palace at 4PM on Sunday for ‘Bloco do Copa 2019’. The event will take place on the hotel’s famous balcony, finishing at midnight.
Confirmed musical acts include Bloco Último Gole, Bateria Balanço Zona Sul, DDP Diretoria e DJ Papagaio. There will also be an open bar of beer and caipirinhas, with tickets starting at R$200.