By Kristen Nozell, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The music extravaganza Rock in Rio 2013 is less than a month away, and eager festival-goers are counting down the days until it’s their turn to experience Cidade do Rock (City of Rock), the famed venue located in Barra da Tijuca where the six days of concerts will take place. In order to ensure a smooth festival experience, the hundreds of thousands of attendees will want to coordinate their transportation in advance.
With streets near the venue closed off and no parking nearby, the organizing committee strongly suggests traveling via bus, rather than by car or taxi. By encouraging use of public transport, this recommendation aligns with the festival’s mission of sustainability as well; as stated on the festival’s website, “Going by bus is better for you, the city and the environment.”
There are two options for those traveling by bus, the first is the “Primeira Classe” (first class) buses available exclusively for Rock in Rio attendees who purchase a first class RioCard, available through the RioCard website. These buses will depart from fifteen convenient locations throughout Rio, including Copacabana, Ipanema, Lagoa and Shopping Rio Sul.
Although these tickets are for sale at R$50 for the round trip, it may be worth the extra cost for the convenience. Buses will depart from the specified locations on the hour between 11AM and 8PM, and passengers will be dropped off at the Terminal Riocentro, just 250 meters from the Cidade do Rock.
The return departures are also every hour, starting after the last show, between midnight and 1AM. Tickets (which are only available as round-trip) must be purchased for a specific date and departure location, and can either be sent to a home address or picked up in person from the RioCard store in Centro within seven days after payment.
Andrew Harding, British expatriate and founder of destination management and concierge service Man in Rio, recommends the RioCard option, saying “Traffic congestion and long queues during Rock in Rio are legendary. Time is life’s greatest luxury, and the RioCard is a time saving solution, enabling card members to relax and enjoy the trip to and from Rock in Rio.”
However, it is important to bear in mind that even this option won’t spare passengers from the traffic, if Rock in Rio 2011 is any indication. Alexis Sheldon, Salvador-based British expatriate and CEO of Language Trainers, attended the 2011 festival and despite having purchased the RioCard ticket, took about three and a half hours to get to Cidade do Rock from Copacabana, with the wait for the bus and traffic combined.
For attendees who don’t want to shell out an additional R$50 for transportation, regular bus routes will be running until midnight, with extra buses reinforcing the routes that pass near the venue. These buses will charge the standard R$2.75 fare, and tickets do not need to be purchased in advance. This option is certainly better for those wanting to spend less, but passengers should anticipate walking at least 1.3 km to get to the venue. Visit Va De Onibus to determine the best line to take.
In order to additionally facilitate transit to the venue itself, circular lines will also be running between Terminal Alvorada, where some regular bus routes stop, and the Terminal Cidade do Rock, which is located about 1.5 km from the event space. Attendees can walk to the venue from there.
Luckily the city has already had recent experience with transporting nearly 700,000 fans to the Barra da Tijuca locale for Rock in Rio in 2011, but it is still advisable for concert-goers to plan in advance and to anticipate a long commute, however they arrange to get to and from Cidade do Rock.