By Ciara Long, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Justin Timberlake is the latest name to be added to music festival Rock in Rio’s line-up this year. Timberlake, who has previously performed at the Rio festival in 2001 and 2013, as well as in the Lisbon edition in 2014, will be 2017’s closing act on the World Stage, performing on Sunday, September 17th in Rio.
Timberlake joins the all-star festival line-up, which will also feature Lady Gaga among its international headliners this year. With his latest chart-topping song ‘Can’t Stop the Feeling’ recently wining a Grammy and also nominated for an Oscar, Timberlake looks likely to draw crowds once again at this year’s festival.
Other acts newly announced for September 17th continue Rock in Rio’s blend of genres and big names, with guitarist Nile Rogers with legendary 70s disco-funk group Chic set to perform in addition to Frejat, considered one of the most important names in Brazilian rock.
The festival will continue into September with its eclectic mix of heavy-hitters from the international and Brazilian pop and rock scenes. Other names acts playing range from Aerosmith to CeeLo Green, and include Billy Idol, Bon Jovi, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Ney Matogrosso & Nação Zumbi.
Regarding the inclusion of pop and non-rock acts in the festival, the lead singer and lyricist for Carioca-based rock band Clashing Clouds, Fabio Figueira, told The Rio Times. “RIR has always been a music festival that goes way beyond genre or style.”
He adds, “It is hard to imagine George Benson, Ozzy Osbourne and Alceu Valença in the same playlist, but as crazy as it might sound they played in RIR in the past and I don’t think there were a that many ‘narrow minded haters’ criticizing the ‘Non-rock groups’.”
Chuck Cassie, a Canadian expatriate living in Rio and managing partner of The Lucky Screw Irish Pub in Copacabana, which hosts live rock bands seven nights a week, shares, “There’s no accounting for taste, but shows like Rock in Rio need to include the popular music in order to be successful.”
He explains, “Thematic shows would be a different matter, such as a Blues Festival, or a Woodstock remake, but Rock in Rio is touted as being a modern popular rock music show, so they need to adapt to the times, whether [some] like it or not.”