By Mary Bolling Blackiston, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Seeing great live music in Rio, like a lot of things, can be an expensive habit. An exception to this is the Verão Rio (Rio Summer) event, a project hosted by O Globo that offers five weekends full of free music shows, as well as a diverse range of free beach activities like volleyball and beach tennis lessons, and even a fashion show.
Verão Rio, now in its third edition, started on Saturday, January 11th and will run through the weekend of February 9th. In the first weekend alone, organizers report the event brought 10,000 locals and tourists together.
The location is in the heart of Zona Sul (South Zone) as well; it always happens on Saturdays and Sundays on Ipanema Beach, at Posto 10, from 9AM until 10PM.
Music fans are likely to enjoy the performances of various genres, held each day from 6PM until 7:30 PM. With a mix of reggae, surf music, MPB (Música Popular Brasileira or Brazilian pop music), pop and bossa nova, there is something for everyone. On some days there is also a DJ in the principal tent of the event from 6PM until 9:30 PM.
To announce the start of Verão Rio, George Israel, a Brazilian composer, guitarist and saxophonist best known for being a member of the band Kid Abelha, performed on Saturday, January 11th. The following day, Móveis Coloniais de Acaju, a Brazilian avant-garde/rock band, took over.
Milton Rangel, a Carioca who attended the George Israel concert, and who was a first-timer at Verão Rio this year, had only good things to say, explaining that, “the producers and organizers should organize more events like this…it could stimulate the Brazilian music culture. The event was sensational.”
Actress Isabella Rodrigues Flores (goes by the name Bella Flor), who has been living in Rio for more than ten years, also attended Verão Rio for the first time last Saturday and agrees, saying that, “…honestly, I have never been to a show as cool as this […] it was full of energy […] it was one of the best afternoons of my life.”
Yet the music shows are only one of the many attractions of Verão Rio. Sporty types can take advantage of beach volleyball lessons, futevolei lessons and beach tennis lessons given by big names from the sports. Those in need of some R&R (rest and relaxation) can practice shiatsu and yoga. Other highlights include a fashion show by swimwear brand, Blue Man, and activities for children each morning.
With perfect weather and a great turnout last weekend, there are high hopes for the upcoming events as well. Flores explains, “I think it’s one of the best ideas that they could have had […] I want to attend all of the events and take part in the activities […] Rio is in need of projects like this one.”
When asked if she would attend Verão Rio again, Flores responded, “I would be the first to arrive and the first to tell all my friends and share this experience, because […] there is nothing like being on the beach of Rio de Janeiro on Ipanema Beach with old friends, cold beer and good music.”
For those who missed the first two days of music, or want to attend again, there will be much more musical entertainment to come. Following is the remainder of this year’s schedule:
Saturday, January 18th: Banda Tereza (rock band)
Sunday, January 19th: Sérgio Britto (member of the rock band Titãs)
Saturday, January 25th: DJ Noite do Vinil
Sunday, January 26th: Criadores de Acaso (two-person band)
Saturday, February 1st: Ana Canãs (jazz and MPB singer)
Sunday, February 2nd: Tiago Iorc (pop/rock singer)
Saturday, February 8th: DJ Dodô
Sunday, February 9th: Jesuton (British blues/pop singer)