By Thaís Britto, Contributing Reporter

Dudu Nobre, photo provided by Nove Letras Comunicação.
Dudu Nobre, photo provided by Nove Letras Comunicação.

RIO DE JANEIRO – Viradão Carioca arrives in Rio on Friday, June 5th and the whole city is preparing for 48 straight hours of music, poetry, dance, art and even carnival. Having taken place in São Paulo for the last 5 years under the name Virada Cultural, this will be the first event of its kind in Rio.

Inspired by the White Night that occurs annually in Europe – involving art installations, performances, open museums and art galleries throughout the night – the festival will occupy streets, libraries, theaters and squares in different neighborhoods in Zona Sul, Norte and Oeste, and downtown. The events are free or very cheap, and start on Friday at 9PM and only stop on Sunday at the same time.

The major attractions will take place at three main stages, opening up at the Praça XV stage, downtown, where Dudu Nobre, Gustavo Lins and Beth Carvalho will all perform for the samba lovers from 9PM. This stage’s theme is Rio, and it’ll showcase all kinds of “Carioca music”, from samba to funk.

The sound of the favela will be the attraction on Saturday, when the MCs Naldo, Perla, Marcinho, Cidinho and Cacau perform their funk hits throughout the afternoon. Come night time there are some new and promising artists from the city lined up such as Edu Krieger, Rodrigo Maranhão, Marcelo Camelo, Mart’nália and the percussion group Bangalafumenga.

But Rio is not Rio without carnival. So on Sunday morning it is time to remember the biggest party ever with the “carnival dawn” at 9AM hosted by Cordão do Boitatá. One of the best-loved and most traditional “blocos” in Rio, they will play the traditional samba and marchinhas that brings the crowds together in February. Viradão Cultural ends in Praça XV with Lulu Santos, the Brazilian king of pop.

The Madureira stage in Zona Norte will be located at Portela, one of the most well-known samba schools in Rio. The activities begin on Saturday when the Velha Guarda (old musicians and samba pioneers) will receive the singer Teresa Cristina, one of the better recent local revelations, for a samba-fueled feijoada.

Alceu Valença, photo provided by Nove Letras Comunicação.
Alceu Valença, photo provided by Nove Letras Comunicação.

The music continues with Leando Sapucahy and, on Sunday, the master of frevo Alçeu Valença brings some north east mood to the samba temple.

The final main stage will be placed in Bangu, Zona Oeste, and will present an eclectic schedule. Opening with the teen singer Kelly Key, it moves to the pop of Zélia Duncan and Moska, and Saturday ends with the 80’s rock band Blitz presenting the newest teen rock discovery, the girl group Agnela. On Sunday, some top artists such as Milton Nascimento, Martinho da Vila and the group O Rappa take over the stage.

Another good place to check is Praça Tiradentes, also Downtown, where the schedule includes Adriana Calcanhotto at Carlos Gomes Theater and the classical music festival Folle Journée. The square will also host exhibitions of great contemporary artists whilst at night comes the DJ battle at Luís de Camões Street with DJs Saddam, Raphael, Grand Master, Dodô Azevedo and José Roberto Mahr.

And there are still the movies, the typical Brazilian bonfire party, the seven “cultural canvas” around the city, all the squares, the planetarium, the museums… it’s gonna be an endless weekend. More information (in portuguese) at

The highlights:

Friday: 9PM – Dudu Nobre. 11PM – Gustavo Lins. Midnight: Beth Carvalho. In the breaks, DJ Brinquinho.

Saturday: 2PM – MC Naldo. 3PM – MC Perla. 4PM – MCs Marcinho, Cidinho e Cacau. 10PM – Marcelo Camelo. 11:30PM – Mart’nália. 1AM – Edu Krieger + Rodrigo Maranhão. 3AM – Bangalafumenga.

Sunday: 9AM – Carnival dawn with Cordão do Boitatá (dress code: costume). 3PM- DJ Dodô Azevedo. 7PM – Pedro Luis e a Parede. 9PM – Lulu Santos

(At Praça da Guilherme, Guilherme da Silveira subway station)
Saturday: 4PM – Kelly Key. 7PM – Marcos Sacramento. 9PM – Zélia Duncan. 11PM – Paulo Moska. 1AM – Blitz presents Agnela

Sunday: 5PM – Milton Nascimento. 7PM – Martinho da Vila. 9PM – O Rappa

(At Clara Nunes St. 81)
Saturday: 2PM – Feijoada da Portela with Velha Guarda and Teresa Cristina. 6PM – Leandro Sapucahy

Sunday: 6PM – Alceu Valença

(Praça Tiradentes s/nº)
Saturday: 2PM – Adriana Calcanhotto

(São Cristóvão Camp)
Saturday: 8PM – Battle between rappers and “repentistas” (typical northeast singers who compose rhymes instantly)

(Praça Marechal Floriano 7, Cinelândia)
Friday: 11PM – Cinema Marathon (movies and dance floor all over the night)

Saturday: 6PM – Saint Anthony’s Party (typical brazilian party with bonfire and country style songs) with Rio Maracatu, Virimexe and Clara Becker.

(Edgar Romero Av.)
Saturday: 9PM – Charm Ball under the viaduct.


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