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The legendary Brazilian festival is exploring options in the US, Chile and Dubai to run in addition to its existing Portuguese spin-off
By James Hanley on 26 Aug 2022
Rock in Rio organisers are considering launching further international editions of the legendary festival, which returns to Brazil next weekend.
The 100,000-cap event, which runs at the Cidade do Rock (City of Rock) from 2-4 and 8-11 September, sold out in record time earlier this year after around one million people registered to buy tickets.
Iron Maiden, Post Malone, Justin Bieber, Guns N’ Roses, Green Day, Coldplay and Dua Lipa will headline Rock in Rio’s first flagship Brazilian leg since 2019.
Its Lisbon edition took place in Portugal in June, while festivals have also been held under the Rock in Rio banner in Madrid, Spain and Las Vegas, US. And according to EVP Roberta Medina, additional spin-offs could be in the pipeline.
“Chile and another possible edition in the United States are on the radar”
“In Portugal, promoters from Dubai came to see and talk to us,” reveals Medina in an interview with Veja. “Chile and another possible edition in the United States are on the radar.”
Medina, daughter of Rock in Rio founder Roberto, also references new 105,000-cap event The Town, which is scheduled to debut at the Interlagos race track in Brazil in just over a year.
“The expansion is now within the country itself, with The Town, which will take place in São Paulo, in September 2023,” she says. “Investing in Brazil is worth it.”
Rock in Rio Lisboa, which launched in 2004, returned for the first time in four years in 2022, featuring acts such as The National, Black Eyed Peas, Duran Duran, Post Malone, Liam Gallagher, Ellie Goulding and A-ha. This year will mark the first time in the brand’s history that the Brazil and Portugal editions have taken place in the same year.
“Many suppliers have closed their doors, prices have skyrocketed and we are still experiencing chaos in maritime and air logistics”
“The Lisbon edition, in June, showed that the party was back to what it always was, with an extra dose of euphoria,” says Medina, who notes the event was not without its pandemic-related challenges.
“The difficulties are behind the scenes,” she explains. “Everything requires more advance. Many suppliers have closed their doors, prices have skyrocketed and we are still experiencing chaos in maritime and air logistics.
“All the sound equipment on the main stage got lost on the ship from Brazil to Lisbon and we had to get another one in a hurry.”
Rock in Rio is also debuting in the Metaverse in partnership with Coca-Cola. The Rock in Verse project, created by the agency A-LAB, will take place inside an island of video game Fortnite and feature 12 new spaces inspired by the City of Rock.
“We know that the physical experience is irreplaceable, but we believe that the face-to-face and the virtual can go hand in hand”
The game’s “Running Tracks” experience lets players interact with an original and exclusive song composed by DJs Cat Dealers, who will perform on Rock in Rio’s New Dance Order stage on 4 September, while “RiRstory Trivia” tests players’ knowledge of the festival’s history.
“We know that physical experience is irreplaceable, but we believe that the face-to-face and the virtual can go hand in hand,” says Rock in Rio CEO Luis Justo. “As we have more people who want to come to the event than the City of Rock actually holds, we are always thinking of activations that expand the experience for this audience, who, in this way, can also relate and have fun in some way with the festival.
“This is what we put all our energies into, so that people can experience a great warming up of the Rock in Rio experience right from their own homes. Rock in Verse will be a totally innovative way of relating and having fun with Rock in Rio.”
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