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"This place is where popular music was born – all the major acts in Brazil have played there," says the legendary promoter
By Lisa Henderson on 28 Mar 2023
Veteran Latin promoter Luiz Niemeyer’s company Bonus Track is to revive Rio de Janeiro’s iconic Canecão arena, which has been closed for 12 years.
The company, in partnership with Klefer Entretenimento e Participações, won an auction for the 30-year lease with a final bid of BRL 4,350 million (€769,392).
The Bonus-Klefer consortium will invest BRL 184m (€32.6m) into the construction of a brand new 6,000-capacity arena on the Praia Vermelha Campus, which is owned by The Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ).
The multipurpose arena is projected to open in 2025 and will host around 120 concerts per year, according to Bonus-Klefer.
In addition, UFRJ has required the conglomerate to build 80 new classrooms for the university’s students, along with a rehearsal space for musicians.
“[Canecão] is where popular music was born, as all the major acts in Brazil have played there”
“Canecão is a very iconic place in Rio and Brazil in general,” says Niemeyer, who has promoted some of the biggest concerts in Brazilian history, including The Rolling Stones and Paul McCartney.
“It’s where popular music was born – all the major acts in Brazil have played there. People have a very emotional connection with this place. The whole country knows about it and there’s a lot of history related to this place. Everyone’s very excited about it reopening and everywhere I go, people are congratulating me. It’s going to become a tourism point of Rio.”
Bonus Track manages the Teatro XP Investimentos theatre at the Jockey Club headquarters in Gávea, and is responsible for the MITA (Music Is The Answer) festival, which will be held in Rio and São Paulo from the end of May.
Canecão previously hosted concerts from some of Brazil’s biggest stars, including Roberto Carlos, Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil, Vinícius de Moraes, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Toquinho and Miúcha and Elymar Santos, and has been closed since 2010 due to legal disputes.
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