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Rock in Rio details 40th anniversary plans

Organisers of Rock in Rio (RiR) have revealed plans to celebrate the Brazilian festival’s 40th anniversary.

Next year marks 40 years since the beginning of preparations for RiR’s first edition, designed by Roberto Medina, which debuted in January 1985 with acts such as Queen, AC/DC, Tina Turner, Iron Maiden and Rod Stewart.

The biennial 100,000-cap spectacular will return over two weekends from 13-15 & 19-22 September 2024 at the Olympic Park, Rio de Janeiro. A series of events will be held in the run up to the festival, starting with a tribute from the city as part of its New Year’s Eve celebrations in Copacabana.

“It will be a magical edition,” says Medina, creator of Rock in Rio and president of Rock World. “We are preparing many new features and they will start at the turn of 2024, when our Rock in Rio will be honoured in one of the most emblematic New Year’s Eve celebrations in the world. It will be an edition of new experiences and stories, like the ones I hear in each new edition. We are part of the lives of thousands of people, just as the public is part of the festival.

“With each edition, the party gets better and in 2024 we will celebrate these four decades inside and outside the City of Rock . And we will celebrate alongside those who helped us write each chapter of this story, our fans, who continue to vibrate in the same way as in 1985, now bringing their children and grandchildren, making the City of Rock an even more special place.”

“It’s four decades of a story that began when we believed in a dream”

In addition, the 2024 edition will see a bigger Sunset Stage, replicating the scale of the iconic Palco Mundo main stage. RiR has also announced an interactive and immersive exhibition counting its 40 years, in addition to a new book and musical.

Festivals have also been held under the RiR banner in Lisbon, Portugal, Madrid, Spain and Las Vegas, USA.

“It’s four decades of a story that began when we believed in a dream,” adds Medina. “It wasn’t easy, there were days when we wanted to give up, but we believed, we kept going and it was worth it. We went far, 22 editions totalling four countries, we grew a lot without losing the magic. We showed the world the Brazilians’ competence in organising events and put the country on the route of international shows.”

Promoters said that RiR 2022 generated 2 billion reals (€387.4 million) in economic impact for its host city after welcoming 700,000 fans across seven days. The festival attracted 420,000 people from outside Rio, plus 10,000 international visitors from 31 countries, to see headliners Iron Maiden, Post Malone, Justin Bieber, Guns N’ Roses, Green Day, Coldplay and Dua Lipa. Due to the pandemic, it was the first Brazilian edition since 2019.

Meanwhile, Portuguese spin-off Rock in Rio Lisbon celebrates its 20th anniversary from 15-16 & 22-23 June 2024. Ed Sheeran was unveiled as the 80,000-cap double weekender’s first headliner earlier this month.

Medina’s latest project The Town debuted in São Paulo, Brazil last month at the Interlagos race track, attracting 500,000 fans over five days for artists such as Post Malone, Foo Fighters, Maroon 5 and Bruno Mars.

 


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Ed Sheeran to headline Rock in Rio Lisbon 2024

Ed Sheeran has been unveiled as the first headliner of Rock in Rio Lisbon’s 20th anniversary edition.

First held in 2004, the biennial festival returns to Portugal for a double weekender between 15-16 & 22-23 June 2024. Sheeran, who previously played the event in 2014, will headline the main stage on 16 June.

The festival will be held at a new 80,000-cap venue in Parque Tejo Lisboa, and will feature a new stage and a daily audiovisual show commemorating the anniversary. A new ‘Route 85’ area, meanwhile, will enable the public to learn more about the history of the event.

“Looking back and seeing Rock in Rio’s journey since arriving in Portugal in 2004, how much the festival and the market have evolved, the challenges we’ve overcome, the legacy we’ve already left behind, all the people we’ve made a mark on and the projects we’ve created and supported over the years that would allow us to help transform lives, that’s what makes it worthwhile,” says Roberta Medina, VP of brand reputation at Rock World. “And that’s what we want to celebrate, with all those who made these 20 years possible.

“Having Ed Sheeran back at the City of Rock, we couldn’t have a better start! This will undoubtedly be a historic edition”

“Since it’s not every day that you turn 20, we’re going to do what we do best, party! Having Ed Sheeran back at the City of Rock, we couldn’t have a better start! This will undoubtedly be a historic edition.”

Alongside Rock in Rio Lisbon, festivals have also previously been launched under the banner in Madrid, Spain and Las Vegas, US.

Rock in Rio’s 40th anniversary edition in Brazil, where the festival originated in 1985, is also set for next year from 13-15 & 19-21 September. The 100,000-cap festival welcomed 700,000 fans across seven days in 2022, when it was headlined by Iron Maiden, Post Malone, Justin Bieber, Guns N’ Roses, Green Day, Coldplay and Dua Lipa.

The debut edition of Medina’s Rock in Rio spin-off The Town took place in São Paulo last month at the Interlagos race track, attracting 500,000 fans over five days to see acts such as Post Malone, Foo Fighters, Maroon 5 and Bruno Mars.

 


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Brazil’s The Town sells out 500k tickets for debut

The last remaining tickets have been snapped up for the inaugural edition of Brazil’s The Town festival in São Paulo, which will welcome more than 500,000 fans over five days.

The brainchild of Rock in Rio founder Roberto Medina, the 105,000-cap festival launched last weekend at the Interlagos race track, headlined by Post Malone and Bruno Mars from 2-3 September. Other performers included Demi Lovato, Iggy Azalea and Bebe Rexha.

The event broke records by selling 350,000 tickets in less than three hours, selling out three days of the festival. And organisers have now revealed that the last date with tickets still available – tomorrow’s (7 September) show topped by Maroon 5, has now sold out, making the event’s debut a complete sellout.

“We are living history before our eyes,” says Medina, president and creator of Rock World, the company behind The Town and Rock in Rio. “Almost 40 years after the debut of Rock in Rio, in 1985, I feel again the emotion of witnessing the birth of a new festival, with all the quality, structure and scope that São Paulo deserves.

“Now, the party is complete with 500,000 people confirmed for this first edition of The Town”

“What we saw on the first weekend in Cidade da Música will be forever etched in our memory, it was a very special moment. Now, the party is complete with 500,000 people confirmed for this first edition of The Town, experiencing unforgettable days in this magical place.”

The Town wraps up this weekend with bills starring Maroon 5, The Chainsmokers, Joss Stone and Ludmilla (7 September); Foo Fighters, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Garbage and Pitty (9 September) and a second headlined by Mars, also featuring H.E.R., Kim Petras and Iza (10 September). Full-price day tickets cost 815 reals (€152).

The festival has partnered with transportation company the CCR Group, which guarantees that the trains that provide access to the Interlagos Circuit will run 24 hours a day on festival days.

From 2024, Rock World will also take over the running of Lollapalooza Brazil in partnership with C3 Presents. Both are majority owned by Live Nation.

 


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Rock in Rio mulls further international editions

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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Rock in Rio Brazil sells out for 2022 return

Rock in Rio’s return to Brazil has completely sold out, according to organisers.

The festival, which runs over two weekends from 2-4 and 8-11 September, hosts 100,000 fans per day at the Cidade do Rock and comprises 16 spaces including Espaço Favela, New Dance Order, NAVE, Uirapuru, GamePlay Arena, Rock District, Rock Street, Supernova and Route 85.

Around 1 million people registered for the chance to buy tickets. The 4 September date, starring Justin Bieber, was the fastest sellout at a record 12 minutes, followed by days headlined by Coldplay (27 minutes), Post Malone (59 minutes), Dua Lipa (64 minutes), Green Day (104 minutes) and Guns N’ Roses (285 minutes). The remaining 2 September date, topped by Iron Maiden, has also now sold out.

Rock in Rio’s most recent Brazilian edition was held in 2019, when it featured headliners Drake, Foo Fighters, Bon Jovi, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Iron Maiden, Pink and Muse.

“We’re not just talking about music, but back to life, passion, reunion. Life is much better in live. I can’t get tired of saying that. And people urge for this moment,” says Rock in Rio founder and president Roberto Medina. “If the opening of Rock in Rio was already emblematic for us, the organisation, and for the fans, who are welcomed with open arms and applauded, in 2022 emotion will not fit in our chest. It will be an explosion of happiness that can already be perceived. Thank you very much to the fans who took the time to be with us in what will be the biggest and best edition ever.”

Ticket-buyers hail from all Brazilian states along with 31 other countries, such as Canada, the United States, Israel, Chile, England and Germany.

“With each edition, we want to do more and better”

“Today, thousands of people believe in the Rock in Rio dream and dream together with us,” adds Medina. “It is for them that, with each edition, we want to do more and better.”

Launched in Brazil in 1985, Rock in Rio expanded to Lisbon, Portugal and has also staged editions in Madrid, Spain and Las Vegas, US. For the first time in the history of the brand, in 2022, the Brazil and Portugal editions will be taking place in the same year.

Organisers have marked the occasion with a special pass for fans wishing to celebrate the return of Rock in Rio on both sides of the Atlantic. For under €200, the Global Experience pass will give fans access to one weekend of the Lisbon edition and one day of the Brazil edition.

The Lisbon edition of Rock in Rio (cap. 80,000) will return after four years between 18–19 and 25–26 June, with acts such as The National, Black Eyed Peas, Duran Duran, Post Malone, Liam Gallagher, Ellie Goulding and A-ha.

Live Nation bought into Rock City – the company behind the festival – in May 2018 and increased its shareholding to a majority stake the following year.

Last year, Medina unveiled new 105,000-cap event The Town, which is scheduled to debut at the Interlagos race track in Sāo Paulo, Brazil, in September 2023.

 


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Rock in Rio founder plans new 105,000-cap festival

Roberto Medina, founder of the largest festival in South America, Rock in Rio, has announced a new event which is set to be “the biggest music, culture and art festival Sāo Paulo, Brazil, has ever seen”.

The inaugural edition of The Town will take place in September 2023, welcoming up to 105,000 people per day to the Interlagos race track in Sāo Paulo – the largest city in Latin America.

The event will involve “lots of music, lots of stages and lots of entertainment, with national and international attractions during the five days of celebration,” according to Medina.

“I love Brazil intensely,” says Medina. “And, just like Rock in Rio, The Town was born from this passion for our land, from the amplification of looking at new opportunities and from the desire that the pandemic brought me in these months of confinement to bring something new.

“It will be surprising. The entire concept was conceived based on an inspiring and cosmopolitan São Paulo, in addition to being ready to host an event of this magnitude.”

“The entire concept [of The Town] was conceived based on an inspiring and cosmopolitan São Paulo”

From next year, Brazil will host Rock in Rio (cap. 100,000) in even years and now The Town in odd years.

The Brazilian edition of Rock in Rio will be held between 2–4 and 8–11 September 2022 at the Olympic Park in Rio De Janeiro, and will be headlined by Justin Bieber and Demi Lovato.

The Lisbon-based edition of Rock in Rio (cap. 80,000) will also take place next year (18–19 and 25–26 June), with Foo Fighters, The National, Liam Gallagher, Duran Duran, a-ha, Xutos & Pontapés, Bush and Post Malone all confirmed.

The Brazil and Lisbon editions of Rock in Rio were called off in 2021 and 2020.

Rock in Rio is majority-owned by Live Nation after the entertainment giant increased its shareholding in the company, in 2019.

 


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Festival Fever: what’s in store for summer 2020

Continuing the series of 2020 line-up announcements, IQ has a look at what organisers of Parklife, OpenAir St Gallen, Rock in Rio Lisbon, Colours of Ostrava, Download Japan, Wireless Festival and Roskilde have up their sleeves for 2020.

(See the previous edition of Festival Fever here.)

 


Parklife

When: 13 to 15 June
Where: Heaton Park, Manchester, UK
How many: 80,000

The line-up for Manchester’s Parklife festival was announced earlier this week, with a mixture of major hip-hop, electronic and pop acts topping the bill.

Tyler the creator, Carl Cox, Jorja Smith, Hot Chip, Giggs, Bicep, Four Tet and Roisin Murphy are among artists performing on the Saturday, with Khalid, Skepta, Lewis Capaldi, Anderson Paak, Robyn, Peggy Gou, Eric Prydz and Nina Kraviz leading the charge on Sunday.

Co-founded by Sacha Lord and Sam Kandel, who also started the Manchester-based Warehouse Project club nights, Parklife is majority controlled by LN-Gaiety, following a 2016 deal.

Tickets for Parklife 2020 are available here, priced at £125 for a weekend ticket and £95 for a day pass.

A mixture of major hip-hop, electronic and pop acts top the Parklife 2020 bill

OpenAir St Gallen

When: 25 to 28 June
Where: River Sitter valley, Saint Gallen, Switzerland
How many: 30,000

Switzerland’s OpenAir St Gallen is entering its 44th year in 2020 and its first as part of the newly formed powerhouse Gadget abc Entertainment Group AG, in which CTS Eventim acquired a majority stake last week.

This year’s festival will see performances from Twenty One Pilots, the Lumineers, Alan Walker and Of Monsters and Men, as well as German acts AnnenMayKantereit, Kontra K and Deichkind.

OpenAir St Gallen received the green operations award at the 2019 European Festival Awards, with Wepromote – the joint venture between OpenAir St Gallen, Gadget Entertainment, Incognito Productions, wildpony, SummerDays Festival, Seaside Festival and Wepromote Live – taking home promoter of the year.

Tickets for OpenAir St Gallen 2020 are available here, priced at CHF 239 (£188) for a four-day ticket and CHF 77 (£61) for a single day.

Switzerland’s OpenAir St Gallen is entering its 44th year in 2020

Wireless Festival

When: 3 to 5 July
Where: Finsbury Park, London, UK
How many: 50,000

Festival Republic’s Wireless Festival is returning to London’s Finsbury Park this summer for three days of urban music, headlined by ASAP Rocky, Skepta and Meek Mill.

Within a day of announcing the line-up, all weekend tickets and single Friday and Saturday tickets had sold out.

Other artists performing at the event include Quality Control Takeover, DaBaby, Roddy Ricch, AJ Tracey, Aitch, Burna Boy and Young Thug.

The line-up announcement for Wireless’ flagship UK event came days after the billing for its German edition was revealed. ASAP Rocky will also head up the 40,000-capacity Frankfurt festival, alongside Kendrick Lamar.

Sunday tickets for Wireless London are available here for £72.50, with joint Friday and Sunday passes also still available for £137.50.

Tickets for Wireless Germany can be found here, with a weekend ticket costing €149 (£125) and a day pass priced at €79 (£67).

Within a day of announcing the line-up, all weekend tickets and single Friday and Saturday tickets had sold out

Colours of Ostrava

When: 15 to 18 July
Where: Dolní Vítkovice, Ostrava, Czech Republic
How many: 45,000

Czech Republic’s Colours of Ostrava festival is this year featuring acts including the Killers, Twenty One Pilots, Martin Garrix, the Lumineers, Sigrid, LP and Youssou N’Dour.

The festival, which takes place in the industrial area of a former mining site in the Czech city, hosts acts over two dozen outdoor and indoor stages, as well as providing a programme of cinema, theatre, literature and art.

The Colours of Ostrava team also organises the free Festival v ulicích (Street Festival) in the centre of Ostrava, and the Czech Music Crossroads, a music showcase conference

Four-day tickets for Colours of Ostrava 2020 are available here for €125.

Colours of Ostrava is this year featuring the Killers, Twenty One Pilots and Martin Garrix

Rock in Rio Lisbon

When: 20 to 28 June
Where: Bela Vista Park, Lisbon, Portugal
How many: 80,000

The Lisbon edition of Brazilian mega festival Rock in Rio added two more acts to its 2020 line-up this week, with singers Ivete Sangalo and Anitta joining artists including Foo Fighters, the Black Eyed Peas, Camila Cabello, the National, Liam Gallagher and Post Malone.

Promoted by Rock City, in which Live Nation recently upped its shareholding to a majority stake, the festival’s flagship Rio de Janeiro event hosted the likes of Drake, Red Hit Chili Peppers, Bon Jovi, Iron Maiden, Pink and Muse across two four-day festival in September and October 2019.

Last year, Rock in Rio founder Roberto Medina hinted at the possibility of launching a Chilean edition of the festival, in what would be the first expansion of the festival brand within the Latin American region.

Tickets for Rock in Rio Lisboa are available here. Day tickets cost €69 (£58) and weekend passes are priced at €112 (£94).

The Lisbon edition of Brazilian mega festival Rock in Rio added two more acts to its 2020 line-up this week

Download Japan

When: 29 March
Where: Makuhari Messe Event Hall, Chiba, Japan
How many: 9,000

The Japanese edition of Live Nation’s Download festival franchise is returning for its second outing this March, with a headline performance from My Chemical Romance.

Other artists playing at the festival include Evanescence, the Offspring, Jimmy East World, Ministry and In Flames.

The flagship UK edition of Download Festival is celebrating its 18th year in 2020, with performances from Kiss, Iron Maiden and System of a Down.

Download is also returning to Australia this year, with festivals in Melbourne and Sydney on 20 and 21 March respectively. My Chemical Romance will also head up Download down under, alongside Ministry, Jimmy Eat World and Lacuna Coil, as well as domestic acts Dead Letter Circus, Hellions and Orpheus Omega.

Spanish and French editions of the festival will not be returning in 2020.

Tickets for Download Japan are available here for ¥16,500 (£115). Camping tickets for Download UK can be found here for £250 and tickets for the Australian Download events are available here for AU$194.93 (£99).

The Japanese edition of Live Nation’s Download festival franchise is returning for its second outing this March

Roskilde

When: 27 June to 4 July
Where: Roskilde, Denmark
How many: 85,000

Roskilde Festival’s 50th anniversary edition is shaping up to be a big, with 32 more acts added to the line-up this week.

Faith No More, FKA Twigs, Anderson Paak and Kacey Musgraves are among artists joining previously announced acts Taylor Swift, Tyler the Creator, Thom Yorke Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes, Deftones and more.

“What is unique about this generation of artists is how fast they make their mark – both artistically and when it comes to drawing attention,” comments Anders Wahrén, head of programming at the Danish non-profit festival.

“Artists like FKA Twigs, Anderson Paak and Kacey Musgraves are important to music, but are also important voices for the young people too.”

Tickets for the full eight-day festival experience plus camping are available here for DDK2250 (£257).

Roskilde Festival’s 50th anniversary edition is shaping up to be a big, with 32 more acts added to the line-up this week

Summer Nights at the Bandstand

When: 30 July to 15 August
Where: Kelvingrove bandstand, Glasgow, Scotland
How many: 2,500

Regular Music’s annual concert series is returning to Glasgow’s Kelvingrove bandstand this summer for 13 nights of live music.

This year’s line-up includes performances from Rufus Wainwright, Yusuf/Cat Stevens, KT Tunstall, Van Morrison and Rick Astely, as well as a two-night run by Primal Scream.

All twelve shows sold out last year, which featured acts including Bloc Party, the National, Burt Bacharach, Father John Misty and Patti Smith. Tickets for this year’s Summer Nights went on sale last week, with the Van Morrison, Yusuf/Cat Stevens and Rick Astley shows already selling out.

“Kelvingrove Bandstand has such a fantastic atmosphere and the feedback we have had from both artists and audiences is that they have a great time just being there,” comments Regular Music director Mark Mackie. “They really are unique and special nights under the stars.”

Tickets for Summer Nights at the Bandstand 2020 are available here.

 


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Rock in Rio founder plans Chilean fest

A Chilean edition of Brazilian mega festival Rock in Rio is in the works for 2021, confirms festival founder Roberto Medina.

Rock City-promoted Rock in Rio, founded by Medina in 1985, is the second highest-grossing festival in the world and the largest in South America. Rock City, in which Live Nation recently upped its shareholding to a majority stake, also operates a sister event in Lisbon, and formerly in Las Vegas and Madrid.

The Santiago de Chile edition marks the first expansion of the Rock in Rio festival brand within the Latin American region. Medina estimates investment needed for the new festival to be “nearly $150 million”.

The four-day event is billed for October 2021, just after the flagship Rio de Janeiro festival, with “practically the same line-up”. Drake, Foo Fighters, Bon Jovi, Iron Maiden, Pink and Muse are among those playing Rock in Rio this year.

“Chile is a calm country with a stable economy, it seems like a logical step,” Medina told Chilean newspaper La Tercera. “800,000 people live in Lisbon, whereas Santiago has five million inhabitants in a country with a much bigger economy than Portugal.”

“Chile is a calm country with a stable economy, it seems like a logical step”

Medina also cites “great political and economic stability” in neighbouring Argentina as a major deterrent for a potential Argentinian branch.

“[Chile’s] proximity to Brazil is a positive,” states Medina, saying “almost 200,000 people” miss out on tickets for the Rio edition each year. Fans now have the option to attend the sister event a four-hour plane ride away. According to Medina, acts have traditionally played solo concerts in Santiago after their Rock in Rio appearance.

Medina also cites the positive economic impact the festival would bring to Santiago, estimated to be US$500 million over the four days.

Lollapalooza Chile, which has taken place in Santiago since 2011, is not viewed as competition for the Rock City festival. “The scale and approach [of the two events] are different,” explains Medina.

Rock in Rio takes place from 27 to 29 September and 3 to 6 October in Barra Olympic Park. Tickets will be available soon via Festicket.


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