It’s time for Rock…in Rio!

By 05 September, 2010

After ten years Rock in Rio festival is back to the city that gives name to the event. In the last decade, Madrid and Lisbon had the privilege to have their own editions of one of the biggest music events in the world. Now, it is time again for Rio de Janeiro to host the 4th edition of Rock in Rio festival in 2011, as recently announced by businessman and creator of the festival Roberto Medina and Rio’s mayor Eduardo Paes.

Rock in Rio 4 will take place in the West Zone of Rio, in Jacarepagua in a complex known as Parque Olimpico Cidade do Rock (or Olympic Park City of Rock). The city council will invest 34 million dollars to build this new entertainment complex. The idea is that the facility will not only be used for the festival, but also maintained as a park for the athletes that will be competing in Rio’s 2016 Olympics.

Medina and Paes have both agreed that the “City of Rock” will, from now on, host Rock in Rio every two years. The idea of putting Rio back “on the map” of big music and cultural events comes together with the new role that Brazil seems to be playing in the world, as one of the most exciting developing countries.

The next 2014 FIFA World Cup will be in Brazil and Rio de Janeiro will be the main host city of the event. Moreover, the 2016 Olympics are going to be in Rio, which means that following a period lacking big investments in infra-structure, both authorities and businessmen seem to be working together for a common goal: to make the city ready to receive big events and have – again – Rock in Rio as part of Rio’s official party calendar.

The festival will last for seven days. However, Rock in Rio 4 will be happening in two different weekends; a change from previous schedules. The first part of the event will be between the 25th and the 27th of September and the second part will go from the 30th of September to the 2nd of October of 2011.

Roberto Medina also announced that the festival will have a democratic range of music genres, ranging from pop to heavy metal. As some of the finest Brazilian pop artists like Ivete Sangalo, Marcelo D2, Seu Jorge have already confirmed that they will be playing at Cidade do Rock next year, Medina is still working behind the scenes trying to attract some of the biggest stars of international music. Names like Lady Gaga, Shakira, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Guns n’ Roses and Iron Maiden have been mentioned by Brazilian media as some of the potential line-up to feature at Rock in Rio 4.

Despite Brazil may be known as the land of samba, rock and roll always had – and still has – a very important role on Brazilian music and culture. Having witnessed firsthand the true spirit of a crowd in Rock in Rio, you can fully appreciate how the artists feed from this frenzy of energy, forged by the cariocas.

The first edition of Rock in Rio happened in 1985, featuring international artists such as Queen, AC/DC, Iron Maiden and George Benson and Brazilian music legends like Gilberto Gil and Rita Lee. More than One and a half million people attended the 10 days of the festival held at Cidade do Rock, a complex that was specially built for the event.

Queen at Rock in Rio in 1985

Six years later, in 1991, at the world famous Maracana stadium, Rock in Rio 2 took place. More eclectic than the first edition, the event hosted artists like Guns n’ Roses, Prince, Santana, George Michael, Run-DMC, Jimmy Cliff and New Kids on the Block.

Then, after a ten year gap, the third edition of the music festival happened in 2001, again at Cidade do Rock. More than 1,300,000 attended the week-long event that hosted international stars such as Britney Spears, N’Sync, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Guns n’ Roses, Oasis and R.E.M, as well as the best of Brazilian pop-rock, represented by Los Hermanos, Kid Abelha, Capital Inicial and Cassia Eller.

Finally, a further ten years down the line and Rock in Rio is officially back to Rio de Janeiro. The countdown has already started. On the 25th of September of 2011, the newly built “City of Rock” will – once again – be hosting this fantastic event. Thus, in the name of all music lovers and cariocas, thanks need to be said to the masterminds of the initiative that brought the festival back to its hometown: Obrigado, Rock in Rio!

Follow Sounds and Colours: Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Mixcloud / Soundcloud / Bandcamp

Subscribe to the Sounds and Colours Newsletter for regular updates, news and competitions bringing the best of Latin American culture direct to your Inbox.