The Brazilian import Rock in Rio celebrate its 30th year of existence and setting up for the first time on American Soil last May 8 and 9 (rock), and 15 and 16 (pop), in two separated full weekends of fun and a first-of-its-kind event with the world’s biggest stars like. The headliners included Metalica, Taylor Swift, No Doubt, John Legend and Bruno Mars as well as Brazilians stars such as Ivete Sangalo and Pepeu Gomes, and the Heavy-Metal band Sepultura.
The festival took place at the 40 acre MGM Resorts Festival Grounds on the north end of the strip and have attracted thousands of music fanatics from many cities of U.S as well as Brazil. Sonaria Curtis, who was in the pop weekend of May 15 and 16 with her friends Mariza Montoya, Valquiria da Cunha, Valeria Ruggieri and Ana Massete, all Brazilians living in Los Angeles, said “The Rock in Rio was fantastic! It was a pleasure to my senses, the colors, the sounds, and the variety of activities …wow! Had such an amazing time with my friends! Besides the Brazilian acts, Bruno Mars was my favorite. He and his band were incredible! Magic, John Legend and Big Sean were great too. Great bands and no stop fun…can’t wait for the next Rock in Rio USA!”
The festival, in addition to the star-studded lineup, had its “own” city” with three thematic “rock streets” that had captured the culture and sound of Brazil, the U.K and the United States with extra live music and performers. Other attraction of the festival was the 64-foot-tall zip line that stretches 600 feet in front of the festival’s main stage, and a colorful Ferris wheel.
For Patricia Barretto who lives in San Diego, the first Rock in Rio USA was quite an interesting experience. “As a Brazilian myself, I must confess I missed a bit more of Brazil within the City of Rock. Aside from the one of the corners or one of the “rock streets” featuring live Brazilian Batucada and Capoeira, I got the feeling most people there didn’t know this is an originally Brazilian music festival”.
The first day for of the second weekend, or the pop weekend, was the day with more Brazilians as it featured the Brazilian axe music star Ivete Sangalo. She opened the main stage at 5pm, but didn’t attract much people in general. Maybe for the reason that she was the first singer and performing at 5pm, but the loyal ones were there enduring the sun, happily reviving the good old Axe times.
Patricia Barretto, who is a native from Recife, state of Pernambuco (Brazil) have found fellows from her state in Brazil that came from other U.S cities and even Brazil. The Pernambucana have added “Ivete Sangalo is a true muse and will never lose her royalty, no matter where she sings. Although she left a lot of the carnival hits out of her line-up, I definitely appreciate when she ended her show with one of her biggest hits from over 15 years ago. It brought us Goosebumps and some tears of joy. It was definitely worth it the price paid and in my humble opinion, she was much better than the main attraction that night, Taylor Swift”.
Cecilo Dantas, a resident of L.A and a native from Itabuna, Bahia/Brazil, went with his daughter. On the Monday after the first Rock ‘n Rio weekend, he read some negative feedback in the L.A Times editorial. After reading the negative LA Times, he disagreed and commented, “The festival was unique and I can even say well organized, considering that it was the first time in U.S. I have heard American friends speaking very well about the event in general and that was a pleasure experience for them”. For Brazilians like Cecilio, Sonaria and Patricia, the experience was fantastic. They also had the chance to get to know many unknown artists such as the band Terra Celta, an Irish band made up of only Brazilians from U.K. and that played “Forro”.
The “Street Brazil” had inclusive a Brazilian Culinary representation with the presence of Aline Spellmeier from San Diego and her Do Braza “Lanchonete” that served the Brazilian delights such as the Coxinha. The Rock in Rio Festival as the pernambucana Patricia Barretto said had all the ingredients that a music festival should have: diversity, quality music and fun.