The Rock in Rio festival will be hitting the United States for the first time on for May 8-9 and May 15-16 at the MGM Resorts Festival Grounds in Las Vegas.
Yesterday, Rock in Rio promoters revealed some of the major acts who will perform at Rock in Rio USA, including Metallica, Taylor Swift, No Doubt, Linkin Park, John Legend, and the Deftones.
The organizers of the event are working with Cirque du Soleil to build a permanent open-air “City of Rock” venue across 37 acres that will include six stages on the Las Vegas Strip. According to Rolling Stone, the “City of Rock” will include zip lines and three themed “Rock Streets” organized around the musical cultures of Brazil, the U.K., and the United States.
2015 is the 30th anniversary of the Rock in Rio festival, which launched in Rio de Janeiro in 1985 with a lineup that included Queen, AC/DC, Rod Stewart, and Iron Maiden, and later expanded to host events in Spain and Portugal. Rock in Rio is one of the largest music festivals in the world, with 1.5 million people in the first edition, 700,000 in both the second and fourth editions, about 1.2 million in the third, and about 350,000 people in each of the three Lisbon editions.
Brazilian entrepreneur and advertiser Roberto Medina created and organized the first Rock in Rio in 1985. Since then, the festival has been about expansion, and has been fueled by Medina’s unyielding desire to make the festival bigger and better.
Metallica is no stranger to Rock in Rio. Since the festival’s inception, the heaviest band of all time has headlined Rock in Rio a total of six times.
Each day’s festival will run about 10 hours total, with six stages activated amid a sea of food stations, merchandise booths, and rides. The U.S. version of Rock in Rio is expected to draw a total of 80,000 fans each day, with officials confident that they can exceed a total of 300,000 paid fans on the Las Vegas Strip during the entire four-day run.
The Las Vegas Sun reports that Metallica and Linkin Park will headline the first weekend of the festival, and Swift is set to headline the second weekend, when acts with “a more pop-like flair” will be featured. (Keeping Metallica fans far away from Taylor Swift fans — as in an entire week away — sounds like sound planning.)
Luis Justo, the CEO of Rock In Rio explained the “City of Rock” concept in detail.
“We call it the ‘City of Rock,’ and it really is that. It’s like an amusement park of music. The stars are the stars, of course, with six different stages with acts off all types. We have a full music experience and also a full experience in entertainment with the rides going on during the performances. We have street dancers, magicians and a big VIP experience for our corporate partners and guests facing the Main Stage.”
Many more acts scheduled for the 2015 Las Vegas Rock in Rio are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.
[Images via NBC and Glamour]