One of the largest international music festivals comes to Las Vegas next year. What can the city expect from the inaugural Rock in Rio USA? We recently flew to Lisbon for a preview.
Expect some of the biggest names in music to perform in Vegas during Rock in Rio USA.
Can you hear the music yet? The anticipation is ramping up as Rock in Rio USA prepares to debut in Las Vegas. While this A-list-fueled music festival (which is being co-produced by MGM Resorts International and Cirque du Soleil), won’t take place until May 2015, we headed to Lisbon for a sneak peak of what’s to come.
The event—which kicked off in Rio de Janeiro in 1985 and alternates between Rio, Madrid, and Lisbon—debuts in the United States just in time for the festival’s 30th anniversary. Although the lineup for the Las Vegas stop hasn’t yet been announced, expect the same caliber of artists that performed at this year’s Lisbon festival. Think the Rolling Stones, Linkin Park, Lorde, Arcade Fire, and Justin Timberlake over four days spanning two weekends.
Of course, Sin City will make its own mark. The planned $75 million, 33-acre City of Rock venue will include five stages, a Ferris wheel resembling a roulette wheel, a zip line, a roller coaster, and three themed streetscapes. In true Vegas form, this one will be bigger and flashier than ever.
Similar to other host cities that have built a City of Rock to host the festivities, Las Vegas’ space will be a permanent, open-air venue that can host up to 80,000 guests each day. The venue is designed to hold 40,000 people during a soccer match and 50,000 for a UFC fight, in addition to countless other concerts and happenings. In comparison, the Lisbon festivities took place in the middle of the city at Parque da Bela Vista and hosted 345,000 fans throughout five days.
Based on what we saw in Lisbon, Las Vegas can expect plenty of fireworks. Attendees went zip lining over the main stage and rode the giant LED-lit Ferris wheel, which dominated the City of Rock’s skyline and served as the beacon of the festival. The space also featured a faux cityscape façade called Rock Street that represented different countries. One thing's for sure: it'll be a memorable 30th anniversary.