Rock in Rio USA made its official U.S. debut over the past two weekends, May 8-9 and 15-16, in Las Vegas, welcoming more than 172,000 attendees in the festival’s U.S. debut. The closing weekend, with a pop-centric lineup featuring such artists as Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars, Ed Sheeran and John Legend, welcomed 90,000 festivalgoers. No Doubt, Metallica, Mana and Linkin Park led a rock-heavy lineup that attracted 82,000 attendees for its first weekend.
“We’re absolutely thrilled with the experience of Rock in Rio USA. It was so exciting seeing the audience discovering the City of Rock and enjoying all it had to offer – from talent to attractions, food and the Rock Street’s unique atmosphere. We want to thank the US audience for welcoming us so well to the most competitive market in the world, and we are excited for what’s to come!” stated Roberta Medina, EVP of Rock in Rio USA.
Over the four days, attendees from 47 US states discovered the City of Rock; 18% of attendees traveled from 32 different countries, 30% of which from Brazil. On a survey done during the event, the public gave Rock in Rio USA a 9 out of 10, and 78% of the overall public expressed interest in attending Rock in Rio’s next edition.
“We’re absolutely thrilled with the experience of Rock in Rio USA.”
Weekend two opened with a high-energy performance by headliner Taylor Swift, delivering a string of hits including “Blank Space,” “Trouble,” “Love Story” and “We Are Never Getting Back Together.” Swift was also joined by fellow Main Stage performer Ed Sheeran for a special performance of Sheeran’s hit “Tenerife Sea.” In addition to Swift and Sheeran, Main Stage performers for the day included Echosmith and Ivete Sangalo. The Mercedes-Benz Evolution Stage also delivered a solid lineup with performances by Jessie J, Charli XCX, Tove Lo and James Bay.
Music wasn’t Friday’s only highlight; love was in the air as one festival attendee proposed to her longtime boyfriend. The surprise proposal brought on cheers from the crowd, showing on the big while the festival’s closing fireworks lit up the sky.
The final day of the festival welcomed sunny skies over the City of Rock. Bruno Mars took the Main Stage during the last performance of the festival, bringing down the house with sign-along set including “Locked Out of Heaven,” “Just the Way You Are” and “Grenade.” Additional performances on the Main Stage included a soulful set by John Legend, along with Empire of the Sun and Big Sean. The Mercedes-Benz Evolution Stage welcomed Joss Stone, Magic!, Mayer Hawthorne and Mikky Ekko for the closing date.
Weekend one included two days packed full of music with No Doubt delivering classics new and old and Metallica fans rushing in the gate to claim their spots in front of the main stage. Additional Main Stage acts for the first weekend included Mana, Linkin Park, The Pretty Reckless, Rise Against, Smallpools, Hollywood Undead and Cirque Du Soleil. The Mercedes-Benz Evolution Stage welcomed performances by Foster the People, Deftones, Gary Clark Jr., Sepultura feat. Steve Vai, Theophilus London, Coheed and Cambria, Saints of Valory and Of Mice and Men.
The three themed Rock Streets were heavily trafficked both weekends as guest experienced the best of Brazil, the U.S. and U.K. with street performances, food and unique cultural experiences. Some of the most applauded performances were Bossacucanova, the Rock Street Dance Crew and Stone the Beetles. Attractions including the zip line operated to capacity all weekend while festivalgoers enjoyed the view 64 feet high above the Main Stage.
In 2001 Rock in Rio created “For a Better World,” a social project that aims to motivate people to seek improvements in life through changes in their daily routine. Throughout the festival Rock in Rio near 4,000 pounds of food donated, which was used for more than 12,000 meals. The food was donated to Christ Church Episcopal in Las Vegas, NV.
Author: Buddy Iahn
Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.