Olá Brazil: Rock in Rio is coming to Las Vegas.
Big, BIG news for music fans and Las Vegas. MGM, with a little help from their Cirque du Soleil friends, has confirmed that the mother lode of concerts, Rock in Rio, will now have a permanent home on the strip. That’s right, the next time Beyonce gets bootylicious at the same event as Metallica, you won’t need your passport to see it.
That’s if you can get tickets of course. Last year’s 600,000 tickets sold out in 4 hours. That’s probably the reason why the powers that control the event have made the decision to expand it to Sin City.
Rock in Rio has been electrifying music fans since 1985. That’s when the genius behind the concept, Roberto Medina, constructed the first City of Rock to celebrate the end of Brazils 20 year military dictatorship. You would expect local musicians to grace the stages of that 61 acre complex during its premier year, but a lineup that included Rod Stewart, Ozzy and Queen? It was frigging amazing, and left the crowds begging for more. Since then there have been Rock in Rio events held in both Spain and Portugal.
One of the secrets to the success of Rock in Rio has been audience participation. From day one, the focus has been on the fans with an innovative lighting system that is trained on them, making them just as much a part of the show as the performers. At that very first event, Freddie Mercury conducted the entire audience as if they were an orchestra after they impressed him with their impromptu chorus during “Love of My Life”. Since then, there is never an act that does not incite all forms of audience participation.
So how is Vegas going to live up to this amazing reputation? By building their own City of Rock at the north end of the strip of course. And it being Vegas, expect the 40 million dollar project to be bigger and brighter than any other. This should help revive that end of town, which is also opening up the brand new SLS Hotel this Labor Day.
MGM has committed to hosting the event in 2015, 2017 and 2019 with hopes that by 2019 it will become an 8 day super fest, with one 4 day weekend dedicated to rockers and the other around pop music. The infrastructure will remain in place and available to house other concerts and sporting events when Rock in Rio is at rest. This could be the chance for Vegas to finally get a major league team of their own. Vegas Villains has a nice ring for a football team, or are we Sin City Sexsters?
Plans for the first concerts in Las Vegas are for May of 2015, but the hype has already begun. 10,000 tickets have been reserved on-line, despite the line-up not being announced yet. Expect that to happen in September, where a major promotional event for the venue will be held in New York’s Time Square. Tickets will officially go on sale in January and there is little doubt that they will break last year’s record time for selling out.
Mark your calendars and make your plans early. May 2015 is going to be a huge month for Sin City. With this type of major musical theatrical hell, anything imaginable event only happening once every two years, you don’t want to miss out on your chance to be a part of it.