Since it took place again in Brazil, in 2011, Rock in Rio had never gone three consecutive years without a new edition in its home, Rio de Janeiro. The national version of the festival, postponed by a year because of the coronavirus pandemic, returns to the Olympic Park this Friday, with news, repeated stickers and, for the first time in its 37 years of existence, on the eve of the elections.
In the lineup, Rock in Rio brings some names closely related to the event’s own brand, such as Iron Maiden, with a well-known relationship with the Brazilian public, who once again lead the metal day. Guns N’ Roses is another one used to the festival’s stage, where it plays for the fifth time in its history, and should have a show very similar to what they did in the penultimate edition of the event, five years ago.
Coldplay, another headliner, only played at Rock in Rio in 2011, but is well known to Brazilian audiences – so much so that the band still plays eight more shows in the country after the festival. The presentation by the Brits should be marked by fireworks and pyrotechnics, in addition to a message of sustainability that marks “Music of the Spheres”, their latest album.
Among the novelties is the rapper Post Malone, successful with a trap -subgenre of rap- with a more pop feel and influences of emo and pop punk. After having Drake being the first rapper cast as the main attraction of one of the days of the festival, in 2019, Rock in Rio returns to call a name of the genre, but still has casualties.
In the same way as in the previous edition, when the rapper Cardi B canceled her performance on the eve of the event, the festival once again saw a heavyweight name in the genre have its show suspended days before. This time, Migos, a trio from Atlanta, USA, which is one of the main responsible for popularizing trap around the world in recent years, was the one who canceled – being replaced by Jota Quest.
There is also a show by Megan Thee Stallion, a rapper who was featured at last year’s Grammys, and sings on the Mundo stage, in addition to several Brazilians on smaller stages. These are the cases of Emicida, Criolo and Matuê, in addition to a series of MCs from the carioca label Mainstreet, and the first time by Racionais MCs at the festival.
Among the news are Justin Bieber, one of the great names of pop in the world, who debuts at the festival in a less celebrated phase of his career, in addition to Dua Lipa and Green Day. The Brit returns to the country much better known than when she sang here for the last time, in 2017, thanks to the success of “Future Nostalgia”, a danceable album that gives contemporary veneer to disco music and makes her show one of the most awaited of this edition. of the festival.
The American rock band, which also plays for the first time at Rock in Rio, has everything to do with the festival’s history. Established in the pop punk of the 1990s, Green Day lived the heyday of success in the 2000s, when it piled up hits on radio programming and now enjoys the wave of revival of the style of which it has become an icon. This pop punk comeback, by the way, is based on an entire day of the festival, with shows by Fall Out Boy and Avril Lavigne, in addition to the headliner.
Despite this “pop punk day”, rock is less and less present in the festival’s lineup, which bets heavily on Måneskin, an Italian band that made fame on the TV show “The X Factor” and broke through on TikTok with the hit “Beggin”. ‘”. Alok returns to the festival again, consolidating the presence of DJs on the main stage of the festival, which this year also welcomes the American Marshmello.
Rock in Rio, now with more smaller and themed stages spread across the Olympic Park, has also opened up some spaces to rhythms that historically have been left out of the lineups. In addition to attractions at Espaço Favela, such as MC Poze do Rodo, funk appears on the Sunset stage -the second largest of the event-, with MC Hariel and MC Carol singing in the show by producer Papatinho with rapper L7nnon.
Hariel, who for years has been among the most listened to artists in the country, in fact, recently criticized, in an interview with G1, what he called an “outdated view of the high echelon of music”, the “fanatical kids for everything American”. That’s because, given the numbers and popularity they have, funk artists like him could not only be more present on stage, but also more prominently cast.
Also noteworthy is the presence of a pagode performance at Rock in Rio, with Ferrugem and Thiaguinho sharing the stage at Espaço Favela. Ludmilla’s show, which ends one of the days on the Sunset stage, should also be based on rhythm, as she has been successful with the romantic sambas of the albums and shows “Numanice”.
This will also be the first Rock in Rio in history to take place on the eve of a presidential election. It is possible that the event, like what happened at the last Lollapalooza, in São Paulo, last March, will be the stage for manifestations of a political nature – both by the public and the artists. To stir up even more spirits, President and candidate Jair Bolsonaro, from the Liberal Party, will be in Rio de Janeiro between the two festival weekends for the September 7 celebrations.
Depending on the will of the festival’s organization, Rock in Rio would be limited to the reunion of the audience with their musical idols in an event of this dimension, after years of social isolation. Roberta Medina, businesswoman responsible for the Portuguese edition of the festival, said this year that “politics is done with conversation and not on stage”.
But even if the legislation in the electoral period places some impediments, such as the ban on campaigning for a candidate at an event like Rock in Rio, it is difficult to imagine that the festival will be immune to the political tension in the country on election days. Only the public and artists will be able to control the temperature over seven days at the Olympic Park.