Rock in Rio founder Roberto Medina knows a thing or two about international travel. The ad man started the festival in 1985, when Brazil was emerging from a military dictatorship. Convincing American and British stars including Rod Stewart, James Taylor and Queen (pictured below perofmring at the festival) to play in Rio de Janeiro required months of overseas meetings. After Rock in Rio proved to be a huge success, it expanded to Lisbon and Madrid — cities Medina made a point of getting to know well. “I lived for four years in [each],” he says. “When I work somewhere I want to feel like a person who comes from those streets.” As Rock in Rio returns to its hometown later this month, Medina is looking ahead: A Buenos Aires festival is planned in 2014; next up, he says, Rock in Rio may expand to the United States. Either way, Medina will be racking up more frequent flier miles. Here, he breaks down his well-worn road habits:
I’m never without my iPad. As far as gadgets, that’s about all I carry with me.
I bought an apartment in New York, on the river — I love Chelsea — so I’ve been spending time there. Before when I was in New York I was a tourist. Now I feel like a native.
Whenever I travel it’s for work — I don’t have time to travel separately for vacation. So almost everywhere I go, I go with my wife and 8-year-old daughter.
AISLE OR WINDOW?
Aisle. My wife takes the window. If I want to look out the window, I can lean over and look out of hers.
I always take a night flight so I can sleep on the plane.
WHAT DOES IN THE AIR
I usually don’t read on the plane for leisure, or listen to music. I have to use the time to get up to date on everything for work on my iPad. There are so many things that need my attention. We have 3,000 people working for Rock in Rio — it’s a huge operation.