MGM Resorts International and the organizers of Rock in Rio USA announced additions to the music festival’s lineup Monday and offered a glimpse of what to expect when the event comes to Las Vegas next year.
Bruno Mars and Ed Sheeran will join Taylor Swift, Metallica and No Doubt performing on the main stage during the festival, which takes place May 8-9 and May 15-16. Singer Joss Stone also is slated to perform.
The announcement and debut of the festival’s look came complete with a magician, tap dancers, a fire-thrower and musical acts performing in front of building facades resembling streets in the United States, Brazil and the United Kingdom.
Luis Justo, CEO of Rock in Rio, says the festival is intended to be an “immersive” experience. A Ferris wheel and 64-foot-high zip line are also planned for the site. “It’s like an amusement park with a lot of different attractions,” Justo told Billboard in April. “More than the talent itself, the experience that the crowd has at Rock In Rio is really different.”
The venue will accommodate 85,000 general admission ticket-holders each day and 4,000 VIPs, organizers said. A pre-sale last month attracted ticket-buyers from 32 different countries, Justo said.
The 37-acre open-air venue stretching from the corner of Las Vegas and Sahara boulevards next to the Circus Circus Resort is being built by MGM Resorts in concert with Cirque du Soleil and The Yucaipa Cos. investment firm.
Billboard last year exclusively revealed details of the Rock in Rio leg in Las Vegas. At the time, Rock in Rio founder Roberto Medina said that 2015 event would aim to pull in an audience of 80,000 each day, and a future Vegas date envisioned for 2017 could expand to six days.
When Rock in Rio and its “City of Rock” street facades leave after next year’s shows, the venue will be used for other concerts, food festivals and sporting events year-round, said Chris Baldizan, senior vice president of entertainment for MGM Resorts.
Since being founded by Brazilian entrepreneur Roberto Medina in 1985, Rock in Rio — which outs itself as the “World’s Biggest Music Festival” — has been staged 14 times in Rio, Madrid and Lisbon to more than seven million music fans. This year’s five-day event in Lisbon, Portugal boasted sets by the Rolling Stones, Ed Sheeran, Lorde, Arcade Fire, Justin Timberlake and Linkin Park. Other past events have featured such marquee acts as Beyonce, Bruce Springsteen and Iron Maiden.
“This is a monumental task,” Baldizan said of turning the large swath of dirt into an outdoor entertainment venue in Vegas.
Tickets are expected to go on sale in January. For more information, visit www.RockinRio.com