The Rock in Rio evades the election campaign and confirms its call as an evasion space | culture

For the first time in its 37-year history, Rock in Rio, Latin America’s largest music festival, took place in the middle of the campaign trail. With Brazil divided between supporters of Lula and Bolsonaro, the organization feared the politicization of the event, so much so that, days before it warned that it would not allow candidates to appear on stage, it warned artists and sponsors of the need to comply with the elections. Law. Concerns have not been confirmed. The festival, attended by more than 700,000 people in seven days, was a haven where music was the main protagonist.

The major international names of the cartel shrugged off the climate of tension that Brazil was beginning to take in, and most of the attendees were grateful: “We see things getting hotter and hotter, spirits heating up a lot, so I think this is a fun moment, I don’t think this is the best time to politicize,” said Junior Souza, The public official from Brasilia who was crazy about indulging in the Dua Lipa party, Sunday night, “But any demonstration is correct, I wouldn’t criticize it.”

Shortly before the British singer took to the stage, Brazilian Yvette Sangalo made a long-awaited hidden political statement. After criticizing the guns and giving a speech in favor of diversity and freedom, he declared: “A new comer (…) On the second (October, the date of the first round) we will change everything!”. It wasn’t easy for the artist who, despite being one of the country’s most beloved, had been criticized for a few years for being politically non-central.

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In fact, it was one of the few speeches of a political nature, and the rest were rather subliminal messages: Lyudmila, at a welcoming concert, in which she claimed the title “Queen of the Slums”, had time to save patriotism. The Brazilian team’s shirt, which the Right has taken over in recent years and asked the audience to “make the elle”, is a hand gesture with which they declare their support for Lula. Regardless, and from the lyrics of the most critical artists such as rappers Emicida and Racionais, the politicization of the festival remained in the songs of “Fora Bolsonaro” or “Lula, Lula”, which was already expected in the large gatherings of pop or MPB (folk music) Brazilian).

The festival will be remembered with concerts such as Coldplay, which formed a sea of ​​colorful lights distributing LED bracelets to its fans, despite disturbing the rain, or Green Day, which was among the top pop rock performances. Justin Bieber’s semi-messian look was also widely celebrated, following intense rumors that he was about to cancel the concert. Others were rather lackluster: Axl Rose came to apologize for Guns N’ Roses’ improved presentation and Avril Lavigne had voice problems.

For many of those present, that didn’t matter. The festival, which occupies the giant grounds of Rio Olympic Park, is also a great amusement park in which sometimes concerts seem just background, background music. A zip line in front of the main stage, a ferris wheel and roller coaster, an entire suite for video game fans and another with a Broadway-style musical show about the Amazon are just some of the hundreds of additional motivators. Event sponsors have their own stands, where youngsters like Stephanie Quintanilla have no problem waiting an hour and a half in line for a photo in the “Instagramable space” or getting a moisturizing cream as a gift. “I missed so many parties, you have to know how to run them. But that’s what I like here, you combine concerts with experiences. Little gifts are the icing on the cake,” said the beaming young woman.

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The festival, designed for all audiences and with great organization given its enormous size, is very ambitious, and the main elements of other festivals, such as alcohol, for example, are a very secondary thing. “There is no drink, there is nothing but beer,” said Natalia Reese and her group of friends. No trace of the iconic caipirinha.

Another song is What Happens Inside the huge VIP Zone, which seats nearly 3,000 people and tickets are 2,800 reais (540 euros) per night, which is just over the average salary in Brazil. However, the demand for access to this premium space is the presence of several VIP rooms within the main VIP, with varying degrees of exclusivity.

Although ordinary humans could enter the festival with food, inside the box there were people willing to pay 55 reais (about 11 euros) for a bowl of popcorn. There are not a few who get into debt or pay in installments, which is very common in Brazil, in order to live the experience. The city of Rio appreciates it. According to a study by the Getúlio Vargas Foundation, the festival creates 28,000 direct jobs and represents an injection of 1,700 million reais (about 330 million euros) into the local economy.

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