Pop greats kick off Rock in Rio music fest

Updated Sep 16, 2013 07:02pm
Thousands of people enjoy US band 30 seconds to Mars presentation during Rock in Rio music festival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on September 14, 2013. - Photo by AFP
Thousands of people enjoy US band 30 seconds to Mars presentation during Rock in Rio music festival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on September 14, 2013. - Photo by AFP
Guitar player Marco Tulio of Brazilian band Jota Quest performs during the Rock in Rio music festival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013. The week long festival will feature a list of headliners including Muse, Justin Timberlake, Metallica, Bon Jovi, and Bruce Springsteen. - Photo by AP
Guitar player Marco Tulio of Brazilian band Jota Quest performs during the Rock in Rio music festival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013. The week long festival will feature a list of headliners including Muse, Justin Timberlake, Metallica, Bon Jovi, and Bruce Springsteen. - Photo by AP
People enjoy fireworks during the show of Brazil's Capital Inicial band at Rock in Rio music festival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on September 14, 2013. - Photo by AFP
People enjoy fireworks during the show of Brazil's Capital Inicial band at Rock in Rio music festival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on September 14, 2013. - Photo by AFP
Fans cheer as French DJ David Guetta performs on the opening day of the Rock in Rio music festival, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on September 13, 2013. - Photo by AFP
Fans cheer as French DJ David Guetta performs on the opening day of the Rock in Rio music festival, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on September 13, 2013. - Photo by AFP
Thousands of people attend the show of Brazil's Capital Inicial band during Rock in Rio music festival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on September 14, 2013. - Photo by AFP
Thousands of people attend the show of Brazil's Capital Inicial band during Rock in Rio music festival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on September 14, 2013. - Photo by AFP
US singer Alicia Keys performs at the Rock in Rio Music Festival. - Photo by Reuters
US singer Alicia Keys performs at the Rock in Rio Music Festival. - Photo by Reuters
US singer-songwriter Justin Timberlake performs at the Rock in Rio Music Festival. - Photo by Reuters
US singer-songwriter Justin Timberlake performs at the Rock in Rio Music Festival. - Photo by Reuters
French DJ David Guetta performs on the opening day of the Rock in Rio music festival, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on September 13, 2013. - Photo by AFP
French DJ David Guetta performs on the opening day of the Rock in Rio music festival, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on September 13, 2013. - Photo by AFP
People arrive on the opening day of the Rock in Rio music festival, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on September 13, 2013. - Photo by AFP
People arrive on the opening day of the Rock in Rio music festival, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on September 13, 2013. - Photo by AFP
A fan slides down a zip-line as the audience attends a concert by Capital Inicial at the Rock in Rio Music Festival. - Photo by Reuters
A fan slides down a zip-line as the audience attends a concert by Capital Inicial at the Rock in Rio Music Festival. - Photo by Reuters
Florence Welch, singer of the English band Florence and the Machine, performs at the Rock in Rio Music Festival. - Photo by Reuters
Florence Welch, singer of the English band Florence and the Machine, performs at the Rock in Rio Music Festival. - Photo by Reuters
Singer Beyonce performs at the Rock in Rio Music Festival in Rio de Janeiro early September 14, 2013. - Photo by Reuters
Singer Beyonce performs at the Rock in Rio Music Festival in Rio de Janeiro early September 14, 2013. - Photo by Reuters

US diva Beyonce and French DJ David Guetta opened Rock in Rio, one of the world's largest music festivals, overnight Saturday.

Some 85,000 people are expected to show up for each day of the week-long event, which features 127 bands and artists. The opening night's main attraction, Beyonce, took the stage shortly after midnight, promising to transform the City of Rock into the City of Pop.

Justin Timberlake, Metallica and Alice in Chains are expected to join the long list of national and international stars performing at the event.

The gates to City of Rock, the festival's mega venue set to be transformed into an Olympic Park for the 2016 Games, swung open early Friday as fans raced to secure a spot.

“It was a lot of effort to get here so early, so I spent the night here,”said Roberto Graell, 32, a lawyer from the southeastern city of Minas Gerais. The Brazilian Symphony Orchestra took to the World Stage, host of the biggest shows, as viewers swayed to Beethoven's Fifth Symphony.

The orchestra continued with rock classics such as “Satisfaction” by the Rolling Stones and Queen's “Bohemian Rhapsody.”On Sunset Stage, where musicians performed between major shows, a duo of Brazilian Maria Rita and Belgian Selah Sue captivated the audience as night began to fall.

“This sound is great, and it's only here we have the opportunity to hear this music,” said attorney Carolina Maciel, 35.

Earlier in the day, before the performances, the public got another form of entertainment with amusement rides and games, including a roller coaster, bungee jumping and a climbing wall.

Rock in Rio creator Roberto Medina said he looked forward to Bruce Springsteen's show. “I'm not a groupie,” Medina insisted.

The megafestival first opened in Rio in 1985, attracting 1.4 million people. Since then, Lisbon and Madrid have also hosted the event. The festival runs September 13-22 at the huge venue. - Text by AFP


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