Rock on with Rock in Rio USA

Oh, so you like Coachella? Or perhaps you’re more of an EDC fan? OK, we got it, you’re a Bonnaroo groupie. Well hey, no need to confine your music motives to one festival because right here in Vegas, for the first time ever, Rock in Rio USA is setting up their infamous “City of Rock” for what could be the most epic two weekends in Las Vegas’ music festival history.

Tracing the festival’s roots back to the mid ’80s when Rock in Rio kicked off in Brazil, the music festival that was developed by Roberto Mendina (aka The Wizard of Rock) with the concert-goers’ creative exploration in mind, has played to more than 7 million – 7,451,600 people to be exact – throughout its 14-festival history and caters to just about every music taste imaginable.

Rock in Rio Main Stage under construction

But, this is definitely not your typical music festival. Sweep away the images of dusty, dirt fairgrounds and barren, middle-of-nowhere, I-hope-at-least-Siri-knows-where-I-am-type music fest images from your head and replace them with a dust-free AstroTurf dreamland with paved walkways to make a cohesive festival site that actually makes sense. Let’s be honest, you know a festival is legit when 500 actual restrooms have been built with actual flush-able plumbing just for the comfort of the festival’s guests. (Oh, and the VIP restrooms have TV monitors in the stalls so that no moment of the entertainment experience can be missed.)

Detail-obsessed for the enjoyment of each visitor, the 37-acre lot has been transforming into Rock in Rio’s City of Rock since late last year. It’s prominently situated across the street from the SLS Hotel and Casino and right next to Circus Circus. Currently under construction, this epic festival ground is unlike any other music festival site you’ve experienced, or will experience, for that matter.

The festival, which has featured an impressive spectrum of mega-stars including Ozzy Osbourne, James Taylor, AC/DC, Queen (basically a large portion of music’s Hall of Fame), features

three stages among three constructed streets that give visitors the all-encompassing, sensory experience that they are actually in that specific part of the world.

Rock in Rio Rock Street Brazil under construction

In addition to taking in more than 15 shows per day (with an incredible lineup that includes Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars and Metallica, to name a few) that are performed on the Main Stage, the Mercedes-Benz Evolution Stage and the EDM Stage, guests will also experience music by “street performers,” food and shopping unique to the cultures of the USA, the UK and Brazil to give guests the true feeling of each respective Rock Street culture.

But wait… there’s more. Other (free) attractions in the City of Rock include a zip line that not only offers a bird’s-eye view of the festival to flyers but sends them on a flight directly above the Main Stage crowd for a memorable experience. But, if you’re not exactly the thrill-seeking type, the massively tall Ferris wheel that has been at the Rock in Rio festivals in Lisbon, Rio de Janeiro and is another attraction

Rock in Rio Rock Street USA under construction

(albeit less adrenaline-spiking) that will offer guests a spectacular way to take in the festival’s sights.

OK, so now you are kind of in the know about what you can expect of the music-minded mini-town but even for the most seasoned of music festival goers, we have listed for you a few things that you definitely need to know as well as some other things that we just wanted to remind you of to ensure your Rock in Rio experience is nothing less than absolutely rockin’.

Insider Tips for Rocking Rock in Rio USA:
A complete list of things that you can and cannot bring to the festival can be found on the Rock in Rio USA website but us Vegas Insiders are here to tell you things that will possibly prevent you from dying (heat stroke is a real thing, folks) because we have successfully survived the satanic heat of Sin City’s less-than-breezy (OK, just effing hot) summers. So, without further ado, here are some tips that are just general festival reminders and also ones that will keep you alive and rocking:

Rock in Rio Rock Street UK under construction

1. Check your douche bagginess at the door. No one likes a jerk at a festival.

2. This is the only time you’ll hear us say this but, Crocs are a way better idea than heels. High heels are a terrible idea and running shoes, Crocs and flops are your ticket to blister-free bliss.

3. Sunscreen (non-aerosol). If you need an explanation, well, have fun turning into a crispy-soon-to-be-peeling-uncomfortable-sun-sponge and then drowning your sorrows in a tub of aloe vera.

4. Don’t forget your sunglasses and hats.

5. Alcohol is super fun, but the only thing that keeps it super fun is remembering to drink water (and lots of it… like lots. of. it.) so that you don’t end up face down (and barfing) when Taylor Swift finally takes the stage.

6. Plan your day ahead of time. And bonus points if you download the Rock in Rio mobile app that includes a map of the fairgrounds . The City of Rock is open from 3 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. and there is so much to do in see in the City of Rock that in order to make the most of your day, you’ll want to think about it ahead of time. There will be more than 15 shows each day but the concert schedule is planned perfectly so that you can enjoy the attractions and the concerts… IF you plan wisely.

7. If you just want to see the main performers, it is alright to arrive later in the day around 5:30 when the headlining performances begin.

Rock in Rio festival grounds under construction

8. You can only leave the festival grounds and be re-admitted one time per day. But why would you want to leave anyways? Everything you could possibly want has been built into the City of Rock.

9. Water. Drink it.

10. Deodorant is a fun thing to use also. Why? It is going to be really hot and thus decently sweaty and probably smelly. Still confused? Please refer back to tip No. 1.

11. Rock Cash is the City of Rock’s only form of currency. To use this, you will need to “load” your RFID wristband with money prior to the festival and if you run out of Rock Cash during the festival (or you didn’t load up prior), there will be Top Up Stations within the City of Rock where you’ll be able to add money back onto your RFID wristband with cash or a credit/debit card payment. Totally cool.

12. You’re not allowed to bring outside food or beverages into the City of Rock but there will be so many delicious food and bevy options that you will be happy that you get to eat, drink and be merry within the festival grounds.

13. Even though it is hot during the day, it will cool off at night so it would be wise to bring a light sweater to coddle you during the wee hours of the breezy evening/morning hours.

14. Map out your arrival plan. This includes parking and getting to and from the festival. You will be happy you did this ahead of time so that you can enjoy yourself a whole lot more the days of.

15. Meet new people, dance, play, eat, drink, wear sunscreen and have the best time ever… that’s mandatory.



Trading one desert for another, I moved to Las Vegas from Arizona nearly three years ago. It was something about the sparkling lights and the all-encompassing entertainment factor that persuaded me to swap cacti for casinos and dry heat for well…even drier heat. And while I do love a good show, I will always keep true to my country girl ways seeing that I am an absolute sucker for a good country concert and will always indulge the opportunity to go out country dancing! But in a city that undoubtedly has some of the world’s best cuisine, a wild assortment of endless experiences, and of course phenomenal shows, Vegas certainly has that unparalleled good time vibe that can make a city slicker out of just about anyone… including myself!