Inside scoop on ‘Rock in Rio’

For the first time, Rock in Rio USA has set up its infamous “City of Rock” in Las Vegas for two epic weekends of music, food and fun on 40-acres of optimized festival grounds. After partying through the first weekend, we’ve got your Vegas Insider look at what makes Rock In Rio USA a must-see music festival.

The Vibe

Non-stop entertainment in a free-flowing festival atmosphere, all-encompassing worldly exposure, modernized and composed festival experience music, music, oh, and more music.

Photo courtesy of Las Vegas Sun

Photo courtesy of Las Vegas Sun

What We Love

Rock in Rio’s “City of Rock” is, first of all, the cleanest festival you will ever go to. Built around an Astroturf and asphalt landscape, the mini city is not like your typical music mash-up in the middle of a barren field. Rather, it is a completely dust-free and environmentally-friendly site with an emphasis on recycling, always keeping the good time of every patron in mind.

Photo courtesy of the Las Vegas Sun

Photo courtesy of the Las Vegas Sun

With paved walkways that lead the crowd through the “Rock Streets” and to the main stage areas, a general flow of the 40 acres is subconsciously established in the minds of concert-goers, making this festival feel more like a permanent street fair as opposed to a stereotypical music festival, allowing us to describe the Rock in Rio experience as a “classy” one that cares about its appearance and functionality.

And to add to that, the restrooms are not port-a-pottys but actually sanitary restrooms; permanent plumbing was installed on the site making for an uncrowded, not smelly, powder room experience.

And it’s always awesome when we run into a festival with RFID technology.

When guests purchase their tickets, they are given a wristband that becomes their token for every purchase. We recommend loading up your wristband with cash prior to the festival just so you don’t have to wait in line to do so once you’re there, but if you run out of moola while in the “City of Rock,” there are various top up stations scattered around the property that allow guests to put more money on their wristbands with cash or credit cards.

Photo courtesy of the Las Vegas Sun

Photo courtesy of the Las Vegas Sun

The three main stages (Main Stage, Mercedes-Benz Evolution Stage, and the EDM Stage) are all within walking distance from each other and the performances are scheduled at staggered times so that concert-goers can catch all of their favorite bands without missing a beat. Depending on your walking pace to each stage between performances/ willingness to push through the crowd is the deciding factor between whether or not you’re front row or have to climb on someone’s shoulders. That means we all have equal opportunity to catch Taylor Swift front-row…. You know where certain Vegas Insiders will be Friday night.

Good to Know

EDM Stage photo courtesy of the Las Vegas Sun

EDM Stage photo courtesy of the Las Vegas Sun

We definitely recommend mapping out your parking plan before you get into your car to go to the festival. There are many places where you are able to park but it may be an adventure actually getting to the festival grounds so be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes.

And since you will presumably be walking around all day, you will definitely get hungry and that is a really good thing. When hunger strikes (or even if you’re on lunch number three), you will want to eat in the “City of Rock” considering the vendors are delicious. From Rollin Smoke Barbeque to traditional pizzerias, this is definitely a place to check your diet at the door because there is some serious eating to be had. And on the same note, since this is a cashless event, we suggest that you bring one dollar bills for tip money or ask the vendor if you can tip off your RFID band (offered at some booths) because tipping is the friendly thing to do and you will feel like a remorseful ass with a deserved sense of guilt if you do not throw a couple extra bucks their way. But you don’t have to tip… your choice.

Photo courtesy of the Las Vegas Sun

Photo courtesy of the Las Vegas Sun

Aside from food, there are also merchandise vendors like the Vegas-centric apparel booth, Original Vegas, on Rock Street UK with one-of-a-kind Vegas tees as well as a central Rock in Rio merch setup in the center of the festival grounds to serve your festival memorabilia needs.

Insider Tips

Make sure that you keep track of your spending because you do not want the miserable fate of the one who stands in line for a beer for 10 minutes in the sweltering Vegas heat only to realize that you do not have the means to quench that insatiable thirst. OK, so it’s a bit exaggerated but this scenario nonetheless sucks. However, should this happen to you, go load up your wristband and then track down one of the roaming beer men (as we like to call them). With a keg strapped on their back (where the hell were these when we were in college?), these guys make their way through the masses to quench the thirst of patrons who just don’t have the patience for the lines.

Photo courtesy of the Las Vegas Sun

Photo courtesy of the Las Vegas Sun

But even though most of the food and drinks will cost you, there is not a fee to ride the gigantic Ferris wheel or the zip line that stretches across the Main Stage crowd and since both of these things are obviously really fun… you should check them out.

If you’re totally not down to walk to the festival grounds from an off-site parking spot, you may want to consider just booking a hotel room at the Circus Circus for the evening. Not only will this grant you access to the hotel guest parking (a winning reason in and of itself), you will also have the freedom to party without having to worry about driving home later on. In our opinion, this is an affordable and smart way to really enjoy your Rock in Rio experience with fewer lines and time wasted getting from point A to point B.

Photo courtesy of the Las Vegas Sun

Photo courtesy of the Las Vegas Sun

Oh and also, don’t expect stellar cell/wifi service and if you for some reason need stellar cell service, you may want to bring your satellite phone to fulfill your Instagramming/ tweeting needs. Even though we hope you can take a slight break from incessantly tweeting your every waking move (because the festival is just too much fun to let pass you by), if you are completely addicted to your phone, 1) you should totally tag us using the following: @vegas.com, #RockinRioUSA and 2) know that you may be prone to a panic attack when your tweet on Taylor won’t send because the service is not exactly the plugged-directly-into-a-reception-tower-type of quality.

Oh and this is a family event so just keep that in mind and just at all times try to avoid being “that” guy or girl.

The “Things-Your-Mother-Totally-Would-Have-Brought-in-a-Fanny-Pack-That-you-Wouldn’t-Think-to-Bring-But-You-Probably-Should-Just-in-Case” List:

  • Sunscreen
  • Light sweatshirt
  • Earplugs
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Tip money
  • A couple Band-Aids… for blisters… it happens
  • Portable phone charger
  • Sunglasses
  • Beer Koozi (If your mom packed this… we like her thinking)

Comments

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!