If Rock in Rio USA’s previous announcements seemed underwhelming given the absence of participating names, today’s press conference hopefully gave music fans something more tangible to anticipate.
Organizers of the three-decade-old music fest—which touches down on the Strip May 8-9 and May 15-16, with six stages and unique lineups for each of the four days—released a partial list of performers during a high-profile media event this afternoon at the NASDAQ Marketsite in Times Square. One glance and it’s clear the Medina family—which includes festival founder and Brazilian advertising/media mogul Roberto Medina and his daughter Roberta, also the executive vice president of the four-city event—wants to make a giant initial splash here in the States with some of the biggest names in mainstream music.
The names revealed so far: Metallica and Linkin Park—both former Rock in Rio performers—No Doubt and country/pop titan Taylor Swift, all scheduled to play the enormous main stage. John Legend and Rock in Rio returnees the Deftones will be included among the performers for the collaboration-oriented Sunset Stage.
Rock in Rio USA’s Twitter feed also announced that there was “a lot more to come tonight” at Times Square. UPDATE: Brazilian metal act Sepultura performed with countrymen Les Tambours Du Bronx after the press conference, followed by a two-song concert by John Mayer. The three acts are not yet confirmed to play the Vegas event.
Six stages in total will comprise the 33-acre festival grounds partially bounded by Las Vegas Boulevard and Sahara Avenue. Part of the permanent infrastructure MGM Resorts is building to host Rock in Rio USA and other large-scale music and sporting events is the City of Rock, which will feature three streets, a Ferris wheel and permanent bathrooms.
A pre-sale is underway at Ticketmaster with options for a $298 general admission two-day and $498 VIP one-day voucher, which will be e-mailed to purchasers the week of October 13 and can be redeemed through Ticketmaster on January 15. Ticket buyers may choose which weekend or day, and are limited to eight GA or two VIP vouchers. Attendees 16 and under must be accompanied by an adult. May 8-9 will include the rock artists and May 15-16 will host the pop-oriented acts. Capacity is 85,000 a day, and organizers expect around 300,000 people total to visit the City of Rock in May.
Organizers also revealed this festival's philanthropic "social project," which they've titled "30 Years, Many Dreams." Details can be found here.