RIO DE JANEIRO – The seven-day Rock in Rio 2017 music festival in Rio de Janeiro started on Friday without missing Lady Gaga, who cancelled her performance a day before on medical grounds, and with slogans against President Michel Temer, freshly accused of corruption.
The gates of the venue, the new City of Rock at the Olympic Park, were opened to the public at 2:30 pm, nearly four hours before the first shows of the night.
The around 100,000 music fans expected on the first day hence had time to enjoy the amusement park built in the 300,000 square-meter Olympic Park, especially the Ferris Wheel, the 20-meter high zipline and the roller coaster, as well as two centers dedicated to electronic games.
An announcement on Thursday about Lady Gaga, the main attraction for the night, having to cancel her performance due to medical reasons, failed to dampen the spirit of the thousands of spectators who thronged the City of Rock.
The event’s organizers said the Queen of Pop would not be able to perform due to severe pain and would be replaced by Maroon 5, who were scheduled to perform on Saturday, and hence they will end up performing two concerts in as many days.
According to the organizers, few spectators had announced intentions of seeking a refund.
Some of the attendants, who camped since last night in front of the City of Rock, chanted on various occasions the “Temer Out” slogan, a refrain emblematic of the groups that demand the resignation of the head of State, accusing him of corruption.
The charismatic singer Ivete Sangalo, the “Queen of Axe” – a Brazilian genre derived from the carnival festivities –, the English duo Pet Shop Boys and the Australian group 5 Seconds of Summer were also scheduled to perform on the first day.