Read what makes this incredible festival one for the bucket list
Steven Kline
18:05 9th May 2018

If an entire 24-hour party city could up foundations, slap on a revealing leotard and salsa off on tour, it’d be Rock In Rio. Since an entire City Of Rock was built in Rio De Janeiro to accommodate the 1.5 million people who attended the first festival to watch Queen and AC/DC in 1985, RIR has upped sticks and traversed the globe, holding festivals in Las Vegas, Madrid and Lisbon, where the 2018 shindig takes place over two weekends between June 23 and 30. Want to see how Lisbon rocks? Here’s what to expect.


A phenomenal line-up

Let’s forget for the next hundred words or so that Bastille are playing. What a phenomenal line-up! Haim bring their chart-destroying second album ‘Something To Tell You’ to the party. Katy Perry heads up the pop day to end all pop days. The Chemical Brothers will bring a festival show as dazzling as the Rio carnival on heavy duty Vietnam combat drugs and The Killers and Muse are proven festival slayers. And all of it gender balanced too. Take that, Sheffield Sausagefest.


A dream host city

Rio is a city of extremes. Copacabana has the glamour, Ipanema the style, Sugarloaf Mountain the classic spectacle and the favelas the scary rough edges. Which is why Lisbon makes the perfect sister city for Rock In Rio – it’s all this and more. RIR takes place over subsequent weekends, with Muse and Bruno Mars headlining the first weekend and The Killers and Katy Perry divvying up the spoils on the second, giving you a whole five days between shows to roam Portugal’s cult-cool capital, from the hilltop grandeur of Jorge Castle to the gritty bar-crawls of Barrio Alto.


A Michelin-starred food market

A Portuguese culinary Michelangelo, the Michelin-starred Alexandre Silva from Time Out Market Lisbao is one of fourteen local chefs bringing their top-whack grub skills to Rock In Rio as the world renowned market transfers virtually wholesale to a 400-seat pop-up food market onsite. You may have to up your game, Pieminster.



Zipwires and pool parties

As if attempting to turn their festival into a faithful re-enactment of the average night out with Keith Moon, organisers have installed a zip-wire allowing punters to fly above the crowd at the main stage, and a pool beside the Music Valley stage hosting 90s parties and Lisbon’s hottest acts. Whether you can zip-wire straight into the pool for the full Project X effect is yet to be confirmed.


Crazy stages

The Pop District recreates classic movie scenes from the likes of Mama Mia and Mission Impossible. Rock Street Africa is so dedicated to African music it makes Damon Albarn look like a weekend tourist. The Digital Stage mixes music with video games and appearances by famous YouTubers. And some of these stages are like the Close Encounters Of The Third Kind that rocks. It’s a whole other world out there…




Rock In Rio Lisbon tickets are available from their website

Photos courtesy of Rock In Rio Lisbon; except Matt Bellamy, pictured by Emma Viola Lilja


Photo: Press