Rock in Rio-Lisboa – Special Report

AN ESTIMATED 100,000 people are expected to flock to the fourth edition of one of the biggest music festivals in the world. In just eight days’ time, Paul McCartney will open the Rock in Rio-Lisboa music festival. The event, which is modelled after the original Rock in Rio held in Brazil in 1985, 1991 and 2001, promises a great variety of performers to suit every age.

Rock City

The Resident journalist, NIKKI HALL, recently visited the Parque Bela Vista in Lisbon, where the finishing touches are being put to the ‘Rock’ infrastructure. The huge space, designed for enjoyment and entertainment, covers more than 200,000 square metres and will host approximately 70 acts over 120 hours, across several stages.

The party is over two consecutive weekends, starting next Friday (May 28), Saturday (May 29) and Sunday (May 30) and continuing on June 4, 5 and 6. Not only will visitors have the World Stage, the Electronic Tent and the Roots Tent to experience, they will also be able to enjoy a ‘Radical’ area dedicated to extreme sports, the Better World debate tent and other attractions, including a food court and a mini shopping centre. All this is powered by 30 German generators, churning out a total of 10 million watts, enough to light up 50,000 homes.

Not just for fun, for charity

Organisers of the event have described the festival as “more than just a music festival – it’s a festival for peace and social movement to promote a better world”. And Rock in Rio-Lisboa has organised a series of programmes designed to improve the lives of children and youngsters. The event is expected to raise thousand of euros for the International Childreach Plan. “We have donated 250,000 euros to the charity, but we expect to raise another million from ticketing,” event organiser, Roberto Medina, revealed.

Food and drink

Food and drink can sometimes mount up to the same price of ticket entrance, if not more, at music festivals. However, the Rock and Rio organisers have promised reasonably priced food and drink, and will charge from one euro for cakes and chips to three euros for hamburgers and sandwiches and, surprisingly, 2.50 euros for a Smirnoff Ice, which is cheaper than in most bars in the Algarve.

The catering will be provided by an international food and drink company, Martinair Partyservices, who catered the Euro 2000 football tournament, and concerts by other pop stars, including Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen. It is estimated that they will provide food to around 620,000 people a day.

The ‘Rock’ site will have three big catering areas, packed with 350 bars, 150 food stalls and over a dozen food and drink stalls will be scattered throughout the site to avoid long queues. Payment can also be made with the festival’s own currency – ‘Rocks’ – representing 50 cents and one euro, which can be swapped for food and drink at special ‘Rock’ stalls.

Medical assistance

“One of the main priorities of the event is the safety and wellbeing of the visitors,” an event spokesperson revealed. There will be a mini hospital, emergency posts throughout the site and over a dozen ambulances on call 24 hours a day during the festival. In addition to visitor safety, a total of 120 teams of doctors and specialists will be allocated at the site. Each team will contain 10 doctors, one surgeon, one paramedic, 16 nurses and 22 first-aiders allocated to the hospital and emergency posts and 60 first-aiders allocated throughout the site.


The Polícia de Segurança Pública (PSP) and the Civil Protection authorities will be in charge of the public safety of the event. The spokesperson revealed that there will 1,000 officers patrolling the site and that 15 metal detectors and x-rays will be installed at the entrance. To ensure public safety, police have requested that the public leave anything sharp, from knives to tin cans, at home.


There are several ways of getting to the Rock in Rio-Lisboa site. A Carris bus service will operate from 2pm until 9pm and at the end of concerts (4am). The Metro and CP-USGL bus service will operate almost 24 hours a day (from 6.30am until 5am of the next day). The TT/Soflusa bus service will operate 24 hours a day throughout Rock in Rio-Lisboa days. The Fertagus train will operate from 6.08am to 1.23am. For a full map of transportation, go to


Tickets for the event are still on sale. You can call 707 300 707, or visit or buy them at your nearest Millennium BCP bank. For a list of performers, go to page 17 and check our festival column.