Do you want to come with us on this journey back in time? Get to know the history of Rock in Rio from its first edition in 1985.


Small pioneiros 2x

Is there a formula for setting up a music festival? Perhaps, but the fact is that Roberto Medina invented his own, and with it he held one of the biggest festivals in the world, and he did it when that dream seemed almost impossible in Brazil.

The year was 1985 and the country was undergoing major changes. After a long period under a military dictatorship, the country was beginning to take its first steps toward democracy. It was in this scenario that Rock in Rio was born. For the first time, a South American country hosted a musical event of this type.

Rock in Rio completes 32 years of history in 2017, and we will not stop there! The search for the best experiences and for an ever better festival continues!




Rock in Rio puts Brazil on the international show business circuit.

It was 10 days of music and a lot of excitement in the first City of Rock, which occupied an area of 250 thousand square meters in Rio de Janeiro. On stage - the largest in the world at the time with 80 meters of proscenium - 15 national and 16 international attractions. In the audience, 1 million and 380 thousand people. For the first time in the world the audience of a great show was illuminated. At that moment the audience began to take part in the show. The biggest music festival in the world was born there.


Record of audience in the biggest stadium of the world.

The second edition of Rock in Rio in Brazil transformed the world's largest football stadium - Maracanã - into a gigantic spacecraft: three thousand reflectors illuminated the stadium, of which 480 were plane lights strategically positioned on the roof. The second Rock in Rio did not end without breaking a record. The biggest paying audience for a show so far had been for the band A-ha, on January 26, inside the festival. No less than 198 thousand people. 700 thousand people passed through the City of Rock in 9 days of festival.


More than 150 artists and 1,235,000 people in a great movement for a better world.

Conscious of the strength of the brand and its power of attraction, this year, the festival returns to the City of Rock associated with a strong social project even greater than before: in addition to the great concerts of the World Stage, it also had three tents of culture and art, with rhythms from around the world: national artists at Brazil Tent, world music at Roots Tent and lectures and exhibitions at Better World Tent.


The biggest music festival in the world crosses the Atlantic and reaches Lisbon.

For the first time in a foreign country, the success of Rock in Rio can be measured by its huge free media exposure - equivalent to USD 5.5 million, 30% of advertising spending. In the event, 9 thousand jobs were created and more than 386 thousand people passed through Rock City, which occupied the 200 thousand square meters of Bela Vista Park. The first edition of Rock in Rio Lisboa was a success and left people waiting for more.


Rock in Rio Lisboa is here to stay.

The success of the previous edition opened the doors for Portugal to host the festival again. Rock in Rio is definitely established in Lisbon and is officially held every 2 years.


Rock in Rio captivates Spanish people.

In 2008 Rock in Rio returned to Portugal, and has reached a new destination, Spain. The first Rock in Rio Madrid was dedicated to musical diversity. Among names such as Lenny Kravitz, Neil Young, Bob Dylan and Shakira, there were also local idols like Manolo García and Estopa. 

The Sunset Stage appears in Lisbon, a space dedicated to musical encounters and experimentations of different styles. The formula has proven so well that it has become a trademark of the festival and stirs the City of Rock to this day. The project "Por um Mundo Melhor” [For a Better World] has then become an inseparable part of Rock in Rio. The program donated more than US $ 700,000 to offset carbon emissions, and equipped 20 schools with solar panels.


Double dose of success.

In 2010, Rock in Rio lands in two European cities. It is the fourth passage of the festival through Lisbon and the second through Madrid. A strong line-up marks both editions. The singer Miley Cyrus took over 88,000 people to delirium on a Saturday night at Rock in Rio Lisboa. Already in the second edition of Rock in Rio in Spain, the City of Rock received Bon Jovi, Rage Against The Machine, Motörhead, John Mayer, Cypress Hill, Rihanna, among other great names in world.


Returning to its origins.

After 10 years abroad, the festival returned to Rio de Janeiro in 2011 to stay. The Brazilian public expected this for a decade and 700 thousand tickets sold out in just 4 days.

Two special moments marked this edition. One of them was the tribute show to the group Legião Urbana, which was attended by former members of the band and other leading artists. The musicians of the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra, which made thousands of people thrill at the World Stage, led the performance. Another important moment was the creation of Rock Street, a space that privileged other musical styles such as blues and jazz. The inspiration came from the mood of the city of New Orleans, with all its musicality and bohemia.


Back to the old world!

Rock in Rio Lisboa fifth edition and Rock in Rio Madrid third edition, 536 thousand people, 193 bands. These are some numbers that exemplify the great moment that the festival lived in 2012. In Lisbon, Street Dance was created, a combination of Rock in Rio with urban art. A space focused on street dancing, showing that the art and choreography of the big cities have everything to do with the festival. The Rock in Rio experience once again enchants and makes history on the European continent.


Rock in Rio for everyone.

Once again, Rock in Rio made a memorable edition in Rio de Janeiro. Tickets for all days ended in a few hours. Big names in world music made a great show at the festival, reinforcing that Rock in Rio has musical and public diversity for all tastes. The first World Stage concert in this edition was a beautiful tribute to Cazuza, a singer who made history in Rock in Rio 1985 with the band Barão Vermelho. With curatorship by Frejat, the tribute had participations of Ney Matogrosso, Bebel Gilberto, Maria Gadú, Rogério Flausino and Paulo Miklos.


Ten years of Rock in Rio Lisboa.

To celebrate a decade of Rock in Rio in Portugal, the festival put a lot of work in the line-up and the result of what happened on May 25, 29 and 30 and June 1 could only be a historical celebration. There's no other way to talk about a festival that had, for example, a Rolling Stones show featuring Bruce Springsteen. Next stop: USA.


We discovered another continent: Rock in Rio arrives in North America.

We discover another continent: Rock in Rio arrives in North America. 

In celebration of 30 years of Rock in Rio, the biggest festival of music and entertainment in the world has made two editions. In addition to having landed in the land of Uncle Sam for the first time, with 64 attractions and 4 days of festival, in the famous city of Las Vegas, Rio de Janeiro could not be left out. In the Rio edition, as a whole, 595 thousand tickets were sold, 160 attractions confirmed, and Rock in Rio Card sold out in just 50 minutes. 2015 was a special year and the 30 years of Rock in Rio were duly celebrated with congratulations at the opening of the festival, an impressive rain of fireworks and a chilling homage to deeply missed Cássia Eller.


Sustainability in Portuguese lands.

Lisbon once again is the scene of the great show that is Rock in Rio. 329,000 fans enjoyed the festival and crowded the Bela Vista Park, in the Portuguese City of Rock. With big names in the line-up like Queen, Maroon 5 and Bruce Springsteen, the seventh edition of the festival in Lisbon was a success. In addition, the Portuguese did a good job participating in the project Amazonia Live: we collected a value that would enable the planting of 40 thousand trees.






Historia em 2018

We got the most difficult. Rock in Rio provides unforgettable experiences for all audiences. On stage they have metal, pop, rock, MPB, they have it all.

Roberto Medina founder