Rock On – Rock in Rio ; 10 Vegas Thing for Your Must Do List

Rock on with Rock in Rio USA

by Haley Caldwell

Oh, so you like Coachella? Or perhaps you’re more of an EDC fan? OK, we got it, you’re a Bonnaroo groupie. Well hey, no need to confine your music motives to one festival because right here in Vegas, for the first time ever, Rock in Rio USA is setting up their infamous “City of Rock” for what could be the most epic two weekends in Las Vegas’ music festival history.

Tracing the festival’s roots back to the mid ’80s when Rock in Rio kicked off in Brazil, the music festival that was developed by Roberto Mendina (aka The Wizard of Rock) with the concert-goers’ creative exploration in mind, has played to more than 7 million – 7,451,600 people to be exact – throughout its 14-festival history and caters to just about every music taste imaginable.

But, this is definitely not your typical music festival. Sweep away the images of dusty, dirt fairgrounds and barren, middle-of-nowhere, I-hope-at-least-Siri-knows-where-I-am-type music fest images from your head and replace them with a dust-free AstroTurf dreamland with paved walkways to make a cohesive festival site that actually makes sense. Let’s be honest, you know a festival is legit when 500 actual restrooms have been built with actual flush-able plumbing just for the comfort of the festival’s guests. (Oh, and the VIP restrooms have TV monitors in the stalls so that no moment of the entertainment experience can be missed.)

Detail-obsessed for the enjoyment of each visitor, the 37-acre lot has been transforming into Rock in Rio’s City of Rock since late last year. It’s prominently situated across the street from the SLS Hotel and Casino and right next to Circus Circus. Currently under construction, this epic festival ground is unlike any other music festival site you’ve experienced, or will experience, for that matter.

The festival, which has featured an impressive spectrum of mega-stars including Ozzy Osbourne, James Taylor, AC/DC, Queen (basically a large portion of music’s Hall of Fame), features
three stages among three constructed streets that give visitors the all-encompassing, sensory experience that they are actually in that specific part of the world.

In addition to taking in more than 15 shows per day (with an incredible lineup that includes Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars and Metallica, to name a few) that are performed on the Main Stage, the Mercedes-Benz Evolution Stage and the EDM Stage, guests will also experience music by “street performers,” food and shopping unique to the cultures of the USA, the UK and Brazil to give guests the true feeling of each respective Rock Street culture.

But wait… there’s more. Other (free) attractions in the City of Rock include a zip line that not only offers a bird’s-eye view of the festival to flyers but sends them on a flight directly above the Main Stage crowd for a memorable experience. But, if you’re not exactly the thrill-seeking type, the massively tall Ferris wheel that has been at the Rock in Rio festivals in Lisbon, Rio de Janeiro and is another attraction

OK, so now you are kind of in the know about what you can expect of the music-minded mini-town but even for the most seasoned of music festival goers, we have listed for you a few things that you definitely need to know as well as some other things that we just wanted to remind you of to ensure your Rock in Rio experience is nothing less than absolutely rockin’.
Insider Tips for Rocking Rock in Rio USA:

A complete list of things that you can and cannot bring to the festival can be found on the Rock in Rio USA website but us Vegas Insiders are here to tell you things that will possibly prevent you from dying (heat stroke is a real thing, folks) because we have successfully survived the satanic heat of Sin City’s less-than-breezy (OK, just effing hot) summers. So, without further ado, here are some tips that are just general festival reminders and also ones that will keep you alive and rocking:

1. Check your douche bagginess at the door. No one likes a jerk at a festival.

2. This is the only time you’ll hear us say this but, Crocs are a way better idea than heels. High heels are a terrible idea and running shoes, Crocs and flops are your ticket to blister-free bliss.

3. Sunscreen (non-aerosol). If you need an explanation, well, have fun turning into a crispy-soon-to-be-peeling-uncomfortable-sun-sponge and then drowning your sorrows in a tub of aloe vera.

4. Don’t forget your sunglasses and hats.

5. Alcohol is super fun, but the only thing that keeps it super fun is remembering to drink water (and lots of it… like lots. of. it.) so that you don’t end up face down (and barfing) when Taylor Swift finally takes the stage.

6. Plan your day ahead of time. And bonus points if you download the Rock in Rio mobile app that includes a map of the fairgrounds . The City of Rock is open from 3 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. and there is so much to do in see in the City of Rock that in order to make the most of your day, you’ll want to think about it ahead of time. There will be more than 15 shows each day but the concert schedule is planned perfectly so that you can enjoy the attractions and the concerts… IF you plan wisely.

7. If you just want to see the main performers, it is alright to arrive later in the day around 5:30 when the headlining performances begin.

8. You can only leave the festival grounds and be re-admitted one time per day. But why would you want to leave anyways? Everything you could possibly want has been built into the City of Rock.

9. Water. Drink it.

10. Deodorant is a fun thing to use also. Why? It is going to be really hot and thus decently sweaty and probably smelly. Still confused? Please refer back to tip No. 1.

11. Rock Cash is the City of Rock’s only form of currency. To use this, you will need to “load” your RFID wristband with money prior to the festival and if you run out of Rock Cash during the festival (or you didn’t load up prior), there will be Top Up Stations within the City of Rock where you’ll be able to add money back onto your RFID wristband with cash or a credit/debit card payment. Totally cool.

12. You’re not allowed to bring outside food or beverages into the City of Rock but there will be so many delicious food and bevy options that you will be happy that you get to eat, drink and be merry within the festival grounds.

13. Even though it is hot during the day, it will cool off at night so it would be wise to bring a light sweater to coddle you during the wee hours of the breezy evening/morning hours.

14. Map out your arrival plan. This includes parking and getting to and from the festival. You will be happy you did this ahead of time so that you can enjoy yourself a whole lot more the days of.

15. Meet new people, dance, play, eat, drink, wear sunscreen and have the best time ever… that’s mandatory.



10 must dos while you’re in Sin City

by Ashley Oñoz-Wright

We get it, it’s Vegas. The land of so much to do and so little time to do it in. Everywhere you turn, there’s going to be something bright and shiny that grabs your attention. We know how many distractions there are, so we’ve gone ahead and waded through the tourist traps so you don’t have to. Here are 10 Las Vegas must dos you don’t want to miss:
“Hang out” at a toptional pool club

This one might be fairly self-explanatory but it is definitely smirk-worthy. Vegas pool clubs where you can find or be one of the bare-bosomed girls include Moorea at Mandalay Bay, Bare at The Mirage, Venus Pool Club at Caesars Palace, the Sapphire Pool and Naked at Artisan.

Food glorious food

Las Vegas is a foodie’s died-and-gone-to-heaven-dream-come-true, so bite the bullet and see what all the fuss is about. Book a fancy-schmancy dinner in one of our restaurants that are a lineup of who’s who in celebrity chefs. There are so many, it’s like reading their names out of a celebrity phone book: Andrés, Batali, De Laurentiis, Fieri, Gagnaire, Mina, Puck, Ramsay, Robuchon, Savoy – you get the picture, now make the reservation.
Take a photo at the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada sign

Created in 1959, the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign is an iconic symbol of Sin City. People once risked their lives running through traffic to pose next to the famous sign, located on the Strip near Mandalay Bay. Thankfully, a small parking lot was built next to it in 2008, transforming the sign into a tourist trap instead of a death trap. Oh, and it’s free.

Stumble through the Fremont Street Experience

A whole new meaning to “shock and awe,” the Fremont Street Experience is a lot different than you may remember it. This is the land of ultimate debauchery where the once glittery and glamorous meets the just plain weird. Lined with vintage hotels, restaurants and bars spanning the four-block corridor and covered by a giant digital screen, this downtown Las Vegas destination is the ultimate block party. There is a lot to do and see, including shopping at specialty kiosks, riding zip lines and watching free concerts and costumed buskers of various levels of sobriety.

Dance like a stripper

Las Vegas offers plenty of opportunities for the girl next door to dance like a stripper. Whether taking a stripping class like XBU – X Burlesque University or Stripper 101 or gyrating on the stripper pole in your VIP Party Bus, you too can feel the unsatisfying allure of glassy-eyed detachment and daddy issues while grinding on strangers – if only for one night.

Watch the Bellagio Fountains

One of the flagship attractions in Vegas, it’s a crazy awesome fountain show perfectly timed to 30 different songs from the Rat Pack to Celine Dion, and everyone in between. For the first time in history, the Bellagio has even added an EDM show created by DJ powerhouse Tiësto. Have you ever seen 1,214 water jets pulsate 460 feet into the air to untz untz untz? Neither has anyone else! If you really want a bird’s-eye view of the Bellagio fountain show, get yourself a pair of tickets to the top of the Eiffel Tower. You won’t be able to hear the music from the observation deck but the view is out-of-this-world.

Spring for a show

It’s no secret that Vegas has world-class entertainment. But you really haven’t experienced all that we have to offer until you’ve seen one of our shows. We’ve got what you want – from mind-boggling acrobats to big name entertainers and even a whole lot of nakedness (probably from both you and the show). If you’re one of the lucky ones who gets pulled out of the audience, you’ll even become one of the stars. Move over Broadway, ’cause our productions are unlike anything you’ve ever seen.

Jump off the Stratosphere

Conquer your fear of heights and your fear of falling while earning a ton of street cred on SkyJump Las Vegas at the Stratosphere. After suiting up in a branded jumpsuit and harness, you will ride an elevator to Level 108 of the tallest building west of the Mississippi, then step off a platform 855 feet above the Las Vegas Strip on this controlled free fall.

Enjoy a sunset gondola ride

When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie…oh sorry, don’t mind us. We’re just floating along, lost in the moonlight, enjoying an Italian serenade. Venice/Vegas same thing, right? OK maybe not. But where else can you see the glittery lights of the Las Vegas Strip in a boat? You’ve got to take a gondola ride at the Venetian at least once.

Be a rock star for a day

Unleash your inner rocker on stage with real rock musicians at Rock Star for a Day or Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp. At Rock Star for a Day you can jam with select musicians who have recorded with bands like KISS, Guns N’ Roses, Aerosmith, Heart, Mötley Crüe, YES, Quiet Riot, Bad Company and more. Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp, meanwhile, puts you in studio and on stage at MGM Grand with legendary performers like Dave Navarro, Roger Daltrey, Alice Cooper, Sammy Hagar and more. Rock on!

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