With 223 days left to go before the first North America edition of Rock in Rio descends on Las Vegas May 8-9 and May 15-16, 2015, the world’s largest music festival unveiled its headliners during a press conference in Times Square on September 26. On the roster are Metallica, No Doubt, Taylor Swift, Linkin Park, Deftones and John Legend. Former Rock in Rio performers John Mayer and Sepultura treated the crowd gathered around a stage to a live performance.
No Doubt made a special appearance at the press conference, and, judging by the excitement the band generated in the press room, their show at the music fest will surely be one for the books. Also unveiled at the announcement was a scale model of The City of Rock, which will be located on the Strip near Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard. Spread out over 37 acres, the venue will host six stages, and will be created in partnership with MGM Resorts and Cirque du Soleil.
More than 80,000 people are expected to attend each day of the four-day festival, which will span two weekends. Other attractions include a Ferris wheel that resembles a roulette wheel (in case you need a reminder that you’re in Vegas), themed rock cities (U.S., the U.K. and Brazil) and a zip line where brave attendees can soar above the crowd gathered in front of the main stage. (Think of it as an incredibly sophisticated mosh pit.) An enclosed VIP area, which can accommodate 4,000 people, is an attractive option for those who want an air-conditioned haven from the masses. Another perk? VIP passes are all-inclusive—food, drinks, the works. But fear not, general admission people: Despite the tens of thousands of attendees, Rock in Rio will have only real bathrooms. Porta-potties and rock ‘n’ roll just don’t jibe.
The Vegas edition of Rock in Rio coincides with the festival’s 30th anniversary. It was founded in 1985 by Roberto Medina, who started the fest as a way to promote Brazil in a positive way to the world. In the past 30 years, nearly 7.5 million people have attended Rock in Rio’s 14 festivals, which also take place in Lisbon and Madrid, and 1,274 artists from different genres have performed on its stages. (Learn more about Rock in Rio’s history here.)
What has made the festival special since its inception, according to Roberta Medina, vice president of Rock in Rio and Roberto Medina’s daughter, is the variety it offers. “You’re going to find heavy metal, you’re going to find pop music, you’re going to find a little bit of everything…. It’s bringing a lot of different people together who like different things, but they are there for the emotion they’re going to feel for their favorite acts … and to share [that emotion] with friends and family,” Medina says.
Rock in Rio is open to all ages, should you feel like sharing your love for Metallica with your young’uns. Tickets are $298 for a weekend pass or $498 for a VIP daily pass and are now available for presale at rockinrio.com/usa/tickets. You can choose your attendance dates during the January 12-March 12 redemption period. To give you an idea how coveted these tickets are, 2013’s 600,000 tickets sold out in less than five hours. No doubt the American incarnation will go just as fast.