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The BBC's Robert Plummer
"The festival has already had a big impact on Brazilian culture"
 real 28k

Friday, 12 January, 2001, 21:40 GMT
Thousands flock to Rock in Rio
Festival-goers arrive at Rock in Rio
The festival is hugely popular in Brazil
Organisers are hoping that more 1.5 million people will attend the Rock in Rio festival in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil this weekend, making it the biggest musical event ever.

If their prediction proves correct, the event will beat the world record set by the first Rock in Rio festival in 1985.

Rock in Rio line up
Sting, James Taylor, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Oasis, Foo Fighters, REM, Britney Spears, Neil Young, Beck, Guns n' Roses, Sepultura
Appearing alongside local acts such as Sepultura, Nacao Zumbi and Mestre Ambrosio are international artists such as Neil Young, Oasis and Britney Spears.

Tickets cost $18, however as of Thursday, only 500,000 had been sold. Despite this, it is hoped that 1 billion people will watch the concert via pay-per-view television and the Internet.

Authorities in Rio have declared a one-day public holiday at the start of the festival, which runs from 12th - 14th and 18th - 21st January.

Prayer for peace

Five per cent of the festival profits will be donated to various charities, and the concert will open with three minutes of silence for prayer for peace.

Britney Spears
Britney Spears will appear next Thursday
The BBC's Robert Plummer says the festival has already had a big impact on Brazilian culture during its short history.

During the long years of military rule in Brazil, the very idea of a such a huge festival of rock music was almost unthinkable.

The authorities took a very dim view of rock music, which was shunned in favour of home-grown sounds like samba and bossa nova.

Cultural change

Some Brazilian musicians like Caetano Veloso were publicly booed when they dared to experiment with rock'n'roll as part of the Tropicalia movement of the 1960s.

Rod Stewart
Rod Stewart appeared at the first Rock in Rio in 1985
This changed with the return to democracy.

The first Rock in Rio festival, held in 1985, coincided with the election of Brazil's first civilian president in more than two decades.

Headlined by Queen, Rod Stewart and Yes, the first festival attracted more than 1.4 million people, more than three times the numbers that attended the Woodstock festival in the United States in 1969.

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04 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Glastonbury 2001 cancelled
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