Live Nation Entertainment today announced that it is expanding its presence in South America by acquiring a stake in Rock in Rio, which in 2017 was the second-highest grossing festival in the world, as well as the largest music festival in South America, attended by more than 700,000 fans, according to a press release.
The legendary festival currently operates biennial events in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Lisbon, Portugal, each which span two weekends. Rock in Rio began in 1985, and has hosted 18 editions with more than 9 million attendees, with headliners including Queen, Prince, Guns N’ Roses, Sting, Neil Young, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Iron Maiden, Rihanna, Elton John, Metallica, Stevie Wonder, Shakira, Coldplay, Beyoncé, Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, Justin Timberlake, Paul McCartney, Britney Spears, Roger Waters, the Rolling Stones and more.
According to the announcement, founder and president Roberto Medina and his staff will remain key stakeholders of Rock in Rio, continuing to manage all aspects of production as well as consulting across the business.
“We are delighted to bring together the world’s biggest music festival with the largest entertainment company on the planet,” said Medina. “The partnership will generate a number of synergies that will enable the realization of even greater ambitions for Rock in Rio. We are two companies with a united global vision and the ability to achieve big dreams.”
“Rock in Rio is a marquee event which set the standard for festivals in South America,” said Michael Rapino, President and CEO, Live Nation Entertainment. “Roberto and his team have grown Rock in Rio to become a truly global event and the preeminent festival in the emerging live events market in South America. We look forward to integrating their industry expertise into the Live Nation business.”