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Rock in Rio festival returns to Brazil after three-year gap due to Covid

Rock in Rio Festival   -  
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MAURO PIMENTEL/MAURO PIMENTEL -

Brazil

The huge 'Rock in Rio' festival is back in Rio de Janeiro after a three-year break due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

It kicked off on Friday with heavy metal bands, Iron Maiden, Dream Theater and Sepultura.

Other big names appearing will be Justin Bieber, Dua Lipa and Coldplay.

Banker, Fernanda Fernandes, is among those excited to be attending.  

"It's a fantastic experience, enjoying the moments that we have and that life gives us, we have to enjoy life," she says.

Over two weekends, global artists such as Post Malone, Demi Lovato, Camila Cabello, Green Day, Avril Lavigne and Megan Thee Stallion will perform on the two main stages.

Rock in Rio is held every two years and this one is the 22nd such event and the ninth time it has been in Brazil.

Other venues have included Portugal, Spain and the United States.

Rusbel Lara is a mechanical engineer and is also at the festival. 

"Now it's an opportunity for us to return to normal life," he says.

"To live with other human beings, with the general public, it's very nice, so the value is much greater."

Brazilian administrative assistant, Raquel Rodrigues, believes the event is a refreshing change. 

"People were very trapped inside their houses, so for us, it is very good to have a festival like this, with a structure like this, and you can go out without worrying," she says. 

This year, Rock in Rio coincides with the most polarised presidential electoral campaign, in decades, between the far-right president Jair Bolsonaro and former president Luiz Inácio Lula, who will compete for the presidency in the elections on 2 October.

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