The eyes of the world are all upon the city of Rio de Janeiro as it is a gateway for those who want to learn more about this big country and the diversity of cultures it is formed by. It is the home to major shows and is essentially known for its ability to reinvent and revisit itself all the time. This reinvention is materialized in events such as New Year's Eve, Carnival and Rock in Rio, among many others. Rio de Janeiro is a major hub of cultural production that feeds the world in many different ways. Rio’s current scenario comes as an opportunity to change, believe and reinforce that hope helps us move on.
Public and social policies will be pointless unless the communities are urged to be part of the process, respecting the environment and the culture where they are immersed in. In the 2017 edition, on the first day of Rock in Rio, a shooting in Rocinha got all the population scared. And so, a light shined inside the biggest music and entertainment event on the planet. At that moment, all the attention was drawn into those communities in an effort to bring out all their creative potential.
The slums – or favelas as they are known – are a fundamental part of the city. Now, Rock in Rio wants to make a move as it has created the Espaço Favela, a new area in the 2019 edition. With a colorful and playful scenario, the space will incorporate the full potential of the creative economy that lies within the communities through dances, music and all the cultural actions that are typical of slums. The City of Rock will embrace the customs, the bars and the delicacies of that culture.
“Rock in Rio is more than a festival, it is a platform of communication that will give a voice and space and shed light upon the communities. At this crucial moment, it is extremely important to show that favelas can be a source of talent. Statistics show that 45% of the population of the communities are entrepreneurs (they run their own business). The curating work we are performing in the favelas include genuine high quality content and shows that these communities have incredible potential to be with us in City of Rock. It is not about affirmative actions, but about discoveries and visibility to top talents. We will give visibility and boost the career of these professionals”, says Roberto Medina, president of the event.
Espaço Favela will be dynamic and will feature many attractions all day long. The lineup will include bands from communities, each of which including a headliner and three pocket shows. A variety of music styles will be played. The drama group Nós do Morro is preparing a great show where 40 artists will take over the stage for a dance, music and drama presentation. Three performances will keep the audience busy every day. The last one will turn Espaço Favela into an authentic baile charme ball, and the audience will be invited to join in. Poetry will be another highlight with the slam battles.
The way Zé Ricardo, Espaço Favela's artistic curator, sees it, Rock in Rio is another project that is looking at the communities. In his view, the talent of performers underlies the whole concept of Espaço Favela. “The favela is the birthplace of a number of impressive things. We want to show the performing bands that they can and must be there. They are powerful and just need the right timing. Because they already have a voice. The bands that will be performing are ready to show their work and we are ready to receive it. After all, a favela is much more power than weakness. Therefore, talent permeates the whole concept of it”, Zé Ricardo comments.
The surroundings of Espaço Favela will be filled with bars, serving typical food of the Rio de Janeiro’s communities.
In addition to the artistic part of it, the stage will also be an environment to boost the business of micro entrepreneurs, as the event will invest in the communities’ cooking talents. Together with Sebrae, the festival’s organizers will offer a unique opportunity for small businesses, as they will have the chance to come into contact with as many as 700,000 people at Rock in Rio. All of them will receive specific training and support to keep their business running. After the event, Rock in Rio will donate its equipment to their kitchens in an effort to keep the members of the communities to go on with their businesses.
“We recognize the talent and creativity in the businesses that of slums. Jobs are created there. Members of those communities have found a variety of ways to curb the crisis. Sebrae can offer training programs, provide them with orientation on how to set up their own business and give facilitated access to credit. One of our ideas is to introduce these micro entrepreneurs to the “fintechs”, small technology companies that can help them obtain credit”, Guilherme Afif Domingos, president of the Sebrae Nacional, claims.
On that line, Cezar Vasquez, Superintendent of Sebrae - RJ, stresses that it is becoming increasingly necessary to believe in the entrepreneurial potential of Rio's favelas. “When we join forces with strategic partners, we contribute to job creation and income generation in the communities of the seven largest cities in the Metropolitan Area of the state. We anticipate that Sebrae – RJ, coupled with Rock in Rio, will serve 10,000 entrepreneurs”.
Overall area: 800m²
Size: 50m length x 19m height
Overall weight: 15 ton (including lighting systems and sound)
Set design: More than 500m²
Light: Over 500 machines, including 82 moving light bulbs
Total shows in seven days: 28 performances