Metallica to play US debut of Rock in Rio

Metallica to play US debut of Rock in Rio

NEW YORK - Crowd-pleasers Metallica and Taylor Swift will headline the US debut of Rock in Rio as the Brazilian festival pursues an ambitious expansion, organizers said Friday.

Rock in Rio, the mammoth music festival held five times in its namesake city since 1985, earlier this year announced that it would launch a version in Las Vegas.

Announcing details in New York, organizers said that metal veterans Metallica and country-pop sensation Taylor Swift would headline Rock in Rio USA to take place May 8-9 and May 15-16 next year.

Other big-ticket acts confirmed to perform include Linkin Park, No Doubt and John Legend, indicating that Rock in Rio USA is looking for more mainstream appeal than some other major festivals.

Roberta Medina, the executive vice president of Rock in Rio and daughter of the festival's founder Roberto Medina, told reporters that the festival would spend $25 million in a publicity campaign to promote ticket sales.

In a high-stakes move, Rock in Rio USA earlier announced that it would build its own venue called the "City of Rock" in the casino town.

The venue will be able to fit 80,000 fans and five stages. Rock in Rio USA is only planned every other year, with the complex to be used for other events at other times.

Music festivals, which have long been major summer attractions in Europe, have been proliferating in the United States and have emerged as must-do dates for many musicians both in terms of finances and exposure.

Major US festivals including Coachella, Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza are held on rented or public grounds and have focused on highlighting independent and emerging artists along with big names.

Rock in Rio has also expanded in Europe, with festivals in Madrid and Lisbon.

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