The Latest From Rock in Rio USA’s City of Rock in Las Vegas

The Rock in Rio USA music festival is just around the corner. One of the biggest music festivals in Vegas history happens May 8-9 (rock weekend) and May 15-16, 2015 (pop weekend).

There’s been a flurry of activity at the event’s City of Rock site, and we got all up inside Rock in Rio’s business for some fresh pics.

First up, the festival’s zip line tower has been built. It’s an impressive, free-standing structure with several launch platforms (only one is likely to be used for the May event). We’re calling the tower five stories up, accessible via a spiral staircase.

Rock in Rio zip line
Guests will fly over the crowd in front of the festival’s main stage.

Another striking new feature at the Rock in Rio USA site is a spiderlike EDM stage.

Rock in Rio USA
It would be more accurate to say the EDM stage is “insectlike.” Insects have six legs. Spiders have eight. You know it’s a bad sign when our photo captions are even boring to us.

We’ve shared some shots of the festival’s massive VIP tent, but that doesn’t preclude us from sharing another.

Rock in Rio
The tent will serve as a command center for the event, catering to VIPs, and it will also have a medical facility and media center.

The VIP tent, like many of the fixtures at the City of Rock, was shipped from Brazil. It won’t be making the trip back, though. Festival organizers are selling the tent to an undisclosed buyer for a cool half million dollars after the festival. Rock in Rio owns about a half dozen of these tents, so they’ll ship another one in for the next Rock in Rio installment in 2017. (If all goes well, the festival will expand to six days in 2017.)

Here’s a look inside one small portion of the VIP tent. Overall, the VIP tent is in the neighborhood of 40,000-square-feet.

Rock in Rio
The Rock in Rio USA VIP tent is quite an architectural wonder. This is the lower level, a series of spaces for a variety of uses, many of which we could specify were it not for the fact we forgot to ask for specifics.

Those with the bucks to be in the VIP area are in for a treat. Along with the live performances, they’ll have an open bar and catering by none other than Wolfgang Puck.

Rock in Rio’s main stage is a sight to behold. Which is generally what people do with sights, we get that.

The main stage is flanked by giant metallic sheets which, if positioned correctly, will act as reflectors, turning anyone in their wake into ash. Or something.

Rock in Rio USA
We totally weren’t kidding about the reflective quality of those metal pieces. Oh, the stories we’ll tell.

Several smaller stages dot the festival site. Should be an interesting feat of audio technology balancing the “bleed” from one stage to another. We have no idea if that’s an actual term, but if not, it should be.

Rock in Rio
Here’s another Rock in Rio stage. We’re pretty sure this is the Sunset stage.

One of the more visually appealing elements of the Rock in Rio USA site is the collection of facades making up three themed streets, Rock Street USA, Rock Street UK and Rock Street Brazil.

Rock Street UK
We’re going with Rock Street UK on this one.

The themed streets will be where all the retail happens at Rock in Rio USA. An interesting aspect of the retail concessions (bars, restaurants and merchandise) is they’ll be completely cashless. Festival-goers will use their RFID bracelets not only to gain entry to the event, but they’ll also be part of the cashless payment system, being referred to as “Rock Cash.” Get details.

Cashless payment devices help avoid headaches of cash transactions at a busy event, and it’s a dream for event organizers, including the fact people spend 15-30% more when they use cashless devices. Read more.

Rock in Rio
All the facades were shipped in, and from the great shape they’re in, we’re guessing Rock in Rio organizers spend a metric ass-ton on packing peanuts.

The sense you get at the Rock in Rio USA site is these people know what they’re doing, and they’ve thought of everything.

Rock in Rio USA
How awesome is it that City of Rock has a building with an ironic hipster mustache?

Among the things we never would have thought of are “delay towers.” Delay towers ensure sound coming from a particular stage can be heard throughout the venue at a high sound quality. Rock in Rio USA is all over it.

Rock in Rio USA
Delay towers must be placed in exactly the right spot based upon the speed of sound, or C = 331.45 + 0.597t. Yes, we knew that off the top of our head.

Yet to appear on the site is the massive Ferris wheel. It’s the same portable Ferris wheel being used at another music festival, Coachella.

Rock in Rio USA has the makings of a music festival unlike anything fans have experienced in Las Vegas.

Here’s the full Rock in Rio USA line-up, and enjoy more photos from the City of Rock site on the Las Vegas Strip.

Rock in Rio USA's City of Rock