By Nayara Batschke
Sao Paulo, Mar 25 (EFE).- The Lollapalooza music festival brought back much-needed cheer this weekend to Sao Paulo after two years of Covid-19 restrictions, with the first day on Friday marked by festive Brazilian beats, a rock performance by The Strokes, and clear political overtones.
Lollapalooza 2022, marking a decade of the festival in Brazil, is the first large-scale gathering in the South American country since Covid-19 broke out in February 2020, resulting in over 658,000 deaths in the country, and the first major festival held in Sao Paulo since the state passed an order ending the mandatory use of masks.
On Friday morning, thousands of fans gathered outside the Interlagos motorsport circuit, excited to attend the first day of the three-day celebration in South America’s most populated city.
“I am very happy — wouldn’t have missed it for anything. It’s an immense joy to be here, finally meeting friends and celebrating music, life, after two hard and sad years,” Laura Pereira, 25, told EFE.
The first day saw performances by Brazilian folk and rock bands, along with artists and fans showing their opposition to President Jair Bolsonaro and other global figures.
Shouts of “Fuera Bolsonaro” (Out with Bolsonaro) rang out during international and local acts, such as that of Brazilian rock band Detonautas, who opened a long session that continued until the early hours of Saturday, ending with the indie rock of The Strokes.
British pop artist Marina also lashed out against Bolsonaro and Russian President Vladimir Putin in a song, receiving a standing ovation when she called for an end to the Ukraine war.
Popular local singer Pabllo Vittar also chanted “Fuera Bolsonaro” at the end of an explosive performance, and waved a flag with the image of former president Lula da Silva, considered a favorite against Bolsonaro in the general election scheduled for October.
A strong rainstorm in the afternoon interrupted some concerts, resulting in delays and damaging some structures as well as causing system failures.
However, this did not prevent the fans from enjoying the event to the fullest.
“The rain is slightly annoying, but someone who comes to such a venue comes prepared. Apart from that, this edition (of the event) is very good, it is a relief to be able to go out and breathe. I had huge expectations after two years locked down in the house, and am having a lot of fun,” Priscila Machado, a 31-year-old programmer, told EFE.
Over 100,900 people attended the fest on Friday, and organizers expect over 300,000 people to throng the venue — spread over 600,000 square meters — during the three days of musical revelry. EFE