Time Out Rio de Janeiro

Copacabana Beach

Get the New Year off to a bang with a million or so other party people

The emphasis on New Year’s celebrations in Rio may be on peace (which is why almost everyone wears white), but in the party capital of the world the wildest of hedonists won’t feel cheated. As well as a state-of-the-art fireworks display that last almost 20 minutes, the best of Brazilian and international music is brought to two stages on Copacabana beach, promising a supremely euphoric start to 2012.

The first stage, in front of the Copacabana Palace, hosts samba favourite Beth Carvalho, Brazilian hip hop/reggae star O Rappa, and pop-house DJ extraordinaire David Guetta to keep the party going on well into the night. If the millions of revellers means you struggle to get close to the action, however, the second stage has a more traditional programme of samba schools culminating in this year’s Carnival winning school Beija-Flor.

Don’t forget to buy your gladioli to throw into the sea, a beautiful if wasteful gesture to the Candomblé goddess of the sea, Iemanjá, and make a wish for the coming year. It is probably worth mentioning that while the majority throw white flowers wishing for peace, those more pragmatically inclined throw yellow gladioli in a request for money, but if you are feeling more romantically lacking in your life then red is the colour for you.

It does get extremely crowded, but with the likes of Beatles carnival bloco kings Sargento Pimenta kicking off at 8.30pm there is good reason to arrive early and avoid the worst of the crush. Its going to be a long night.


           First stage (in front of Copacabana Palace)

  • 6pm - Otaviano Costa
  • 8.30pm – Beth Carvalho
  • 10pm – O Rappa
  • Midnight - fireworks
  • 12.16am – Latino
  • 1.40am – DJ David Guetta
  • 3am - Beija-Flor

    Second stage (in front of Rua Santa Clara)
  • 7:30pm – Baia
  • 8:30pm – Sargento Pimenta
  • 10.15pm – Moraes Moreira
  • Midnight - fireworks
  • 12.20am – Blitz
  • 2am – Unidos de Tijuca

          Third stage (Leme)

  • 6pm - Banda na Lata
  • 7pm - DJ Tati da Vila
  • 9pm DJ Marcelinho da Lua
  • 10.40pm Banda Coca-Cola
  • Midnight - fireworks
  • 12.16am - Banda Coca-Cola and B Negão
  • 12.40am - Da Lua Live (Marcelinho da Lua and Ângelo B)
  • DJ Tati da Vila

Words by Time Out Rio de Janeiro editors
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