Your ultimate Rock in Rio USA weekend

It’s only fitting that the world’s most spectacular music festival would finally land in Las Vegas. What other American city could possibly keep up with this back-to-back weekend bash? With entertainment and dining options galore — and pampering potential that’s off the charts — a Rock in Rio USA experience can include all that Sin City has to offer for people of all ages and backgrounds.

After all, you’ll need plenty of time to explore the City of Rock; sleeping is completely optional. Whether you’re here to rock out to Metallica or worship at the feet of Taylor Swift, Vegas can fuel an epic party like no other.

How can you maximize your Rock in Rio USA weekend? Let us count the ways. Here are some suggestions to suit any type of crew you happen to roll with.

Guys: Make your way toward Rock in Rio USA, you definitely don’t want to miss the zip line ride — a 64-foot-high, 600-foot-long screamfest over the partying masses. The screaming and obligatory fist-pumping should then make its way to the EDM stage inside the City of Rock. You want to get as close to the spider-shape design of the stage as you can. DJ’s Caked Up and The Gaslamp Killer don’t bite.

Stay at Mandalay Bay and wake up to a shave and aromatherapy treatment at The Art of Shaving Barber Spa — a great way to recover after a long night of revelry. Once suitably rejuvenated, snag a private Skybox in MGM Grand’s Race & Sports Book (the NBA playoffs will be in full swing) and nosh on high-end American fare at Crush.

Girls: Make sure you plan your festival outfit and are ready to enjoy all 10 hours of fun inside the venue. For a blast of girl power, be sure to check out hula-hoop performer Lisa Lottie’s contortionist circus act on Rock Street U.K. at the festival. Her hips don’t lie. Then let the festivities begin as the likes of Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars and Sam Smith take you on a party-filled ride into the night.

For the ultimate girls’ night out, plan to spend an extra night and grab handfuls of George Washingtons, rent a limo and head to the “Thunder from Down Under” show at Excalibur — a raucous male revue featuring chiseled Aussie hunks. The next morning, pamper yourselves amid the opulence of Bellagio’s Spa and Salon with an Italian Bliss package.

Couples: When you arrive in Vegas, get ready for Rock in Rio — and mandatory shopping and browsing in the “houses” along the USA, U.K. and Brazil Rock Streets. If you really want to have the ultimate, intimate experience, consider VIP tickets. The lavish VIP hospitality area includes air conditioning, open bar and all-inclusive buffet prepared by Wolfgang Puck chefs. And of course, the night will not be complete without a kiss under the festival’s nightly fireworks show.

Stay an extra night in town and catch “LOVE,” Cirque du Soleil’s long-running celebration of Beatles music, at The Mirage. Follow it up with a dinner prepared by your own private chef in one of The Mirage’s exclusive Lanai suites, and enjoy it alongside a private, secluded pool.

Families: As you head over to Rock in Rio — festival organizers suggest using the Las Vegas Monorail or shuttles as the best method of transportation — make sure one of your many stops of the night include the Street Dance Stage. You’ll really enjoy professional dancers showing off American dance routines, from hip-hop to dancehall, not to mention the battles. This is also a good time to get cultured and enjoy distinct culinary selections from the three Rock Streets. Make sure the guys and gals see the fireworks show, too, before knocking out for the night.

As for bringing adult kids to Las Vegas and Rock in Rio USA, well, some ground rules need to be established first. Here’s an unofficial contract, if you will. We’re sure the kids (ahem) adore your company, but definitely book separate rooms — exclusive Rock in Rio packages available at MGMResortsVacations.com — preferably on different floors, and limit the togetherness to dinner (no “new friends” allowed), agree to making just five texts and calls per day and absolutely no tagging each other in social media posts unless verbally agreed upon.

Once you’ve mutually accepted these terms, let the entertainment commence at the City of Rock. Requirements include riding the Ferris wheel together and singing at least two songs from any of the full musical sets, including Metallica and Linkin Park, in unison at Rock in Rio. 
For broods with offspring under 21, Circus Circus, a stone’s throw away from the festival, has long been a no-brainer — plenty for the parents to do, tons for the kids, including live circus acts. Afterward, expose the youngsters to fine art at Bellagio’s art gallery, or more likely head down the street and indulge their collective sweet tooth at Hershey’s Chocolate World.

Girls, guys, couples, families, heck — it doesn’t matter. You can experience everything the best of the fest has to offer. Just be sure your energy is on its A-game.

Beyond that, you’re on your own.

–Bob Young, Brand Publishing Writer

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times
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