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Locals invited to Rock in Rio, Day 1 -- for free

Angelica Govaert had absolutely zero interest in attending Rock in Rio.

Music festivals -- and their long lines, massive crowds and unpredictable weather -- aren't her bag. Nor was she keen on the lineup of rock acts. "I haven't liked No Doubt since college," she said with a laugh.

Yet, here she was, taking in the sights of one of three themed "Rock Streets" on Day 1 of the international festival's U.S. debut. The yoga instructor's change of heart had nothing to do with the music or the crisp breeze that made Friday afternoon in the Vegas desert unseasonably cool.

It was the free tickets. 

Govaert was one of hundreds of residents at nearby high rises offered day passes to the festival, totally gratis. She was surprised by the gesture, but praised the organizers' act of goodwill.

"I would have heard [everything] anyway," Govaert said, pointing toward her building, a stone's throw away from the festival grounds. "And I have, all week, as they prepared."

The 40-year-old, who owns a nearby yoga studio, told The Times that she decided to come after each resident of the 40-floor high-rise was given two passes for Day One, saying that another nearby building's residents were given the same deal. "I don't like large crowds and I don't like long lines, but surprisingly, that's not a problem here."

Day One of Rock in Rio was indeed a relaxed affair (startlingly so, considering the weekend skewed toward rock acts), and Govaert admitted taking in the festival in person was better than hearing the music from her place.

"It's way more organized than I thought it was going to be," she said. "And because the tickets are a little bit on the high side, it attracts a more [sophisticated] crowd. I'm sure they are hoping we'll buy tickets for the other days, and I probably won't -- I can hear it from my house, if I really want to."

Follow @PopHiss and @GerrickKennedy on Twitter for more Rock in Rio updates. Get caught up on all our Rock in Rio coverage so far (and check back throughout the weekend) with our liveblog.

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