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Casino Owner Planning ‘Rock in Rio’ Site In Vegas

06:01 AM Tuesday 4/22/14 | |

A group including casino company MGM Resorts announced plans Monday to build a 33-acre open-air music venue on the Las Vegas Strip to host a four-day Rock in Rio USA festival beginning in May 2015.

MGM Resorts International officials said the “City of Rock” development to be built between the Circus Circus resort and Sahara Avenue would serve as home to what they expect will be one of the largest concert festival events in the world.

Rock in Rio began in 1985 in Brazil, where 600,000 tickets for the event last September sold out in four hours, according to organizers. Headliners included Justin Timberlake, Beyoncé, Metallica and Bruce Springsteen. The organization also produces festivals in Portugal and Spain.

Rock in Rio founder Roberto Medina said he was excited to partner for the first Rock in Rio USA event in the heart of Las Vegas with casino giant MGM Resorts, multiple Las Vegas show producer Cirque du Soleil and developer Ron Burkle of the California-based Yucaipa Companies LLC.

Bill Hornbuckle, president of MGM Resorts International, noted dramatic changes in the entertainment industry in recent years and said he believed the four-day music festival in Las Vegas would draw more than 300,000 people.

The layout is expected to include five stages, themed streets featuring sights, sounds and foods of Brazil, the U.S. and the United Kingdom, plus thrill rides and shopping.

Cost figures and site plans for the City of Rock development weren’t made public and will need approval from Clark County lawmakers. Tickets are expected to go on sale in January.

The event will be separate from the three-night Electric Daisy Carnival electronic music festival, held in June at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. It attracts more than 100,000 people, according to its parent company, Insomniac.