Madonna Brings Massive Free Concert to Rio, Capping Celebration Tour

When Madonna stepped out onto the mammoth stage constructed on Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana Beach on Saturday night in a gleaming halo headpiece and black kimono, she was greeted by the largest live crowd of her four-decade career.

The free show, announced in late March, was a grand finale to the pop superstar’s latest world tour, which has delivered 80 performances since last October. Without ticket data, concert crowd sizes can be difficult to gauge; Riotur, the municipality’s tourism department, estimated that 1.6 million people flooded onto the 2.4-mile stretch of sand on Saturday that had been turned into a roughly $12 million playground surrounding the 8,700-square-foot stage.

It was the culmination of days of Madonna-mania in the city, where talk of the singer, 65, was inescapable. Her songs spilled out of stores and car stereos. Fans assembled outside her hotel and shouted her name. Updates about the concert, which was broadcast on the network Globo TV, dominated local media reports.

Fans traveled from across South America for Madonna’s Rio concert, her only Celebration Tour date on the continent. Credit…Maria Magdalena Arrellaga for The New York Times
Fans packed the shores of Copacabana Beach to watch Madonna’s free concert on Saturday.Credit…Mauro Pimentel/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The spectacle in Rio was a milestone in Madonna’s career: the victory lap for her first stage retrospective, called the Celebration Tour, in which she chronicled her rise to stardom, performing hits like “Into the Groove,” “Like a Prayer” and “Ray of Light” with a cadre of dancers, four of her six children, and a wardrobe of elaborate costuming that recalled some of her most memorable looks.

Related Articles

Back to top button