"This doesn't even seem like a rock festival. Everybody is playing here, they've even got some Indian up there dancing."
——one fan's reaction


Hundreds Of Music Acts Wish They Put Sunscreen In Their Riders
More than one million music fans have taken the road to Rio for a seven-day festival of rock.

R.E.M., Beck, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Britney Spears, James Taylor, NSYNC, Oasis, Foo Fighters and Guns N' Roses are among the 139 acts signed on for the "Rock In Rio For A Better World" Festival. The third Rock In Rio event began Jan. 12-14 and—after a smoke break—will resume January 18-21. A percentage of proceeds will benefit anti-violence groups.

The $36 million show will be webcast on America Online. Rock In Rio will also air on DirecTV.

The festival kicked off Friday (1/12) with a performance by Sting, whose defense of the Amazon rain forest has made him a hero in Brazil. (Sting also received the prestigious Gabriela Mistral medal in Chile on Jan. 15 for his human rights efforts, particularly his outspoken stance against former dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet.) His set included "She Walks This Earth," his Grammy-nominated version of Brazilian folk singer Ivan Lins' "Rosa Soberana."

"I've been coming to Brazil for many years," said the aging thought rocker. "Brazilian music has informed my career. In fact, I even wore my Brazilian bikini onstage."

Concertgoers were somewhat baffled at Sunday (1/14) night's bill of Oasis, Brazilian pop star Carlinhos Brown and Guns N' Roses. The mostly heavy metal crowd pelted the eclectic opening acts with plastic cups and bottles.

The slight paunch of frontman Axl Rose didn't keep the crowd from enjoying old favorites "Welcome to the Jungle" and "Sweet Child O' Mine." And GNR's set brought back to life a crowd left virtually unmoved by Oasis. It was GNR's first big stage concert in seven years. The group, with its new lineup, played at a smaller gig in Las Vegas on New Year's Day.

"This doesn't even seem like a rock festival. Everybody is playing here, they've even got some Indian up there dancing," said one fan, referring to Brown's straw headdress.

Rock In Rio will resume Thursday (1/18), when Britney Spears will reportedly duet on Iron Maiden's "No Prayer For The Dying."