In Rio de Janeiro, Madonna gives a free concert in front of 1.5 million people

A global star, a dream city, a legendary beach

In Rio de Janeiro, Madonna gives a free concert in front of 1.5 million people

A global star, a dream city, a legendary beach. On Saturday evening, May 4, Madonna met her fans in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for a monumental and free concert on Copacabana beach. Shortly before 11 p.m., the “Queen of Pop,” dressed all in black, appeared on stage, making the crowd go wild with joy as she performed Nothing Really Matters, an anthem to resilience.

Some 1.5 million people were expected for the biggest concert of the star's career. An audience seated on the sand, but also at sea, aboard dozens of boats, to enjoy a breathtaking view. With this show announced for days as "historic", the 65-year-old American pop star closes The Celebration Tour in style, filmed to celebrate her 40-year career, inventions, brilliance and scandals.

On a splendid autumn day with summer temperatures, fans, often in swimsuits, continued to flock to vibrate as close as possible to the stage, a gigantic stage of more than 800 square meters. To increase the pressure, several DJs, including Diplo, an American turntable ace, took turns at nightfall to bring joy to “the biggest dance floor in the world”.

Then came the time for the queen to leave her palace, or rather her palace: the legendary Copacabana Palace, a haven of peace and luxury for Hollywood and pop stars for decades, where she has made her family quarters ever since. the beginning of the week. Madonna walked along a walkway installed for the occasion, which took her directly to the stage. The police were present in force, almost on every street.

Three planes of equipment

“Are you ready? » (“Are you ready?”), she had launched on her Instagram account a few hours earlier. She shared three images, two where she is waving the Brazilian flag and another where she is wearing the jersey of the national football team, stamped with the number 10 and the letters “Ciccone”, her name in civil status.

After 80 concerts in Europe, North America and Mexico, the Rio show serves as a finale, but also as a snub to destiny when a serious bacterial infection had landed the singer in intensive care in June 2023 and panicked fans around the world.

Opposite the Copacabana Palace and along the beach where souvenir sellers have joined the Madonna hour and increased their stocks and prices, the atmosphere has been festive in recent days and recalled the lightness of the Rio carnival, yet completed almost three months ago. Papa Don’t Preach, La Isla Bonita, Material Girl… Impossible to escape the classics of the queen of pop, covered everywhere.

Three planes and 270 tons of equipment had landed in the Marvelous City with the American star, experienced in high-precision pyrotechnic shows. The concert should generate 293 million reais (53 million euros) for the local economy, calculated the town hall, which contributed 20 million reais to a production cost estimated at 60 million.