Ed Sheeran has been announced as the first headliner for next year’s installment of Rock in Rio Lisbon.
The 2024 edition of the event will mark the festival’s 20th anniversary, with Sheeran set to headline in the 80,000 capacity Parque Tejo Lisboa on June 16.
The festival will be held over two weekends in the Portuguese capital, from 15-16 and 22-23 June 2024. It will be the first time it has been held at its new venue, having previously been housed at the Parque da Bela Vista.
The first Rock in Rio Lisbon was thrown in 2004 as a spinoff from the original Rock in Rio Festival, which started in the Brazilian city in 1985. Offshoot events have also taken place in Madrid, most recently in 2012, and Las Vegas, the last of which was in 20155.
Roberto Medina, Vice President of Brand Reputation at festival organisers Rock World said: “Looking back and seeing Rock in Rio’s journey since arriving in Portugal in 2004, how much the festival and the market have evolved, the challenges we’ve overcome, the legacy we’ve already left behind, all the people we’ve made a mark on and the projects we’ve created and supported over the years that would allow us to help transform lives, that’s what makes it worthwhile.”
He continued: “And that’s what we want to celebrate, with all those who made these 20 years possible. Since it’s not every day that you turn 20, we’re going to do what we do best, party! Having Ed Sheeran back at the City of Rock, we couldn’t have a better start! This will undoubtedly be a historic edition.”
Sheeran’s headline set will come ten years after he made his debut at the festival on the Main Stage. Other artists to have played at the event include last year’s headliners Muse and Black Eyed Peas, and Beyonce, Prince and Queen.
The festival’s World Stage next year will boast a backdrop that overlooks the Tagus River and the Vasco de Gama Bridge, and it is set to feature a daily audiovisual show commemorating the 20th anniversary of the festival.
Sheeran was named this week by Spotify as being the most streamed male artist of the last 15 years, with ‘Shape of You’ the most streamed UK track globally, with 3.6 billion streams as of October 11.
He also appeared alongside Busted on stage at London’s O2 this week, singing with the boy band on a version of their 2004 single ‘Who’s David’.
Footage went viral earlier this month of Sheeran’s hometown football club Ipswich Town serenading him in their dressing room after a game with an impromptu rendition of his song ‘Perfect’.
Sheeran has just released a live bonus version of his latest studio album ‘Autumn Variations’. Subtitled ‘(Fan Living Room Sessions)’, the project includes live versions of every song on the album, performed from the homes of some of his fans.
‘Autumn Variations’ is Sheeran’s second album of 2023, following on from ‘-’ (subtract). In a two-star review, NME said it “isn’t a flying start to this next phase of [Sheeran’s] catalogue” and “is akin to aimlessly swiping through Instagram, blurry snaps of followers’ leafy happenings whizzing past in a distracted daze.”