Riotur (the Rio de Janeiro state tourist office) has announced the prices of tourist tickets for Rio carnival 2011. These are the tickets for sector 9, which is reserved for tourists. However, you need to bear in mind that the prices below are face value prices, and to get them you would have to be in Brazil on the precise day that the tickets are released. In practice this is very unlikely to happen. These tickets are bought by tourist agency and tour organisers, who have to make a living. Expect to pay well above these prices if buying from an agency, whether online or in person in Rio.
Saturday - Grupo de Acesso - Arquibancadas (stands or bleachers) R$30. Frisas (private boxes) will R$800 per seat.
Sunday and Monday - Grupo Especial (the top group) tickets will cost between R$550 for the arquibancadas and R$5,800 for the frisas.
On the following Saturday, in the parade of Champions, tickets will cost R$350 for the arquibancadas and R$3,400 for the frisas.
Fire destroys Viradouro's carnival float
Poor Viradouro. After two decades in the top group of Rio carnival, the samba school was demoted last year. In the special group, samba schools have a barracao in the Cidade do Samba, a purpose built collection of modern large warehouse spaces where the schools can build their carnival floats and make their costumes. These are the barracoes.
All the other samba schools have to find whatever space they can to house their barracaos. It has to be near to where they are to parade, as the floats are too big and fragile to be transported far once they are almost ready. Before the City of Samba was built, all of the top samba schools had their barracao in the old disused warehouses between the port and the sambodromo. Fires were frequent. The schools of grupo A and B had ever more rickety space in ever more precarious buildings.
When Viradouro was demoted, they lost their shiny new space in the Cidade do Samba, and up to now they haven't found a new one. Although the samba schools build new floats every year, they keep the framework of the old floats - its very expensive to have to start from scratch, with wheels, axles and ironwork. Viradouro has been storing their floats in a corner of someone else's barracao. But now one of them is completely destroyed through fire. Fortunately nobody was hurt.
Viradouro was demoted because of their poor showing last year. This was a result of lack of money, bad organisation and internal political problems. The old president has resigned and last week a new one was elected. He has his work cut out!
"This night will lift your soul"
Carnavaleso Paulo Barros of the Rio samba school Unidos da Tijuca always comes up with obscure enredo titles, but there is some explanation. The theme will look at the fear caused by horror, pense and detective films. It will feature some of the biggest names in Brazilian film production. Tijuca is planning to show the spirit with which Brazilians overcome their fears. They will construct a film in the avenida, and will invite the onlookers to watch it. "we will show the strength of a people which ..... isn't firghtened to be happy" says Paulo Barros.