FIFA Fan Fest was set up in all of Brazil’s World Cup host cities for the sole purpose of entertaining people on non-match days. By entertainment, I mean nonstop World Cup matches on a big screen TV for that particular day. I wanted to watch the national team, Brazil play Mexico on the historic sands of Copacabana Beach before my flight back to the U.S.
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The Sights and Sounds of FIFA Fan Fest in Rio de Janeiro
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As I mentioned previously on The Sights and Sounds of the Beaches of Rio de Janeiro, Avenida Atlantica was entirely closed to cars and littered with police.
Everyone was walking towards the northern end of Copacabana Beach because of that was the site of FIFA Fan Fest.
Unlike the previous FIFA Fan Fest venues I’ve attended in Sao Paulo, Curitiba, and Belo Horizonte, the FIFA Fan Fest in Copacabana was right on the beach itself in open air. Seating was open and it was on a first come, first serve basis.
Here’s some video I took of Brazil v. Mexico during FIFA Fan Fest on Copacabana Beach.
There were a lot of illegal roaming vendors selling alcohol on the beach during FIFA Fan Fest.
This guy was brazen enough to set up his own bar charging people different prices based on if you look local or not. If you spoke Portuguese, you would pay the cheaper price for drinks. On the other hand, if you spoke English, you would automatically be given the higher gringo price. I’ve learned that you don’t need a license to set up shop in Brazil and the police don’t care since they face bigger problems in Rio de Janeiro.
It was halftime during the Brazil v. Mexico match and I needed to get back to Rio de Janeiro’s Galeo Tom Jobim International Airport (GIG) for my flight back to the United States. I took a bus back to Centro Rio de Janeiro where my hotel was because I needed to grab my belongings.
While walking to my hotel in Centro Rio de Janeiro, that’s when I realized the streets were completely emptied because everyone went home for the day to watch the Brazil v. Mexico match since it was declared a national holiday (It’s always a national holiday when Brazil plays). While walking in one of the deserted alleyways, I Was Held at Knifepoint in Rio de Janeiro during the World Cup in Brazil.