[EN IMAGES] “Operation Madonna”: Rio is set to host the star's massive concert

“Welcome, Queen”: On the posters, the welcome message featured the one and only “Queen of Pop”. On Saturday, Madonna will perform a massive and free concert on Rio de Janeiro's famous Copacabana Beach.

• Read more: Madonna sues again for concert delay

• Read more: Madonna is seeking to dismiss two fans' complaints for being late to a concert

It was the final bouquet of his “celebration tour” to celebrate his 40 years of success.

The 65-year-old American singer, who has been recovering from health problems that terrified her fans last year, arrived in Rio on Monday after more than 80 concerts in Europe, the United States and Mexico.



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According to the production, three aircraft and 270 tons of equipment were landed with it.

As befits a star, he has set up his residence at the famous Copacabana Palace, a grand 800 m2 stage set up for the occasion with a footbridge leading to the beach.



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“Dance Floor”

The “show” promises to be the most memorable of his career. In front of the stage, the organizers plan to bring together up to 1.5 million spectators in the “world's largest dance hall”, a feat that has not been achieved in the past on the beach like the Rolling Stones in 2006.

“Traffic is hell. But the concert will be great,” Mario Renato Borges, 68, who lives in the Lem district at the end of Copacabana, told AFP. According to him, there is no doubt: the star “deserves” such a welcome.



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The town hall is rubbing its hands, arguing that the concert brought 293 million reais (53 million euros) to the local economy, or 30 times more than the investments.

150,000 foreigners are expected to arrive via special flights, and hotel occupancy is approaching 100%.



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“This will undoubtedly be one of Rio's biggest international events: it will boost our economy and attract tourists from Brazil, Latin America and the whole world,” enthuses Daniela Maia, Tourism Secretary of the City Hall.

Conical and iconic

For several days, Madonna caught the fever in the “Wonderful City.”

In the city center, at the hugely popular Sarah's Market, customers are treated to glasses, fans or fashionable Madonna hats at Licks Boutique, while “Material Girl”'s hits play on loop.



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Its manager, Livia Reyes, 23, says that shortly after the concert was announced, her window was rearranged to display all kinds of fancy items inspired by the popstar.

“A boy came in, took a photo and a video and sent it to a fan club in Portugal that has 150,000 followers. From there, it went on Tiktok, Instagram…” and it went viral, she was delighted.



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In the store, one accessory wins favor: copies of the cone and iconic corset invented by Jean Paul Gaultier for “The Madonna” 30 years ago.

The article “works very well,” says the manager. She expects “we'll be lined up at the door of the store” by Saturday.



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“Eternity”

“This protest is good for tourism, hotels and restaurants. Let's hope the security is equal,” says retiree Mario Renato Borges, a reference to the crime and thefts that abound in this tourist district.

The town hall will deploy the police equivalent of a New Year's Eve party in Copacabana, one of the most famous in the world, drawing large crowds.



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“Operation Madonna” will mobilize 4,500 agents, assisted by drones and facial recognition cameras.

Nagila Alves, 54, is ready. The employee, who works at a pest control company, couldn't help but take a photo when he saw the huge stage where the singer was performing.



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“I will always love him,” she said. Madonna is eternal.

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