Rock in Rio planners have 5 days to work out bugs

It’s all about momentum now.

Promoters of the inaugural Rock in Rio festival have five days to address growing pains then do it all over again this weekend.

After attracting a reported 82,000 for its U.S. debut weekend, organizers could see this weekend’s total top 100,000 with a powerful pop lineup that includes Taylor Swift and Bruno Mars.

Cold weather may have been a factor in Friday’s lower-than-expected crowd of about 35,000.

Saturday’s crowd was a positive sign, boosted by the magnetic pull of Metallica, which was making a rare U.S. appearance after years of touring overseas.

The challenge now, said the U-T San Diego, “is to build momentum for its 2017 return to Las Vegas.

“It’s a formidable challenge to be sure,” said the newspaper’s music critic, “and the low attendance this (past) weekend had to be dismaying (if not entirely unexpected) for the festival’s promoters.

“But they must surely realize that simultaneously introducing a new festival and a new venue, let alone making a success of both, will take more time and effort.”

Ticket sales for both weekends reportedly reached 130,000. Warmer weather should help in a city known for getting a good walk-up turnout.

But this weekend’s forecast may not agree with the festival. Forecasts are calling for high temperatures in the low 70s on Friday, lows in the 50s, with a chance of rain Friday night. Saturday may not be much better.

Noise complaints were pouring in Sunday from residents west of the festival grounds. Metallica didn’t finish until 2 a.m. Sunday because of a delayed start. The main stage faced west.

WYNN RESPONSE

A spokesman for Steve Wynn contends the resort developer arrived on time and it was not an issue at Tuesday’s groundbreaking for Genting Group’s $4 billion Resorts World project.

It was reported here on Sunday that KT Lim, chairman and CEO of the Malaysian-based company, left the red carpet, after welcoming many dignitaries, including Gov. Brian Sandoval, and went inside a tent for the ceremonies.

When Lim was informed that Wynn had arrived at the red carpet, Lim was asked if he preferred to return to the red carpet to welcome Wynn.

Lim shook his head no, a source said.

There was speculation, the source said, that Kim might have been offended because, in Asian business culture, being late is considered rude.

Wynn was “on time and spoke to Lim” inside the tent before the ceremony, Wynn spokesman Michael Weaver said.

“He’s spoken publicly how he’s looking forward to construction starting and he’s very much looking forward to the project opening and it’s going to be great for everyone on our end of the Strip,” Weaver said.

An R-J reader noted that a photo that appeared in Wednesday’s edition showed Wynn with his hand on Lim’s shoulder. That gesture is considered an insult in some Asian cultures.

MEDIA NOTES

Top-tier personnel changes have come quickly in the wake of new ownership throughout the local TV market.

Lisa Howfield is out as vice president and general manager at NBC affiliate KSNV, Channel 3, the dominant station for many years before slipping. Replacing Howfield is Audra Swain, a longtime executive with the new owners, Sinclair Broadcast Group.

Also gone: Emily Neilson, president and general manager at CBS affiliate KLAS, Channel 8, and Karin Movesian, news director at KTNV, Channel 13, the ABC affiliate. She has returned to St. Louis as news director at KSDK-TV. …

Valley High graduate and former Channel 13 sports anchor Mario Diaz has been on a roll at WPIX-TV in New York. He recently won his second consecutive Edward R. Murrow Award for excellence in electronic journalism for the New York region. Ten days later, he won three Emmys (also New York region), including one for best political reporter.

SIGHTINGS

No Doubt’s Adrian Young and Stephen Bradley, along with Young’s son, Mason, showed up at Vegas Indoor Skydiving after No Doubt’s Rock in Rio performance on Friday. The latest addition for thrill-seekers, and reportedly the first of its kind in the United States, the 22-foot-high wind tunnel is powered by a 1,000 horsepower electric motor attached to a propeller from a DC-3 airplane. … Legendary restaurateur Sirio Maccioni and his wife, Egidiana, dining at Andiron Steak & Sea in Downtown Summerlin. Andiron co-owner Elizabeth Blau worked for Maccioni at Le Cirque in New York. … Comedy legend Shecky Green, dining at the Italian American Club, 2333 E. Sahara, on Saturday. … Model and actor Tyson Beckford, with friends at Encore Beach Club on Saturday.

THE PUNCH LINE

“The NFL claims the New England Patriots more probably than not deflated footballs. I’m sorry, but that’s just not vague enough for me.” — David Letterman

Norm Clarke’s column appears Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Reach him at 702-383-0244 or norm@reviewjournal.com. Find more online at normclarke.com. Follow @Norm_Clarke on Twitter.

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