Acts we want to see at the Rio 2016 opening ceremony


In anticipation of Friday evening’s opening ceremony for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio’s Maracanã Stadium, we have come together to reveal the live acts that they’d most love to see there. Suggestions include Shakira, Guns N’ Roses and… Cansei de Ser Sexy‽


In the same way that 2012 saw the likes of the Arctic Monkeys and the Spice Girls turn up to promote true British spirit, the acts in Rio should also represent the musical heritage of their continent. Now, I know Shakira isn’t Brazilian, but Colombia – the nation from which the ‘Hips Don’t Lie’ singer hails – is right next door and still a fervent part of South America. And perhaps, more importantly, Shakira knows how to work a stage. The tunes she could spurn amongst a parade of colour and back-up lady dancers are too numerous to mention, and she has experience in singing for sporting events – ‘Waka Waka (This Time for Africa),’ her collaboration with South African band Freshlyground, was the official anthem for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. So y’know… it’s not the most ridiculous idea in the world, right?

Words by Anneka Honeyball

Katy Perry

This one probably makes the most sense given that ‘Rise,’ Katy Perry’s new song, is the official theme song for NBC Sports’ 2016 Olympic coverage. True, her involvement would be purely US-focused, but we all know that the singer can put on one hell of a show and would fit in well among what is sure to be a very vibrant opening ceremony. Perry is also one of the world’s most successful and popular female artists, so it’s probably a safe bet to assume her presence would be welcomed by the Rio crowds.

Words by Anneka Honeyball

Guns N’ Roses

The Rio Olympics are probably going to be a bit of a train wreck, so why not book the most lovable train wreck band there is – Guns N’ Roses! Okay, okay, so they’ve stabilised now. Slash, Axl, and Duff are finally back together and bringing the hits out again and they’re hits that so many people across the world love: ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine,’ ‘Paradise City,’ ‘You Could Be Mine,’ and the list goes on. Also, ‘Welcome To The Jungle’ would be the most perfect opening ceremony song ever, especially given that the games are virtually in the jungle! It’d be pretty surreal to see, but undeniably brilliant.

Words by David Mitchell-Baker

Lady Gaga

It’s clear that the Rio games will be weird and wacky – we all remember their odd section in London’s closing ceremony – so why not get the wackiest of artists to join them? I’m sure Gaga could fill the arena with hysteria for ‘Bad Romance’ or ‘Applause,’ and she has done some excellent recent covers of David Bowie and John Lennon which would work well for the more reflective moments of the ceremony. Her most recent effort, ‘Till It Happens To You,’ also showed an emotional side that would be perfect for the inevitable tearjerking inspirational montage. It would be perfect!

Words by Bruno Russell

Cansei de Ser Sexy

What my colleagues seem to be missing from their pitches is the crucial aspect of any Olympic ceremony: being obscenely patriotic when you’ve got a global audience of 900 million. In London, there was a Chariots Of Fire sequence with Mr. Bean. The actual Queen did a sketch with James Bond before parachuting into the stadium. The whole thing was put together by Danny Boyle and soundtracked by Underworld, leading to a tribute to the NHS that Jeremy Hunt unsurprisingly wanted to destroy in a ceremony that was officially opened by Fuck Buttons’ ‘Surf Solar.’

Hunting my music library for genuinely Brazilian acts doesn’t surface awfully much – the closest thing of late is 2014’s ‘Eparrei,’ a Latin-infused record from Fatboy Slim, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, and Diplo – but four words shimmer with unquenchable flamboyance: Cansei de Ser Sexy (or I Grew Tired Of Being Sexy (or CSS)). The São Paolo indietronica quartet, behind quirky and globally accessible tracks like ‘Rat Is Dead (Rage),’ the lead from 2008’s Donkey, and Portuguese-rap-featuring iPod-commercial-soundtracking ‘Music Is My Hot, Hot Sex,’ may not bring the samba festivities everyone’s expecting, but it’s surely a better plan than importing bland pop from the Super Bowl cast-off pile.

Words by Xavier Voigt-Hill


In terms of relevancy in the current musical climate it would be hard to look past Beyoncé, as not only has she recently released a chart smashing record in the form of Lemonade, she has overall proven to be a good role model and advocate for equality and freedom of speech – traits that have been pillars of importance for the Olympics since the inception of the modern format in 1896.

Words by Rory Padfield

The BBC will be delivering blanket coverage across TV, radio, and online. The opening ceremony will be held in Rio’s Maracanã Stadium on August 5 at 8pm local time, meaning a UK start time of midnight on August 6.


About Author

Editor [2016 - 2017], News Editor [2015 - 2016]. Current record holder for most ever articles written by a single Edgeling. Also Film & English Student and TV Editor for The National Student. Main loves include cats, actors and pasta.

Philosopher and Historian and major pop-fan. You can find me listening to most pop in the charts (Beyoncé and Sia are most certainly goddesses), as well as some modern jazz and classical and enjoing the occasional trip to the theatre. I'm also interested in the repurcussions of the representation of sex in modern-day media! And I might be a fan of the X Factor. Sorry, I can't help it...

The Edge's Film Editor 2017-2018, David has an unabashed love for all things Dave Grohl, Jack Black and Lord of the Rings. A compulsive liar who shouldn't be trusted, David once beat legendary actor David Hasselhoff in a hot dog eating contest and is best friends with Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo, they speak on the phone three times a week.

The Edge's resident grumpy old man, a final year Web Scientist with a name even his parents couldn’t spell properly. Ask him any question and you’ll probably get the answer of “Carly Rae Jepsen’s 2015 album E•MO•TION,” which might explain why we still can't get rid of him.

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