Beatles music fuels giant street party in Rio de Janeiro

RIO DE JANEIRO: A musical troupe that sets Beatles tunes to Brazilian beats Monday drew 60,000 people to a carnival street party in Rio de Janeiro.

Sargento Pimenta was created last year by a group of musicians who love the quartet from Liverpool and who wanted space to perform at the Rio carnival.

The first presentation by the group at carnival last year at which they played Beatles tunes using Brazilian rhythms of samba, frevo and maracatu, jammed a small street in the Botafogo neighbourhood with some 5,000 people, an unexpectedly large number, who were interested in seeing and hearing the novelty.

The success of the group forced the authorities this year to transfer the block party to Aterro do Flamengo, a broad and important avenue linking the city’s downtown with its southern neighbourhoods.

Sargento Pimenta set up its powerful sound equipment on the back of a truck and on Monday afternoon headlined a gigantic street party.

Once again, the public attendance exceeded all expectations – 10,000 people had been anticipated but six times that number showed up – and the block could not hold the parade that had been planned to the Museum of Modern Art but rather the party was held at a convenient spot where the band could be seen and heard in all directions.

Many of the locals and tourists who attended the performance, most of them in typical carnival costumes, had taken note of requests on social networks to enliven the party with colourful parasols.

The participants followed the posted instructions to shake the parasols when they heard the song "Here Comes the Sun", as well as to display paper fans in the shape of hearts when they heard "All You Need Is Love".