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Madonna ends her world tour with a giant - and free - concert in Copacabana

“Welcome, Queen” On the posters, the welcome message is addressed to the one and only “queen of pop”.

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Madonna ends her world tour with a giant - and free - concert in Copacabana

“Welcome, Queen” On the posters, the welcome message is addressed to the one and only “queen of pop”. Saturday, on Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Madonna will give a giant, free concert. This will be the final bouquet of his Celebration Tour, to the glory of his 40 years of success. Recovered after her health problems which panicked her fans last year, the 65-year-old American singer arrived in Rio on Monday after more than 80 concerts in Europe, the United States and Mexico. Three planes and 270 tons of equipment landed with it, according to production. As befits a star of her caliber, she has established her quarters at the Copacabana Palace, a century-old hotel in the city connected for the occasion by a footbridge to the beach where an 800 m2 stage has been set up.

The “show” promises to be the most monumental of his career. In front of the stage, the organizers plan to bring together on “the largest dance floor in the world” up to 1.5 million spectators, a figure that has not been reached in the past on the same beach as the Rolling Stones, in 2006.

“The traffic is hellish. But the concert will be great,” Mario Renato Borges, a 68-year-old retiree living in the Leme district, at the end of Copacabana, told AFP. For him, there is no doubt: the star “deserves” such a welcome. The town hall is rubbing its hands, arguing that the concert will generate 293 million reais (53 million euros) for the local economy, or 30 times more than the investments made. The arrival of 150,000 foreigners by special flights is expected and the occupancy rate of hotels is approaching 100%. “It will undoubtedly be one of the biggest international events in Rio: it will boost our economy and attract tourists from Brazil, Latin America and all over the world,” enthuses the city hall’s Tourism Secretary, Daniela Maia.

For several days, Madonna fever has been palpable in the “Wonderful City”. In the city center, on the gigantic popular Saara market, while the hits of the “Material Girl” are playing in a loop, customers are offered glasses, fans or fashionable Madonna hats in the Lix boutique. Its manager, Livia Reis, 23, says that, shortly after the concert was announced, her window was rearranged to showcase all kinds of extravagant objects inspired by the pop star. “A boy came in, took a photo and a video and sent them to a fan club with 150,000 followers in Portugal. From there, it went on TikTok, Instagram…” and it went viral, she relishes. In the store, one accessory wins favor: copies of the conical and iconic corset, invented by Jean Paul Gaultier for “the Madonna” more than 30 years ago. The article “works very well,” says the manager. She expects that by Saturday “we will be lining up at the door of the store.”

“All this agitation for tourism, hotels, restaurants, it’s good. Let’s hope that security will be up to par,” says retiree Mario Renato Borges, in an allusion to the delinquency and thefts that are rife in this very touristy district.

The town hall will deploy a police force equivalent to that of New Year's Eve in Copacabana, one of the most famous in the world, which attracts large crowds. “Operation Madonna” will mobilize 4,500 agents, aided by drones and facial recognition cameras.

Nagila Alves, 54, is ready. This employee of a pest control company couldn't help but take a photo when she saw the huge stage where the singer will give her show. “I will always love him,” she said. Madonna is eternal.

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