Several minutes before midnight on New Years Eve over 3 million people on Copacabana beach in Rio shifted their focus from the concert on the main stage to the water where the fire works were going to take place.
The scary part was many of the revelers didn’t just shift their focus… they started to move. Miki and I had the unfortunate position of being between the massive crowd and the water. Beach chairs started to get trampled, barricades fell over, security guards lost control, people (including us) started to panic.
Luckily, 2 brazilian guys with their girlfriends were also standing next to us so us 3 guys formed a sort of protective triangle around our significant others. It worked. We moved with the flow for about 5 minutes keeping our girls protected and then as quickly as the madness started… it all stopped. One of the guys said with a kind of embarrassed proudness, “welcome to Brazil”. We popped the champagne and toasted to avoiding death and to a happy new year.
We captured some of the madness on video. Check out the concert, crowds, fireworks, and the throngs of people in the short video below.
More of our trip to Rio after the break…