The Alzirão street party in Rio de Janeiro will continue despite opposition from 2014 World Cup organizer FIFA and issues over sponsorship. The streetfest, which started on a street corner in 1978 with a single 20-inch television and now gathers 25,000 people for matches in a suburb near the Maracanã stadium, offers big screens and a sound system, decorations, bars and sponsors, similar to FIFA’s official Fan Fest events in each city including on Copacabana beach in Rio, but fans can bring their own beer.
FIFA initially asks for 28,000 reais ($12,500) for broadcast rights, and Alzirão is also limited to one sponsor organization, beer company Brahma. Organizers say it ‘felt like they were trying to shut us down,’ but Rio mayor Eduardo Mayor Paes steps in to keep the event running. An Alzirão organizer:
Alzirão is a tradition that has not been broken in 36 years, not even in 2002, when the matches were at dawn. And with the World Cup in Brazil this year, we were never going to break it now
The more Alzirões that arise around the city, the better. The joy of Rio’s people will not be restricted because of the World Cup