I knew of Carnival’s party scene reputation, but I saw the real side of Rio at street parties put on by locals outside of the stadium, with pop-up bars, DJs, and more.
Outside of the main stadium, my friends and I also went to block parties, or blocos, thrown by local DJs, brands, and vendors.
There were ticketed blocos, but my friends and I mostly went to the free parties set up by locals, and I thought they were a lot of fun.
At these street parties, I saw DJs playing music from makeshift tents, food booths selling snacks, and mini bars serving drinks. Many of the parties lasted long into the night, ending as late as 5 a.m. I saw people of all ages dancing for hours into the morning, including little kids cheering