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Rio Carnival 2018

Live Stream, TV Coverage, Webcast Feed, Dates, Schedule

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 9-13 February

Rio Carnival parade

The carnival in Rio de Janeiro is one of the highlights of the carnival season, bringing it's own unique sense or colour, music and flair to the grand carnival tradition with a series of samba parades that bring the city's streets and beaches to life with a cavalcade of activity that energises the local population and draws crowds from all around the globe. The addition of live online streaming has now made the Rio carnival even more accessible to a global audience.

In a highly competitive field that includes parades and events in locations as diverse as New Orleans, Trinidad and Tobago and Notting Hill the Rio Carnival is widely acknowledged as the biggest in the world, with an almost unbelievable 2 million plus participants every year taking to the streets. It is also one of the oldest in existence, able to trace its roots as far back as 1823.

The carnival's events spread themselves far and wide across the city so if you're in town it's easy to find something to get involved in. The highlights of the carnival each year are the balls at the Copacabana Palace and nearby famous beach and of course the parade of the Samba Schools in the city's iconic Sambodromo, with the biggest of all the street parties taking place simultaneously directly outside.

Route and Schedule

The main events of the 2018 carnival are to follow, including all of:

Rio Scala Balls

Magic Ball at the Copacabana Palace

Samba Parades at the Sambodromo

The schedule for the Rio carnival is as follows:
 
Friday 9 February
 
19:00 Opening Ceremony
21:00 Preliminary Parades
23:00 Rio Scala Black Beads Party
 
Saturday 10 February
 
20:00 Street Band Competition; Avenue Rio Branco
21:00 Preliminary Parades (2nd day)
23:00 The Magic Ball; Copacabana Palace Hotel
23:00 Rio Scala Samba School Mangueira Ball
 
Sunday 11 February
 
21:00 Parade of the Samba Schools in the First League
23:00 Rio Scala Marvellous City Ball
 
Monday 12 February
 
21:00 Parade of the Samba Schools in the First League
23:00 Rio Scala Long Live the Beer Ball
 
Tuesday 13 February
 
16:00 Banda de Ipanema final march
21:00 Parade of the Childrens Samba Schools
23:00 Rio Scala Gay Ball
 
As well as the above events, every day of the Rio Carnival will see street band parades at Copacabana and Ipanema beaches in the afternoons, dances at Cinelandia, concerts at Samba Land and Concerts in Lapa every evening.

For all the parades the doors open at 5pm and the parade continues until the early hours of the morning - 5 or even 6am finished are not uncommon, so be prepared for a long night!

TV & Live Streaming

In previous years live coverage of the Rio Carnival has been provided on TV and online by Brazilian broadcaster Globo TV but for the 2015 event they dropped out of providing a live stream and as a result it was very difficult to find anywhere to watch the carnival parades online, or even on TV if you weren't in Brazil.

The good news is that this was resolved for the 2017 event, with Red Bull TV stepping in to provide live streaming action from both full days of the main carnival parades, so we hope to see them return again in 2018. We will of course have all the live streaming links right here.

You also have the option of casting this coverage onto your television using the Google Chromecast device or similar, allowing the full big-screen experience. An HDMI cable will also do the trick if you have the correct inputs available.

You can see our full range of live coverage of mardi gras and carnival events around the world, including the big Fat Tuesday parades in Trinidad & Tobago and New Orleans here: Watch Mardi Gras live

Hotels and Accommodation

If you're planning on visiting Rio de Janeiro during the carnival and looking for somewhere to stay to attend the samba parades or other events then be aware that hotel prices tend to peak at this time, so an early reservation is strongly recommended.

You can check out availability and make reservations for local hotels here.

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