Samba school rehearsals

Local Calendars - Rio de Janeiro


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For samba schools in Rio de Janeiro, the celebration starts long before the official Carnival season. Rehearsals for Grupo A, Grupo B and Grupo Especial, which perform at the Sambadrome, start halfway through the year. Samba schools courts are open to revellers of all ages to warm up for the Carnival.

 Photo: Cris Isidoro/ Diadorim Ideias

Rehearsals gather teenagers and children, members of the local community, tourists and celebrities in sought-after parties, where Queens of Drums and samba school muses are present. To attend, it's advised to check the samba school schedule of activities, which includes rehearsals and other established attractions in the touristic calendar. Each school rehearsal has its own personality: Salgueiro is said to be good for flirting, Vila Isabel for watching beautiful people, Mangueira is a well-known tourist attraction. At Mocidade Independente and Portela, samba is the main attraction, where the bateria (the percussion band) and traditional samba musicians are the highlights.

An interesting innovation: some schools have brought, in the last few years,  technical rehearsals for the Sambadrome parade to the streets. Some of these rehearsals take more than three thousand revellers to the streets, separated in the traditional wings and carrying their instruments. It almost like the official parade, but without the costumes. The celebration is catchy and residents as well as tourists join the participants in the event. Unidos de Vila Isabel started the trend in 2012, gathering revellers at 9pm at 28 de Setembro Boulevard. The school paraded through the boulevard to its samba court until revellers were dripping in sweat and tears, thrilled by the experience.

Those who prefer, can watch technical rehearsals at Marquês de Sapucaí Avenue, where the official parades take place - the rehearsals are open to the public.

The rehearsal schedule of each school can be found on their websites: Acadêmicos do Salgueiro, Estação Primeira de Mangueira, Mocidade Independente de Padre Miguel, Portela, Acadêmcios do Grande Rio, União da Ilha, Beija-Flor de Nilópolis, Imperatriz Leopoldinense, Unidos do Porto da Pedra, Renascer de Jacarepaguá, São Clemente, Unidos da Tijuca

The official street band schedule can be found at Rio Guia Oficial (which is updated on the months before carnival).

General Information


September to March.

Address: Boulevard Vinte e Oito de Setembro Rio de Janeiro - RJ

Secretaria de Cultura do Estado do Rio de Janeiro Petrobras

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