Japan’s Woodstock: Fuji Rock Festival

June 6th, 2012By Category: Arts & Entertainment, Events

If you want fashion, Japan has everything for you. If you want anime, you can even dress up like one in Japan and not look like you’re from another planet. If you want J-Pop and hip-hop, you’ll never be bored here…and as the ACDC song goes, “If you want rock, you got it” and in Japan, you definitely got rock and roll.

If the US has Woodstock, then Japan has Fuji Rock Festival. It’s an annual rock festival that’s held in Naeba Ski Resort, in Niigata Prefecture, Japan every last week of July. It is a three-day event organized by Smash Japan, which features both Japanese and international musicians. Fuji Rock Festival started in 1997, and was first held at the base of Mount Fuji at the Tenjinyama Ski Resort.

Instead of just one large stage for performers to present their music, Fuji Rock Festival has seven main stages and other minor stages around the site. The main stage is the Green stage, which can have 50,000 spectators. Other stages include the White Stage, Red Marquee, Orange Court and Field of Heaven. The site’s hub is called the Oasis, where spectators may be able to enjoy having food and drinks while waiting for performances. But not only does the Fuji Rock Festival features rock and roll music. The night before the festival, the organizers hold an opening party which is free for everyone, featuring traditional Japanese folk dancers or bon-odori performers. There are also prize draws, food stalls and fireworks display.

Unlike some music festivals, Fuji Rock Festival aims to be the cleanest festival in the world. According to attendees of past events, the cleanliness of the site and facilities and the efforts of the organizers to promote cleanliness and recycling is often commented on. Some of the international musicians that have performed include Rage Against the Machine, Oasis, Alanis Morissette, Green Day, Coldplay and Jason Mraz, among others. Regulars of the event include Asian Dub Foundation, Foo Fighters and The Red Hot Chili Peppers.

This year, 2012, the Fuji Rock Festival will once again deliver world-class acts from Japanese and international artists. As early as May, organizers have been releasing information about the lineup for this year’s festival. They have also released statements about booking, ticket sales and camping sites for those attending the event. Fuji Rock Festival’s official site has also given a list of the performers, which include The Stone Roses, Radiohead, Elvis Costello and the Imposters, Ed Sheeran, the Shibusashirazu Orchestra, Michael Kiwanuka and the New Cool Collective, among others (see the full lineup here). This year’s event will run from July 27-30. However, campsite tickets have started to be on sale since May 19, 2012 and will be set up on July 26.

So if you want rock–you got it here. It’s also a fun way to enjoy the mountainside with cool sounds live from your favorite bands. It’s a fun way to meet new people and celebrate music  and good times. If you still don’t have tickets for this event, might as well start breaking your coin banks and hurry before tickets get sold out. For those who already have their tickets and have prepared well for this upcoming event, for those looking forward to have a good time and hear great rock music, ACDC’s song would be a nice little anthem for you.

“We rock at dawn on the front line

Like a bolt right out of the blue

The sky’s alight with the guitar fight

Heads will roll and rock tonight.

For those about to rock, we salute you.”

Rock on!

Photo by: *key1jp,  rd_79 and hkanemat via Flickr

Author of this article


GaijinPot is an online community for foreigners living in Japan, providing information on everything you need to know about enjoying life here, from finding a job and accommodation to having fun.

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