The summer is here and for some people that means getting together with friends, family and complete strangers, standing in a field and watching some of your favorite bands play live. Yes, summer means music festival season, and in Japan we have one of the world’s best. Of course, we are talking about Fuji Rock Festival.
What is Fuji Rock Festival?
Fuji Rock Festival is a three day music festival that has been held annually since 1997, and this year it will be on July 24-26. The festival’s name comes from the famous Mt. Fuji, from the base of which the first festival was held, although after that first year it has been held at Naeba Ski Resort in Yuzawa Niigata, with up to 100,000 people attending. The festival site has seven main stages with more minor ones dotted around, showing a mix of Japanese and international acts ranging from underground artists to behemoth superbands.
Who is playing Fuji Rock Festival 2015?
2015 will really put the ‘rock’ into Fuji, particularly on it’s opening day. 90’s pop punks Ash are followed by Japanese teen favorites One Ok Rock. After garage rockers Royal Blood come noiseniks Motorhead and headlining are the undisputed giants of the festival world, Foo Fighters. Saturday takes it down a notch in the ‘rawk’ stakes with Japanese duo Glim Spanky bringing the feminine scuzzy riffs and Scottish indie evergreens Belle and Sebastian bringing the twee. Canadian producer Deaudmau5 will be upping the prog-house stakes, and the headline act is Muse who have perhaps the best live show in the world right now.
Sunday is for those who like their rock with a distinctly Brit Pop flavor. Johnny Marr, of The Smith fame, will perform solo, and dirty Brit rockers The Bohicas will no doubt tear up the stage. Perhaps the most anticipated act of the weekend are the newly reformed shoegazers Ride, and then headlining is the Oasis guitarist and songwriter Noel Gallagher and his High Flying Birds.
The Fuji Rock Festival experience
Tickets can be purchased for either individual days or the full weekend, meaning you can do as much or as little as you like. For those wanting the full experience there are plenty of accommodation options, with many of the local ski lodges, ryokans and minshuku welcoming the summer custom.
For those on a sticker budge or wanting to stay close to the action the best option is to camp along with the 17,000 others who share one of the three camping areas on the nearby golf course. This being Japan, most people will be prepared with camping stoves and the like, so do not surprised to find semi-professional kitchens sprouting up. If you aren’t so well stocked you can shop at one of the many food stalls, but be sure to recycle any rubbish to help the festival in its aim to be the greenest of its kind in the world. The festival site itself is large and varied, and some of the trails between stages can be long, but often beautiful. The view from the Daydreaming stage at the top of the mountain, accessible from Dragondola, the longest gondola lift in the world, is staggering.
How do I get to Fuji Rock Festival?
Shinkansen is the most advisable way of getting to the festival, and it takes one hour and 20 minutes to get to Echigo-Yuzawa station from Tokyo. Shuttle busses run to the festival site from there. You can organize a special shinkansen reservation plan by calling the JR Reservation Center on 03-3843-2001. There are also plenty of official tour operators organizing trips to the festival. You can find many of them here.(Japanese)
Fuji Rock Details
Where: Naeba Ski Resort, Yuzawa-cho, Niigata Pref.
When: Fri, July 24, Sat, July 25, Sun July 26, 2015
Price: 3 Day Ticket 39,800 JPY; 1 Day Ticket (Per Day) 16,800 JPT plus camping/parking costs
To continue to read a full story for other summer music festivals, please click Japan Info Swap: Fuji Rock Festival 2015.
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