Summer Sonic, Japan's biggest summer music fest that features international repertoire, is set to rock Tokyo bay once again. This year's line-up features first-timer Rihanna, regulars Green Day as well as Gotye, Mac Miller, Pitbull, Franz Ferdinand, Ke$ha, Sigur Ros and Azealia Banks.
The festival is held simultaneously in Tokyo and Osaka, drawing some 120,000 over two days in Tokyo and 80,000 in Osaka, for a total of 200,000. The line-ups alternate in each city.
The tickets in Tokyo cost 15,000 yen ($189) for one day and 27,000 yen ($340) while in Osaka you can squeeze in for 12,500 yen ($157) for one day and 22,50 yen ($283) for two.
Other big attractions on the bill include Passion Pit, Adam Lambert, The Vaccines, Garbage, Death Cab for Cutie, Jamiroquai and Tears for Fears.
Frank Takeshita the Executive Director of Creativeman Productions, the company that puts on Summer Sonic, notes the importance of having both old and new acts. "This year's mixture is typical of Summer Sonic. Headliners like Green Day and Rihanna are absolutely what Summer Sonic is about."
In Tokyo Rihanna and Green Day will lead on the Marine stage, which is the 50,000- seat Chiba Lotte Marine stadium, and Sigur Ros and New Order will headline the Mountain stage, the second stage, which is in the Makuhari Messe convention center and can hold 5,000-7,000. In Osaka the event is held at the Maishima Summer Sonic Osaka site, where the Ocean stage, the main stage, holds about 25,000. Osaka also has a Mountain stage of similar size to Tokyo.
This year one special feature of the fest will be the Island stage, which will focus on high-powered rock bands from across Asia. The venue has a lot of mainland Chinese acts performing but Takeshita notes, "Not only Chinese, Korean and Taiwanese too. This stage is called 'Island stage -Asian Calling- (it) is dedicated to Asian bands as we feel that Asia is closer than ever now and while the idols groups have their presence we feel it's important to support the (rock) bands." The stage will feature Ashura from China, Guckkasten from Korea, and Mercy & Sorrow from China, as well as Yu-Huan DMDM from Taiwan and Pee Wee Gaskins from Indonesia, among others.
There will also be a host of attractions for patrons to peruse. The Silent Disco offers partygoers a chance to dance with their own private headphones. There will be a Sonic Art area where patrons can draw and paint on sheets provided by the fest.
Notes Takeshita, "last year we had to close down some areas due to the earthquake, but this year everything id back to normal."