The granddaddy of all the modern Japanese rock fest, Fuji Rock, is hosting a line-up that seems influenced by the London Olympics, which start on the same day. Skip To Bottom
The 16th annual Fuji Rock Festival, which starts Friday and runs through Sunday, will feature headliners the Stone Roses, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds and Radiohead. In addition, Beady Eye, the Specials, The Ray Davies Band, and Elvis Costello have high-profile, second-headliner positions. All these of bands are from England - as are several of the other prominent acts, including James Blake and Spiritualized.
In addition, Jack White, Toots and the Maytals, Justice, Buddy Guy, Elvin Bishop, At the Drive-In, and Gossip, among others, will perform.
Fuji Rock Festival, held at a ski resort in the mountains of Naeba, Niigata prefecture (ironically nowhere near Mount Fuji) kick-started the summer music festival craze in Japan in 1997. At that time big outdoor fests were thought too risky. Now there are more than 30 major music fests in the summer in Japan and more throughout the year.
Johnny "Fingers" Moylett, a producer at Smash Corporation, the promoter of Fuji Rock, says, "It is the first time for Radiohead to play the festival and so there is a lot of excitement, as their current show was previewed at Coachella '12." He notes that another act has also caught the attention of those in Japan. "The Stone Roses is a very special show not only to Japanese rock fans. The first event they confirmed on reforming was Fuji Rock, and it will be a moment."
Fuji Rock regularly draws 110,000-130,000 partiers to the slopes of Naeba and has been able to maintain its position as the most important rock fest in Japan, despite stiff challenges from other fests, both with domestic and international line-ups.
Commenting on this pre-eminent position Moylett says, "We at Smash like to think it's because of the music, it's the main reason people buy tickets." He adds, "but it is also a great weekend party in a beautiful location, away from the humdrum of work and city life -- four days of freedom. There is so much more to do and see other than the music stages."
Billboard estimates ticket sales with earn Smash 1.35 billion yen ($17 mil.) in revenue, though with over 200, mostly international bands performing, the costs of putting on the event are high. Smash will donate part of the proceeds to victims of last year's earthquake and tsunami. Skip To Top