With the official timetable out we can finally plan our dream Fuji Rock schedules! Whether you are a returnee or a first timer, here’s a run down of all of the stages at the festival. Let’s talk about what you need to know, what facilities there are and what to expect from all of the different stages Fuji Rock has to offer!
As we’re approaching the one month countdown to Fuji Rock, the excitement is growing day by day. Good music, good food, good company, all whilst basking in the beautiful scenery of Naeba, what could be better than that? While we all slowly start to prepare for the festival, let’s take into account some ways we can make this years experience more sustainable.
- June 1, 2022 ● Experiences
Aside from the unique opportunity to see our favorite bands in beautiful natural mountainous surroundings, one of the best things about Fuji Rock Festival is how relaxing and comfortable the gathering can be, even among upwards of 100,000 attendees in past years. This is made possible in part by everyone minding their manners and cooperating together to make Fuji Rock the best festival it can be. With just a bit of common sense, an awareness of our surroundings, and by following just a few guidelines we can continue to keep Fuji Rock a truly special experience year after year. Here are just a few of the most important things to keep in mind once you step onto the festival grounds this summer.
Having started producing her own music at an astonishingly early age (in grade five or grade six, by her recollection) 4s4ki released her first full album in 2020, and makes her Fuji Rock debut this year. I caught up with her via Zoom, to get a feel for where she is headed. READ MORE
Friday is International Clash Day, a celebration of the life, work, music, and politics of “The Only Band That Matters“. Begun seven years ago because of a “listener request”, Seattle’s KEXP enlisted 110 radio stations around the world to host special broadcasts and live events ala “Radio Clash” from London to Uruguay.
So lift your jug like Clash front-man Joe Strummer, who is pictured here outside the Fuji Rock entrance way back in the day. And here’s a fun fact, Joe Strummer’s birthday, August 21, coincides with the start of this year’s festival. Call it synchronicity or happenstance, but you gotta believe their will probably be a few covers and on-stage tributes as well as many t-shirts and Mohawks championing The Clash’s anti-hate, anti-racism message.
- July 31, 2019 ● Experiences
Saturday’s deluge would’ve done in a lesser festival, but Fuji Rock staff quickly worked to ensure the safety of footpaths and major stages. Measures such as opening up a conference room in the Prince Hotel for campers was no doubt greatly appreciated for those whose tents were waterlogged. And when the sun emerged on Sunday, much of the festival was dry, a testament to ground crews and drainage work which goes on throughout the year. Smash has mastered the art of logistics, everything from providing artists outstanding equipment and stages, as well as new toilet areas for festivalgoers. Continual improvements in all areas of the festival has impressed me, and up and coming areas should be making it on your radar such as Pyramid Garden, Don’s Café, and NGO village.
I’ve long championed Fuji Rock’s Joe Strummer Memorial, 3-ton European ski gondola which perched princely above the Palace of Wonder. Unfortunately, brutal snowfall in Naeba each winter tossed the gondola around like a crushed beer can. Two years ago, it was flattened into little more than a pedestal for another artwork. A sort of rescue effort was made a few months ago to cut it open and rescue valuable works inside such as handwritten, festival specific lyrics penned by Joe Strummer himself, artwork attributed to him and others, and whatever other seeds of rock and roll history could be recovered.
On March 29th, 2019, as The Cure stood on the red carpet before their induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, their lead singer – the eternally-lipsticked Robert Smith – was accosted by a brash reporter who, in classic American fashion, belted, “Are you as EXCITED as I am?!?!”. Equally true to form, and visibly wincing from her sensory assault, Mr.Smith quietly replied,”…apparently not”.
Despite their relatively upbeat post-punk debut in 1979, The Cure quickly ascended to the ranks of royalty as “kings of gloom”; people who made it not only acceptable to openly live through one’s depressive states; in the right circles, they even made it look “cool”.
As recent studies reveal that depression is on the rise worldwide, The Cure’s receipt of Rock’s highest honour not only seems fittingly timely; it also validates those who were bullied for being their fans in decades past. And, as Robert Smith and Co. prepare thirtieth anniversary concerts of their album Disintegration (arguably their darkest record) we can almost hear their throngs of fans silently chime, “We told you so”.
Even further cementing their importance, beyond becoming an incidental champion for those who struggle with mental health issues, from The Cure’s earliest performances, Robert Smith also pioneered another modern topic; gender and sexuality. Openly displaying more femininity than the average man since The Cure’s first shows, by 1982 Mr. Smith donned lipstick for all concerts and photo shoots. Even throngs of loyal fans assumed he was bisexual. However, ever-defiant of preconceptions, and consistently breaking new ground by default, Robert Smith would clearly state in interviews that he was monogamously married to a woman he loved; his high school sweetheart, Mary Poole. Once again, decades ahead of popular discourse, he indirectly gave millions permission to be themselves in both gender and sex.
As the band prepares to release a brand new album this autumn – reportedly steeped in “doom and gloom” – to celebrate its fortieth anniversary, its performance at Fuji Rock flows into a twenty-three date marathon of concerts, consisting mostly of appearances at legendary festivals like Glastonbury and Austin City Limits. Some may question the relevance of these ageing pioneers, in a country where visual kei and makeup on men is already seen as passé. However, for a land still struggling with gender equality, LGBTQ rights and epidemic depression, The Cure is a prescription we all need.
- June 28, 2019 ● Experiences
Each year at Fujirock, there is an outdoor theater playing a selection of films under the stars.
The screen is placed in the Tokoro Tengoku area, near the bridge that crosses the stream leading to the White Stage.
You can catch films shown here on both Friday and Saturday night. Set up your camp chair and enjoy your favorite film in the cool mountain air. READ MORE