• spsessions

    Jimmy’s Jazzy Sunday


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    Allow me to kick off the start of a (possible) day curating series here at Fujirockers. Let us plan your day for you. We know the festival is massive and the lineup is daunting. Planning a day is often confusing and the lineup often conflicts. So, let us do the dirty work for you. This (possible) series is a way for us experienced Fujirockers to guide you through a day, taking you through which bands to see when and why.

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  • 2cellos

    Chatting with Cellos


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    When thinking about which bands to check out at Japan’s premiere rock festival this summer, a pair of classically trained cellists might not be at the top of your list, but they should be. 2Cellos are no ordinary cellists and their main stage set Sunday should be a sight to behold.  This pair of young men hailing from Zagreb, Croatia are taking the cello places no one ever thought possible. They’re bringing the instrument out from behind the stuffy, often pretentious atmosphere of the orchestra setting and showcasing it on the main stage, attracting millions through the Internet and rocking summer festivals around the world. READ MORE

  • Naeba's local hot-spring bath

    Yukisasa-no-Yu: Naeba’s 24-hour Hot Spring


    There’s not much else I can think of that will more effectively cure a mid-festival sore lower back and tired set of legs from trekking across the wide grounds than a quick (or maybe not-so-quick) soak in a hot-spring bath. Luckily for Fujirockers, nearby “Yukisasa-no-Yu“, a Japanese natural hot spring located right in Naeba-town extends its hours of operation to remain open around the clock during the entirety of the festival. This means you’ll be able to enjoy a relaxing hot bath even after catching a 3am set at the Red Marquee or partying until sunrise at the Palace of Wonder.

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  • cafe de paris

    Where the Party Is: Palace of Wonder and Cafe de Paris


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    The lineups for 10 of the 11 small stages were just announced last Friday June 3, and even if you are not familiar with all the acts, rest assured, these stages will be tons of fun! For it is these stages that the Fuji Rock carnies call home, coming out of their subterranean musical grottoes to bedazzle fest-goers with their sly musical magic. Only the Rookie A Go Go lineup is still to come. (Check new additions to the lineup here.) So this is a perfect time to continue with our Comprehensive Guide to the Small Stages of FRF.

    But first, a rock’n’roll caveat. In the documentary Gimme Shelter, as the Rolling Stones were preparing for Altamont, Mike Jagger was quoted as saying, “The concert is just an excuse, really…” And then, mid-sentence, he trailed off into dreamy rapture, as if he had just discovered the thing the concert was an excuse for somewhere in the middle of his stoned-out mind.  There are at least 11 small stages at Fuji Rock and even more festival areas. To paraphrase Lord Mick, the big stages are just the excuse, really…  for the small stages, because that’s really where the festival springs to life.

    In our last guide to the small stages, we looked at the chill-out zones. This time, let’s focus on the party spots, namely the Palace of Wonder complex and Cafe de Paris. And as the Palace actually comprises several separate stages/areas, we will also break that down.

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  • day dreaming2

    A Guide to the Small Stages: Gypsy Avalon, Day Dreaming, Pyramid Garden


    One major trend at Fuji Rock in recent years has been the development of small stages. There are now at least nine small stages, and even more activity areas, even though the fest is best know for the famous bands that play on its four major stages. The small stages are the mini-scenes within festival’s big ecosystem, representing everything from underground rock clubs (Rookie-a-Go-Go) to folk singer cafes (Pyramid Garden) to raves in remote natural landscapes (Day Dreaming) or a boozy Caribbean burlesque joint (Cafe de Paris).

    It’s no accident that while the big stages have anonymous, color-coded names (Red Marquee, Green Stage, White Stage and Field of Heaven), the small stages have unique names that indicate personality. Here’s a quick guide, starting with Gypsy Avalon, Pyramid Garden and Day Dreaming.   READ MORE

  • The beauty of Fuji Rock

    Top 10 tips for first time Fuji Rockers


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    Let me preface this article by saying I highly recommend getting the 3 day pass to Fuji Rock in order to get the full experience. As someone who has gone up for a single day and night in the past, I feel that in order to grasp the essence of Fuji Rock, what makes it different from your average festival, is to take in the festival experience as a whole and not just bits and pieces. Secondly, I made this article a list as people generally like lists and it should be easy to read. Keep in mind, it’s not a ranked top 10 list, but just my list of 10 tips. If after reading it, you feel I’m missing something crucial for newcomers to Fuji Rock let myself and the readers know. With that said, let’s get to it.

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  • Rega rocking the preparty

    Don’t miss the (pre)party


    So, you got your 3-day pass for the big festival, you’ve planned out your train route and are all set for an awesome 3 day party with your favorite bands. What could be better? Well what if I told you, you could extend that party an extra day, see some surprise sets from aforementioned awesome bands, enjoy a party with the Naeba locals, take in a fireworks show, a traditional Japanese Bon-Odori dance  and it was all for free. Allow me to make the case why you can’t truely experience this great festival if you don’t come up on Thursday.

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  • Pirates Parade at Boomtown

    Fuji Rock Virgin Talks Expectations and Memories of Festivals Past


    Back during the days when I was living in a climate that required much less stoicism and bug spray, I used to spend much of my summer vacations looking forward to hitting the Reading Festival, or whatever else I could afford to go to on a student booksellers’ wage. Sadly, those days are gone, and although this is not my first festival experience in Japan – I once spent a weekend at a campsite halfway up a mountain in Wakayama getting bombarded by Gabba and Chip music til 3am every night– it will be my first Fuji Rock. Nor will it be my first festival as a reporter. I had great fun last year covering the Boomtown Fair festival in the UK; the experience was much more pleasant than I had been expecting, and has hopefully set me up nicely for the Fuji Rock preparation.

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  • Pops and Jonny

    Father and Son Festival Fun


    When I was a kid heading off to festivals, my parents would drop me off at the train station, tell me to be careful and drive off home relieved to have a weekend free from my own personal teenage tornado.  The thought of them accompanying me to a festival never crossed my mind, and certainly never would have even flickered across theirs – festival toilets are something they have never had the misfortune to experience and I feel it should ever remain that way.  So when I was introduced to Jonny Woodward by a mutual friend, I was pretty impressed to find that he manages to survive Fuji Rock with his dad, and has done on several occasions.

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