Fujirock has many sights and not the least of them is the people. The smiling crowds are invariably a wild mix of personalities, fashion and music tastes. However, after a few trips to the festival I find there are some broad categories that we can assign people to, based on how they approach the festival.
Once this person has their chair on the ground, they aren’t moving for the rest of the day. Often accompanied by a wonky expandable table or a square half-a-mile of tarps, they can most often be seen at the Green Stage with a smaller representation at the back of the Red Marquee and Field of Heaven. No hail, rain nor shine will move these people from their declared area. I’d like to think at the first Fuji Rock that these people were these people as well, shrugging off the typhoon and having to be moved on by staff far after the plug had been pulled. Legend has it there is still some waiting on the Tenjinyama fields, waiting patiently for the second day’s sets to come and their mates to return with beer.
This person has a vague idea of what band is playing when but is far more interested in the experience of the festival. Depending on their mood, they may float from the jazz at the Field of Heaven to dip their toes into the rock of the White Stage. These are the people that find their way to the river at the boundaries and set up esoteric rock sculptures. They’ve managed to lose their printed schedule in the first three hours of the festival, if they had one at all and no thank you, they don’t want another one. This the most friendly group, more than happy to strike up a conversation and occasionally it isn’t even to ask what the name of the band that is playing is.
This is a slightly easier pick than the last category. This person is easily recognised by their brisk pace, notebook with segmented set times and day three exhaustion. Once their artists and sets are chosen, they will be seen. No matter if the crowds between stages are packed as a rush hour train, no matter if they have to get from the Cafe de Paris to the Red Marquee in two minutes. Rest assured, their day begins at 9:30am at Daydreaming and will be ending at 4am when the Palace of Wonder closes its doors. By day three, their boots will be a thick combination of mud and dust, their notes satisfyingly crossed off one by one and their facial expression will be slightly unhinged from tiredness.
Which species are you or do you have any to add to the above? Let us know on Facebook or below!
Text by Matt Evans
Photos by Masami Munekawa and 志賀崇伸