• cafe de paris

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

    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.


  • theinternet2

    Fujirockers talk to The Internet


    This group of west coast neo hip-hop, soul-funkers is finally getting its dues and is making waves both at home and here in Japan. The Internet started some 5 years ago when founding members Syd Tha Kyd and Matt Martians started making tunes together through the internet. After putting in work in the underground scene collaborating with L.A. based alt. hip-hop collective Odd future they finally found mainstream success with the release of 2015’s Ego Death. Their third studio album peaked at number 9 on the US Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and was nominated for a Grammy in the best urban contemporary category. READ MORE

  • 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


    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.


  • WilKo019124

    Where will Wilco play?

    I’m giddily anticipating the return of Wilco, a band  the New Yorker billed as standard bearer of American music for the past two decades (read it here). And judging by this short video, Wilco seems equally psyched about returning to Fuji Rock. Getting Wilco to perform is no simple task as the band is so popular + profitable they don’t need to do much international touring, though you would never know this based upon frontman Jeff Tweedy’s rumpled attire. So Wilco will be back, but where will they be playing? This question has been killing me because scheduling dictates how long of a set a band can play. And if you’re a mega fan like me, you want to savor every single minute of their set. READ MORE

  • Most fans heading to Fuji Rock take the easy option and catch the Joetsu Shinkansen to/from the festival site.

    A primer on getting to/from Fuji Rock

    The last thing you probably want to do in the countdown to the 20th anniversary of Fuji Rock is spend a lot of time working out how to get to the festival site. You probably want to spend even less time working out how to get back. There are a number of options you can take to travel to and from the festival, which is located in the lush mountains of the Naeba Ski Resort in Niigata Prefecture. Let’s go over each of these in turn … READ MORE

  • Sabannaman at Fuji Rock 2015

    7th line-up announcement is here!

    As summer draws ever closer in Japan and the warm weather teases us with thoughts of beautiful days up in the mountains, 15 more artists joined have joined this year’s line-up.


  • Jump With Joey

    Jump With Joey Talk Ska, Japan and Fuji Rock 2016

    After announcing their appearance at this year’s Fuji Rock we wanted to find out a little bit more about LA ska-band Jump With Joey, who are reforming especially for the fest after a 17-year hiatus.  Luckily, we caught up with Joey Altruda and Willie McNeil in Tokyo a few weeks ago to talk about the band’s beginnings, their Japan-connection, and what they’re looking forward to at this year’s Fuji Rock festival.


  • 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.


  • 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.