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As the new kid on the Fuji Rock block, I've been wondering where it will rank in the memories of festivals gone by.

Will it be like that time I went to the second Lollapalooza festival? That would be the time we threw a tarp over a branch somewhere on the Ontario Hydro grounds in Barrie, Ontario...and proceeded to camp out under the stars. And cut ourselves climbing the fence by the highway...and met some nice young ladies from New York State who let us drive their car back home...long story, way to personal to get into here. Amazing to see how Lollapolooza spawned so many events (including Fuji, in a way), then died and came back to what it is today.

The last time I got to a rock festival there was a Japanese connection - I drove nine hours to Chicago for the Intonation Festival, mostly to see the Boredoms. There was no drunken stumbling through the heat...no mosh pit...in fact, everyone seemed extremely well-behaved. Are audiences acting older, or is it just me?

What I'm looking to explore is how the audience at a Japanese festival is going to behave. I've been to enough rock shows in both Canada and Japan to know that there's a different kind of appreciation shown by Japanese audiences. I've heard you'll never meet a friendlier bunch of people and that the vibe is unbeatable. To be honest, I'm as interested in experiencing that as I am seeing the music.



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