July 19, 2009

Movin' On Up

A little bit of news for you regular (and irregular...and just plain weird) readers of the Blogging with Fuji Rock site: we're moving!

This blog goes back to 2006 and we aren't stopping now, but after years on the MT platform we are moving to WordPress and taking all our inside info with us. We also have a shiny new URL so you can now find us, the FujiRockers, at www.fujirock.com.

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July 16, 2009

HMV and Tower FRF- related In-Store Performances

Some of this year’s FRF acts have in-store performances scheduled at HMV and Tower Records outlets in Japan before and after the fest.

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Play it, Steve

It's been reported that Steve Cropper, legendary guitarist and songwriter/producer for Otis Redding and everybody else who passed through the Stax Records legend-making machine in the 60s, will join the tribute on Sat. night to Kiyoshiro Imawano. That makes two MGs in the house.

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July 10, 2009

Ok ... Really All Full Now


Based on a message that appeared on the FRF official site last week I posted that the 8th lineup announcement was most likely the final one. Turns out the fine folks at Smash had two more small additions for us.

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July 5, 2009

FRF Staff Picks: Jinki


Fujirockers staff writer, Jinki, offers up some of what he'll be doing/seeing at the fest this year.

Best place for a drink/meetup: the Tengoku ("Heaven") bar between White and Green Stages, near to the river. Stategically located, always plenty to fresh fruit for cocktails, decent shochu and generous pours in years past.

Click "Continue Reading" for more...

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Beyond the Bands


Any Fujirock veteran will tell you that the fest is more than just live music. Each year the organizers make an effort to provide enough stimuli to give the boys and their guitars some competition. Here are a three new additions to this year's spectacle.

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la vie en rose

The outer limits of the festival just got more civilized with the addition of a new "stage" called Cafe de Paris, which is "inspired" by "Moulin Rouge," the famous Montmartre night club, not the movie with Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman warbling rock hits from the 60s-80s.

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July 3, 2009

Fuji Fashion

Now that you have bought your ticket and you’ve decided on where you gonna stay, the next thing you gotta think about is what to wear. To help you along this difficult road, we suggest a few looks for you to consider.

Basic Rocker
He/she styles with a simple t-shirt with some logo or ironic phrase, pairing it with athletic shoes and shorts. A flimsy, disposable rain poncho is within easy reach, and by the end of the night, this person is running on fumes


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July 1, 2009

All Full


The eighth (and most likely final) lineup announcement has been made for this year’s FRF. The timetable has been revealed too. Oh yeah, and another stage has been added to the party!

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June 30, 2009

Glastonbury picts

Amazing set of pictures from last weekend festival of Glastonbury 2009 in England. The big mash attracted a whooping 190,000 people together to celebrate the festival sacred trinity SDR. Published into the The Big Picture of The Boston Globe.


June 24, 2009

Saturday night's all right for fighting (with yourself)

This morning I chatted with George Porter Jr., the legendary bassist for New Orleans' original funksters The Meters. He'll be at Fuji with the latest incarnation of the group, The Funky Meters. I mentioned that a contemporary of his who also helped define funk in the 60s, Booker T, would be playing on a neighboring stage at approximately the same time.
"You're kidding?" he said in a tone that sounded less like pleasurable surprise and more like complete befuddlement.
"Yeah, I know what you mean," I responded. Who coordinated that?

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Goodbye Killers, Hello Weller


Replacing The Killers on Friday night is the "Modfather" himself, Mr. Paul Weller.

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June 21, 2009

Bad Brains and The Gaslight Anthem Rock and Refresh You


The Gaslight Anthem and Bad Brains will draw large crowds of grooving bodies to the White Stage on Saturday, July 25. Many audience members will be seeking refreshment after what will hopefully be scorching sets from both. No doubt a cold The Gaslight Anthem Cream Soda or Bad Brains Rootz Beer would quench their thirst.

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You Gotta Sleep At Some Point


While camping is the most cost-efficient option for accommodations at FRF, trying to find a tent amidst a sea of 15,000 or so campers, queuing for lukewarm showers, and sharing portable toilets all weekend long isn’t for all. For those still seeking a hotel, there’s an announcement about the waiting list for cancelled accommodations on the fest’s official English site.

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June 19, 2009

FR Twitter Addicts


Look like the past months the entire web turned addict to Twitter. The new hip social network is picking up users at alarming rate and everyone suddenly have the urge to tell the world what they are doing… If you are bored to follow you friends to learn who’s having a coffee or who’s lonely at home, just point out your browser to our fellow Fuji Rock stars account and get to know the out and about of the Jet Set. From the very quiet Polysics to enthusiastic Diplo, many artists jumped into the little bird bandwagon.

A list of the official or fans feeds and French translation after the jump!

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June 16, 2009


Any hardcore Fujirock fan knows that the Palace of Wonder is where it's at during the wee hours, and now that Smash UK is moving forward with a dedicated website, you can count on more coverage.

Many, many links, vids and more info after the jump.

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June 15, 2009

Summer Sonic Spreading?


Nine Inch Nails, Linkin Park, and Mew will invade the Taipei area in early August with huge, arena sized shows. Meanwhile, Placebo and a host of smaller acts will band together for the newly inaugurated Music Terminals Festival. What do all these bands have in common? They are all performing at this year’s Summer Sonic.

Previously, Taipei audiences could expect1 or 2 Fuji Rock performers (Moby, Super Furry Animals, Lisa Loeb) to stop over at Taipei’s longer running Formoz Festival. However, Formoz went on a one-year hiatus due to construction work on the festival’s preferred venue – a children’s park in central Taipei- potentially opening the door for rival promoters.

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June 14, 2009

Breaking news

This just in...New acts and stuff announced! Robert Randolph Band on the Green Stage! Holy Fuck on the White Stage! (that's a band, not a comment) Dinosaur Jr. taking the top slot at the Red Marquee on Sat.! Lily Allen two times!!! And the Killers cancel!!! (stop cheering, you over there in the AC/DC T-shirt) Plus the full rosters for the Crystal Palace and Daydreaming, so you better get on line right now.

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June 12, 2009

Rookie Info


Sounds, profiles, web sites and MySpace info for all 15 acts for the this year's Rookie A Go-Go stage have been uploaded here.

In other news, there are apparently more than 24 hours in a Japanese day...

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June 9, 2009

Dregs Preview


As part of their "World Is Yours" tour, Mass Of The Fermenting Dregs will be playing at Shimokitazawa Shelter this Thursday night...

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June 5, 2009

Hey Ho, Let's Go


One day left to reserve your pre-booked tickets for Fuji Rock Festival 2009. Regular ticket sales start tomorrow, 6 June 2009.


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June 4, 2009

Lord of the Dance vs Naked Wizard


If you love music festivals and haven't seen this one yet, then check it: a crazy with dude get little overwhelmed by the party decide to pull out a SMAP and get his cloths off. Just one minor problem this time, the scene is from last edition of Coachella Festival in California and the cops don’t take it lightly when the unfortunate nudist refuses to dress up.

*WARNING although the main actor is specially under-equipped to impress, the video is somewhat NSFW. A censure version with a huge black dot covering the offending bits and pieces is available after the jump.

Naked Wizard Tased By Reality from Tracy Anderson on Vimeo.

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June 1, 2009

Once A Fujirocker, Always A Fujirocker

A former member of our very hardworking (and dare I say quite handsome … well Jeff and Dom at least) Fuji Rock E-team has written an article about Fuji Rock and Summer Sonic for the May edition of Thirsty.

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May 31, 2009

Rookie A Go-Go: The Envelope Please...


Every year the Fuji Rock Festival features some great young bands from across Japan on the Rookie A Go-Go stage. It’s your first chance to get a glimpse of the next big thing. Don’t pass it up. This year’s list after the proverbial jump.

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May 25, 2009

Summer + Music Festivals = Awesome

Pitchfork has published a list of all the summer’s coolest music festivals on their web site.

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May 18, 2009

"Tickets! Who Needs Tickets?"

According to Fuji Rock's official English site, regular ticket sales for the festival will begin on Saturday, June 6.

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May 15, 2009

Blink-182 @ Fuji Rock?


Fall Out Boy and Weezer are both scheduled to appear at Fuji Rock on July 26. According to music web site Pitchfork, the two acts are teaming up for a summer tour with the reunited Blink-182. Citing an article in the new issue of Rolling Stone magazine, they say the tour will start on July 24. Does this mean Blink-182 are coming to Naeba too?

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May 14, 2009

Come see The Legend



55DSL, the Diesel sister brand that want you to live at least 55 seconds per day, is celebrating it’s 15th anniversary party tonight (May 14th) at Unit Daikanyama. The special event named “Fifteen fukin years” will feature some Fuji Rock old timer Dexpistols and Grandmaster Flash!!! For those how remember the sweet performance of the hip-hop legend at the Red Marquee, it’s a party not to be missed. Best of all, the party will be free for every body that say “jinki love flash” at the door. Come over warm-up your legs and see you their!

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May 11, 2009

More Dub and Reggae Vibes at This Year's Fest


Will Likkle Mai’s name be included in the next wave of new artists for FRF’ 09? According to her MySpace site it will be.

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May 6, 2009

A White Stripe in Attendance at FRF '09?

It's been reported that Patti Smith's son, Jackson Smith, will wed White Stripes drummer Meg White later this month.

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May 3, 2009

Kiyoshiro Imawano, 1951-2009

Former RC Succession leader and unofficial mayor of Fuji Rock, Kiyoshiro Imawano, died yesterday in a Tokyo hospital at the age of 58. Kiyoshiro was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2006 and reportedly opted out of surgery in order to save his voice. He underwent radiation treatments and seemed clear of the disease enough to launch a comeback in early 2008. This comeback was supposed to culminate in a headlining appearance at last summer's Fuji Rock, but only days before the festival started cancer was discovered in his pelvis and the appearance was cancelled. According to newspaper accounts, Kiyoshiro entered the hospital last Friday feeling ill and his condition quickly deteriorated.

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April 30, 2009

Festival Transfuges

Les derniers sakura ont tombés il y déjà quelques jours a Tokyo. C’est un des signes qui ne trompent pas... l’été arrive à grands pas! Autre signe à surveiller, l’annonce de la programmation des différents festivals d’été. À chaque année, c’est la compétition entre Summer Sonic et Fuji Rock pour qui offrira les artistes les plus courus. Mais cette année un fait qui frappe est que plusieurs artistes décident simplement d’alterner les deux…

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April 18, 2009

More artists announced for FRF 2009

Another round of artists appearing at this year's Fuji Rock Festival released.

Steve Nieve Band featuring Joe Sumner


Second wave of acts announced for FRF 2009

The Killers, Oasis, Public Enemy, and Peaches are among the lineup announced in the second wave of artists added to Fuji Rock Festival 2009.

9mm Parabellum Bullet

Full list after jump...

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July 22, 2008

They get along


Lee "Scratch" Perry and ... Andrew W.K.?

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July 20, 2008

Meet The Stars!

Interested in meeting some of Fuji's acts?

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July 17, 2008


Piniella Einstein.JPG
A change in the Fuji Rock lineup for Sunday, June 27 was announced this morning, though it's not the breakthrough news you might be expecting.

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Department of film

For those festivalgoers who are still awake at midnight but don't feel like partying any more, the festival will once again offer some movies along the river out near the White Stage. Beatles, lizards, funny Brits and...soul food in Shimane?

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July 14, 2008

Big Opening In Sunday Night's Lineup Now


Well, it looks like Japanese frontman extraordinaire Iwamono Kiyoshiro has pulled out of his headline slot to close the festival on the Green stage Sunday evening, citing health concerns.

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July 9, 2008

You Can Never Be Too Prepared Or Have Too Much Time On Your Hands

They're here. Those guides that you can't enough of. We here at Fuji Rock Express don't claim to know everything about the festival (well...that's not quite true, some of us do), but there are, indeed, other Japanese magazines and websites out there with English content aplenty. And where you find English content, you find no shortage of opinions, guides, and rhetoric (the blog you are currently reading being a prime example).

So for your research pleasure (or to alleviate your boredom), here are some other previews for this year's Fuji Rock, as well as some other Japanese music festivals you might like to check out this summer...(since we're "blogging" am I required to say - shudder! - "after the jump" here?)

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July 5, 2008

Gan Ban Square


You missed Ryukyudisko at the White Stage because you went for Midnight Juggernauts at the Red Maquee? Or didn’t have any more energy to reach out for All Night Fuji to dance on Dex Pistols? If you are lucky, you might have a second chance to see them perform at Fuji Rock. Next to Oasis, the main Food Court next to Red Maquee, is the Gan Ban Square that might save you.

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July 1, 2008

Almost Full!


Another round of artists have been announced for Fuji Rock bringing the total number of performing acts to 202! The timetable has been released as well and from the looks of it, there are only two slots left to be filled. One is Sunday night on the Green Stage, the other on Mokudo Tei on Saturday afternoon.

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June 27, 2008

The Legacy Continues

Five years since the death of Joe Strummer, and his memory continues to live on with a recent Billy Bragg interview on KCRW reminding us of this legendary artist and activist. In the interview Bragg says “the Clash taught me that music can change the world” and to honor his passing, Bragg wanted to do more than “just another benefit gig”, putting his energies behind an instruments for inmates charity called Jail Guitar Doors. Incidentally, the name of the charity is taken from the B-side of 1978 release "Clash City Rockers".

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June 22, 2008

Looking East

For the past 4 years, Taiwan’s Formoz Festival has coordinated its artist bookings with Fuji Rock. Both festivals share the same weekend and cooperation has allowed organizers to share artist transportation costs. Artists who have done double duty at both festivals have included: Super Furry Animals, Dirty Pretty Things, Mercury Rev, and Moby.

This year, Formoz organizers were drooling at the prospects of bagging My Bloody Valentine as festival headliners. Negotiations proceeded well, but hit a snag when it came to appearance fees. According to Formoz staff, it was “impossible” for My Bloody Valentine to play for anything less than US$100,000. The fee was too high for Formoz who scrambled to fill the empty slot with Boom Boom Satellites, adding to an already heavy Japanese line-up which includes Mono, LM.C, Plastic Tree, Ovum, and Inoran.

And by the way, Fuji Rock may have been quite lucky to land My Bloody Valentine as this year's reunion tour includes just 18 stops with up to a week off between gigs.

//sean s.

June 21, 2008

After Midnight

If you actually get tired of listening to music, you can always mosey on over to the Palace Arena just outside the main entrance to catch some thrills during the wee hours. This year there's three bone-chilling distractions.

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June 12, 2008

Capitol F


When the Gossip approach the Red Marquee next month, it won’t be hard to locate vocalist Beth Ditto...

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June 5, 2008


Bo Diddley has been described as the most copied guitarist in the world, with many ripping of his “hambone” beat or what Diddley described as a "shave and a haircut, two bits".

The most obvious example is Buddy Holly’s “Not Fade Away”, but for many, including myself, the first introduction to this distinctive beat came from the Jesus and Mary Chain who covered Diddley’s "Who Do You Love" on their 12-inch “April Skies" in 1987, following up with the tribute "Bo Diddley is Jesus" the same year.

Another fan of this former bluesman is Bobby Gillespie of Primal Scream. He's covered Diddley’s “Movin’ on Up” and his newest album “Riot City Blues” has an unmistakable Bo Diddley beat throughout. Gillespie even talks about Diddley’s influence upon the band in this NME interview

//sean s.

June 4, 2008

The Kiddies Are Alright

Lately, more and more of my friends and family are settling down and having children. I guess, you know, becoming adults. And nowadays when the topic of Fuji Rock Festival comes up in late spring, their demeanor becomes wistful. A thousand yard stare comes over them. A silence, a letting go. They look over at the sleeping or cat terrorizing toddler, and say, "I'd love to go, but...well..."

Well I say: Have no fear! Bring the ankle biters...err...little angels. Fuji Rock Festival is officially Kid Tested and Mother Approved!

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June 2, 2008

More bands announced - Old skool to the new


With today's announcement we add to the FRF 2008 lineup a few indie darlings a long-standing FRF fave and one unlikely hall-of-famer...

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May 28, 2008

Technoheads well catered for!

You thought Fuji Rock is all Rock N Roll? Think again!

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More info about Fuji Rock

Dansudansu, a user from the official Fujirockers english BBS, posted two very interesting links about some international coverage of Fuji Rock. Have a look at a cool video report from the jetsetters magazine Monocle and some pictures from last year festival on the respectable BBC News website.

Also, Shawn already pointed out that it’s possible to listen to almost all the confirmed bands on the official myspace of Fuji Rock. But why stop there? Join the social website bandwagon without restrain and share loads of info with your friends with the Last.fm group and confirm your attending on Facebook.


May 24, 2008

FRF 2008 Do's and Don'ts


As the festival approaches, the Fujirockers team tries our best to advise festivalgoers as best we can (see the BBS if you have any specific questions). So I thought I’d start a little DO and Don’t list…

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April 1, 2008

Third wave of artists announced

It's April Fool's Day but the 12 new acts confirmed for the festival are no joke. Meet them after the jump.

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March 5, 2008


coming soon!

Rookie A Go-Go

The Rookie A Go-Go stage located up there near the Palace of Wonder will once again be presenting unsigned bands and wannabe rock stars in all their glorious callowness. Do you have what it takes to make a total fool of yourself in front of dozens of drunken, hard-bitten punters? Well, why not give it a try anyway?

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February 7, 2008

Early Birds Rock the Hardest

Ok folks, it has begun. Smash has just announced that sales of Hayawari (Earlybird) tickets go on sale February 16th. Buy a three-day ticket that week and you save 7,000 yen (regular price: ¥39,800 earlybird price: ¥32,800, tax included).

The sale lasts for one week only. For instructions and information, look here

July 26, 2007

Mo' Beer Blues

Jonesing for a beer, but got those half-full blues?

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July 25, 2007

Weather Reports So Far Looking Good!


Weather reports, as of now, are saying there is a chance of a bit of rain for tomorrow night's pre-fest party, but that Friday, Saturday, and Sunday will be dry! Hopefully things stay this way.

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Across the ocean (sea)


Panting to know where OCS might be next? If you miss their date in Naeba -- Friday 6:20 at the Red Marquee -- cause you're sitting at home watching "Sympathy for Mr. Vengence," don't worry Ocean Colour Scene is coming to the Pentaport Festival in Incheon, which has a mean line-up on its Big Top Stage (Strokes). Fuji spreads ...

OCS site


Change To Sunday's Lineup

The Durutti Column are out (the official FRF English web page is citing illness as the reason) and J.A.M are in.

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July 23, 2007

Another In-store


Grace Potter joins the growing list of acts doing free Tokyo showcases to complement their FRF '07 appearances.

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Kits essentiels du parfait rocker


C'est bientôt le temps de faire son sac-à-dos pour Fuji-Rock. Année après années il y a des choses que j'oublie ou que j'aurais aimé avoir avec moi. Aussi plusieurs de mes amis qui s'apprêtent a vivre l'expérience du festival pour la première fois me demande conseils sur ce qu'ils devraient apporter. Vêtements, nécessaires de camping, chaussures etc. Voila donc ma liste personnel de trucs essentiels à emporter...

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July 21, 2007

Twice The Battles ...


Battles will follow up their Sunday night performance on the White Stage with a (nearly) free in-store performance in Tokyo on Monday July 30.

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July 19, 2007

French Touch


C’est dans moins de deux semaines que débutera la onzième édition du Fuji Rock Festival. Au programme, plus de 150 artistes locaux et internationaux prendront la relève des différentes scènes des montagnes de Niigata pour faire vibrer une foule dépassant les 100,000 spectateurs. Parmi les artistes attendus, de gros nom comme les Beastie Boys ou The Chemical Brothers attireront sûrement plusieurs festivaliers. Cependant, les couches tard et amateurs de music électronique auront l’occasion d’assister à un véritable débarquement des héritiers de la french touch. À Smash, organisateur du festival, on s’est donc tourné vers moi pour couvrir l’événement dans la langue de Molière.

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July 16, 2007

Fuji Cinema Lineup

photo (c) Joe Dilworth

More midnight music movies at this year's Fuji out near the White Stage...

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July 14, 2007

New! Stoned Circle

There's something called the Stone Circle at the Glastonbury Festival and this new area out near the Orange Court most certainly has some sort of psychic connection.

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August 6, 2006

Christmas in July

shawnsnow.jpgOne of the craziest sites I came across at Fuji Rock this year was located on the street leading up to the Prince Hotel.

Walking back to our rooms around 2 am on Sunday morning to drop off some of our gear before checking out POW one last time, Dom, Jeff, and myself were all shocked to come across a snowman. I know we are at Naeba Ski Resort, but it was almost August and the temperature was like 35 degrees Celsius. Frosty had no reason to be there what so ever. However, there he was standing all by his lonesome quietly waiting to greet all who passed by. Guess he got sick of just being around in the winter and missing all of the FRF fun in the summer.

August 5, 2006

Gossip: a Fujirocker missing in action

Kurara ChibanaMiss Kurara Chibana is conquering the world

The Fujirocker team was short of one of his prettiest member this year while Miss Kurara Chibana was busy doing nothing less than more glamorous Miss Universe contest this summer. Formerly part of our reporters crew, the Okinawa born Fujirocker, won the prestigious title of Miss Japan last April. Frustrating the 4,000+ other entries of this year national pageant title, she got her ticket to Los Angeles and showed-up aside the most beautiful women on Earth to get the ultimate title of Miss Universe. Winning the award for the best national costume wearing a futuro-sympatic samurai outfit, our diva lost the galactic beauties contest only to Miss Puerto Rico, Zuleyka Rivera. Nevertheless being the first runner-up of such an event is huge and all the 2006 Fujirockers want to salute this most stylish accomplishment and hope Kurara's going be back on our reporter team next year!

If you want to follow the new career of the sexiest rocker to intend the 2005 Fuji Rock Festival, I suggest you visit her fans club web-site www.kurara-chibana.com, or see her profile on the official Miss Universe pages at www.missuniverse.com/delegates/2006/files/JP.html

Kisses Kurara, a` l'anne´e prochaine!

July 30, 2006

More Photos Soon!!! Promise!!

The server for Fujirock Express, where photos and more concert reports will be uploaded, is still having problems. So for the time being, look here for details, gossip, mishaps, adventure and other fun fest stuff here on the blog. Try the blog's Japanese version for pix that the J-team photographer's have uploaded

Emma and Co - true believers from down under...

My niece Emma flew up from Australia last year for her first taste of the Fuji Rock experience. Now she's hooked. She flew back again this year for more. And both times she has managed to convince three of her friends to join her in the adventure - last year her flat mates and this year three girlfriends from high-school.

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FYI - Are you being served? Cause we ain't

If you're just tuning in, a little 411 on our server situation: the FUJIROCK EXPRESS SITE is having server problems, so the English team are posting here for the time being. Please keep checking EXPRESS SITE because once it's up again there will plenty of pictures and content. thanks

July 27, 2006

Eat up

DSCF0318_1.jpgThe festival opened exactly at 6 pm Thursday for those who have the kind of freedom that they can take off work or whatever to party with the natives on a Thursday night. The air is cool and the threatened rain hadn't arrived, though the right kind of clouds were there. Everybody flooded into the Oasis for chicken wrap and curry, Boddington and red wine, fortifying themselves for whatever the night had in store. Tomorrow is just the beginning.

July 25, 2006

Global Cool Update

As reported earlier, the Fuji Rock Festival will be the first event in the world to introduce the Global Cool campaign, whose aim is to reduce carbon emissions by persuading people to cut back on electricity use. On Friday, the festival proper will open with a speech from Smash President Masa Hidaka. Leonardo DiCaprio, who is in charge of the California campaign, had planned to join Masa for the opening, but for reasons having to do with Hollywood priorities he will not be able to attend. However, he has made a film that he has asked to be shown at the opening of the festival, preceded by a video in which he says, "It's great to see that the Fuji Rock music festival was the first concert in the world to go carbon neutral, and now is hosting the launch of Global Cool, an international campaign to wake up the world about global warming, and encourage everyone of us to do something. I made the film you're about to see to help educate and motivate people to take action now to combat global warming." However celebrity freaks won't be disappointed. Orlando Bloom, who is also involved in the campaign, is now slated to show up in Leo's place, along with his girlfriend (Orlando's, not Leo's) Kate Bosworth. It's the second trip Orlando has made to Japan in the past two weeks! He must really love Japan.

Want To Get Up Close and Personal?

Select FRF performers will be signing autographs and playing acoustic shows at the Ganban/ MTV booth and at the Ganban official goods shop throughout the weekend. This is a great chance to meet some of the great bands you've seen play and possibly get to witness a much more intimate performance.

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Weather forecast

The weather forecast for Naeba on Thursday and Friday isn't looking too promising. Hopefully Saturday and Sunday will be nice though. You can follow the weather forecast as it changes throughout the week at http://www.snow-forecast.com/resorts/Naeba.0to6bot.shtml

July 24, 2006

Don't forget:

earplugs - you may need them to sleep or for a few moments's peace

Rain Boots - looks like a muddy one, folks

Genki drinks - these have been in surprisingly short supply on-site. when you need a boost at 3am, a lukewarm cup of coffee only gets you so far

FRF Staff Picks, Pt 2

Best spot to see bands up close: the Food court and Palace after 2

Best spot for a snooze: Top of the field @ Avalon (many acoustic bands, mellow atmosphere)

Best spot for a tryst in public: The woods a few meters from the boardwalk

Best spot to be when it rains (and it WILL rain, friends): The gondola, the Red Marquee (just after getting a drink), the Lark Cigarette pavilion @ Orange Court.

July 15, 2006

Another Cancellation …

The String Cheese IncidentDue to doctor' orders, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah have been forced to cancel their Japanese and Australian tours. This means, of course, that they will be unable to perform in Red Marquee on the Saturday evening of the festival.

Alec Ounsworth, the guitarist and vocalist of the highly-touted, Brooklyn-based act, began to have problems with his voice during the band's recent European dates resulting in his doctor telling him to take a break and rest his vocal chords.

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July 14, 2006

Kiyoshiro cancels

Kiyoshiro Imawano On July 12, it was announced that Kiyoshiro Imawano, the semi-official "King of Fuji Rock," cancelled his appearance on the Green Stage July 30 due to illness. According to newspaper reports, Kiyoshiro was experiencing discomfort in his throat in June and went to get it checked out. It was discovered that he has cancer of the larynx. He is now hospitalized and undergoing treatment.

The 55-year-old singer and songwriter has played at every Fuji Rock Festival from 1998 to 2005 except for 2003, and in many of those years he performed on more than one stage. Undoubtedly one of the most eclectic, not to mention eccentric, pop stars in Japanese music, Kiyoshiro formed the legendary folk group RC Succession in high school. His subsequent solo career has embraced every style of music, from blues to hard rock to soul (he once toured with Booker T and the MGs)--all of which he's played for the folks of Fuji.

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July 13, 2006

FRF Staff Picks, Vol 1 [jinki's]

Best first meal on-site: Ostrich Kebabs and cold beer from Solomon's Ethiopean Cafe

Best place to chill between shows: The sake bar between Green and White, next to the river. In years past they've had opera playing, and shone laser-light patterns on the cliffs across the river. Looked a bit like snow falling.

Best View: The Gondola as it passes near Green Stage

More to come. Anyone else wanna add a few?

July 12, 2006


Part of the appeal of the Fuji Rock experience is the way the site itself has been altered in a way that dovetails with the sensory-heightening function of the music. The trick, of course, it not to alter things in a way that hurts the environment or gets in the way of the festival's operation. The boardwalk that snakes through the forest from the White Stage to the Orange Court is a perfect example. Great care has been exerted to make sure no vegetation is displaced or harmed; while at the same time the structure itself allows the people who use it a proximity to Naeba's natural beauty that is unique in quality.

With this concept in mind, Australian environmental artist Craig Walsh has been invited to install a work he calls Humanature at various locations on the festival grounds. Using animation and special lighting, the installations transform plants and trees into giant portraits after dark. Because plants and trees can often mimic in outline the shape of the human body or head, these natural objects take on the properties of holograms when human forms are projected against them in a certain way.

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Really going to be a Broken Social Scene?

Chartattack.com, the web site for Canada's leading music magazine, is reporting that Broken Social Scene are planning to go on hiatus after their tour dates this fall. The collective is comprised of musicians from some of Canada's top indie acts (Stars, Metric, Feist, Apostle Of Hustle, Raising The Fawn and many more).

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July 10, 2006

An interview with Fujirock's "Taisho"

Staff and fans of Fuji Rock often call Masa Hidaka "Taisho," which translates into something like "Big Boss" or "Generalissimo." I guess he fits that role, but in person he's pretty laid-back. I interviewed him for the Japan Times recently, as this year is FRF's 10th fest.

A Bigger Big-Top

As I said before, the tent at the Palace of Wonder has to be seen to be believed. As does Eddie Egal's fireshower

July 9, 2006

Taiwan's FRF connection

Last week I was interviewing the head of the Formoz Festival, Freddy Lin, and he talked a bit about hanging out with Fujirock founder/guru/boss Masa Hidaka.

A quick intro of Formoz: it's Taiwan's biggest - well, actually, now it's Taiwan's only truly international rock fest with major acts, and is now in its 12th year. This year's Friday headliner, Super Furry Animals, plays Sunday at FRF, and last year shared acts included Moby and Lisa Loeb. Connections also helped set up a(n early morning) set at the Red Marquee for Taiwan's Tizzy Bac last year, and has also helped the Taiwan fest get in touch with some big Japanese acts. This year's Formoz will feature at least 14 bands from Japan, including Nanase Aikawa.

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"Bring me a Palace..."

That's what Masa Hidaka, FujiRock's big boss-man demanded, and this year, more then ever, he's getting it. Cheers to Koichi for his help with (and link to) my Japan Times article on the Palace of Wonder. Dunno if it truly came across in print, but the Palace is my favorite place at FRF. Has been since 2002, actually. But due to space constraints on the page, I had to leave out a lot of interesting Palace info, which I'll post here...

If you read the JT piece (see link below), then you know that Joe Rush and the Mutoid's are bringing their massive, post-apocalyptic sculptures again. If you've never seen them, think Max Max-meets-Alice in Wonderland. Will post some more pics here soon. What I didn't have room for was to tell you the fire-breathing dragon may make an appearance, the car-eating ant won't, and the English Taxi cab that's been used as everything from a dinosaur body to a fur-lined lounge was seriously damaged this winter as it lay next to the mountain. The entire hood was crushed under the weight of the snow, so expect to see the cab in a new form (hopefully).

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July 8, 2006

Global Cool

Global Cool

One of the Fuji Rock Festival's most admired qualities, especially by visiting musicians, is how clean the festival site stays throughout the weekend. There are, of course, a number of reasons, the chief one being the presence of NGOs who police the festival site, constantly reminding people to separate their refuse and place them in the proper bins. There's a kind of nagging efficiency to this policy that anyone who's lived in Japan for a length of time will recognize from train platform announcements ("please don't rush through the doors") and even weather reports ("be sure to bring an umbrella today"). But probably the most important underlying reason is that the kind of people who attend the festival are conscientious about such things.

It seems only right, then, that this year's festival will mark the opening of a ten-year world campaign called Global Cool, a new initiative to stop global warming. Fuji has for a number of years been a carbon-neutral festival, meaning that all carbon that the event produces over the weekend is offset by means of a variety of initiatives, such as planting trees and funding sustainable energy projects. Global Cool goes further, but attempting to spread carbon-reduction initiatives to the individual level. The idea is to get one billion people to save one ton of carbon dioxide each per year by simply switching off electrical appliances and not leaving them on standby, as well as turning off cell phone chargers when they aren't in use.

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Happy Mondays with Jazz Defektor?

Jazz Defektors I received a mail from an old friend of mine called Saltz saying that he is coming to FRF with Happy Mondays. He was of the 4 vocalists of the Jazz Defektors who made sensation back in the mid 80's and the major force of Dance Jazz movement at the time. The music was great but their presentation on stage of the vocalists' unique dance was amazing and Their style was called Northern Style, mixing break dance with some factors of ballet, in comparison with the Southern Style of I.D.J. (I Dance Jazz) based in London whose dance was a mix of break dance and tap dance.

The impact of them with the whole lots of the new jazz, then to be called acid jazz, gave massive influence to Japan and it really gave a birth of a club land here. One of the major forces of the movement at the time was Kyoto Jazz Massive with Mondo Grosso and the main man behind was Shuya Okino, a wicked DJ, spinning discs on Friday at the Palace of Wonder before Katteni Shiyagare getting on stage.

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July 7, 2006

Check this!

Joe Ruc One of the most exciting spots of the Fuji Rock Festival where the heart of festival culture is found is what we call, "Palace of Wonder". One of he creators of the vibes there is Joe Rush of The Mutoid Waste Company based somewhere in London and this was a photo of him taken by hanasan last year at the site.

One of the staff and regular contributors of Japan Times wrote pretty good piece on that aspect of the festival for the paper and you could check it here. Please do check.

Also a report by Fuji Rock Express '05 are found...
Joe Rush & The Mutoid Waste Company
New Sculpture at Palace of Wonder

The photo is featured with courtesy of Fuji Rock Express.

July 5, 2006

Here We Go blogging with Fuji Rock!

You may have known about this, but there used to be an English version of fujirockers.org untill 2003, which is what "They call" a fan site of Fuji Rock Festival, but it was not realistic to keep it running without having enough staff and financial support as fujirockers.org is not run by the organizer of the festival or any corporation as such but an independent web site run by a bunch of individuals loving festivals and particularly Fuji Rock Festival.

Simply there were not enough people and time of those who involved at the time. But we kept some space of English articles and reports in Fuji Rock Express, On Time Web Magazine, reporting what is happening at the festival site straight way by fujirockers.org. The reason was simple. Just because we love Fuji Rock and it is not just a bunch of shows of a band, but there is something we wanted to tell you about and a side of alternative culture normally never been reported by major press along with we wanted to say, "Don't waste your time checking a bloody monitor, but come around and have fun together to realize what a life is all about."

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