In 1997, Fuji Rock was held at the base of Mount Fuji in Japan. Now, 13 years on, the festival is still rocking but is held nowhere near Mount Fuji. Currently the festival takes place in Naeba, a winter ski resort up in forested mountains, making it one of the most scenic of all the summer fests. Because of the beautiful environment Fuji Rock inhabits, the organizers have striven to make it the greenest festival in the world.
Last year, 123,000 people came to Fuji Rock with 18,000 equipped to camp. This year, 10,000 more fans are estimated to show-up for the three day event taking place from July 30th to August 1st. Here are our tips for the epic gathering that is Fuji Rock:
- The festival is so popular that hotels in the surrounding resorts fill-up months in advance. If you don’t already have a hotel, you will have to camp or commute in.
- The ‘Shinkansen’ bullet train takes about an hour and a half from Tokyo and there is a free shuttle service from the station to the festival for all ticket holders. Those who stay in Echigo-Yuzawa, Tashiro, Mitsumata areas can also use the bus as well as those utilizing the car park in these areas. The shuttle bus takes about 40-an hour to arrive at the festival.
- For those camping, if you are not willing to come early to the festival you will find your tents pitched on a slope instead of on the few, coveted flat pieces of land in the Fuji campgrounds. Camping costs 2000 yen for the weekend and tickets must be purchased in advance here http://www.smash-uk.com/frf10/ticket_type.html The camp ground is on a golf course next to the festival and has showers, toilets and food stalls.
- Fuji Rock has 7 stages, all with artists worth listening to. The main stage though is the Green Stage with headliners Muse, Roxy Music and Massive Attack on each of the three days. The White Stage and Red Marquee follow in terms of recognizable indie artists. Our choices on the White Stage are !!!, Belle and Sebastian LCD Soundsystem, Foals, Ian Brown and Matt & Kim. On the Red Marquee, don’t miss Broken Social Scene, Flogging Molly, Air, Yeasayer and Broken Bells.
- The stages all end around midnight but the Crystal Palace tent goes extends throughout the night in a massive rave ending at 5am.
- What type of footwear to bring to the mountains is always a conundrum. Rain boots are essential since there is often a light rain or mist but conditions can also get very warm. It is best to hedge a save bet and bring sneakers, flip-flops and boots so that you can have a change.
Fuji Rock, Naeba, Japan
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