The Sounds of Summer
gets hotter and hotter every year in Japan, with more outdoor music extravaganza in 2000
than ever before. Throughout the summer Tokyo Classified will as always be covering the
events in full detail, but the problem for most potential festival-goers is knowing
exactly how to get tickets and how to get there. Sam Johnson has the answers.
Rock Festival '00
Billing itself as the largest international rock festival in the Eastern Hemisphere, Fuji
Rock returns for a fourth year, and for the second year in a row the numerous artists from
both in and outside Japan will rock nowhere near Fuji itself but in the mountains of
Niigata Prefecture. The lineup is decidedly more rock than last year, and some
festival-goers will mourn the absence of acts like The Chemical Brothers and Underworld
and the slimmer dance lineup. This year the "Red Marquee" replaces the dance
tent, hosting more intimate daytime gigs by among others Gomez, Eagle-Eye Cherry and
Mogwai, with beatier acts like Bentley Rhythm Ace and Fantastic Plastic Machine at night.
On the main Green and White stages, international highlights will include super-showmen
Placebo, man-of-the-moment Moby, man-of-yesteryear Morrissey, Roni Size and Reprazent
flying the drum'n'bass flag, Primal Scream who rocked Tokyo earlier in the year, as well
as the riotous Asian Dub Foundation who stole the show at the 1998 festival. Home-grown
talent is represented by acts as diverse as Denki Groove, Thee Michelle Gun Elephant, Dry
& Heavy, Buffalo Daughter, Rovo and AOA.
When: July 28-30, 11am-11pm daily.
Where: Naeba Ski Resort, Niigata-ken.
Tickets: One-day ticket JY14,500, two days JY29,000, three days JY38,000.
Children under 12 (accompanied by a parent or adult) free. Order 24 hours at http://eee.eplus.co.jp 10am-6pm at 0570-04-9933.
Info: General info: 0180-993-9988 (recorded, 24 hours). Tour package
info: 03-5626-1778 (9:30am-5:30pm). Smash: 03-3444-6751. www.smash-jpn.com
Smash UK: www.smash-uk.com
Fans' website: www.fujirockers.org
Access: By train: JR Joetsu Shinkansen to Echigo Yuzawa station.
Free shuttle bus for ticket holders available from 6am-2pm from station to festival site.
Warning from Smash: This bus trip usually takes 40 minutes but please allow up to two
hours on festival days as the traffic may be heavy. By car: Kanetsu Jidoshado
Expressway to Tsukiyono Interchange, then Route 17 for about 40 minutes to festival site. OR
Kanetsu Jidoshado Expressway to Yuzawa Interchange, then Route 17 for 30 minutes to
festival site. Parking: If you are traveling by car, you must buy a Car Park Pass before
you go. Parking passes are only available for cars containing three or more people. Cars
with four or more people will get a discount.
Camping: JY2500 valid from 12pm on Thur 7/27 till 12pm Mon 7/31. Campsite
tickets should be bought at the same time as festival tickets.
Stage: Foo Fighters, Elliott Smith, Placebo, Fishbone.
White Stage: Asian Dub Foundation, Fishbone, MDFMK, Garlic Boys, Beast,
Yellow Machinegun, La-ppisch.
Red Marquee: Gig I: Grapevine, Eagle-Eye Cherry, G Love &
Special Sauce, Pealout. Planet Groove: Bentley Rhythm Ace, Captain Funk,
Fantastic Plastic Machine, DJ Krust & Dynamite MC.
Field of Heaven: OOIOO, Scafull King, Kazufumi Kodama, Ozomatli, Musashi.
Stage: Thee Michelle Gun Elephant, Johnny Marr's Healers, Sonic Youth, The
Animalhouse, Rollins Band, Ozomatli.
White Stage: Run DMC, Roni Size & Reprazent, Buddha Brand & El
Dorado Allstars, Tha Blue Herb, Dry & Heavy, Kojima, The Trojans.
Red Marquee: Gig II: Mogwai, Yura Yura Teikoku, Yo La Tengo,
Seagull Screaming Kiss Her Kiss Her. Tribal Circus: Takkyu Ishino, Luke Slater,
DJ Wada (Co-Fusion).
Field of Heaven: Tamio Okuda, Soul Flower Union, Rovo, Deadweight,
Theatre Brook, Sheena & The Rockkets.
Stage: Primal Scream, Morrissey, A Perfect Circle, Eve 6.
White Stage: Denki Groove, Leftfield, Stereolab, Moby, Boom Boom
Satellites, Buffalo Daughter.
Red Marquee: Gig III: Air (from Japan), Super Furry Animals,
Gomez, Rammstein, Bloodthirsty Butchers. Sunday Session: The Trojans, Adrian
Field of Heaven: Kinocosmo, Joujouka, AOA, Adrian Sherwood, Soft, Walrus.
Fuji Aid 2000
One of Japan's first concerts with a cause, this festival is dedicated to the preservation
of Japan's ubiquitous mountain symbol. Mt Fuji is under constant threat from the thousands
of tourists who make the hike up its symmetrical slopes each summer to see the sunrise.
Add to this deforestation and reckless development at the base of the mountain, and you've
got the perfect recipe for an eco-concert. The organizers have gathered artists from all
over the world to perform over two days at Kawaguchiko (Lake Kawaguchi) at the base of the
mountain, to support their fight to preserve Japan's hallowed symbol. Performers include
Shigeru Izumiya, a veteran Japanese musician and activist for causes such as the Kobe
earthquake victims and AIDS awareness, under-appreciated pop-rock maestro Arto Lindsay,
Arona N'diaye Rose from Senegal and Maalem Mahmoud Gania from Morocco representing the
world music scene, and The Elephant Kashimashi, Quruli, Charged (with Bill Laswell) and
others to boot.
When: July 29-30, from 2pm.
Where: Stella Theater (Kawaguchiko), Yamanashi Prefecture.
Tickets: JY4500 one day (adv), JY5000 one day (door), JY8000 both days.
Call ticket Pia 03-5237-9999, Lawson Ticket 03-5537-9999 (L-code 37853), Conversation
03-5280-9996 or Stellar Theater 0555-72-5588 (all in Japanese only).
Info: Tel 03-3233-1813. www.conversation.co.jp/mtfujiaid
Access: By train: From Shinjuku take the direct express to
Kawaguchiko station, or take the JR Chuo line to Otsuki station, transfer to the Fujikyuko
line and get off at Kawaguchiko station. By car: Take the Chuo Expressway to
Kawaguchiko interchange. Parking available. By bus: From Shinjuku, take the Chuo
Kosoku bus direct to the Kawaguchiko stop. There is a shuttle bus service from Kawaguchiko
available on both days.
Camping: Call Kawaguchiko Field Center 0555-72-4331 for info.
Shigeru Izumiya, Carnation, Quruli, Cannabis, Arona N'diaye Rose, Maalem Mahmound Gania,
The Elephant Kashimashi, Momono Mikoto, Shigeru Nakano and Shinichi Fujinuma, Arto
Out comes the sun, and along with it the rasta flags, dreads, off-beats and other, more
illicit, accessories. Summer means reggae, and reggae means Japansplash-the Asian version
of Jamaica's Sunsplash party-this year once more being held at Tokyo Big Site in Odaiba.
Headlining are dancehall king and former reggae wonder-kid Beenie Man, Big Mountain, who
found worldwide fame with their 1994 smash "Baby I Love Your Way," R&B diva
Monica, Morgan Heritage, a group formed by the children of veteran reggae performer Denroy
Morgan, plus "special guests."
When: July 29, from 2pm.
Where: Tokyo Big Site, Odaiba.
Tickets: JY8500. Ticket Pia 03-5237-9999, CN Playguide 03-5802-9999,
Lawson Ticket 03-5537-9999, Tomorrow House 03-5410-9999 in Japanese only.
Info: Kyodo Yokohama 045-671-9911 or Tomorrow House 03-5410-9999
Access: By train: Take the Yurikamome monorail from Shimbashi to
Kokusai Tenjijomae station. By car: Parking is widely available in Odaiba.
Artists: Beenie Man, Big Mountain, Monica, Morgan Heritage, Thriller U
plus special guests to be announced.
Newport Jazz Festival 2000
This year's installment of the Newport Jazz Festival will once again have jazz fans
flocking to Nagano Prefecture from all over Japan. The festival is split into two types of
events, afternoon "Jazz Picnics" and evening "Jam Sessions," the
former being more mainstream and the latter more fringe. Highlights will include the Kind
of Blue Band, and The Count Basie Orchestra. The Kind of Blue Band worked with Miles Davis
on his original album. The Count Basie Orchestra, formed way back in 1935, has seen many
changes over the past 65 years, but they've kept on swinging and never missed a beat,
winning Grammy Awards in 1997 and 1999 for best large jazz ensemble performance. Also
don't miss Latin-jazz giants The Ray Baretto Group, and Liquid Soul, one of the main
attractions in the more youthful contingent, playing everything from hip hop, funk, jazz
and R&B to rock.
When: August 4-6, 11am-11:30pm.
Where: Madarao Kogen, Iiyama-shi, Nagano Prefecture.
Tickets: (Daily prices.) Jazz Picnic: JY6000 (adv), JY7000 (day). Jam
Session: JY4000 (adv), JY5000 (day). Combined ticket (Jazz Picnic & Jam Session):
JY8000. Call Kyodo Tokyo 03-3498-9999.
Info: Madarao Kogen Jazz Festival Committee 0269-64-3081.
Access: By train: Shinkansen to Nagano station, take the express
bus to Madarao. By car: From Tokyo, take the Joshinetsu Jidosha-do to
Toyota/Iiyama IC, then head for Madarao Kogen.
Artists: Count Basie Orchestra, Kind of Blue Band, Dianne Reeves Group,
The Ray Baretto Group, and Liquid Soul.
4, 5, 6
Jazz Picnic: 11am-4pm (11am-5pm on Sun 8/6).
August 5, 6
Jazz Clinic and Interview (entrance free with Jazz Picnic ticket) 10:15-10:45am.
August 4, 5
Jam Session 7-9:30pm.
The main rival to Fuji Rock's festival crown is Summer Sonic, a new event from promoters
Creativeman, held jointly in Fuji Q Conifer Forest at the base of Mt Fuji, and Osaka Cosmo
Square in Kansai. Artists performing on the Saturday at Fuji Q will perform on the Sunday
in Osaka, and vice versa. Acts including Green Day and The Mad Capsule Markets provide a
load of rock with a capital R, while Weezer, Eels and The Flaming Lips among others
provide a bit of light relief.
When: August 5-6, 10:30am-8pm.
Where: Fuji Q Conifer Forest, Yamanashi Prefecture/Osaka Cosmo Square,
Tickets: One day JY11,000. Two days JY20,000.
Info: 0180-993-990 (recorded, 24 hours). www.creativeman.co.jp
Access: (To Fuji Q.) By train: To: Fuji-Q Conifer Forest: By
car: Take the Chuo Expressway to Kawaguchiko Interchange. By bus: Round-trip
bus service: JY4500 from Shinjuku, JY4900 from Yokohama. Tel: 03-3376-6435.
Camping: Kawaguchiko Auto Camp Center, tel: 03-3376-6435 (pitch JY3400,
plus JY800 per person). Nishiko Camping Ground, tel: (JY2000-JY5000 depending on the
number of people and size of car). Saiko/Yamanakako Bungalows: Tel: Reservations vital.
Overnight stay (3/4 per room) JY4200-JY5300 per person.
5 (Osaka, August 6)
Stage 1: The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Arrested Development, 311, The
Mad Capsule Markets, Muse and more.
Stage 2: The Flaming Lips, Eels, Grandaddy, Supercar, Coldplay, Sigur Ros
Sunday 6 (Osaka, August 5)
Stage 1: Green Day, Ben Folds Five, Weezer, Mansun, Triceratops, Snail
Ramp, The Living End and more.
Stage 2: Teenage Fanclub, The Bluetones, Ween, Tahiti 80, Quruli, Snug,
in Japan Festival 2000
A new addition to the festival calendar, Rock in Japan 2000 promises an all-star lineup of
Japanese talent. Hip hop superstars Dragon Ash top the bill after a couple of years of
surfing the Japanese charts with style. The Yellow Monkey successfully toured the UK in
recent years, and have a loyal following of fans who will no doubt be out in strength at
the festival. Tamio Okuda, ex-vocalist of the '80s band Unicorn, has moved on to writing
and singing his own songs as well as producing the now-famous Puffy duo. He'll be
showcasing his more Beatles-inspired sounds of the sixties. Also at the festival will be
boy-band Spitz and Kansai-based trio Quruli.
When: August 12-13, 11am-8:30pm.
Where: Kokuei Hitachi Kaihin Koen.
Tickets: One day JY8500. Two days JY16,000.
Info: Smash Rock in Japan (24 hours recorded message) 0180-993-993.
Tour info: 03-5256-1780 (9:30am-5:30pm), www.fcs-jp.com/ew
Access: By train: From JR Ueno station, take the Super Hitachi or Fresh
Hitachi train to Kasuta where there will be shuttle bus services to the site. By car: Take
Joban Jidoshado to Joban Tomobe JCT to Kitakanto Jidoshado, get off at the Hitachi
You must purchase a JY510 parking permit when you buy your festival ticket before arriving
or you won't be allowed to park.
No camping grounds
The Elephant Kashimashi, Quruli, Dragon Ash and more.
The Yellow Monkey, Tamio Okuda, Spitz, Kazuyoshi Nakamura, Number Girl and more.
With Maki Nibayashi and Crowboy