Fuji Rock Festival
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Fuji Rock Festival

Fuji Rock Festival
Main stage, 2007
GenreRock, electronic music
Dateslast weekend of July (3 days)
Location(s)Naeba, Japan
Years active1997-present
WebsiteOfficial site

Fuji Rock Festival is an annual rock festival held in Naeba Ski Resort, in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. The three-day event, organized by Smash Japan, features more than 200 Japanese and international musicians, making it the largest outdoor music event in Japan. In 2005, more than 100,000 people attended the festival.

Fuji Rock Festival is named so because the first event in 1997 was held at the base of Mount Fuji. Since 1999 the festival has been held at the Naeba Ski Resort in Yuzawa, Niigata.

Festival grounds

The Green Stage

There are seven main stages and other minor stages scattered throughout the site. The Green stage is the main stage and it has a capacity for almost 50,000 spectators. Other stages include the White Stage, the Red Marquee, Orange Court, and Field of Heaven. The walks between some of the stages can be long, and some of the trails can be hilly, but the walks are beautiful, often taking you through forests and over sparkling streams. Dragondola - the longest gondola lift in the world, carries festival goers up to the top of the mountain overlooking the festival site.

The hub of the site is called Oasis where more than 30 food stalls from around the world gather. The main site closes each night after the final act, but Oasis continues to stay open until late at night, as well as the Red Marquee where an all-night rave continues until 5am. The site re-opens at 9am.

The night before the festival (Thursday night) features an opening party which is free entry, featuring bon-odori (traditional Japanese folk dance), prize draws, food stalls and a fireworks display.

The festival's stated aim is to be "The cleanest festival in the world"; great effort is also put into recycling.


Although Naeba, being a ski resort, offers a number of accommodation options such as hotels, ryokan and minshuku within walking distance of the festival site, competition for these is fierce and they tend to book out very quickly. Many festival goers find accommodation in nearby ski resorts such as Tashiro, Asagai and Mitsumata - the free shuttle bus linking JR Echigo-Yuzawa Station (in the town of Yuzawa to the festival site can be used for these areas which are en route. Some even find accommodation in the numerous options available in Yuzawa itself. The shuttle bus takes between 40 minutes to an hour each way and runs until 2am each night.

Alternatively, there is a campsite on a golf course next to the festival site which costs ?3000 for the weekend (2011), complete with toilets, showers and food stalls. About 17,000 festival goers choose to spend their nights here every year. The campsite is hilly in many places and flat spots are taken quickly, however, the manicured putting greens, which are the flattest areas are generally out of bounds to campers.

In previous years many took the option of sleeping rough - a relatively common practise amongst young Japanese during the warmer months thanks to a low crime rate - in the vicinity of the site and Echigo-Yuzawa Station, however this is now prohibited.


The festival is a free 40-60-minute shuttle bus ride from JR Echigo-Yuzawa Station in the town of Yuzawa, on the Joetsu Shinkansen (bullet train) line which link it to Tokyo station in about 1.5 hours. JR Shinkansen ticket, Tokyo to Echigo-Yuzawa is 6,490 Yen one way (for a reserved seat). Car parking also available for 3,000 Yen per day at the festival site area.[1]


Campsite at Fuji Rock
Field of Heaven

The first year of the festival, held on Tenjinyama Ski Resort near Mt Fuji (and hence the name), was a disaster. It was scheduled to be a two-day event, but by sheer bad luck the first day of the event was struck by a typhoon. The Red Hot Chili Peppers' headline set, played through a storm despite Anthony Kiedis having a broken arm, is almost legendary amongst Fuji Rock veterans. The festival-goers were poorly prepared for the heavy rain and strong winds, and many needed medical attention from hypothermia (although no deaths occurred). The organisers decided to cancel the second day of the event (which turned out to be sunny), and thus ended Japan's first outdoor rock festival. The organizers were criticized for being poorly prepared for bad weather, and for not organising enough buses to link the site to the nearest train station.[2]

The second year, the festival moved to a temporary location in Toyosu, on Tokyo's waterfront. Although the event was a success, many found the searing heat of mid-summer Tokyo too much to bear, and it was decided that the next event was to return to the relative coolness of the mountains.

It was in 1999 the festival found its home in Naeba, Niigata prefecture. Naeba is not anywhere close to Mt. Fuji, however, the festival still retains its original name. After the horrific first year, the organizers have been running the festival smoothly up until present.


The festival was announced to be held from August 20 until 22 and the for the first time, the festival only included domestic artists due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[3] The headline acts were Radwimps, King Gnu and Denki Groove.

Green Stage
Friday Saturday Sunday


Man with a Mission

King Gnu

Cornelius Ken Yokoyama
The Cro-Magnons

Denki Groove

Kiyoshiro Imawano Rock 'n' Forever tribute
Motohiro Hata
Awesome City Club

White Stage
Friday Saturday Sunday

Millennium Parade

Kid Fresino
The Dresscodes

Number Girl

The Birthday
Ayano Kaneko

Susumu Hirasawa + Ejin

Tha Blue Herb
Yuta Orisaka
Kiro Akiyama

Other major acts include: The Bawdies, Indigo la End, Chai, Yoshinori Sunahara, Aoi Teshima, Char, and Ichiko Aoba.


The festival was scheduled for Friday 21 August through Sunday 23 August 2020, with headline acts to include Tame Impala (Friday), The Strokes (Saturday), Kiyoshiro Imawano Rock 'n' Forever tribute and Denki Groove (both Sunday). On 5 June 2020, this iteration of the festival was postponed to August 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[4] Instead, the 2020 Fuji Rock Festival was put together from past performances and broadcast live on YouTube on the original scheduled dates.


The festival ran from Friday 26 July until Sunday 28 July in 2019. Headline performers on The Green Stage were The Chemical Brothers, The Cure, and Sia. About 36 percent of the acts were in the rock genre, while the rest of the lineup was composed of pop, R&B, hip hop, and electronic artists.[5]

Green Stage
Friday Saturday Sunday

The Chemical Brothers

Janelle Monáe
Route 17 Rock'n'Roll Orchestra
Red Hot Chili Pipers


Martin Garrix
Asian Kung-Fu Generation
Ging Nang Boyz

The Cure

Jason Mraz
Hiatus Kaiyote
never young beach
Special Guest: G&G Miller Orchestra

Other major acts include: Mitski, Toro y Moi, Kaytranada, The Lumineers, The Waterboys, Daniel Caesar, Alvvays, Ego-Wrappin', George Porter Jr., Chon, The Comet Is Coming, and Khruangbin.


The festival ran from Friday 27 July until Sunday 29 July in 2018. Headline acts on The Green Stage were N.E.R.D, Kendrick Lamar, and Bob Dylan. Cumulative attendance reached 125,000 for the third year in a row, with a peak of 40,000 visitors on Saturday,[6]

White Stage
Friday Saturday Sunday

Post Malone

Elephant Kashimashi
Albert Hammond Jr.
Parquet Courts
My Hair Is Bad


Esne Beltza


Kali Uchis
Kacey Musgraves
Kenichi Asai & The Interchange Kills
The Fever 333

Other major acts include: Mac DeMarco, Tune-Yards, Jon Hopkins, Hanaregumi, MGMT, Princess Nokia, The Avalanches (DJ Set), Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, Dirty Projectors, Hothouse Flowers, and Greensky Bluegrass.[7]


The festival ran from Friday 28 July until Sunday 30 July in 2017. Headline acts on The Green Stage were Gorillaz, Aphex Twin and Björk. Attendance was estimated to equal the previous year's 125,000 guests, with approximately ¥2.1 billion ($19 million) in ticket sales revenue.[8]

Green Stage
Friday Saturday Sunday


The xx
Route 17 Rock'n'Roll Orchestra
Rag'n'Bone Man
Group Tamashii

Aphex Twin

The Avalanches
Jake Shimabukuro


Lukas Graham
Ron Sexsmith
Special Guest: G&G Miller Orchestra

Other major acts include: Sampha, Rhye, Father John Misty, Temples, Quruli, The Strypes, Slowdive, and Thundercat.


The festival ran from Friday 22 July until Sunday 24 July in 2016. Headline acts on The Green Stage were Sigur Rós, Beck and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Attendance for the "20th anniversary" festival was around 125,000 for the weekend.[9]

Green Stage
Friday Saturday Sunday

Sigur Rós

James Blake
Route 17 Rock'n'Roll Orchestra
Jake Bugg
Biffy Clyro


Man with a Mission
Tom Odell
Special Guest: G&G Miller Orchestra

Red Hot Chili Peppers

Ben Harper and The Innocent Criminals
Ken Yokoyama
Mark Ernestus' Ndagga Rhythm Force
Special Guest: Denki Groove

Other major acts include: The Birthday, The New Mastersounds, Kula Shaker, Special Others, Years & Years, and Kamasi Washington.


The festival ran from Friday 24 July until Sunday 26 July in 2015. Headline acts on The Green Stage were Foo Fighters, Muse and Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds. Attendance was 115,000 visitors for the weekend, a dramatic increase over the ten-year-low of the 2014 festival.[10]

Other major acts include: Mannish Boys, Flume, Tamio Okuda, Happy Mondays, Galactic feat. Macy Gray, Of Monsters and Men, and Wilko Johnson.


The festival ran from Friday 25 July until Sunday 27 July in 2014. Headline acts on The Green Stage were Franz Ferdinand, Arcade Fire and Jack Johnson. Kanye West was initially announced as Friday's headliner but later cancelled "due to artist circumstances".[11][12] In total, 102,000 people attended.[13]

Other major acts include: The Birthday, Bombay Bicycle Club, Temples, Slowdive, Parquet Courts, moe., Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band, St. Vincent, Phil Lesh & the Terrapin Family Band, The Lumineers, Lorde, SBTRKT, Buffalo Daughter, and Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra.


The festival ran from Friday 26 July until Sunday 28 July in 2013. Headline acts on The Green Stage were Nine Inch Nails, Björk and The Cure. Attendance was 118,000 people for the weekend.[14]

Green Stage
Friday Saturday Sunday

Nine Inch Nails

My Bloody Valentine
C. J. Ramone
Route 17 Rock'n'Roll Orchestra


Karl Hyde
Tamio Okuda
Aimee Mann
The Bawdies
Special Guest: Feed Me

The Cure

Vampire Weekend
Mumford & Sons
Tokiko Kato & Theatre Brook Hanseiki Rock
Wilko Johnson
Yo La Tengo

White Stage
Friday Saturday Sunday


Flying Lotus
Of Monsters and Men
Kenichi Asai & Bad Teacher Kill Club

Jurassic 5

Kendrick Lamar
Mannish Boys
Killswitch Engage
Rocket from the Crypt
Coheed and Cambria
The Cherry Cokes

The xx

Cat Power
S?taisei Riron
Toro y Moi
the telephones
Portugal. The Man
Tavito Nanao

Other major acts include: Tame Impala, Porter Robinson, Death Grips, DJ Shadow, Tower of Power, Sparks, The Sea and Cake, Boys Noize, Garth Hudson, Ego-Wrappin' and the Gossip of Jaxx, Tahiti 80, Daughter, Jamie xx, Lettuce, and the David Murray Big Band feat. Macy Gray.


The festival ran from Friday 27 July until Sunday 29 July in 2012. Headline acts on The Green Stage were The Stone Roses, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds and Radiohead. As of 2017, 2012 holds the record for highest-ever Fuji Rock attendance, with a total of 140,000 visitors over the three days.[13]

Other major acts include: Ocean Colour Scene, The Kooks, Spiritualized, Purity Ring, Steve Kimock, The Shins, James Iha, alt-J, Japandroids, Ray Davies & Band, and jizue.


The festival ran from Friday 29 July until Sunday 31 July 2011. Headline acts on The Green Stage were Coldplay, The Faces and The Chemical Brothers; The Music closed the festival out as special guests.

Other major acts include: The Sisters of Mercy, Four Tet, Jamie xx, Widespread Panic, Amadou & Mariam, Digitalism, Todd Rundgren, Atari Teenage Riot, Envy, Beach House, Quruli, and Dark Star Orchestra. Queens of the Stone Age and Tangerine Dream were both scheduled to appear, but cancelled two months before the festival.[15]


The festival ran from Friday 30 July until Sunday 1 August 2010. Headline acts on The Green Stage were Muse, Roxy Music and Massive Attack; Scissor Sisters closed the festival out as special guests.

Other major acts include: Broken Social Scene, The xx, Broken Bells, Char, Magma, Dirty Projectors, Flogging Molly, Fishbone, the Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi Band, Ego-Wrappin' and the Gossip of Jaxx, Air, Hot Chip, Buffalo Daughter, moe., Ozomatli, and the Naruyoshi Kikuchi Dub Sextet.


The festival ran from Friday 24 July until Sunday 26 July in 2009. Headline acts on The Green Stage were Oasis, Franz Ferdinand and Weezer.

Other major acts include: Simian Mobile Disco, M83, Diplo, Clammbon, Tortoise, System 7, Dinosaur Jr., Bright Eyes, The Funky Meters, Booker T. Jones, Maxïmo Park, and the Disco Biscuits.


In 2008, the festival ran from Friday, 25 July through until Sunday, 27 July. Headline acts on The Green Stage were My Bloody Valentine, Underworld, and Primal Scream. Kiyoshiro Imawano was initially announced as Sunday's headliner,[17] but due to a recurrence of his throat cancer, he was forced to cancel his appearance. Primal Scream and The Birthday, subheadliners from Saturday, added Sunday performances to compensate.[18]

Other artists included: Feeder, The Vines, Gossip, Spoon, The Whigs, Dan le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip, Grandmaster Flash, The New Mastersounds, Special Others, Uri Nakayama, Sherbets, Ozomatli, Hocus Pocus, Doberman, Denki Groove, Ian Brown, Tricky, Princess Superstar, Erol Alkan, Richie Hawtin, Lettuce, Flower Travellin' Band, Bettye LaVette, Sparks, CSS, The Go! Team, Foals, White Lies, The Death Set, Neon Neon, Adrian Sherwood, Lee "Scratch" Perry, Michael Franti and Spearhead, Seasick Steve, and Bill Laswell presents Method of Defiance.


The 2007 festival ran from Friday, 27 July through Sunday, 29 July. Headline acts on The Green Stage were The Cure, Beastie Boys, and The Chemical Brothers.

Other artists included: Fountains of Wayne, Ocean Colour Scene, Blonde Redhead, Ratatat, Yo La Tengo, Pe'z, Kenichi Asai, G. Love & Special Sauce, Lily Allen, Shonen Knife, The Bird and the Bee, Simian Mobile Disco, Justice, Gov't Mule, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, Feist, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Friction, Peter Bjorn and John, The Wombats, Chromeo, Soul Flower Union, Jonathan Richman, and Jake Shimabukuro. Ticket prices for the 2007 festival remained unchanged from the 2006 event.


The 2006 festival ran from Friday, 28 July until Sunday, 30 July (actually Monday morning). Headline acts on The Green Stage were Franz Ferdinand, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and The Strokes.

Other artists included: The Zutons, Roger Joseph Manning, Jr., The Cribs, Atmosphere, Shang Shang Typhoon, North Mississippi Allstars, Blackalicious, Haruomi Hosono, Kula Shaker, Junior Senior, 2manydjs, Tristan Prettyman, Shinya Ohe, Killing Joke, The Automatic, Milburn, Nightmares on Wax, Digitalism, and Umphrey's McGee. Early bird advance tickets for the entire festival cost ?32,000, while one-day tickets were ?16,800; however, only 10,000 single-day tickets were made available for each day. Tickets for the on-site campsite cost ?2,500 per person, and parking was available at a cost of ?2,000/day but only permitted for cars carrying two or more festival-goers.


The 2005 festival ran from the weekend of 29 - 31 July 2005. Headline acts on The Green Stage were Foo Fighters, Fatboy Slim, and New Order.

Other artists included: Rosso, Charlotte Hatherley, Kaiser Chiefs, The Longcut, Night Snipers, Crown City Rockers, Rovo, Pe'z, The Beautiful Girls, Crazy Ken Band, Lisa Loeb, Eddi Reader, Mercury Rev, Clammbon, The Bravery, Bill Laswell, Laurent Garnier United State of Electronica, Ryan Adams & The Cardinals, My Morning Jacket, The Coral, Röyksopp, The Futureheads, Aqualung, The Magic Numbers, Mylo, Soulive, and The John Butler Trio.


In 2004, the festival ran from Friday 30 July until Sunday 1 August. Headline acts on The Green Stage were Lou Reed, The Chemical Brothers, and The White Stripes. Morrissey was initially announced as Sunday's headliner but cancelled two weeks before the festival due to "a sudden disagreement [...] regarding the terms of the performance".[20]

Dancing with Santos in the Red Marquee

Other artists included: Supercar, The Zutons, Asian Kung-Fu Generation, Snow Patrol, The Killers, Sikth, Zero 7, Dizzee Rascal, DJ Krush, Chris Robinson & New Earth Mud, Buckethead's Giant Robot, Hifana, The Charlatans, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Ben Kweller, The Streets, Santos, Buffalo Daughter, Jack Johnson, Donavon Frankenreiter, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Ash, Keane, The Stills, Sambomaster, Simple Kid, The Black Keys, Stevie Salas, Keller Williams, and moe..


In 2003, the festival ran from Friday 25 July until Sunday 27 July. Headline acts on The Green Stage were Underworld, Björk, and Elvis Costello.

Björk on the main stage at Fuji - Year 2003

Other major acts include: Audio Active, Death in Vegas, El-P/Aesop Rock/DJ Big Wiz, Prefuse 73, Bob Weir and RatDog, G. Love & Special Sauce, John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, The Coral, Goldfrapp, Röyksopp, Boom Boom Satellites, The Jeevas, Ego-Wrappin', The Thrills, Jet, Dirty Vegas, Steve Kimock Band, and The Sun Ra Arkestra.


In 2002, the festival ran from Friday 26 July until Sunday 28 July. Headline acts on The Green Stage were The Prodigy, The Chemical Brothers, and Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Other major acts include: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Television, X-Press 2, Patti Smith, The White Stripes, Billy Bragg and The Blokes, Buffalo Daughter, The Music, Hundred Reasons, Shonen Knife, The Cinematic Orchestra, DJ Shadow, Tha Blue Herb, The String Cheese Incident, Ian Brown, Doves, and Galactic.


The festival ran from Friday 27 July until Sunday 29 July in 2001. Headline acts on The Green Stage were Oasis, Neil Young & Crazy Horse, and Eminem.

Other major acts include: Husking Bee, Semisonic, Feeder, Stereo MCs, Unkle, Juno Reactor, V?redoms, Echo & the Bunnymen, Powderfinger, The Cooper Temple Clause, Kemuri, Ani DiFranco, UA, and Tegan and Sara.


In 2000, the festival ran from Friday 28 July until Sunday 30 July. Headline acts on The Green Stage were Blankey Jet City (their final live performance), Thee Michelle Gun Elephant, and Primal Scream.

Other major acts include: Grapevine, Eagle-Eye Cherry, G. Love & Special Sauce, OOIOO, Mogwai, Yura Yura Teikoku, Yo La Tengo, Richard D. James & DJ Grant, Super Furry Animals, Gomez, Rammstein, Jess Klein, and Kinocosmo.


In 1999, the festival ran from Friday 30 July until Sunday 1 August. Headline acts on The Green Stage were Rage Against the Machine, Blur, and ZZ Top. This was the first year that the festival was held in its present location at Naeba Ski Resort in Niigata Prefecture, as well as the first year that it expanded from a two-day to three-day festival.[21]

Field of Heaven
Friday Saturday Sunday


Big Frog
Rory McLeod
Osamu Koganei


Todos Tus Muertos
Nawang Khechog with the 3Peace
Rory McLeod
Hiroki Okano with Tenkoo Orchestra


Femi Kuti
Todos Tus Muertos
Breakbeat Era
Rory McLeod

Other major acts include Mix Master Mike, Prince Paul & Automator, Boom Boom Satellites, The Orb, DJ Spooky, That Subliminal Kid, Quruli, Jungle Brothers, and Mad Professor. Phish headlined the Field of Heaven stage all three days, and their complete performance from Jul 31, 1999 was officially released as Japan Relief in March 2011.[22]


In 1998, the festival was held at Tokyo Bayside Square in Toyosu and ran from Saturday 1 August until Sunday 2 August. Headline acts on The Green Stage were Björk and The Prodigy.


1997 was the only year that the festival was actually held on Mount Fuji, at the Fuji Tenjinyama Ski Resort. It was intended to run from Saturday 26 July until Sunday 27 July, although the second day was cancelled due to a typhoon. Headline acts on the Main Stage were Red Hot Chili Peppers and Green Day.

See also


  1. ^ Travel Japan Guide - The Fuji Rock Festival 2008
  2. ^ Blog of music writer Dai Onojima (a transcript from his article on Music Magazine Sept., 1997 Issue (Japanese)
  3. ^ "Japan's Fuji Rock Festival to return this year with fully local lineup". 30 March 2021.
  4. ^ Michel, Patrick St (5 June 2020). "Summer's Fuji Rock Festival postponed due to COVID-19 concerns". The Japan Times. Retrieved 2020.
  5. ^ Klancnik, Urban (10 December 2019). "How Rock Are You? The Best Festivals for Headbangers". Viberate. Retrieved 2020.
  6. ^ "Fuji Rock Festival '18".
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 11 October 2016. Retrieved 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ "Fuji Rock Fest Celebrates 21st Edition with Gorillaz, Aphex Twin, Bjork...and Rain".
  9. ^ "Fuji Rock Festival 2016". August 2016.
  10. ^ "Is there a future for Fuji Rock?".
  11. ^ Fuji Rock 2014 lineup
  12. ^ Kanye West cancels Fuji Rock headline spot
  13. ^ a b "Never mind the lineup: Fuji Rock is more than music". 31 July 2015.
  14. ^ "Japan's Fuji Rock Fest Powers Through Despite Kanye Cancelation".
  15. ^ Fuji Rock 2011 Artists
  16. ^ Fuji Rock 2009 6th Lineup Announcement
  17. ^ Kiyoshiro Imawano at Fuji Rock Festival
  18. ^ Fuji Rock History 2008
  19. ^ Queens of the Stone Age cancel
  20. ^ Morrissey cancels Fuji Rock Festival
  21. ^ Fuji Rock History 1999
  22. ^ "Phish: Japan Relief: 7/31/99 Fuji Rock Festival". JamBase. 23 March 2011. Retrieved 2019.

External links

Coordinates: 36°47?56.40?N 138°47?0.93?E / 36.7990000°N 138.7835917°E / 36.7990000; 138.7835917

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