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JAPAN: Niigata (Naeba Ski Resort) Fuji Rock Festival

Every year since 1997, over 100,000 music fans flock to the Naeba Ski Resort in Niigata Prefecture, Japan to see and hear over 200 Japanese and international musicians performing on seven stages. The Fuji Rock Festival is a three-day event, whose name is derived from Mount Fuji where the first festival was held. The first festival was only scheduled for two days but proved to be an absolute disaster as it was taking place in the middle of a typhoon passing through. The organizers wound up cancelling the second day of concerts. In 1998, it was decided that the festival would be held in Tokyo, but that too wasn’t very successful as the hot Tokyo summers did not sit well with the festival goers. In 1999, the Fuji Rock Festival was moved to the cool Naeba Ski Resort, which has hosted the massive musical event ever since.

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The festival takes place in late July and runs Friday through Sunday. The gates open at 9:00 AM and the first performances begin at 11:00 AM. All the musical performances end by 11:00 PM. On the night before the festival (Thursday night) there is a free opening party featuring bon-odori (traditional Japanese folk dance), prize drawings, food stalls and a fireworks display.

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Of the seven main stages, the GREEN STAGE with a capacity to host 40,000 fans, is the main stage. All of music’s big names participating in the festival perform on the Green Stage. The other stages include WHITE STAGE (capacity of 10,000), RED MARQUEE (capacity of 5,000), FIELD OF HEAVEN (capacity of 5,000), ORANGE COURT (capacity of 5,000), ROOKIE A GO-G0 (capacity of 1,000) and GYPSY AVALON (capacity of 500).

プリントThe OASIS serves as the hub of the festival and contains more than 30 food stalls from around the world. When the main site closes each night after the final act, the Oasis remains open until late at night along with the Red Marquee where an all-night rave continues until 5:00 AM.

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There are a number of accommodation options to choose from including hotels, ryokans and minshukus all within walking distance of the festival site, however, many elect to sleep in tents on the golf course next door. There are toilets, showers and food stalls conveniently located on the golf course and the site draws about 17,000 festival goers every year.

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Past headliners at the festival included such acts as Nine Inch Nails, Björk and The Cure.

The Cure

The Cure

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The 3-day tickets will cost ¥42,800 and 1-day tickets run ¥17,800. To camp on the golf course you will be charged a fee of ¥3,000 which applies for the entire duration of the festival. There is a free shuttle bus motoring festival goers from the Echigo Yuzawa Station to the festival grounds.

You can easily access the Fuji Rock Festival from Tokyo via the Joetsu Shinkansen, exit at the Echigo Yuzawa Station. The one way journey will take you approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.

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Web page: http://fujirock-eng.com/

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