Not Everyone is lucky enough to attend in person. You can still follow the acts and catch the news remotely on our Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter pages, where JAPAN Forward will post information, articles, and videos. And be sure to look for our live broadcasts with interviews and more every day on Twitter Spaces.
For those who are going, though, there are things to know before you get there. Here are some of the big ones:
1. COVID-19 rules apply
As in any large event in Japan, festival organizers put together a set of guidelines in keeping with COVID-19 times. Masks are required wherever possible. At the same time, given the outdoor nature of most of the event, masks can be taken off if visitors refrain from conversation.
A full set of guidelines can be viewed here.
2. It’s the second pandemic-time Fuji Rock Festival
In June 2020, the world was still trying to understand the virus that was COVID-19, and no vaccines were available, and so the organizers announced that the festival would be postponed that year.
In 2021, Fuji Rock was back in business, but in a significantly reduced format. International artists and fans were completely absent.
The 2022 edition is the first Fuji Rock to take place with international artists since 2019.
3. It’s one of the biggest music festivals in Japan
For the uninitiated, Fuji Rock is one of the biggest festivals in Japan. Going back to 1997, the event has been bringing Japanese and international artists and music fans to the ski resort of Naeba in Niigata Prefecture.
Moreover, there is always quite a lot going on. One way to stay on top of the options is to download the Fuji Rock 2022 app. The app includes an intuitive schedule, making it easy to follow the acts. Users can create their own personal schedules so they don’t miss any of their favorite artists.
4. Be prepared to walk ー a lot
One might think that, once on site, your work is done and you can relax and enjoy. Think again.
The grounds of the festival have three main stages, and three minor stages, with loads of entertainment, food, and attractions sprawled around.
Therefore, anyone attending needs to be prepared to walk ー a lot. Budget time for getting through crowds, and sit whenever you find the opportunity. If you bring a foldable camp chair, you will be a very happy visitor indeed.
5. The weather is unpredictable
One of the charms of Fuji Rock is that it takes place at a ski resort. So, as festivalgoers enjoy the music vibes, they are surrounded by the beautiful mountains of the Japanese Alps.
This, however, also means that the weather is very unpredictable. It could be sunny one minute, and raining the next.
Ponchos and raincoats are a must.
A key point to note is that umbrellas are not allowed. Their sharp tips can be a hazard and they obstruct the vision of other concert-goers at the event.
Fuji Rock Festival organizers put together a handy packing list, which you can find in the FAQ section here.
6. It’s food heaven
It wouldn’t be a festival in Japan without one special guest: the food.
Fuji Rock is famous for its food stalls that work around the clock to bring festivalgoers delicious delicacies from all over Japan.
From hearty soups to typical festival foods such as skewers of seafood, meat or vegetables, pan-fried noodles, there is always something to snack on or drink at Fuji Rock.
One key thing is that while the venue accepts cash, cashless is also welcome, and it doesn’t hurt to keep debit/credit card handy.
For those with special dietary requirements, a full list of the food stands can be found on the Fuji Rock app.
7. There are even public baths
For those staying on-site, there are several comforting facilities available, including showers and even a local hot spring or onsen. Of course, peak times can see crowds, but it’s a fun addition to the experience of the festival.
8. The festival is very child-friendly
Especially coming from the West, the image of music festivals can be of a raucous and rowdy extravaganza.
In Japan, though, while a lot of people can be seen very much enjoying the music, one might be surprised to find out that the festival is extremely child-friendly.
There are several areas where children can play, such as Kids Land. Among the attractions, there are various folkloristic log house-type structures.
In a regular year, organizers even prepare soundproof earphones so that parents can enjoy concerts while protecting their kids’ eardrums. For hygiene reasons, that won’t happen in 2022.
Author: Arielle Busetto