Amongst the misty mountains of Niigata, just below the golf course and thawed out ski slopes of the Naeba resort, every July, something special happens.
Get yourself some boots, pack a tent in your bag, along with some mosquito repellent and a hat – Fuji Rock is here. If you’ve never been before, you’re in for a treat, so put down your excuses – maybe even book time off work – and get ready.
Whatever the weather – it will rain, and you will get sunburn – the trip to Japan’s number one summer music festival will be worth it. As you leave behind the humid streets of Tokyo and set up your tent in the Fuji Rock hills – or, for those with a mud phobia who want to actually get some sleep during the weekend, check in to a hotel – you could just be heading for the weekend of your life.
Radiohead, who play Sunday night after Jack White and Elvis Costello, stand out from a trio of straight-out-of-the-90s UK headline acts across the weekend, some having updated their sounds more than others.
The Stone Roses reform for 2012 summer gigs, including their Friday night turn here, with Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds (Saturday night) being the other Brits with unfinished business; Noel’s brother Liam plays with Beady Eye on Friday, too, so things could get a little feisty back stage!
The Specials, Justice, At The Drive In, James Blake, Spiritualized and more will take you through on the main stages but do check out the other arenas have a look at the full Fuji Rock lineup, here.
A trip to Fuji Rock would not be complete without a ride on the ‘Dragondola’, a cable-car which takes you over the mountains and through the next valley to a secluded stage in the sky. Save some energy for the nightlife; All Night Fuji and the Palace of Wonder, with DJs, surprise live performances, cabaret acts and general foolery in the early hours, will keep you going until the morning.
Fuji Rock 2012, July 27, 28 and 29 (Friday-Sunday)
Weekend tickets: ¥42,800