Fuji Rock Festival 2024: The Ultimate Guide to Japan's Premier Music Experience (2024)

The much-anticipated Fuji Rock Festival 2024 promises to be a musical event unlike any other. If you’re thinking of attending the event this summer in Japan, then it’s not too early to start planning. There’ll be a lot going on during the event. Read this guide to learn what to expect and every other detail of the festival.

Introduction to Fuji Rock: The Biggest of All Japanese Music Festivals

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The upcoming Fuji Rock Festival 2024 is poised to be one of the largest music festivals in Japan. Scheduled to begin on Friday, July 26 and end after Sunday, July 28, this year’s festival will be a 3-day event. It will take place at the Naeba Ski Resort in Niigata.

Fuji Rock Festival is arguably the most recognized music festival in Japan, and the 2024 iteration will continue the annual tradition of bringing over 100,000 attendees from all over the world. The event will feature a diverse array of top international and Japanese artists performing songs from a variety of musical genres. Besides music, other performances you can expect to see at the event include firebreathing and balancing acts. The festival also features various foods, drinks, art showcases, merchandise sales, and lots more!

What is Fuji Rock Festival?

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The Fuji Rock Festival is the largest outdoor musical event in Japan. It has been an annual tradition reserved for the last weekend of July since 1997. Smash Japan, a rock concert promoter, is currently in charge of organizing the event, which typically lasts for three days. Fuji Rock Festival focuses mainly on rock music and electronic music but also includes performances by artists of other genres.

The first iteration of the festival took place in 1997. It was hosted at the Tenjinyama Ski Resort, a location close to Mount Fuji; hence, its name. Although scheduled as a 2-day event on the last weekend of July that year, the festival had to be cut short after the first day (Sunday, July 27, 1997) was ruined by a typhoon. Many people suffered hypothermia and other injuries on that day. However, the situation also created one of the most iconic moments in Fuji Rock history when Anthony Kiedis, lead vocalist of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, broke his arm but performed through a storm.

In the second year of the Fuji Rock Festival, organizers moved the venue to Toyosu, Tokyo. Unfortunately, many of the attendees complained of the heat. The festival was finally moved to Naeba Ski Resort, Niigata, in 1999. That proved to be an ideal venue, and it has been the home of the festival since then. Due to the unavoidable impact of COVID-19, the 2020 iteration was nothing but a recap in the form of a live YouTube broadcast of past performances.

Where is Fuji Rock Festival Held?

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Since 1999, the Fuji Rock Festival has been held at Naeba Ski Resort. The resort is a collection of four ski areas, over 1,200 hotel rooms, diners, shops, and hot springs. It’s a major part of the Yuzawa resort town in Niigata Prefecture and is located on Mount Takenoko’s eastern slope. Dragondola, the longest gondola in Japan, connects Naeba Ski Resort to Kagura Ski Resort, which are two parts of a large area known as Mount Naeba.

Due to its accessibility from Tokyo and lengthy snow season, the Naeba Ski Resort is a popular spot for domestic and international skiers. However, in the last week of July, hundreds of thousands of visitors come to enjoy the Fuji Rock Festival.

If you’re travelling by train, the Echigo-Yuzawa Station is the closest stop to the venue. From there, you can take a shuttle bus to Naeba Ski Resort. That part could take 40 to 50 minutes. The following are some of the transport options from Tokyo:

  • Easiest route: Take a direct train ride on the Joetsu Shinkansen (bullet train) from Tokyo Station to Echigo-Yuzawa Station. It’s a straight-forward route that only takes 90 minutes.

  • Cheapest route: Take a local train on the Ueno-Tokyo Line or Takasaki Line from Tokyo Station to Takasaki Station. Next, use the Jōetsu Line to travel from Takasaki Station to Minakami Station. From there, make another change and follow a train on the Jōetsu Line to Echigo-Yuzawa Station. Although the entire journey lasts for about four hours, it will save you a couple thousand yen.

Fuji Rock 2024 Lineup: What to Expect

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We’ve been following the organizer’s preparations for Fuji Rock Festival 2024 for quite some time now. Our team has gathered enough information to finally share details about what you can expect at this year’s event. Let’s start with the star attractions. Each day of the event will feature a globally-famous headliner. Of course, an eclectic mix of international and Japanese artists will perform on that day too.

On Friday, July 26, you can expect to see a performance from American R&B and pop singer Sza. Other artists scheduled to perform on that day include Japanese musical band Lucky Kilimanjaro, Korean DJ and singer Peggy Gou, and Grammy Award nominee Omar Apollo.

Day 2 of the event (Saturday, July 27) will likely feature a performance from German electronic band Kraftwerk. You can also expect to see Beth Gibbons (the lead singer of the Portishead band), Japanese rock band Man with a Mission, and Australian musician Angie McMahon.

On Sunday, July 28, the third and final day of the event, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds will be performing their biggest rock songs live on stage. Fans of American hardcore punk will also enjoy a performance from Turnstile. Japanese DJ Ken Ishii and British singer Kenya Grace will also be making appearances. Those are just a few of the 200 local and international artists who will be coming to the festival.

Navigating Fuji Rock: Festival Layout and Stages

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Every year, the festival grounds are home to 12 major and minor stages, where the artists perform. There are two main stages: GREEN STAGE and WHITE STAGE. The ten other stages scattered throughout the grounds are: RED MARQUEE, Naeba Shokudo, FIELD OF HEAVEN, ROOKIE A GO-GO, CRYSTAL PALACE TENT, DAY DREAMING, GAN-BAN SQUARE, Gypsy Avalon, BLUE GALAXY, and PYRAMID GARDEN. Each stage is unique in size, atmosphere, attractions, and facilities.

Besides stages, the grounds also include different areas with facilities for your amusem*nt. Camping is a big part of the festival experience because it provides cheap accommodation in a natural environment. You can camp at the campsite on the mountain next to RED MARQUEE and Moon Caravan, at Camp Village located just outside the main festival grounds, or at the campsite in PYRAMID GARDEN. Another option is to use the auto camping facility in Moon Caravan.

KIDS LAND is a park right next to GREEN VILLAGE that offers children’s amusem*nts and nursing facilities. Next to RED MARQUEE is the Dragondola gondola lift, which you can ride to the summit of the mountain area and enjoy a panoramic view of the festival grounds. Other amusem*nt areas and facilities include the Camping Consultation Center, the OASIS food and hospitality area, Tokoro Heaven, a first aid tent, and a smoking area.

The Best Performances in Fuji Rock History

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As we anticipate the upcoming Fuji Rock Festival 2024, we feel the need to look back at memorable performances from past years. Hopefully, this gives you an idea of the festival’s caliber. The following are the most iconic performances in Fuji Rock history:

1. Red Hot Chili Peppers (1997)

It’s almost poetic that the most incredible performance in festival history happened in its first iteration. The Red Hot Chili Peppers seemed to be playing against the pouring rain, risking their lives to keep the show going for as long as humanly possible. They were eventually forced to end the set prematurely and the entire festival was shut down.

2. Radiohead (2012)

On the final day of the event, five-man band Radiohead delivered a sublime performance on the GREEN STAGE in front of over 40,000 people. The atmosphere was electric as they opened with “Lotus Flower” and followed it up with “Bloom,” “The King of Limbs,” and “In Rainbows.”

3. Post Malone (2018)

On WHITE STAGE, American rapper and singer Post Malone thrilled the crowd with an iconic solo performance. They went wild for smash hits like “Rock Star” and “Better Now.” He was sure to thank the crowd and mention how much he was loving the festival so far.

Beyond the Music: Workshops and Art Installations

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At Fuji Rock, it’s not just about the music. There are other cultural and recreational activities available for you and your friends. We urge you to explore beyond the stages and participate in any of the following activities:

  • Fuji Rock Run: A morning running event through the beautiful forest area.

  • Outdoor Vaudeville Theater at Tokoro Tengoku: Where you can have fun watching comedies and other creative performances.

  • Jomon Workshop at Orange Cafe: Learn about the indigenous Jomon-era culture.

  • Fuji Theater at Tokoro Tengoku: Watch feature films at an outdoor movie theater.

  • Egg Hunt at PYRAMID GARDEN: Both kids and adults can find eggs and win prizes.

Navigating the Night: After-Dark Activities at Fuji Rock

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The nightlife at Fuji Rock includes after-hours shows, mostly at GAN-BAN SQUARE. This year, you can expect DJ sets from Takkyu Ishino and special musical showcases from Taku Inoue. If you want to experience the full round-the-clock atmosphere, spend some time at PYRAMID GARDEN. It’s home to Donkichi Park, which is famous for Don’s Gourmet Night. OASIS and RED MARQUEE are also open to night crawlers well after the final act of the day.

How to Buy Tickets and Plan Your Trip

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You can purchase admission, campsite, or parking tickets for the Fuji Rock Festival via any of their official sales outlets. Some of these outlets offer both online and offline (stores and vending machines) options. The main admission ticket types are the one-day ticket and the three-day ticket. The one-day ticket costs less. However, three-day tickets are ideal for visitors and tourists who want to enjoy the entire experience at a discount.

If you’re traveling to Japan for the festival, you can combine your stay with a broader visit to the country. Get accommodation within walking distance from the grounds. We recommend the Naeba Prince Hotel or any of the accommodations in the hot springs town of Echigo-Yuzawa.

Fuji Rock Festival and Environmental Sustainability

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The organizers of Fuji Rock hope to promote environmental sustainability by providing garbage bins at the venue as part of their recycling program. The trash you throw away will be recycled and turned into the garbage bags and toilet paper shared at the resort. Also, Gypsy Avalon is an organic stage that only uses biodiesel and other soft energies. It’s important that all attendees participate in these green efforts for a cleaner, more sustainable festival.

Conclusion:

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Lovers of good music wouldn’t want to miss out on electrifying performances from artists set to attend the Fuji Rock Festival this year. If you want to experience a unique blend of music, culture, and nature, start making plans to attend the festival today. As we anticipate the biggest music festival in Japan, feel free to get a taste of gourmet delights from the country with Bokksu. All you need is a Bokksu Snack Box Subscription and we’ll send you a box of authentic Japanese sweets and snacks every month.

Fuji Rock Festival 2024: The Ultimate Guide to Japan's Premier Music Experience (2024)

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