I visited Fuji Rock Festival in July, 2015
Festivals in Europe and Japan are different, I expected that much. I was still very surprised by the many differences. Visiting Fuji Rock Festival was very different from visiting festivals in Europe.
The Japanese come prepared to their festivals. They bring lawn chairs, blankets, maybe even a table, coolers full of food and drinks. They rush in as soon as the festival opens, scrambling for the best spot. They lay out their blankets, claiming their spot, set up chairs, establish base camp. Once they have claimed their spot, they stay there for the rest of the day. They have everyting they need, they only have to move when going to the toilet. All over the festival area people claimed their own little place with their blankets. A picnic for the whole family.
The way they handled their trash was amazing. I remember walking past the main stage about an hour after the Muse concert. Not a single piece of trash on the ground. And that wasn’t because it had been cleaned up after the concert, people simply did not throw their trash on the ground. There was never any trash lying around on the ground.
There weren’t that many trash cans either, but people still made sure to keep their trash and throw it away when they found one. People who smoked always carried portable ash trays, no cigarettes were thrown on the ground.
Also, the amount of recycling done was amazing. I think I counted trash cans for nine different kinds of trash. Volunteers were stationed at the trash cans to help you find the right bin. Water bottles had to be thrown in three different bins. One for the bottle, one for the label, one for the cap. And people recycled. Japanese festivals sure are enviromentally friendly.
The lack of security guards really amazed me. At a festival I expect heaps of security. At Fuji Rock the only security I saw were 15 year old kids directing traffic. Still, I saw no fights, no unruly people. Everybody were happy and we all had a great time together. One could feel the love.
There were never any lines for beer at Fuji Rock. Not that many places sold beer either. Still no lines. I guess this is because many people bring their own drinks. Service was fast, change already laid out. You ordered your beer, paid, was quickly given change and a beer. Only cash was accepted at the festival.
The party continued at the festival throughout the night, the camp area was for sleeping. So quiet, so serene. The only sound you could hear was the festival in the distance. The bass carried a long way. Boom boom boom. It wasn’t very loud and falling asleep was easy and did not take long.
Fuji Rock Festival is well-organised and offers a great experience for its visitors. Visiting a Japanese festival was great, I was impressed. The subtle differences to festivals in Europe was interesting to observe and was an added bonus to the festival experience.
For all my stories from the festival see my Fuji Rock Festival Page