Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Fuji Rock

Wow. Just wow. I've just got back from the Fuji Rock Festival in
Niigata-ken, and I have to say I was thoroughly impressed. I wasn't
sure what to expect before I arrived, but it turned out to be very
similar to a UK festival - not surprising really, seeing as the
organisers modelled it directly after Glastonbury (it even had a Field
of Avalon). The setting was quite different though - Fuji Rock is held
at the Mt. Naeba ski resort way up in the mountains, which makes for
some stunning alpine views. The lack of open farmland was a bit of a
problem - the forests and narrow valley meant that the stages were
spread out in a long line, so walking from one stage to another took a
bit of time. It could be a bit annoying if the band you wanted to see
next was on a stage at the far end of the site, but luckily I managed
to solve the problem by spending most of the day drinking beer by my
tent, only emerging to watch the last couple of bands on the main
stage. That's lateral thinking for you.

Another result of the lack of open farmland was that the campsite was
actually a golf course. Which was a bit weird. "Hey, guys! You finally
got here! Come and find us, we're camped by the 9th green next to a
bunker! Wassat? No, I think it's a par 4...". Still, I wasn't
complaining - it was absolutely fantastic to see some real grass
again. Grass is one thing that I really miss here in Japan - it's so
hot where I live that grass has to be watered constantly to keep it
alive, so golf courses are pretty much the only places you see it. And
besides, there aren't any golf courses in Fukui (that I know of

I couldn't believe they were actually letting people camp on a golf
course though - I really couldn't imagine anyone allowing that in
Britain. Usually after Glastonbury the campsite is a sea of empty
bottles and cans, and I've heard it takes a team of volunteers up to
three months to clear up. Not so at Fuji Rock - in true Japanese style
there was NO RUBBISH WHATSOEVER. People were even using pocket
ashtrays to take their cigarette butts with them. I have to say, I was
mightily impressed - I wonder if festival-goers in England could be
persuaded to do the same?

Anyway, it was a cracking weekend, and I could go on about it all day,
but I'm hungry and it's lunch time, so I'll end with my top five
specific moments of the festival, in no particular order:

1. Watching Dave Grohl jump off the stage, run through the middle of
the crowd, then climb the mixing tower in front of us during the Foo
Fighters gig. The man's a genius, someone give him a medal.

2. Persuading a group of Japanese people behind me to engage in an
impromptu bout of choral singing during Beck, followed by a spot of
impromptu robot dancing.

3. Riding up to the top of the mountain on the "Dragondala" and
discovering that the restaurant there had proper toilets.

4. Getting a bit carried away whilst watching Fat Boy Slim and taking
my top off in the rain. I know I have certain levels of English
decorum to maintain, but hey, it's a festival, I'm allowed.

5. Doing a bit of scally dancing to the sounds of those cheeky
chappies from Liverpool, The Coral. "Eh, eh! Calm down, calm down!!!"

Does anyone else have a top 5?


Anonymous Anonymous said...


3:21 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i gave dave grohl a medal once...

he replied with a restraining order :(

7:29 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it hurt until you said the coral

then it really hurt

7:43 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Paul's holiday top 5
1:Having more tea drinking than God allows.
2:Wearing my dressing gown ALL DAY.
3:Noodling on Guitar whgile watching daytime tv in said dressing gown.
4:Watching lost tourists take photos of lampost in town.
5:Going to the beach and watching the suits go to work and the ladies... oooh the ladies.

4:37 pm  
Blogger Lewis said...

God bless you Paul.

12:48 pm  

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