Fuji Rock is 20 years old this year. And I will be there to celebrate it! There’s no denying that I’m looking forward to this weekend. Ben Harper, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Beck and Wilco are performing. Unlike the name suggest, the festival isn’t near Mount Fuji. My first music festival in Japan, bring it on!
Fuji Rock is often referred to as the Glastonbury of Asia. It’ll be warmer than Glastonbury but apparently I should expect rain. On their website, the festival warns for extreme temperature differences and potential heavy rainfall. The semi-British side of me sighs... “oh dear”. Besides the weather warnings there are warnings to keep away from bees, wasps, mosquitos and ticks. Nothing to worry about then.
Fuji Rock is organised by Smash Japan. The CEO of this company is Masahiro Hidaka and he’s, more or less, the Japanese Michael Eavis. In an interview with the Japanese Times he says: “Festivals are an inconvenience, but it was my dream to organise a festival where you could camp”. Twenty years in I am going to check whether the festival is an inconvenience. I doubt it will be that.
The ticket system is a bit confusing. A quick look at Fuji Rock’s website tells you…well, not a lot. You can’t just quickly scan it, as there is so much information. Not sure why the ticket information page of Fuji Rock needs to be this complicated. Festivals like Shambhala, Creamfields and Isle of Wight Festival all have very straightforward information with regards to the tickets they sell. Somehow Fuji Rock seems to overcomplicate things.
What to bring to Fuji Rock
I should not complain though. There’s a festival waiting for me and I’m ready for it. Okay, almost ready for it. I still need to fit everything in my rucksack but I’m getting there. The essentials that I will take with me to Fuji Rock are:
Sun cream lotion. Being bald is both a blessing (last time I've overpaid a hairdresser was 16 years ago) and a curse (sun on my skull means I’m going delirious after only a few hours). Head, neck and arms need to be smothered with sun cream lotion. I found sun cream with insect repellent. Problem is that it’s only factor 15.
Hat. Again, me not having hair means I need to protect myself. Hat 1 and hat 2 have been packed already. Fuji’s website recommends hats anyway because of ticks and mosquitos.
Insect repellent. So besides my sun cream lotion that has insect repellent in it I have also bought a bottle of insect repellent. This one is deet-free. Deet is awful stuff. It kills insects but you’re basically putting extreme toxic chemicals on your body. Deet should be washed off of your body as soon as possible. That might be a problem as I’m at a festival. Hence I’ve got deet-free insect repellent.
Wellies and ponchos. It’s the rainy season in Japan. This means it is hot and humid. A Google search for ‘rain at Fuji Rock’ provides similar images to that of Glastonbury. Fingers crossed it stays dry.
Reusable water bottle and snacks. I’m trying to avoid using plastic water bottles. I can’t seem to find any information about water points at the festival site so I have to wait and see. I always bring some snacks with me. Not sure how useful it is but it works for me.
Bin bags. Pack it in, pack it out. Take your rubbish with you.
Paracetamol. Let’s be honest; I intend to drink at the festival. That normally means I need some paracetamol the next day. Besides that, I will bring other toiletries as well. Always bring a toilet roll!
Equipment. Tent. Check! Sleeping bag. Check! Torch. Check! Hammer for the pegs. Check! Honestly, it is not really a hammer but it does the same trick. Still a check!
That’s me done for now. One more night in a comfortable bed before I go by Shinkansen to Fuji Rock tomorrow!