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KYOTO

Street concerts aim to connect community

by Satoru Teshima

Special To The Japan Times

This weekend, the residents of Nagaokakyo, Kyoto, will get the chance to hear music from every nook and cranny of the city.

The third annual Nagaokakyo Music Shotengai festival will be held at different venues located around the shopping streets near Hankyu Nagaoka Tenjin Station. Stages will be set up inside cafes, book stores and even a chiropractic salon.

More than 50 musicians are set to take part in Nagaokakyo Music Shotengai. These include progressive girl-pop band Airytalk, Indian-music improvisational duo Bhakti, and shamisen player Emi Tokuda.

One of the most entertaining parts of this festival is the “Challenge Stage,” where amateur singers and dancers can sign up to perform for the crowds. Not just serving pop-star wannabes, though, the stage is also open to air-guitarists. Passionate participants will be able to break out heavy-metal guitar riffs with imaginary instruments.

Organizers say that the aim of the festival is to promote the activities and recognition of the city, “To make a community-based music festival that anyone, regardless of age, can casually participate in.”

Nagaokakyo Music Shotengai takes place at various venues in Nagaokakyo, Kyoto, on Sept. 22 and 23. Admission is free, but sometimes attendees will be asked to buy a drink. For more informaiton, visit www.n-m-s-st.org/index.html (in Japanese).