When & where: Udo Music Festival takes place at Fuji Speedway in Shizuoka Prefecture and Izumiotsu Phoenix in Osaka, July 22-23. Performances begin at 10:30 a.m. The lineups on Saturday switch venues on Sunday.
Crowd: Baby boomers and Kiss fans
Inside track: Udo is Japan’s oldest major promoter of foreign artists, but they were slow getting into the summer festival market. Two years ago they staged Rock Odyssey, a two-day festival at Yokohama Stadium that underwhelmed, despite the participation of Aerosmith, not to mention The Who’s first-ever concert appearance in Japan. This time they’ve combined the dual-city booking formula of Summer Sonic and the rustic character of Fuji Rock, meaning there will be limited camping facilities (in Shizuoka at least).
Big names: Udo has a lock on the classic-rock acts that middleage Japanese fans drool over, and quite a few have answered the call. Performers include Kiss, Santana, Jeff Beck, The Doobie Brothers, Ben Folds, The Pretenders, Char and Alice in Chains.
What are they doing here?: Rhett Miller, Teddy Thompson
Stages: Two main stages in each city. However, the Fuji Speedway show will also have a Warped Stage on both days, featuring Pennywise, Social Distortion, and other skater bands. They will also have something called the MTV Stage.
Damage: Tickets are 16,000 yen for one day and 30,000 yen for both days at Fuji Speedway; 15,000 yen for one day and 28,000 yen for both days in Osaka.
Getting there: For Fuji, take JR Gotemba Line or Fuji Kyuko Bus to Gotemba Station, and then transfer to free shuttle bus. For Osaka take the Nankai Line from Namba Station to Izumiotsu Station. For information in Japanese see udofes.jp/index.html