This year’s Fuji Rock Festival was a damp and turbulent affair, albeit only in the most literal sense. Whatever the formula is for convincing people to blow their entire summer vacation budget on a few days in the Japan Alps — much of which will likely be spent lining up for the toilet, getting drenched in thunderstorms and searching for a stall selling beer that isn’t Heineken — this year’s festival appears to have cracked it.
Only a few years ago, every edition of Fuji Rock seemed to be greeted by rumors that it might be the last. It was hard to square such pessimistic talk with the scenes that unfurled at Naeba Ski Resort in Niigata Prefecture last weekend. Fresh from celebrating its 20th anniversary last year, the festival drew capacity crowds on Saturday, and came within a whisker of selling out on its other two days.