Music

Summer's Fuji Rock Festival postponed due to COVID-19 concerns

by Patrick St. Michel

Contributing writer

Smash Japan announced today that the 2020 edition of Fuji Rock Festival will be postponed until August 2021 due to ongoing concerns regarding COVID-19.

The summer music festival, which was scheduled for Aug. 21 through 23 at the Naeba Ski Resort in Niigata, is the latest event in Japan to be stricken from this year’s summer calendar. Last month, the organizers of the Rock In Japan Festival in Ibaraki Prefecture and Rising Sun Rock Festival in Hokkaido both announced their events would not be taking place.

Smash made the news official on its website in a message from the Fuji Rock Organizing Committee. Domestic media had reported earlier in the day that the festival would be canceled.

Smash President Masahiro Hidaka also took the opportunity to express his condolences to those who have lost family members to the novel coronavirus and to voice support for those who are fighting the illness.

“I also express respect for the medical professionals and all people working on the front lines of the pandemic,” Hidaka wrote.

This is the first time in Fuji Rock’s 23-year history that the three-day event has been postponed. The first installment of the gathering in 1997 was battered by a typhoon, resulting in its second day being called off.

COVID-19 has hit Japan’s live music industry especially hard, resulting in the cancellation of shows and festivals since late February. Nikkei reported earlier in May that over ¥28 billion has been lost in the Kansai region alone due to the cancellation of live events, which also includes theatrical performances.

Supersonic, this year’s replacement for Summer Sonic, which took a year off to avoid overlapping with the Tokyo Olympics, is still scheduled to take place simultaneously in Chiba Prefecture and Osaka, from Sept. 19 to 21 (Sept. 20 and 21 only in Osaka). The event company behind it, Creativeman, recently announced a new batch of artists set to play later this fall that includes Black Eyed Peas, Steve Aoki and more.

In line with COVID-19 guidelines, the government is strongly requesting that residents and visitors exercise caution if they choose to visit bars, restaurants, music venues and other public spaces.
Coronavirus banner