No moment better encapsulated this year’s Summer Sonic than a development that occurred on Saturday night. Just 30 minutes before Day One headliner Blur was set to appear on the main Marine Stage, a long line of festival-goers snaked its way from the normally laid-back Beach Stage to nearly reach Zozo Marine Stadium’s main entry gate.
In my 10-plus years of covering this music festival, I’ve never seen a wait longer than two minutes to enter the somewhat secluded side stage.
Yet here I was, nearly two kilometers from the Beach Stage on a muggy night, surrounded by people clamoring to see J-pop star Gen Hoshino perform a set by the sea and post a clip of the hubbub on social media. The scene was the weekend in miniature; two days defined by sweltering heat, viral moments and huge crowds hoping to see Asian artists, resulting in some of the most packed stages in the event’s history.