Fuji Rocks, Breeze Blows Away

This year’s Fuji Rock Festival was another major success despite the 11th-hour cancellation of Sunday-night headliner Kiyoshiro Imawano.

About 119,000 people reportedly attended the three-day event July 25-27, the 12th overall and the 10th in a row to be held at the Naeba ski resort in Niigata Prefecture.

Except for the arrest of one Japanese journalist for possession of marijuana, no incidents were reported. Of the more than 150 acts at the festival, only Imawano canceled his appearance in the weeks leading up to it.

The weather was good; only some brief though heavy squalls on Sunday marred the festivities. In addition, 15,000 people showed up for the free, pre-festival party on July 24, where Australia’s The Fumes entertained the masses with the help of a handful of Japanese bands.

The Summer Breeze Festival in Korea didn’t fare quite as well.

Promoter B4H Entertainment canceled the first-time event, scheduled for August 7-9 at the Jamsil Olympic Stadium, citing poor ticket sales.

Among the artists scheduled to appear were Prodigy, OneRepublic, Panic At the Disco, Lost Prophets, Stacie Orrico and Simple Plan.

The promoter tried to keep the festival at a manageable size and negotiated with artists to make sure it would go ahead despite the poor sales, B4H told the Korea Times, but only about 500 tickets were sold for the two-day fest.

Stiff competition is likely the main factor in the low sales. Pentaport Rock Festival took place in July and ETPFEST 2008 will be held August 15. In addition, Alicia Keys had a major show in Seoul August 7.