Tokyo Rocks Beyond

A new summer festival featuring top-line foreign acts is set to compete with the two longer-running events that have dominated the field in Japan for more than a decade.

In truth, Tokyo Rocks has been around for a few years but in the past it was strictly a local affair, featuring popular Japanese acts in a one-day setting.

This year, the promoter has managed to wrangle three of the biggest British rock groups of the past 20 years: Blur, Primal Scream and My Bloody Valentine, any of whom would be welcome to headline either Fuji Rock or Summer Sonic. In fact, all three have at one time or another.

It’s generally assumed that, given how high ticket prices usually are (three-day tickets for Fuji, $450; Summer Sonic two-day $300; Tokyo Rocks two-day $250), the summer rock festival yen is limited.

Fuji Rock has its own dedicated fan base, so Tokyo Rocks will mainly compete with Summer Sonic. They’re both at stadiums, with SS at a baseball stadium/convention center complex in a Tokyo suburb while Tokyo Rocks will be at Ajinomoto Stadium on the western outskirts of the capital.

However, the two concerts are three months apart, with Tokyo Rocks taking place May 11-12 and Summer Sonic Aug. 10-11, so dedicated rock fans may feel they can have it all.

Photo: AP Photo
BT London Live Olympic Celebration Concert, Hyde Park, London, UK

The Tokyo Rocks gig will be one stop on Blur’s Asia tour, which will also include the Asia World Arena in Hong Kong, the New Taipei Country Stadium in Taiwan and BigSoundFest in Jakarta, Indonesia.