Summer Sonic Avoids Typhoon

Summer Sonic 2016, which took place simultaneously in Osaka and Tokyo the weekend of Aug. 20-21, dodged a bullet – or, more exactly, a typhoon. 

Photo: Akiko Matsushita / Kyodo News via AP
People walk in a strong wind caused by Typhoon Mindulle, in Tokyo Aug. 22,. 

Two typhoons, in fact. The evening before the festival, Tokyo was hit by the tail end of a typhoon that had been traveling west through the Pacific, and it dumped a ton of rain on the city and its suburbs.

However, it managed to pass only hours before the gates opened, and the rest of the day was hot and cloudy, but rainless. Then the night of Aug. 21, not long after Radiohead finished a monumental two-hour-plus performance that included a lot of older songs they rarely play in concert, another typhoon traveling north hit the Tokyo area. The next morning, flights were being canceled, cities streets were flooding, trees and utility poles toppled, etc.

By that time, everyone was gone from the festival grounds, though some of the artists probably had their flights delayed. Attendance for Tokyo was 55,000 on Saturday, when Underworld headlined, 65,000 on Sunday, and 15,000 for the Hostess Club All-Nighter, which took place at the indoor venue from 11 p.m. Saturday until 5 a.m.

Sunday morning. It featured DeerhunterSavagesAnimal CollectiveTemplesHerbertDinosaur Jr. and more. Attendance for Osaka was 38,000 on Saturday and 36,000 on Sunday. Total attendance for the weekend: 209,000.