Asia: Fuji Rock, UFC, Busan Asian Festival

Fuji Rock Attracts 125K

Fuji Rock Festival 2017
– Fuji Rock Festival 2017
in Japan

Smash Corporation reports that about 125,000 people attended this year’s Fuji Rock Festival, which took place the weekend of July 28-30.

Three-day passes were sold out, as were one-day tickets for Saturday, when Aphex Twin headlined.

It was the electronic artist’s first appearance at the event in 20 years, when he played the first Fuji Rock Festival.

The other headliners were Gorillaz on Friday night and Bjork, introducing a new production with a string orchestra, on Sunday night. Much of the success of this year’s event could be credited to the very large turnout of foreign ticketholders, especially from Asia and most especially from Hong Kong and China.

Because Hong Kong is one of the biggest sources of foreign punters for the festival, this year Smash started a partnership with a local ticketing agency to specifically sell passes, campground slots and other related services for Fuji.

In addition, the Naeba Prince Hotel, which owns the ski resort where Fuji takes place, was filled with Chinese families this year.

Many had kids and toddlers in tow and a few even brought grandparents.

The weather, however, broke a two-year winning streak of fair skies with a good deal of rain, most of it falling on the sold-out Saturday, adding to congestion on the trails between the festival’s dozen stages.

The biggest bottleneck occurred in the afternoon between the main Green Stage and the secondary White Stage after Cornelius‘ set on the former ended and before Cornelius’s former musical partner, Kenji Ozawa, who rarely plays live these days, started his show at the latter.

The barriers that lined the White Stage field had to be dismantled in order to accommodate the crowd. Other highlights included LordeElvin BishopThe xxRag N Bone ManDeath GripsMajor LazerSlowdive and the first-ever Japan appearances by Father John Misty and emerging country star Sturgill Simpson, who was stationed in Japan during his stint in the U.S. Navy.

Another feature of this year’s festival was the presence of YouTube, which hosted a space on the grounds where acts could chat online with fans who weren’t able to show up.

The web channel also streamed exclusive interviews with some of the headliners. The main purpose of the sponsorship was to promote YouTube’s VR180 format, which seeks to “make VR recording more accessible by delivering 3D video while capturing 180 degrees around any given scene.”

Gorillaz, Lorde, and Major Lazer were also headliners at the Jisan Valley Rock Festival in a suburb of Seoul the same weekend in South Korea.

According to Yonhap News Agency, attendance this year was about 60,000 people, a decrease of more than 30 percent from last year, according to organizers CJ E&M.

Industry insiders told Yonhap that the main reason was other festivals happening on the same weekend.

One expert added, “The industry [had been] in a slump since spring, while the rainy weather during the three days [of the festival] didn’t help either.”

Two of the other Korean festivals that took place last weekend in Korea were the Holiday Land Festival and Unite With Tomorrowland, an EDM event, both of which happened in the same general area of Seoul-Incheon.

Unite With Tomorrowland, which was held at Munhak Stadium in Incheon, was part of a worldwide event taking place in multiple cities at the same time in sync with the Tomorrowland festival in Belgium.

About 20,000 people attended the Korean leg of the festival.

South Korea Launching Busan Festival

The South Korean port city of Busan is already the capital of Asian cinema thanks to the annual Busan International Film Festival, which takes place in early October.

The city government is adding to the excitement by launching the Busan One Asia Festival, Asian No. 1 Korean Wave Festival, which, according to Business Wire, will bring together the top K-pop acts and their international fans Oct. 22-31, right after BIFF has ended.

So far, the acts announced for the festival include Blackpink, Apink, Gfriend, B.A.P., Astro, Sechskies, Yuri Sangja, Baek Z Young, Kim Tae Woo, Ailee and Bolbbalban4.

The city’s tourism organization will run the festival as a blend of cultural exhibition and sightseeing promotion. Since the early 2000s, Busan has developed its Haeundae beach area as a premier South Korean resort destination with ultramodern hotels of all classes. The main venues for the festival will be the Busan Asiad Main Stadium, the sprawling Busan Cinema Center and Gunam-ro on Haeundai Beach.

UFC In China

UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) has announced it will make its first appearance in mainland China this fall. UFC Fight Night Shanghai will take place Nov. 25 at the  in Shanghai.

No fighters have been announced yet, but tickets went on sale Aug. 1.

UFC senior vice president Joe Carr stated, “We are always asked when the UFC will be making its debut in mainland China. We are honored to confirm that Shanghai will be the home of the very first live event and to say that we are excited is an understatement. The entire organization is looking forward to making history this year.”

The Daily Mail reports that fighters will be touring Shanghai and other Chinese cities to “meet fans and promote the event, including UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway.”