This might be your chance to venture into Japan to see some fresh faces and explore some new music from the enchanted land! 

It’s summer now and for everyone who is obsessed with music, it means only one thing- SUMMER FESTIVAL TIME! Japan happens to be one of the most biggest hot-spots for the music industry with ground breaking local acts reaching a level of success which is second to none. Japanese music festivals are a must-visit for anyone who is totally gaga over rock acts and wouldn’t mind headbanging to some tunes!

Here are some of The Sherp’s favourite picks of rock festivals you should visit if you’re a rock/metal head and to get a taste of the local music as well –

1.Fuji Rock Festival

Fuji Rock Festival has been one of the biggest crowd pullers in the Japanese festival circuit over the years. The three day festival happens at the off season Naeba Ski Resort in Yuzawa. Over the years rock legends like Coldplay, Radiohead, Muse, Foo Fighters and Oasis have performed at the event. This years lineup is no less as they have roped in the crowd favourites like Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Sigur Ros, Beck and Disclosure. Although the event is called the Fuji Rock Festival the genres are never limited to only rock and if you keep your eyes and ears open, you might just chance upon a new indie electronic act too. They also hold pride in the fact of being “The cleanest festival in the world”. So if you want to enjoy some rock classics in the quaint little resort, head over there. The event is slated to happen from July 22nd-24th.

2. Dead Pop Festival

With a goal to make everyone go wild, the annual Dead Pop Festival is sure to make you head bang to some of the most varied artists on their lineups! Since it’s inaugural event back in 2010, the event has seen a steady climb in the number of people attending as well as the venue sizes getting bigger each year. From comedy bands, to rock, to punk and their USP-heavy metal bands. This event attracts everyone who wants to rock their hearts out to some wild tunes! It’s happening this year on the 9th and 10th July!

3. Join Alive Festival

Join Alive is a festival held in Hokkaido every year and boasts of having the most chill-vibe any festival could dream of! Their lineup every year gathers up the most influential and fun local artists of the country. One of the biggest reasons why anyone should go to this festival is that there’s an adjacent amusement park that everyone can go and enjoy. WHAT! If that was not enticing enough, this festival also aims to be a kid friendly event with a camping site, so major plus points for that. Make sure to catch this fun event on July 16th and 17th this year!

4. Rock in Japan Festival

Rock in Japan happens to be one of the biggest festivals in the music circuit in Japan. The demand for tickets are so ridiculously high that people have to enter a raffle contest to just be able to purchase the tickets! One of the USP’s of the festival is that only Japanese artists are allowed to perform at the event, which promotes the local talent wholeheartedly. The festival takes place over two weekends. This year it’s about to happen on the 7th, 8th, 16th and 17th August. One of the perfect places to be at if you’re interested in checking out some local talent!

5. Summer Sonic Festival

This one is definitely a MONSTER when it comes to festivals. Started in 2000 this festival happens in two cities, Chiba and Osaka. The event usually kicks off with the event SONICMANIA which is a day dedicated to solely EDM performances. The next two days see major western artists tearing up the stage back and forth! This years lineup is definitely going to attract huge crowds as they have Radiohead, Fergie, The 1975, Alesso and Two Door Cinema Club among many other international artists. If there is any festival you should plan on going to, it’s this one!

6. Rising Rock Sun Festival

This is a festival which believes that sleep is for losers! One of the very few festivals which has musical acts going all through the night till the wee hours of the morning, the Rising Rock Sun festival is unique in its own way. Even they consider promoting local artists their foremost priority which is why their lineup consists of only local bands! If you’re a total night owl and want to enjoy the beautiful sunset over Hakkaido while listening to some kick ass music, this is the place to be. It’s going to happen on the 12th and 13th August!

6. Muro Festival

Muro Festival is known for their amazing choice of venue. Every year stages are built near the Tokyo Bay terminal right next to the sea. With a great range of artists gracing the stage, you can enjoy the concerts while soaking yourself in the wind and breeze by the sea. The festival is going to be held on the 31st of July this year!

7. Rainbow Child 2020

Rainbow Child Festival is now in the third year of its inception that was created and conceptualized with the message of living in harmony, respecting the Earth and spreading peace and love. Apart from a diverse lineup every year, they have different workshops ranging from painting, skateboarding and water sports for everyone to try out with their kids and families. So in a way, this festival embraces the beauty of our surroundings by respecting it and also makes sure everyone has a good time!

8. Monster baSh Festival

Last but not the least, started in 2000 the Monster baSh festival has been held in the Sanuki Manno Park of Yoshino. The venue for this fest is enclosed in between lush green hills and a landscape to die for! Every year thousands of people flock down to catch their favorite artists belt out banger after banger. Because of the immense popularity the festival has gained over the years, it has been nicknamed the “the music festival of Shikoku”. Make sure you catch it on the 21st and 22nd August this year!

9. Ultra Japan

We don’t think any kind of introduction is required for the mammoth that is the Ultra Music Festival. Back when UMF expanded their venture into Japan, Korea etc they started seeing large number of fans turning up for their favorite artists. The shows put out were of exceptional quality, with bangers being delivered one after one, year after year. This increase in popularity directly reflects on the ever awesome lineup that is being put out each year! Ultra Japan recently announced their phase 1 lineup which consists of stellar headliners from the likes of Deadmau5, Hardwell, Martin Garrix to supporting acts like JAUZ and Marshmello! So all you bass-heads out there, make sure you book your tickets for Ultra Japan! It’s happening this year from September 17th-19th.

10. Labyrinth Festival

This quaint festival held in the silent foothills of Nigaata, Japan is one of the lesser known festivals in the Japanese circuit. Touted to have one of the most detailed and experimental techno line-ups every year, this festival is a sure shot stand out from everything else. The festival is known for presenting attendees with endless hours of music throughout the night. The camping facilities in such a brilliant location make it all the more worth it. The stages are beautifully set-up in the form of teepees and by night the place just comes alive. What more can you ask than to be surrounded by forests and listening to the best techno beats! For every techno-head out there, this is MUST visit.

So, go ahead, book your tickets to catch your favourite acts!