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By Michael Lara
Tokyo, Japan

“This is a public service announcement with guitars!” The relentlessly edgy surge of might from the side of Topper, Paul, Mick and Joe deliciously captures the massive savory swath of invigorating power to richly gain from this plentiful monumental summer ahead.  What more could one have ever dreamt in this convergence of such fortune? 

While June shall unleash the first ever World Cup on African soil, Michael Eavis’ Glastonbury celebrates its impressive 40th season run less than 2 weeks post kick off in South Africa.  And then, to add further sweetness on top, here in Nippon, we have the sumptuous seasonal fares of FUJI ROCK and SUMMER SONIC in late July and early August to punctuate a summer replete with an undefeatable adventurous samurai spirit.

As for Japan’s rich contribution to the international friendly festival circuit goes, whether you chose to be mountain size in traversing the majestic sprawling grounds at Naeba Ski Resort for FUJI ROCK or keep it compact by the sea and sand within either Tokyo or Osaka for SUMMER SONIC, a buoyant bounty await all in their passage, no matter which you reserve. Both have over 10 years experience to ensure your pursuit of happiness on their respective pitches to be heartily realized.

Each, replete with such a rich history of providing portals of self-discovery and more, 2010’s editions rightfully hold massive anticipation of whom both will respectively book for headliners and more. GORILLAZ, MUSE, PAVEMENT, NEIL YOUNG, BLUR, YEAH YEAH YEAHS and countless other savory seasoned snacks will be duly swirled upon to gather their menu inclusion just as the ever resourceful Japanese crow does to all edible in its sights no matter its location.

Last years FUJI ROCK and SUMMER SONIC delivered richly in their delicious ways with spikes being found among a more focused KLAXONS, Brazil’s CSS, LA’s BILLY BOY ON POISON, Norway’s ROYKSOPP, reigning diva LADY GAGA, the ever ready for any stage or film FLAMING LIPS, mind expansive GRIZZLY BEAR, Texan dance gunslingers GHOSTLAND OBSERVATORY, well-dressed tricksters 2 MANY DJ’S, dancehall legends THE SPECIALS, a resurgent LIMP BIZKIT, a solid visceral MAX CAVALERA CONSPIRACY, experimentalists HOLY FUCK and countless others that again pose a daunting challenge to both promoters to overcome. Like that magnetic resonant TRICKY track, whom shall emerge massive come summer 2010?

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Well nothing is written just yet, but rest assured, both SMASH and CREATIVEMAN desire you to not miss nor be later for their very important dates this Samurai Blue summer.

And this shall be an especially most daunting challenge this year with them throwing their multiple day unbirthday parties so closely. Yet no need to worry in mind, as a 10-year veteran of both games, I can say with strong confidence that they will duly provide a most bountiful accommodation in sense-altering vehicles, venues and varied artisans spread throughout their well-known grounds. Healthy competition, after all, always brings about the best outcomes now doesn’t it?


FUJI ROCK - 2009  (click images to enlarge)


Whether you are a dazzling urbanite or a dirty hippie, infinitesimal opportunities await you to savor in feeding your mind, body and soul in their robust annual pilgrimages rightfully beloved and embraced here and abroad.

Enticements already abound to seize your dreams so stay vigilant on both, especially CREATIVEMAN. One thing that is historically true on them is that they tend to release confirmed artist information earlier to further whet your appetite while SMASH holds back with its longer storied pedigree.

Count upon finding those familiar and new faces at these two behemoths later this summer unfurling at April’s COACHELLA and in Michael Eavis’ mighty Godfather of all festivals, GLASTONBURY.


SUMMER SONIC - 2009   (click images to enlarge)


With a tasty, teeming pool of global talent vying for various coveted slots over a stream of stages at each respective festival, inclusion is paramount for artists of all kinds, especially those emerging who are hungry and hung sonic snacks: LA’s determined ENDLESS HALLWAY, Korea’s driving THE PLASTIC DAY, Tokyo’s own raucous DIRTY T’S, Montreal’s mischievous THINK ABOUT LIFE, Scotland’s endearing XCERTS and Australia’s wondrous APRICOT RAIL shall be vying on the international pitch to get inclusion in these respective summer games.

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Whichever you explore, and hopefully both, adhere to Forrest’s sage advice from his mama: “You never know what you’re going to get.” Indeed true and that’s the best part in both whilst living in full amongst friends and strangers.  Just after an electrifying global convergence that will tastily transpire on and off the pitch between nations and their citizens 6/11 and 7/11 in South Africa, a marvelous momentum shall continue unhindered.

With only months away from these legendary international games in the horizon, immediate training is essential with trainers below:


FUJI ROCK (7/29-8/1):
SUMMER SONIC (8/7-8/8):

A Succulent Six International Friendlies in Contention:
The Plastic Day (Korea):
The Dirty T’s (Japan/USA/UK):
Endless Hallway (USA):
The Xcerts (Scotland):
Think About Life (Canada):
Apricot Rail (Australia):
COACHELLA (4/16-4/18):
FIFA World CUP Schedule (6/11-7/11):
GLASTONBURY (6/23-6/27):


All opinions expressed by Michael Lara are solely his own and do not reflect the opinions of Stay Thirsty Media, Inc.



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