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Stay Thirsty Media, Inc.


By Michael Lara
Tokyo, Japan

Xavier Cafeine - "Le Metro" from the album Bushido
(Director: François Blouin, Production: Opak Media)

“Get up! It’s time! Get up and make it snappy! This damn nation, needing salvation… Reach out! Teach a musical elation. Shout! Get out of it. Get within it. Get out of it. Get within it.” In the same year of Germany’s last World Cup victory over Argentina in Italy, Pop Will Eat Itself released their genre-defying Cure For Sanity (1990). Delightfully influencing legions in their seamless blend of rock, drum n’ bass, dance, pop, techno and hip-hop, its liberating social commentaries equated into a mighty mirroring effervescent cocktail of what was held vital at that time and what was to come in full.

Likewise and within a decade later, Masa Hidaka founded his FUJI ROCK and a few years later Naoki Shimizu’s equalized with his urban alternative SUMMER SONIC, each growing their respective festival productions to invoke a mandatory summer pilgrimage for many within the land of the rising sun. Resplendent in food, art, film, music, games, people and their natural complimentary offshoots, each provide a most welcomed multi-faceted relief to those on this densely populated island nation. Naturally, reaching the other side of the globe to savour their UK parents GLASTONBURY or READING in the flesh was and is a most daunting challenge to overcome and realize.

With just days away to California’s opening robust global banquet known as COACHELLA and just two months to the first pitch whistle shrieking out on June 11th between host nation South Africa and Mexico, 32 nations will square off for WORLD CUP 2010 glory. And with the latter underway, a supremely solid summer of sport and festivals shall be deliciously unfurl effortlessly to satisfy the ever-hungry global community. For football fanatics, a highly anticipated 60th anniversary reunion between trans-Atlantic father England and son the USA the next day shall provide an electrifying start for both sides while a flavourful flurry of activity shall be continuously savoured equally throughout the 10 venues in 9 cities for this historic first for the African continent and its people and all traveling there.

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Naturally, music, food, drink, art, fashion, film are indispensable compliments to the immense passion found in the sporting world, particularly in the world’s number one sport. That being said, two weeks later up topside in England, the undisputed king of all festivals, Michael Eavis’s GLASTONBURY, unfurls in all of its massive majestic splendour. Celebrating its 40th banquet of exceptional cuisine for all kinds, its consistent history of annually coalescing top-shelf local and international dishes of all genres has become the most vital template for other global banquets to follow suit to ensure their victories and Michelin ratings on their own respective fields of dreams, rain or shine.

In vigilant preparation for theirs in Japan, both Masa’s SMASH CORPORATION LTD. and Naoki’s CREATIVEMAN PRODUCTIONS CO., LTD are feverishly toiling away daily to bring together a most motley savory spread menu to their mountainous and urban feasts for both locals and overseas diners to relish come late July and early August. No matter their choice of destination or duration present, an eclectic cuisine is shaping up as both FUJI ROCK and SUMMER SONIC have begun releasing their initial lineups to whet all’s appetite’s. With some confirmed dishes being MUSE, Jay-Z, AIR, MASSIVE ATTACK, !!!, SMASHING PUMPKINS, Passion Pit, MGMT, PIXIES, Them Crooked Vultures, a plethora more shall be announced in the forthcoming weeks and months to round out a robust menu of all cuisines and beverages to enjoy in various quantities and some second helpings available as well.

And with such a strong selection of international festival fares, keeping every weekend of each summer rammed with difficult choices, a most daunting booking challenge is omnipresent for all. Regarding Japan, both Masa’s and Naoki’s sides. Who will make their final cut as well in what capacity shall they be played? Who will be arranged to be a main course, a side, a dessert, a soup, a salad, a beverage or a combination of the aforementioned? Which new and famed native and non-native dishes are musts for inclusion and should they be served up piping hot, at room temperature or refreshingly cold? Definitely more questions than answers, but all will be duly sorted shortly just as their national coach counterparts must do in preparation for South Africa as well as with the necessary adjustments once underway that shall face their organizations equally.

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In bids to be added to the respective banquet fares of FUJI ROCK and SUMMER SONIC, many potential nouveau cuisines can be flavorfully found between the far-reaching lands of Scotland west to Japan in their pursuits as enticing additions. Both Scotland’s relentlessly strong strikers We Were Promised Jetpacks and its sprawling English neighbour Enjoy Destroy, provide two tasty dishes in their most emphatic plea to be on, not off these pitches. Meanwhile across the Atlantic in North America, determined midfielders press and pass forward between Montreal’s post-punk purveyor Xavier Cafeine and LA’s slinking raw trio Nico Vega. Lest us not forget Japan’s own heavy crunching cereal of Each Of The Days who deliver a deep pummeling that reminds me of the instantaneous and continuous circle pit System Of A Down forged for all at FUJI ROCK 2001, both being defenders of their faith.

As The Undertones first cranked out in high-octane seasonal anticipation over 3 decades ago to John Peel and then to millions more ever since, “It’ll soon be summer.” Indeed it shall, so get ready. Be sure to duly prepare while staying fit. A most momentous 3 months lie ahead, no matter what you reach or with whom. Just don’t wait too long to book your reservations or you’ll find yourself missing out or paying a premium beyond. All below are contagious and here to heartily assist. Bon appétit!


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FUJI ROCK’10: (7/30, 7/31, 8/1)
SUMMER SONIC’10: (8/7-8/8)
WORLD CUP 2010 schedule (6/11-7/11):
COACHELLA (4/16-4/18):
GLASTONBURY (6/23-6/27):
READING (8/27-29):
List Of Music Festivals:

FRF and SUMMER SONIC menu addition contenders:
We Were Promised Jetpacks (Scotland):
Enjoy Destroy (England)
Xavier Cafeine (Canada)
Nico Vega (USA)
Each Of The Days (Japan) (Japan)

Influences on past, present and future banquets:
Pop Will Eat Itself:
System Of A Down:
The Undertones:
John Peel:


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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