Fuji Rock’s lineup typically boasts top international and domestic artists, with hundreds of thousands of fans gathering at the Naeba Ski Resort for the three-day event, which will be held from July 26-28 this year. Last year, Kendrick Lamar, N.E.R.D and Post Malone on the bill hinted that the festival was moving away from its guitar-heavy roots for the headliners while relying much more on domestic acts for the smaller stages. Still, the raging typhoon proved that wet weather is one constant we can rely on.
So when this year’s first-round lineup was announced on Feb. 7, musical fans from around the world tuned in.
Fuji Rock 2019 first-round lineup
— FUJI ROCK FESTIVAL (@fujirock_jp) February 8, 2019
Headlining acts for the festival include pop sensation Sia, post-punk legend The Cure, and rock icon Thom Yorke. This first-round announcement reveals only a few of over 200 artists who will perform at Fuji Rock, with others announced in several phases over the months leading up to the festival.
The hype is real
There has been a lot of hype around the artists announced for this year’s festival, including for James Blake’s newly released album Assume Form and The Chemical Brothers new single “Got To Keep On,” which are sure to be a main focus on the Fuji Rock stage.
The first peek at the initial lineup was on an LED screen at the Shibuya Modi shopping complex, where crowds gathered for the reveal on Feb 8. Concert promotion brand Chord caught the moment on film, with onlookers making ecstatic Japanese exclamations like, “Yabai!” and, “Yossha!” upon hearing their favorite artists’ names. Sia, James Blake, and Thom Yorke seemed to garner the loudest reactions.
— chord by HOT STUFF (@chord_hs) February 8, 2019
One Twitter user, in particular, could hardly contain his joy at work upon hearing news of the artists performing at the festival this year.
— 🏠すだ🔥(ナードマグネット) (@pickon103) February 8, 2019
They tweeted, “The Fuji Rock lineup is so amazing, I’m fighting back tears on the toilet at work.”
Red Hot Chilli Who?
Surprisingly, the act currently producing the most hype is not a headliner, but several lines down on the announcement: the Red Hot Chilli Pipers. The Internet was buzzing: Is it a typo? Why aren’t they a headlining act? But the Red Hot Chili Peppers played at Fuji Rock just three years ago, surely they wouldn’t be performing again so soon?
— SAYA (@abaredaiko38) February 8, 2019
“This ‘Red Hot Chili’ thing is so confusing,” tweeted @abaredaiko38.
To clear up the misunderstanding for the befuddled masses, Japanese news and media site Qetic explained things on Twitter.
— Qetic (@Qetic) February 8, 2019
“The Red Hot Chilli Pipers tour all over the world and are known as ‘the most famous bagpipe band on the planet.’ In their performances, they festively cover songs by Queen, Avicii, Coldplay, Deep Purple, and AC/DC,” they wrote.
This revelation only garnered more attention on the self-titled “bagrock” stars, and fans of Fuji Rock were drawn to the idea.
フジロックのLINE UPの下から4行目にいる「Red Hot Chilli Pipers」てなんやと思ったら、バグパイプがメインのバンドで、それはそれで気になってしまったやないか
— kana ichihara (@kana___ppe) February 8, 2019
@kana_ppe tweeted, “I didn’t know what to make of this ‘Red Hot Chilli Pipers'” twelve lines down on the Fuji Rock lineup, but them being a bagpipe band just makes me that much more interested.”
They will certainly not be disappointed if the Red Hot Chilli Pipers live up to their official PR description as: “Bagpipes with attitude. Drums with a Scottish accent. A blazing rock band and show so hot, it carries its own health warning!” With live performances covering Avicii’s “Wake Me Up” as lit as the ones below, that isn’t an over-exaggeration.
Your ticket to three days in musical heaven
Fuji Rock Festival tickets start at ¥18,000 (US $164) for 1-day passes and ¥39,800 (US $362) for 3-day passes. Guess what? If you’re convinced you’d like to buy passes to the event you can do so right here on the GaijinPot site with your mobile, laptop or desktop. These tickets are available to anybody living outside of Japan. If you’re in Japan, you can get tickets through the Fuji Rock Festival website (in Japanese).