Rising Sun Rock Festival

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The Rising Sun Rock Festival (Sometimes referred to as RSR) was Japan’s first overnight outdoor rock festival. It started in 1999 and has continued every year. It is currently preparing for its 10th anniversary. It is run by Wess, Inc. (WE! Online).


The company that created the Rising Sun Rock Festival did so in 1999 in Hokkaido. At the time there was only one stage and very few artists in attendance. The Rock festival grew considerably in popularity over the next few years and by 2007, there were over six stages and 100 different artists performing. Despite its immense growth, the Rising Sun Rock Festival is not one of the largest rock concerts in Japan, and deals with some limited space. Stages have limited seating according to the following chart:

  • Sun Stage - Capacity: 30,000
  • Earth Tent - Capacity: 4,000
  • Red Star Field - Capacity: 5,000
  • Moon Circus - Capacity: 5,000
  • Green Oasis - Capacity: 3,000
  • Crystal Palace - Capacity: 800
  • Bohemian Garden - Capacity: 3,000

It is not a small festival but its limited seating in many of its smaller stages make it not one of the largest even though it has experience such vast growth over the past decade.

All of these stages are found in the Hokkaido Wilderness, though the land is equipped with running water, electricity and Internet access, so it is not a camping experience by any means. Many different rock genres are in attendance as well, from standard rock to techno, to ska and even Jazz. While the event heralds itself as a “rock concert” it is more of a musical concert instead.

The Rising Sun Rock Festival does not feature a great deal of international artists. Rather it is most popular with local groups, with a few of the more well known Japanese rock groups doing their shows at the Sun Stage. Artists at the Sun Stage scheduled for August 15th and 16th, 2008 include: (August 15th)

(August 16th)

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