TOKYO – Japan’s famous Fuji Rock Festival has canceled its 2020 edition due to the coronavirus pandemic, the organizers said in a statement on Thursday.
“Taking into consideration the health and welfare of all involved with Fuji Rock Festival and to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we are abandoning this year’s festival which was scheduled for August 21st, 22nd and 23rd and postponing until August of 2021,” the music festival’s organizing committee said.
“Even with the state of emergency being lifted in Japan, the current situation worldwide has yet to normalize and strict immigration regulations are even now being further widened and enforced,” it added.
The festival, which has been held annually since 1997 at the Naeba Ski Resort in the mountainous town of Yuzawa, located northwest of Tokyo, was set to feature artists including Australia’s Tame Impala, New York’s The Strokes, Spain’s Hinds, Colombia’s Cumbiero Front and Japan’s Denki Groove at this year’s edition of the event.
The organizers apologized for the delay in informing people about the decision, which, they added, was made while “monitoring the situation both inside and outside of Japan and announcements from the government.”
“We had hoped the pandemic would abate in time to hold this summer’s festival as scheduled and were moving forward with planning,” they said.
Masahiro Hidaka, the president of Smash Corp, which organizes the event every year, said that the decision was taken “considering the health and safety of the bands that would perform, staff, personnel, and most of all, you the festival goers.”
The organizers considered pushing back the event by a few months but that option was ruled out because of the weather at the venue.
“Naeba gets quite cold in the morning and evenings in September and begins to snow at the beginning of November with the snow remaining until April. It is a ski resort after all,” Hidaka explained.
About 130,000 people attended the festival in 2019.
The organizers also announced that the tickets purchased for the festival this year would be refunded but added that they would also be valid for next year’s edition so those interested in attending the festival in 2021 should hold on to them.