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Prepare to Rock Japan: Summer Sonic Osaka Music Festival

(image via @summersonic_official, Instagram)

Calling all hardcore music fans! Summer isn’t over until the world’s hottest acts, such as Chance the Rapper and Mastodon, blaze the stage during Summer Sonic in Japan. Taking place in two cities: Osaka and Tokyo, Summer Sonic is a two-day extravagant music festival. It’s all happening this August 18 and 19, 2018 at Maishima Sonic Park (Osaka) and Zozo Stadium (Tokyo). We’ve put together this rocktastic guide so you have no excuses not to have the greatest weekend of your life (or at least, for 2018). Take this as a sign to experience the best of Summer Sonic Osaka.

(image via @summersonic_official, Instagram)

Summer Sonic is  one of the ‘Big Two’ music festivals in Japan, along with Fuji Rock Festival. As a world-famous music event, Summer Sonic is so massive that it’s held in both Osaka and Tokyo during one weekend in mid-August. It works by having half the artist lineup in Osaka while the other half plays at Tokyo. On day two, the performers swap venues. You need to get two-day tickets in one city to watch them all.

Whether you’re looking for the biggest bands in rock music (the likes of Coldplay, Muse, Metallica) or amazing indie and psychedelic acts (Rex Orange County, Tame Impala), this concert has got them covered. Fans of Clean Bandit and Jess Glynne can sway their hips to chill EDM beats. Alternative, pop and punk rockers alike will feel giddy over Hayley Williams’ powerful vocals on Paramore’s catchy hit, ‘Hard Times’.  If you’re only into Asian bands or J-rock, there’s still plenty to choose from! Headbang to One OK Rock and 9mm Parabellum Bullet’s tasty guitar riffs.

Pro-Tip: Grab Your Tickets Early!

You can purchase a one-day or full weekend ticket in Osaka here. When tickets are sold out, there will be no tickets sold on-site, which is why you have to book them online ASAP.

The Line-Up

(image via @summersonic_official, Instagram)

Though you may already have your favorites, there will be tons of new artists to discover! Expect a feast for your ears, featuring international acts,  Japanese rock musicians, and breakout singer-songwriters (hello, Alessia Cara). Although it is a ‘rock’ festival, the genres range from 90s alternative rock and indie pop, to funky electronic dance music. Last year’s lineup included Radiohead, Two Door Cinema Club, and Calvin Harris. Spot your favorites from over 50 artists performing at four main stages:

Osaka (Saturday, August 18)

Chance the Rapper (image via Julio Enriquez, Flickr)

Ocean Stage: Maishima Sonic Park  

  • Chance the Rapper
  • Mike Shinoda (from Linkin Park)
  • One OK Rock

Mountain Stage: Maishima Sonic Park

  • Alessia Cara
  • J Balvin
  • Endrecheri

Sonic Stage: Maishima Sonic Park

  • Paramore
  • Rex Orange County
  • Tom Misch

White Massive Stage: Maishima Sonic Park

  • Clean Bandit
  • Jess Glynne
  • Yonige

While the line up above is playing in Osaka, the other half will be playing in Chiba, Tokyo:

Tokyo (Saturday, August 18)

Marshmello (image via The Come Up Show, Flickr)

Marine Stage: Zozo Stadium

  • Shawn Mendes
  • Marshmello
  • Back Number

Mountain Stage: Zozo Stadium

  • Bullet For My Valentine
  • Mastodon
  • The Bloody Beetroots

Sonic Stage: Zozo Stadium

  • Tame Impala
  • Billie Eilish
  • Taichi Mukai

Rainbow Stage: Zozo Stadium

  • BiSH
  • Sayuri
  • 9mm Parabellum Bullet

This is just a sneak peek, really. For the Sunday and full line-up, please visit official site: http://www.summersonic.com/2018/lineup/osaka.html

Get Hyped Up With Playlists

Summer Sonic Music Festival (image via monta, Flickr)

Rock out to the latest hits before you witness them live – we’ll let the music speak for itself.  

Give them a listen here:

Save the Date (and the Venue)

ONE OK ROCK (image via Takacchin10_10, Instagram)

 

Mark your calendars this upcoming August 18 and 19, 2018.

  • Osaka: Maishima Sonic Park (Maishima Sports Island), near Universal Studios Japan (USJ)
  • Address: 2-2-2-15 Hokukoryokuchi, Konohana-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka-fu

 

  • Chiba, Tokyo: The Zozo Stadium
  • Address: Japan, 〒261-0022 Chiba Prefecture, Chiba

Where to Stay Overnight

Osaka

There is no camping at this event, so for those getting two-day tickets, we suggest Airbnbs or hotels near Universal Studios Japan (USJ) in Osaka since it’s close to the Sonic Park. That way, if you’re still miraculously energetic on non-festival days, you can go ahead and book a theme park adventure to make the most of your stay (READ:  Summer Fun in USJ).

Tokyo

For those headed to the festival in Chiba (situated in the eastern outskirts of Tokyo), we suggest Airbnbs and hotels from anywhere in Tokyo. We also recommend budget-friendly capsule hotels. 

You may opt to stay in Chiba Airbnbs and hotels, should you wish to explore this Greater Tokyo Area.

How to Get to Summer Sonic Osaka

To Summer Sonic Osaka

Maishima Sonic Park, aka Maishima Sports Island, is a bay area just across Universal Studios Japan (USJ).

  • Departing from Tokyo:

Take the JR Sakurajima/Yumesaki Line to Universal City Station. From there, book and ride  an available shuttle to the venue (fee: ~US$7.25)

  • Departing within Osaka:

From Osaka/Umeda Station, ride the JR Loop Line to Nishikujo Station. Wait at the bus stop for Bus 81, which will take you to Maishima Sports Island. Ride the bus to festival grounds

To Summer Sonic in Chiba

  • Departing from Tokyo:

Head to the Zozo Stadium in Chiba from anywhere in Tokyo. Enter Tokyo Station and travel to Kaihimmakuhari Station on the JR Keiyo Line. (fee: ~US$5.00). Take a 7-minute walk to Makuhari Messe, and reach Zozo Marine Stadium

What to Expect

Summer Sonic Festival: Marine Stage (image via LuxTonnerre, Flickr)

Observe four separate stages in Osaka, namely: Ocean, Mountain, Sonic, and White Massive. Unlike regular concerts, different artists will be playing at all four stages simultaneously-  it’s like dying and going to musical heaven. Be sure to make a list of your ultimate must-see artists and their assigned stages before the concert. Once you’re there, figure out the fastest route from stage A to B and catch all of your picks. Line up and enter when the gates open at 10:00am – prepare to start at 11:00am onwards. As a rule of thumb for music festivals, try to arrive as early as possible or at least 2 hours in advance, beat the horde and secure your spot near the front. Since this is both a rock concert and music fest, the heady, massive crowds, and chaotic atmosphere are a given.

Pro-Tips: Survive at Summer Sonic

Summer Sonic Music Festival (image via kobakou, Flickr)
  • When you arrive at the venue, you must exchange your ticket for a wristband at the entrance of Maishima Sonic Park or Zozo Stadium. Whatever you do, don’t lose it, or you’ll lose the chance to see Chance The Rapper (sad)
  • Don’t forget to map out your schedule! Revisit the line-up link above and make a list of your must-see performers and priority stages
  • You can bring plastic bottles of water (bringing alcoholic drinks is NOT allowed)
  • Dress up for warm weather and lots of walking. That means cotton shirts, shorts, sunglasses, and comfy shoes (put those heels away!). After all, mid-August is sweltering hot, reaching up to 29 degrees
  • You can also bring snacks, which may be eaten outside the venue before you step inside. Grab meals, like rice bowls, hamburgers, ramen, and shaved ice from food vendors on-site
  • For heavy bags, use coin-operated lockers at the designated venue or train station

Say goodbye to FOMO and book your tickets to a music paradise at Summer Sonic Osaka with KKday.  

 
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