World famous artists prepare for the Summer Sonic music festival


Summer Sonic: East meets West

Inaugurated in 2000, the Summer Sonic rock music festival initially placed equal important on international and local musicians. For its first edition, for example, the lineup featured the likes of Muse, Greenday and Weezer alongside Japanese bands Eastern Youth, Dragon Ash and Quruli. In recent years, however, lineups have also included performances outside the rock genre, while there has been a noticeable dip in the number of Japanese musicians.

International artists for 2016

This year, Weezer is back again alongside fellow nineties punk rock band The Offspring and protégés Bullet for My Valentine and Panic! at the Disco. The biggest international names on the lineup include Radiohead, Underworld, Two Door Cinema Club, The 1975, Suede, Flo Rida and Mark Ronson.

Local talent this year

It seems that the local musicians are booked for just one venue each this year. Examples include soloist Acid Black Cherry (ABC), J-pop/metal group BABYMETAL and singer Misia, who are on in Osaka, while the metalcore band Coldrain, hardcore metal group Aldious and opening act Haruhi are staying in Tokyo.

Which lineup looks stronger?

Although the majority of artists perform at both venues on different nights, the order of lineups and the slight variations in performers can push one festival slightly ahead of the other. This year, due to Radiohead opening the event, it looks as if Osaka has just nudged ahead of Tokyo. However, Osaka-based fans will be disappointed that the popular Japanese composer and pianist Hirmoni, performing in “The Trio Project” featuring Anthony Jackson and Simon Phillips, will be staying put in Tokyo after her set.