Friday, July 25, 2008

Fingers Fest

Seems like Johnnie is pretty busy way out east. No wonder he wasn't able to join The Rats.

Fuji Rock Line Up

BBC report

But while the event is unashamedly based on Glastonbury, Fuji Rock is a totally different experience.

"It might be inspired by Glastonbury, but done in a Japanese way," says the festival's international organiser, Johnnie Fingers.

Fingers' real name is John Moylett, but he is better known to many as a founding member of The Boomtown Rats. He has been working in the Japanese music scene for 15 years, and has been part of the Fuji Rock team for six of them.

'Fuji experience'

"We call it the Fuji experience. It is like Glastonbury, but has been perfected in that Japanese way," he says.

"The biggest difference is that is so clean. Everybody cleans up their own mess.

"It is also so secure and safe. People leave things out without worrying about theft."

Fingers adds Fuji Rock - named after the mountain which played host to the first festival in 1997 - has set itself apart by keeping sponsorship to a minimum, concentrating on the festival's spectacular setting in a steep mountain valley.

"Japanese people are so used to being surrounded by advertising and sponsorship, so we have tried to make this feel like a weekend away in the countryside," he explains.

The festival attracts a mainly Japanese crowd, with about 90% of revellers being local.

A final question for Johnnie Fingers - has he persuaded any of his old Boomtown Rats bandmates to visit Fuji Rock yet?

He shakes his head: "Not yet. Bob Geldof was over here recently and we had dinner. It was the first time I'd seen him in 20 years - but he mainly wanted to talk about the G8."

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