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Okinawa's Peaceful Love Rock Festival is Back

By: Jena Maddalino

Date Posted: 2000-07-01

Okinawa's longest running music festival is back for its 18th year. Peace is one of Okinawa's most important messages, so it is not surprising that the name itself is Peaceful Love Rock Festival. On Sunday July 2nd, the field of Okinawa City will be alive with the performances of 14 different bands and tons of people. Although this festival is similar in its nature to stateside traveling music festivals, it offers music lovers a unique twist; both American and Japanese bands will be performing. The festival is also part of a charity network, offering orphan children Mongolia a chance to learn and love music.

Yoshihiro Tokuyama of Sound Package has produced the event since its inception and thousands of fans have enjoyed the performances for almost two decades. And its popularity is evident as cars can be seen around Okinawa decorated with past years' festival bumper stickers, 17 to be exact.

This year's festival is distinctive, as it is the first to feature three American bands. The talented rock/blues band Kellie Wright and Blue Diamond will be performing as one of the three American bands. Local favorites Clint Walker and the Groovecats and the David Ralston Band will be illuminating the stage as well. The Japanese line up is equally exciting; bands performing on Sunday include Ziong, Chuckwow, Padanpadan, Skymate's, the hard-core rock band Nose Water, Take Out, Mongol 8000, Jigokukuruma, JET, New Murasaki and Kachan Band.

"Peace through music," is Tokuyama's life goal and through the Peaceful Love Festival, he has created the Peaceful Love Network. The network, which is comprised of both Americans and Japanese, has succeeded in providing orphan children in Mongolia with musical instruments - giving them access to a new world.

Last year his staff presented the children with more than 2,000 instruments, along with used clothing and toys. Many of the children live in orphanages and some live on the streets, homeless and destitute. "Presenting instruments to children living on the street is a way to inspire them. My hope is that they will become musicians and someday join our festival, " says Tokuyama, "The children have never touched an instrument and they light up as soon as they do".

Local musicians and volunteers have supported the endeavor now for three years, and at this year's festival, booths will be set up to accept toys, used clothing and small instruments for the charity network. Donations of instruments will also be accepted at Sound Package office in Koza.

"We want to make a foundation someday to support children through music," adds Tokuyama. For now, his Peaceful Love Network will continue to work towards providing Mongolian children with the gift of music while providing the Rock-lovers of Okinawa a day of non-stop music.

Tickets to the festival are on sale at the Kadena USO, Campus Records, Fukuhara Records, Teruya Records and Sam Goody. Tickets purchased in advance are $35 and $40 at the concert. Doors open at 12:00 and the concert starts at 12:30. Directions from Kadena Gate 1: turn left on Hwy 58, then turn left on Hwy 23. The Okinawa City Field will be on the right, adjacent to the athletic park. Coolers and alcohol are not allowed at the festival.

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