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Peaceful Love Rock Festival true to its name in Ď99

By: Kenny Ehman

Date Posted: 1999-07-03

It's time again for the "Peaceful Love Rock Festival," Okinawa's premiere rock event. The two-day extravaganza has been moving islanders to the rhythm of rock íní roll for almost two decades - 17 years to be exact.

And, true to its name, the event has brought together tens of thousands of Okinawans and foreigners over the years for a "peaceful" weekend of singing, shouting, and dancing. This year the festival will take place over the 4th of July weekend, bringing with it an end to the rainy season and the beginning of a summer filled with plenty of hot music.

Producer Yoshihiro Tokuyama, the mastermind and driving force behind the concert, has promised that fans will be treated to a slightly new, but just as fantastic, "Peaceful Love Rock Festival" in 1999. Saturday will kick things off with a day filled with hard-core rock - the latest craze in Japan's club scene. Thirteen different Japanese rock bands will turn up the volume and get the stadium pumping with their own version of hard-core punk. Niy-s Okinawa will begin the festivities, followed by Nose Warter and Bleach. Other bands taking the stage throughout the day include The Beatle Crusher, 8 Ball, BG. Pork Pie, and The Junky JAP Dogs. Closing out the night will be ANGER FROMBALL.

The introduction of hard-core rock into the "Peaceful Love Rock Festival" by Tokuyama is being done to draw new rock fans, keeping up with the fast changing music trends of young people in Japan.

Rock íní roll traditionalists of the "Peaceful Love" era can be assured their brand of music is not to be forgotten. Sunday will bring on the island's popular rockers Zero Faith and Cry Wolf; both bands have created a huge following with the rock music crowd here on Okinawa. You can also catch Hibagon, B Trippers Major Band, Kween, and many other fine rock bands. Finishing the rock bonanza will be blowout performances by Jet, New Murasaki, and Kachan Band.

For Tokuyama, who started his concert production company Sound Package in 1983, this year's festival is especially important. The very peace-conscience producer recently came back from a trip to Mongolia, ending one year of volunteer work that began with last year's "Peaceful Love Rock Festival." In 1998 Tokuyama's "Peaceful Music Network" had put the word out to rock fans and organizations that his group was collecting small instruments to give as a charitable donation to Asian children, who did not have access to musical instruments.

After one year of leg-work he and his staff presented Mongolian children with more than 2,000 instruments, along with a large shipment of used clothes this past month. Many of the instruments were given to handicapped children and those living on the streets. "It was the first time for many to get instruments," explained Tokuyama. "It is hard to say how I felt when I saw their faces."

The project saw much support from many of Okinawa's musicians and other volunteers. Tadashi Nijima of NGO Okinawa and Tetsuro Ikema also played key roles in getting the instruments and clothes to Mongolia.

"It would be nice if someday those kids can come to the Peaceful Love Rock Festival in the future and play," commented Tokuyama.

Tokuyama is continuing his "Peaceful Music Network" and will be collecting more donations of instruments this weekend. He asks that only small instruments be donated due to limited cargo space. Guitars, pianos, and other large instruments can not be accepted. Clothes should be brought to the Sound Package office.

Another trip to Mongolia by the Peaceful Music Network is scheduled for September, and Tokuyama is also planning a music and children's peace summit for next year.

You can help Tokuyama's "Peaceful Caravan" by supporting this year's concert and remembering that the theme of "peace" and "love" is being turned from words into action through the power of music. Rock on!

One-day passes are on sale at the Kadena USO for $28 .(Two-day passes are not available on base.) Teruya Music on Chuo Park Avenue is selling one-day passes for •3,500 and two-day passes for •5,000. Tickets can also be bought at the door. Doors open on both days at 2 p.m. The concert will take place at the field stage in Okinawa City.

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