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20+ bands join for Peaceful Love Rock Festival

By: Bill Charles

Date Posted: 2007-06-28

It's the biggest and most energetic outdoor concert on Okinawa, and one that attracts both international musicians and Japan's top artists and bands.

The Peaceful Love Rock Festival 2007 is coming up in July, packing a stage full of clout as one of the summer’s most electrifying events. Now in its 25th year, the festival prides itself on becoming a gateway to introduce local amateur musical groups to the Okinawa public.

Local legends Mongol 800 and Orange Range were headliners on stage at the Peaceful Love Rock Festival 2006, and this year nearly two dozen performers have already inked pacts to perform at Okinawa City’s Outdoor Stage. The two-day concert takes place July 7th and 8th. Doors open at 1 p.m. and the concert begins on stage at 1:30 p.m. A one-day pass is ¥3,800 and a two-day concert pass is ¥6,000. Admission at the door is an additional ¥500.

Tickets are on sale at Spin City in Plaza House, Teruya Gakki on B.C. Street, Hukuhara Gakki at Koza Crossing, and at Campus Records next to Lawson’s on Route 330 in Okinawa City.

Included in this year’s mix are Over Ska Drives, Hoifesta, High and Myghtycolor, New Tower, Fuzzy Quartet Row, Hearts Grow, Bleach, Kariyushi 58, All Japan Goith, Mongol 800, Hy, Bigin, Marry, Murasaki, Jet, Jupiter, Kween, Kacchan Band, Janbaraya Band, Shima Guys, Mimitiribouji and Afro Mania.

The Peaceful Love Rock Festival got its start in 1983, attracting a handful of bands to the island. In only three years, it received its first national award for contributions to the community and music. Organizers viewed the 1986 award as a tribute to the festival’s style, presenting rock n roll music at a time the pop music was viewed poorly in Japan.

Encountering difficulties in 1992, the Peaceful Love Rock Festival weathered its tenth year of performances thanks to a combination of fan persistence and loyalty, and dedication by organizers. The continued survival of the festival was attributed to Yoshihiro Tokuyama, then president of “Sound Package”, a music agency launched in the mid-80’s. As he pledged to keep the festival going, he told doubters “if I don’t make money from concerts, my company will go out of business, but I will do the Peaceful Love Rock festival I do.” Buoyed by more than 100 Okinawan and 30 American volunteers, the festivals became profitable.

By 1998, internationally renowned bands were signing on for the Peaceful Love Rock Festival, including JET. The popular roack band teamed with Okianwa-Latino group Diamantes and six other groups to entertain. Today, bands from America, Japan and Asia are all vying for slots at the festival.

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