Since the Toyota Rock Festival started in 2007, it has featured musicians and bands from abroad and from vibrant local scenes all over Japan. With those amazing lineups, it attracts tens of thousand people every year.
Last year, we were going to celebrate the 11th year of this hybridization of music and art scenes, revolving around this remarkable cultural epicenter, City of Toyota.
Unfortunately, however, the Typhoon Lan hit Central Japan on October 22 and we couldn’t but cancel the second day of the 2017 Toyota Rock Festival. The financial loss (equivalent of about $80,000) derived from the cancellation caused a huge setback for the continuation of the Festival.
We really appreciate it if you read our story and consider your donation to help us out.
The Toyota Rock Festival is a FREE outdoor music festival, held at around the Toyota Stadium in October every year since 2007.
Its central concept is to have all the participants intermingle regardless of genre, age, gender, and race and to make this event altogether based on the thankfulness of all our relations and connections.
Therefore, “Let’s Get Connected” has been our slogan. There’s a myth that the festival has been funded abundantly by corporations, whereas in reality it has been actually planned and managed by voluntary organizers and supporters.
It is true that the ample fund of the manufacture companies and their unions around the city of Toyota supported youth and music culture there IN THE PAST in order to create spaces where young workers can have fun.
Backed by so-called “Band Boom” of the 1990s, the joint organization, JoyCulWave, was launched in 1992 and it held amateur band battles and outdoor concerts featuring famous artists tied up with local TV broadcasting company.
After its first decade, its budget kept shrinking as the band boom declined and youth culture became more diverse.
I personally joined JoyCulWave as one of the main staffs in 2004. We were still able to manage a series of now legendary events, including AMBIENT NIGHT (centered on the art of DJing and VJing)、JOYRIDE MUSIC FESTIVAL (collaboration of music and skateboarding), and WORLD MUSIC CONNECTION (focusing on world music) between 2004 and 2006. However, when the City of Toyota withdrew from the joint organization in 2006,
we had to reorganize JoyCulWave as a non-profit organization.
Underfunded and understaffed, the organization staff had to believe that the crisis was actually a chance to pursue a new possibility.
This was also the time when we came to truly appreciate all the cooperative relationships established among voluntary organizers and supporters living in and around Toyota.
This is how the Toyota Rock Festival came into being.
On one hand, we are grateful of several sponsors who kept supporting us, but on the other hand we have tried our best to reduce the extent of dependence upon them. We succeeded in securing revenue by setting up fees for vending, parking, and camping in the circumference of the Toyota Stadium.
Each year, we tried something new and the Toyota Rock Festival grew into one of the most renowned free music festivals in Japan, where fans and supporters come to enjoy from all over Japan.
Marvelous bands and groups of musicians, including TURTLE ISLAND, also loved to perform at the Festival.
We are truly thankful for all the artists, who have been involved in the Festival,
and appreciate the historic growth of the grassroots culture in the music scene of Toyota, where there is NO live house or nightclub.
We thank the Toyota Stadium and the adjacent Sengoku Park, which are the hotbed of this distinctive festival culture.
Two other free music festivals of Toyota, namely SOUL BEAT ASIA (Hashi no Shita Sekai Ongakusai) and TOYOTA PUNK CARNIVAL deserve mention here for their incredible vibes and tremendous support.
Last but not the least, we would like to thank all the staff (esp. the backstage personnel of the Toyota Rock Crew).
Many of them have their own main job, family, and lifestyle. But the Toyota Rock Festival has been the focal point, where these actors gather their energy and tried sending messages about how attractive Toyota is.
The huge setback caused by the Typhoon last year is definitely the most serious hardship we have faced, but it must be a chance to transform it into something greater.
With renewed organizational system and event insurance, we are determined to hold the 2018 Toyota Rock Festival and further widen our horizon.
Thank you for reading and please help us raise money so that we can continue this amazing Festival.
TOYOTA ROCK FESTIVAL
Besides that, we have received a message to cheer for many people.