No one denies the power of danger and vice to push boundaries, and whether we admit it or not, the two have a way of rattling some pretty inspired performances out of people. No surprise, then, that Fuji Rock Festival has been a breeding ground for such mischief, and that the Palace of Wonder, Fuji’s own little renegade province, has shown what happens when these forces are left to their own devices.
Since 2001, the Palace has grown like an invasive species, its art and installations reaching more monstrous proportions with each passing summer. Add in a steady schedule of big top-style entertainment and some good music, and you start to see how this venue for bands and DJs quickly transformed into one weekend-long performance piece disguised as Fuji Rock’s most ambitious party.
Part carnival, part exhibition, part absurdist theater, the Palace has gone from a parking lot to a decadent showpiece in only five years. Here sculpture doubles as furniture and the fashion leans toward leather, feathers and fedoras. And while Fuji Rock’s other venues pause to regroup between acts, once the Palace opens for business around 10:30 p.m., there is a constant stream of spectacle until long after dawn. Unsigned artists play the Rookie a Go Go stage, while the club tent hosts burlesque shows, ska bands and DJs spinning vintage vinyl. Wander within the Palace walls and you’ll also stumble onto a casino (with peepshow), a chainsaw sculptor and other acts that flirt with fear and pain.
Read the full preview at The Japan Times Online.