Japan’s Summer Sonic increases domestic focus
Creativeman president Naoki Shimizu says Japan’s Summer Sonic is reducing its reliance on international talent amid a rise in domestic festival-goers.
The sold-out event will be held concurrently at Zozomarine Stadium and Makuhari Messe, Tokyo and Maishma Sonic Park, Osaka this weekend (19-20 August), headlined by Kendrick Lamar, Blur, The Strokes, Lizzo and Foo Fighters.
Other non-domestic acts on the bill include Fall Out Boy, Blur, Niall Horan, Thundercat, Two Door Cinema Club, Wet Leg, Honne, Pale Waves, Liam Gallagher and Evanescence, but Shimizu says the growing number of Asian visitors to the festival and the country itself is influencing a shift in direction.
“Summer Sonic is often said to be a festival centred on Western music, but the number of Asian acts is increasing year after year,” he tells the Japan Times.
After the event attracted a record 300,000 people across the two sites for its 20th anniversary edition in 2019, the pandemic ensured Summer Sonic did not take place again until 2022, when international acts accounted for just 40% of its offering due to stringent pandemic travel restrictions.
“The promoters have also become stronger, and we are ready for any other challenges ahead of us”
In addition, the festivals were reduced in capacity (Tokyo to 55,000 and Osaka to 30,000) and fans were subject to a number of restrictions. However, Shimizu reveals the planning for this year’s event was far more straightforward.
“Preparations have been pretty easy this year, compared to last year,” he says. “That’s what happens when you don’t have to install disinfectant stands or partitions. “Festival sponsors have also come back strong this year, after many avoided last year’s edition due to worries over criticism.”
The Japanese government only announced a relaxation of its longstanding ban on cheering at concerts and sporting events at the start of 2023, along with a reclassification of Covid-19’s disease status, but Shimizu says the market is now back to full strength.
“It’s recovered,” he says. “I think people have rediscovered the splendour of live music after being restricted from it over the past few years. But it’s back, and the numbers back that up. The promoters have also become stronger, and we are ready for any other challenges ahead of us.”
The Japanese government recently dialled back visa requirements, making it easier for foreign artists of varying success to visit the country. The changes were prompted by a recent boom in live music performances, according to Japan’s Immigration Services Agency (ISA).
The forthcoming issue of IQ, due out next week, will feature an in-depth look at the Japanese live music market.
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Japan festivals return to international-heavy lineups
Japan’s marquee international festivals are heralding a return to form with lineups featuring some of the world’s biggest stars.
Summer Sonic, set to be held concurrently in Tokyo and Osaka on 19 and 20 August, recently unveiled a bill headlined by Kendrick Lamar, Blur, The Strokes, Lizzo and Foo Fighters.
Other non-domestic acts on the bill include Fall Out Boy, Blur, Niall Horan, Thundercat, Two Door Cinema Club, Wet Leg, Honne, Pale Waves, Liam Gallagher and Evanescence.
Last year, international acts accounted for just 40% of Summer Sonic’s offering due to stringent pandemic travel restrictions.
In addition, the Creativeman-promoted festivals were reduced in capacity (Tokyo to 55,000 and Osaka to 30,000) and fans were subject to a number of restrictions.
Last year, international acts accounted for just 40% of Summer Sonic’s offering due to stringent pandemic travel restrictions
The Japanese government only recently announced a relaxation of its longstanding ban on cheering at concerts and sporting events, along with a reclassification of Covid-19’s disease status.
From 8 May, coronavirus will be downgraded from class Class 2 to Class 5 – the same tier as seasonal flu – in the country, with residents told to use their own judgement when it comes to mitigation measures, including mask-wearing.
Smash Corporation has also announced a bill heavy with international artists for the 2023 edition of Fuji Rock, set for 28–30 July 2023 at Naeba Ski Resort.
The Strokes, Foo Fighters, Lizzo, Lewis Capaldi, Weezer, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Denzel Curry, Romy, Dermott Kennedy, Alanis Morrisette and Black Midi are among the overseas acts booked to perform.
So far, the festival has not announced a single Japanese act – a far cry from 2021’s all-domestic bill – and, in a nod to the lifted cheering ban, Fuji Rock’s website assures festivalgoers that this year’s event will “make you shout out that you feel great!”.
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Creativeman on paving Japan’s road to recovery
Creativeman’s Layli Odamura has spoken to IQ about the challenges of being an international promoter in Japan, amid some of the strictest Covid-19 measures in the world.
Last month, the leading promoter held its marquee international festival, Summer Sonic, in Tokyo and Osaka for the first time since 2019.
Though the events in both cities sold out and were deemed a “great success,” the festival was unable to return to its full glory due to ongoing and prohibitive Covid-19 restrictions.
Event capacities were reduced (Tokyo to 55,000 and Osaka to 30,000) and both artists and fans had to adhere to a number of requirements in order to attend the annual events.
International artists were required to present proof of a negative result from a pre-departure PCR test, submit personal information including vaccination history and sign a written oath in order to perform.
Of the 100 acts that appeared at Summer Sonic 2022, 40% were international – which Odamura says is “a lot less than in previous years as we are cautiously working within pandemic travel restrictions”.
Despite the stringent measures, 110,000 tickets sold for Tokyo and 60,000 tickets sold for Osaka across the two days
The 1975, Post Malone, Megan Thee Stallion, St Vincent and Carly Rae Jepsen were among the overseas artists that performed across the six stages in Tokyo and four in Osaka.
Attendees, meanwhile, had to undergo a temperature check upon entry, wear a face covering, maintain social distancing and be silent in the audience.
Despite the stringent measures, 110,000 tickets sold for Tokyo and 60,000 tickets sold for Osaka across the two days. A further 20,000 tickets were sold for Sonicmania, which is an all-night festival that ushers in Summer Sonic.
“The challenge for us as an international promoter was striving to bring the festival back to a fully recovered state just as the rest of the world already has, while still abiding by the domestic restrictions given,” says Odamura.
“We made it work though, like we always do, and we are thankful to those artists who have supported us by keeping within the given restrictions, while not compromising their incredible shows.
“And, thanks to the fans who have been eagerly and patiently waiting for the return of large-scale international festivals, Summer Sonic this year was a great success and this definitely was a big step towards financial recovery for us.”
“Summer Sonic this year was a great success and this definitely was a big step towards financial recovery for us”
With Japan’s government starting to roll back restrictions, the live industry is finally on the road to recovery – though Odamura says it may be a while before consumers regain their confidence.
“While we had a fully sold-out festival, in Japan the general public is incredibly cautious,” explains Odamura. “We are a diligent group of people and tend to stick to rules and in the hope of keeping the spread of the virus to a minimum – a lot of people are restraining themselves from going out and will carry on wearing masks as a personal choice.
“Even some who will come to shows will suppress cheering or even enjoy the show fully, somewhat holding themselves back. This may continue until Covid is beaten globally which will then impact Japan to relax more.
“Regardless, we at Creativeman are determined to bring back the live industry in Japan to the same standard as the rest of the world.”
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Creativeman: “We can see light at the end of the tunnel”
Japan’s leading promoter Creativeman says it is “seeing light at the end of the tunnel” as restrictions are gradually lifted.
The Japanese government recently announced plans to increase the cap on the number of people entering Japan from 3,500 to 5,000 per day starting in March.
In addition, the quarantine period for arrivals will be shortened from seven days to three from March, when the country opens to returning foreign residents (not tourists).
However, the quarantine requirement for international artists won’t be determined until next week, according to Japanese promoters’ association ACPC.
Regardless, Creativeman is bullish its marquee festival Summer Sonic will return to Tokyo and Osaka this summer for the first time since 2019 – international artists and all.
“We are confident Summer Sonic will happen this August,” says Creativeman’s Layli Odamura. “The reception at the announcement was so fantastic on every platform. Everyone is very eager and ready for it to happen and feel the heat.”
“We are confident Summer Sonic will happen this August”
The 1975 and Post Malone were recently announced as headliners of the festival, due to take place on 20–21 August simultaneously at Zozomarine Stadium & Makuhari Messe Convention Center in Chiba, a suburb of Tokyo, and at the Maishima Sonic Park in Osaka.
Other international artists lined up for the event are Carly Rae Jepsen, Kasabian, The Libertines, Maneskin, Megan Thee Stallion, One OK Rock, The Offspring, Primal Scream, St. Vincent, Yungblud, All Time Low, Beabadoobee, Easy Life, Fishbone, Kacey Musgraves, Inhaler, Kula Shaker, Rina Sawayama, Squid and the Linda Lindas.
“More and more artists are reaching out and eager to visit or revisit Japan,” maintains Odamura. “We as a promoter are ready for the live market to return and we will continue to assess the situation with the government. There will be multiple headline shows happening towards the autumn onwards too.”
Despite Japan’s strict border controls and quarantine requirements during the past two years, Creativeman has had some success in bringing overseas artists to the country.
Last September, the promoter pulled off Japan’s first large-scale music event that included overseas artists since the pandemic began, Supersonic.
Zedd, Steve Aoki, Clean Bandit, Alan Walker and Aurora were among the overseas artists that performed at the two-day event at Zozomarine Stadium.
“More and more artists are reaching out and eager to visit or revisit Japan”
The festival was considered a test case for reopening Japan’s live industry to foreign acts and, a few months later, Creativeman promoted the first headline tour of an international artist in Japan in 18 months with King Crimson.
In another win for international promoters in Japan, a Creativeman-led alliance successfully lobbied the government to amend its compensation scheme to include domestic shows by foreign artists.
The consortium, completed by Avex Entertainment, Hanshin Contents Link/Billboard Japan, M&I Company and Promax, complements the work of existing music association ACPC, with which it shares members.
The consortium’s next goal is to ease the business visa restrictions for foreign artists to enter Japan with no quarantines, which Asia-based execs say is the biggest challenge facing the market.
Creativeman: ‘Supersonic was a big step in Japan’s recovery’
Supersonic promoter Creativeman says the event was a ‘big step’ towards the resumption of festivals and concerts in Japan.
The festival was Japan’s first large-scale music event that included overseas artists since the pandemic began, and has been considered a test case for reopening Japan’s live industry to foreign acts.
Zedd, Steve Aoki, Clean Bandit, Alan Walker and Aurora were among the overseas artists that performed at the Creativeman-promoted event in Zozomarine Stadium, Tokyo.
The event took place across 18 and 19 September and the promoter says that in the two weeks subsequent, there were no reports of infection from visitors, performing artists, or staff.
At the festival, attendees were asked to comply with a number of measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 that included eating meals in silence, abstaining from alcohol, maintaining social distancing and “quietly waiting” for admission to the event.
Attendance for each day was estimated at between 10,000 and 13,000.
“Japanese entertainment has finally restarted”
“The time that had been stopped for over a year due to coronavirus has begun to move, and Japanese entertainment has finally restarted,” reads a statement on the festival’s website.
“We were able to take a brilliant first step toward revival by taking thorough infection control measures, but the road has just begun. We will continue to make trial and error, and aim for Summer Sonic 2022 one year later. I would like to expect entertainment in a new era.”
The one-off event was held in lieu of Creativeman’s annual Summer Sonic festival which was cancelled this year due to the fact that the Tokyo 2020 Olympics used venues normally rented for the event.
Originally, Supersonic was to be held in Tokyo and Osaka but the latter was cancelled after Creativeman decided that holding the event in two locations was not feasible, considering state-of-emergency restrictions.
Japan lifted its Covid-19 state of emergency, covering 19 prefectures, at the end of September amid a dramatic fall in cases and rapid progress in its vaccination rollout.
Japan: Fuji Rock’s virtual event, Supersonic finally cancelled
Promoter Creativeman Productions has finally called off this year’s Summer Sonic festival, meaning neither of Japan’s big two outdoor music festivals will take place this year.
Summer Sonic – which became a ‘new’ event, Supersonic, for 2020, with the main festival taking a year off to accomodate the planned Tokyo Olympics – can no longer go ahead because of new restrictions on foreigners entering Japan from 1 September, following a spike in new Covid-19 cases.
The 1975, Liam Gallagher, Fatboy Slim, Skrillex, Steve Aoki, Post Malone and Black Eyed Peas were among artists booked to play Supersonic 2020, which would taken place 19–21 September in Tokyo and 19–20 September in Osaka.
All tickets for Supersonic 2020, which has been postponed a year, will be valid for Supersonic 2021, with full refunds also available.
Both Fuji Rock and Summer Sonic are staging virtual editions of their 2020 events
In a statement, Creativeman president Naoki Shimizu offers his “sincere gratitude to all of you who believed in us” and promises “fireworks” when the festival returns next year. “I cannot wait for the day when we can once again watch artists perform their wonderful songs live to the world,” he comments.
Smash Corporation’s Fuji Rock, meanwhile – originally scheduled for 21–23 August – is this year taking place as a virtual event featuring a stream of archival footage from past festivals.
Fans can watch the live stream on Fuji Rock’s YouTube channel, or in the YouTube Music app, from 21 to 23 August. Performances will include Beastie Boys, Coldplay, Ed Sheeran, FKA Twigs, James Blake, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sia, the XX and Vince Staples.
Summer Sonic 2020 will also take place as an online festival, streamed on YouTube, featuring BTS (2015), Metallica (2013), Arctic Monkeys (2014) and more.
Biggest-ever IFF 2019 sells out
The fifth edition of the International Festival Forum (IFF) has sold out in advance of the 24 to 26 September event, with 800 delegates attending from 40 markets, 40 agency showcases and a keynote interview with Rock Werchter’s Herman Schueremans.
The invitation-only event for festival bookers and booking agents takes place in Camden, North London. This year’s edition has doubled the amount of networking space around the main venue, Dingwalls, and introduced pop-up agency offices on both days.
“We’ve grown a bit again this year, so have had to pay off a few market stall holders to make room,” says ILMC MD and IFF co-founder Greg Parmley. “Looking back over the last five years we’ve been very lucky – not just with the weather, but fortunate to have had tremendous support from our agency partners, many who’ve backed IFF since year one.”
Partner agencies on IFF include 13 Artists, ATC Live, CAA, ITB, Paradigm, Primary, Solo, WME, UTA and X-ray Touring. Artists confirmed to perform during the various agency showcases include Squid, Sports Team, Life, Happyness, Chinchilla, Niklas Paschburg, Easy Life and multi-platinum-selling rockers the Darkness.
“We’ve grown a bit again this year, so have had to pay off a few market stall holders to make room”
Conference topics at IFF 5 include festival billing, consolidation, competition from new market entrants, gender splits on line-ups, and niche events, while the IFF Keynote interview is Rock Werchter founder and Live Nation Belgium head Herman Schueremans.
With IFF reaching a milestone fifth edition, amongst the various dinners and events is a joint birthday party on Thursday 26 September with European metal festival behemoth Wacken Open Air (30 this year), and Japan’s Summer Sonic (20 this year).
Other new elements at the event include Knowledge and Green Hubs featuring innovative suppliers and sustainability experts, while hosted speed meetings and a delegate portal return for the third year, supported by the Department of International Trade.
Full event information is online at www.iff.rocks.
Record attendance marks Summer Sonic’s 20th year
Creativeman’s Summer Sonic overtook Smash Corp-promoted Fuji Rock to become Japan’s biggest outdoor music festival this year, welcoming 135,000 visitors over three days to its twin sites in Osaka and Tokyo.
Taking place from 16 to 18 August, Creativeman debuted a new three-day format, in celebration of the festival’s 20th anniversary. The pop- and rock- focused line-up featured the Red Hit Chili Peppers, Babymetal, the Chainsmokers, Fall Out Boy, the 1975, Blackpink and Japanese rock bands Sakanaction and B’z.
All tickets sold out for the Tokyo-based side of the event, held at the adjoining Zozo Marine Stadium and Makuhari Messe exhibition hall. The Osaka leg of the festival, which took place at the Maishima Sonic Park, shifted all Friday tickets and weekend passes.
Speaking to IQ ahead of the event, Creativeman director Sebastian Mair said one festival day sold out three months before the festival started. “I don’t think we have ever had a day that has sold out that early,” Mair told IQ.
“[Japanese festivals] are safe and peaceful, and people are there for the music as opposed to anything else”
Just like fellow Japanese rock festival Fuji Rock, Summer Sonic suffered from adverse weather, with Typhoon Krosa causing the cancellation of performances on Tokyo’s beach stage on Friday.
Summer Sonic will take a one-year break in 2020 to accommodate the Tokyo Olympics.
Mair comments that the festival market remains “stable”, saying that international managers and agents are “always astounded by how well they [Japanese festivals] work”.
“They are safe and peaceful, and people are there for the music as opposed to anything else,” Mair told IQ.
Read more about the “booming” Japanese live scene in IQ’s country feature below.
Land of the rise in fun: Why booming Japan is such a tough market to crack
‘Big in Japan’ was a term, in the 80s and 90s, for modestly successful American and European acts that found slightly unlikely mega-stardom in the Land of the Rising Sun.
It wasn’t an insult, exactly – who wouldn’t want to be big in Japan? – but it was often used sneeringly, whether directed at Mr Big, the early-90s rock supergroup who still hop up into the big leagues every time they touch down at Narita International Airport, or Scatman John, whose 1994 record Scatman’s World is, remarkably, Japan’s 17th biggest-selling international album of all time.
But the days when Japan might have been seen as an easily impressed bonus market for Western acts are long gone. Over the past 20 years or so, the balance has shifted dramatically, as Japanese domestic music output – as well as that of nearby frenemy South Korea – has surged in both quantity and quality. Today, international music takes, at most, a 10% share of the live market, with domestic on a commanding 85% and South Korea’s K-pop juggernaut accounting for about 5%.
Today, the Japanese music market is the second biggest in the world, behind the US and ahead of Germany. Its live sector has set new records in both of the past two years, hitting ¥332 billion in 2017 (around €2.7bn) and then rising again to ¥345bn (€2.8bn) in 2018 – a 3.7% uplift that came in spite of a small decline in the number of shows – according to the All-Japan Concert and Live Entertainment Promoters Conference (ACPC).
“The Japanese market in live entertainment has been on the upward trend since the middle of 2010,” says ACPC director Takao Kito. “That’s not only because of the increase in live shows caused by a drop-off in CD sales, but because of a change in users’ minds from consuming products to experiences.”
Clearly, Japan remains a highly appealing market for international promoters and artists, and the big ones are certainly chipping away at it. Live Nation has a Japanese office and, with local partners, has co-promoted plenty of recent arena shows. AEG, meanwhile, worked in partnership with Japanese giant Avex on its recent Ed Sheeran and Celine Dion concerts. But both global promoters know they face a stiff challenge to get much deeper into the Japanese business.
Korean stars record Japanese versions of their songs. In a country where little English is spoken, and even less Korean, such things make a difference
“It is a very mature, competitive market that Live Nation has had a hard time getting traction in,” concedes Live Nation Japan president John Boyle, who has headed the giant’s Japanese push since early 2018. He says Live Nation has big hopes for Japan but fully appreciates the challenge of bringing them to fruition. “I think it is more challenging than anywhere else in the world,” he says.
The fact is, for all its surging fortunes, Japan has numerous characteristics that fly in the face of Western music business orthodoxies and, in many cases, restrict access from outside. CDs remain dominant, claiming 80% of music sales, but though the physical market has certainly declined, streaming has not yet caught on, removing a vitally important channel for artists seeking to find exposure in a new market.
Record companies remain powerful but heavily domestically focused, with local majors – of which there are many, including titans such as Avex, Universal, Sony Music Entertainment Japan and JVC Kenwood – unlikely to take a punt on an unknown foreign act, however successful they may be elsewhere. Tour support, once commonplace, has fallen out of fashion.
Meanwhile, large venues, remarkably scarce in the immense sprawl of Tokyo, book up years in advance, with weekends often block-booked by domestic promoters working in groups. For international operators attempting to route world tours and finding only assorted weekday evenings available, locking down an appropriate venue at the right time becomes profoundly difficult.
Where smaller international bands are concerned, the situation is not much easier. There are no booking agents in Japan, and mixed festival bills are limited and hard to crack. While promoters are heavily engaged in scouting new talent, few are tempted by foreign artists with little following. So new indie artists looking to build an audience typically need to deal direct with Japan’s rai-bu houses – small, private venues that usually don’t pay – and organise their own promotion.
But of course, that 10% doesn’t come from nowhere. Sheeran, needless to say, does good business, selling out the Tokyo Dome and Osaka’s Kyocera Dome in April, supported – as he was across all of Asia – by Japanese rock heroes One OK Rock. Live Nation, too, has its own pipeline: recent arena shows include Bruno Mars, Taylor Swift and Maroon Five, with U2, Queen and Adam Lambert and the Backstreet Boys coming soon.
“The market for international artists – not counting K-pop – is now around a third of what it was 45 years ago”
Paul McCartney, who spent a memorable nine nights in a Tokyo jail in 1980, once again has the run of the place: he has played 19 shows and a dozen VIP soundchecks in Japan since 2013 – at the Tokyo Dome, the Ryōgoku Sumo Hall and the Nippon Budokan in the capital, plus trips out to arenas in Nagoya, Osaka and Fukuoka.
What is very clear though, is that, Western rock and pop sensations aside, Japan’s growth is very much coming from within. “I have been in this business for nearly 45 years,” says Yoshito Yamazaki of long-serving music, sport and musical theatre promoter Kyodo Tokyo, which promotes Korean sensations BTS in Japan, “and I’d say the market for international artists – not counting K-pop – is now around one third of what it was 45 years ago.”
Japan’s own J-pop is a broad and varied thing, nominally encompassing everything from singer-songwriters such as Kenshi Yonezu and Gen Hoshino, to multiplatinum pop-rockers Mr Children, to J-pop/metal fusion Babymetal, although its most prominent category is idol groups – manufactured pop bands assembled by all-powerful, notoriously controlling management agencies. Many of Japan’s major pop stars are made this way, including boy bands Arashi, KAT-TUN, Exile, Suchmos and others, and girl bands such as AKB48, Morning Musume, Momoiro Clover Z, Keyakizaka46 and Nogizaka46, who inspire obsessive cults and make most of their income through live work and, more to the point, relentless merchandising.
Homegrown rock is booming in Japan, too, led by Babymetal but also One OK Rock, Band-Maid, Scandal and Man With a Mission. And, of course, the nation has long supplied intriguing cult artists to the rest of the world, from the Yellow Magic Orchestra and its lynchpins Haruomi Hosono and Ryuichi Sakamoto to Shonen Knife, Cornelius, the Boredoms and Boris.
K-pop, meanwhile, has made a big impression in Japan, even as diplomatic relations between the two countries have soured in recent years. But unlike Western artists, Korean stars such as BTS, Blackpink and Twice record Japanese versions of their songs. In a country where little English is spoken – and even less Korean – such things make a difference.
Festival Focus: ACL, Summer Sonic, Karoondinha
With the 2017 festival season fast approaching and many events close to finalising this year’s line-ups, we’ve introduced a new, slimmed-down Festival Focus for 2017 to ensure we cover as much news as possible – keeping you abreast of all the latest developments in the festival world with the minimum of waffle.
Read on for all the latest festival announcements (headliners are in bold), or click here for the previous FF. And if we’ve missed something, or you’d like to see your event featured in a future Festival Focus, feel free to drop news editor Jon Chapple a line at [email protected].
Hurricane Festival/Southside Festival, Germany (FKP Scorpio, 23–25 June)
Kakkamaddafakka, Twin Atlantic, Dave Hause and the Mermaid, Fatoni, JP Cooper, Louis Berry, Stu Larsen, Amber Run , Leif Vollebekk, Rebels of rhe Jukebox, Mikroschrei, Luke Noa & the Basement Beats, Tuesday Night Project, Die Boys
Festival Internacional de Benicàssim, Spain (Maraworld, 13–16 July 2017)
Biffy Clyro (Spanish exclusive), Years & Years, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Temples, Dream Wife, Tiga, Honne, La Casa Azul, Joe Crepusculo (Jim Reid/Jesus and Mary Chain photo by pj_in_oz on Flickr)
Latitude, UK (Festival Republic, 13–16 July 2017)
Katherine Jenkins, Leon Bridges, The Coral, Mystery Jets, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Beth Orton, A Blaze of Deather, Childhood, Black Peaches, etc.
Karoondinha Music & Arts Festival, US (Hawk Eye Presents, 21–23 July 2017)
Chance the Rapper, Paramore, Sturgill Simpson, Porter Robinson, The Revivalists, etc.
Pukkelpop, Belgium (The Factory vzw, 16–19 August 2017)
Ryan Adams, Stormzy, The Shins, Sampha, Halsey, Armand Van Helden, Jake Bugg, Enter Shikari, Richie Hawtin, Jackmaster, 2manydjs, Youngr, etc.
Summer Sonic, Japan (Creativeman, 19–20 August 2017)
Calvin Harris, Foo Fighters, Black Eyed Peas, Kasabian, Sum 41, 5 Seconds of Summer, Justice, Charli XCX, Good Charlotte, Royal Blood, Kesha, Above & Beyond, Rick Astley, etc.
Reading Festival/Leeds Festival, UK (Festival Republic, 25–27 August 2017)
Liam Gallagher, You Me at Six, Vince Staples, Pvris, Goldie, Muna, Mura Masa, Jagwar Ma, Sub Focus, Kurupt FM, etc. (Liam Gallagher photo by Anthony Abbott)
Rock en Seine, France (LNEI Live, 25–27 August 2017)
Band of Horses, The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Lemon Twigs, Grouplove, The Shins, Her, Car Seat Headrest, Timber Timbre, Slowdive, Romeo Elvis, Her, Deluxe
Made in America Festival, US (Live Nation, 2–3 September 2017)
Jay Z, J. Cole, The Chainsmokers, Solange, Kaskade, Marshmello, Sampha, Migos, Stormzy, 21 Savage, Run the Jewels, Little Dragon, Pusha T, DMX, Vic Mensa, Yung Lean, etc.
OnBlackheath, UK (Crosstown Concerts, 9–10 September 2017)
The Libertines, Travis, De La Soul, Metronomy, Craig Charles’s Funk and Soul Club, Jake Bugg, KT Tunstall, Seasick Steve, Fun Lovin’ Criminals, Black Honey, Tom Williams, Steve Mason, etc.
Beyond the Tracks, UK (Moseley Folk Ltd, 15–17 September 2017)
Orbital, Ocean Colour Scene, Editors, Leftfield, Faithless, Maxïmo Park, The Coral, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Peter Hook and the Light, Jagwar Ma, Wild Beasts, etc.
Austin City Limits, US (Live Nation, 6–8 and 13–15 October)
Jay Z, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Chance the Rapper, The Killers, Gorillaz, Martin Garrix, The xx, Ice Cube, Ryan Adams, Solange, Run the Jewels, Spoon, Vance Joy, Zhu, Royal Blood (weekend one), Eagles of Death Metal (weekend two), Foster the People, etc.