Technoheads rejoice as Japan’s rural 2023 festival returns for its 15th year this summer, bringing the heat to the scenic countryside of Naeba Greenland in Niigata. Happening from July 15 to July 17, the 3-day program is split across two stages.
What began as an intimate, homespun rave among friends in 2009, popping up at uncanny venues and locations, grew progressively into one of Japan’s most anticipated events for fans of electronic music. During the pandemic, the collective hosted an off-shoot event in Kobe to great success, highlighting domestic artists. Last summer, they organized an indoor rave in an abandoned hotel in Atami with select international guests to tide over the crowd until their forceful comeback this year.
Taking over Naeba Greenland, the well-known grounds that previously played host to the Fuji Rock Festival and Labyrinth, rural 2023 guarantees to be their biggest endeavor yet.
After more than 8 years away, trailblazing duo Sandwell District returns to Japan for a fiery comeback set. Joining them are international heavy-hitters like Terrence Dixon, Higher Intelligence Agency, and Piezo—all making their Japanese debut. Returning favorites include GiGi FM, Vladimir Ivkovic, Phew, and Chee Shimizu. Several live sets are sure to add energetic variety, such as the improvisational collaboration between Kuniyuki Takahashi and drummer OLAibi, mammoth Bristol duo Giant Swan, dreamy blends of ambient and minimal by Endurance, and Shibuya maestro Tonbo. Also on the decks are beloved local artists like Wata Igarashi, Nao, DJ Yazi, Shhhhh, and Solar.
Limited presale tickets are currently available until July 14. Options for camping, RV trailers, and bus transport are available. If the presale tickets are sold out, there will be no door admission, so reserve your slots today.
Photo credit: Yumiya Saiki