THE Niseko Utari Festival – a concert event that combines Japanese music culture and environmental awareness – returns on February 1 for a party that spans between Hirafu and Kutchan over more than 12 hours. Returning for the second time, the hit festival boasts local artists, bands and DJs in genres such as hip-hop, house, dub, jazz, punk and reggae. Local Japanese performers playing on the night at both parties include Rovo, Cro-Magnon, Feeler, 3, Charaves, DJ 53 and DJ Kenta. The two-part party kicks off at the Northern Fox in Hirafu’s Middle Village (opposite Hokkaido Tracks) at 3pm, and runs until 10pm. Then, the after party heads out to Kutchan and cranks until 4am.
Organiser Mitsuaki Ota said the Niseko Utari Festival, run jointly by local Japanese and foreigners, promoted unity between Hirafu and Kutchan, as well as making Niseko better known for après ski activities and nightlife. Mitsuaki-san also stressed the importance of considering the local environment during Niseko’s development boom, saying there would be, during the concerts, booths for environmental causes. “Niseko is a mecca for the outdoors and winter sports, and is surrounded by great nature and mountains,” he said. “Now is the time to consider the environment for the future of Niseko, and people will be able to exchange their opinions and concerns for the environment at the festival.”
Tickets to the event are ¥3000 pre-sale, or ¥4000 on the day. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.