Arabaki Rock Fest is Tohoku’s largest annual rock music festival. The two-day event held during Golden Week at Eco Camp Michinoku hosts eight stages, 80 bands, and up to 30,000 fans.
Origins dating back centuries
The festival started in 2001 with the goal of creating a fusion of history, culture, and rock.
The name “Arabaki” refers to an ancient tribe in the Tohoku region. Under the leadership of warrior-general Aterui, that tribe fought against invading armies sent by the imperial Yamato court of central Japan. 1200 years later this festival continues to honor the tribe’s fighting spirit and passion for their home in a rock-inspired celebration.
When is the festival
The annual event is held over a weekend during the Golden Week holidays in Japan at the end of April or early May. Buy your tickets starting in early March.
Order your tickets early online
Purchase your tickets online or at major convenience stores in Japan. If you plan on staying at the campsite, you should remember each person needs to buy their own campground ticket and that there are no tents provided. The campground is open with no reserved spots.
Who can I see perform
The Arabaki Rock Fest performers change every year, so check the website for details. The line-up is dominated by famous and up-and-coming Japanese artists.
Past performers include: Man With a Mission, the hard rock/dance-pop group known for wearing wolf masks during shows, Shishamo, the younger alternative/indie-rock band which made their debut after winning the grand prize in the Teens Rock in Hitachinaka music contest, and Yuji Ohno performing his jazz songs from the famous Lupin III anime.
If you need a break away from the main action, view the few but entertaining cultural performances. Keep an eye out for taiko drum performances, traditional dances, and the ever-popular Michinoku Pro Wrestling matches.