Off the coast of Niigata lies Sado Island, one of the best off-the-beaten-path destinations in Japan. The island is locally famous for its distinctive taraibune tub boats, dramatic coastlines and its annual festival, Earth Celebration. Held every summer, Earth Celebration is a taiko drumming music festival that attracts domestic and international tourists to the island. Although Covid-19 coronavirus has cancelled festivals throughout Japan, including Kyoto’s famous Gion Festival, Earth Celebration has decided to take a different approach, streaming the festival online for everyone to watch.
Hosted by the taiko group Kodo, the three-day online festival will feature taiko drumming, virtual tours and traditional music performances highlighting Sado Island’s distinctive culture. Each day is divided into themes: Kodo, Sado and Earth. The inaugural day will celebrate Kodo, the taiko drumming group. From 2pm, viewers can tune in to live performances and talks with the performers, with English subtitles.
On the second day, Kodo drummers will take viewers on a virtual tour of Sado Island, introducing natural and cultural splendor. The final day will highlight the history of Kodo and the Earth Celebration, and will wrap up with a live performance. Most of the videos will have English subtitles – look for the ‘ES’ mark on the festival schedule.