Japan sees plenty of music festivals in the summertime. From Fuji Rock to Ultra, the hotter months always equate to moshing in scantily-clad crowds, with partygoers trying to cram as many music events as possible before the end of the season. While outdoor concerts usually seem like a faraway dream during the freezing winter, it's not hard to distract yourself with the fresh powder on the slopes of northern Japan. This year however, it looks as though you won’t have to swap out one seasonal pursuit for the other.
Snow Machine is a winter music festival making its debut in Japan, a four-day bash held from March 1 to 4 at the ski resorts of Hakuba, where skiers and snowboarders can get some live music in between tearing down the slopes and après. Swap out the neon tank tops for equally loud snowsuits and take a ski lift to see a talented line-up of artists performing on the alpine mountains. You can reach Hakuba in approximately three hours by taking a shinkansen from Tokyo Station to Nagano (the host city of the 1998 Winter Olympics) and then an hour-long bus from Nagano to Hakuba.
Many of the acts will be coming from Australia to perform a variety of genres ranging from indie pop to EDM, and will be joined by a handful of local up-and-coming artists. The lineup of DJs and musicians currently includes Hot Dub Time Machine, Confidence Man, Shinichi Osawa and Young Franco – more will be announced later.
Two different plans are now available at vastly different price points. The first is a four-day festival-only access pass, priced at AUD300 (about ¥22,244). The second is the Platinum Package, which bundles the four-day festival passes with ski lift passes, lodging and breakfast. Prices vary for this plan depending on the lodging, but you're asked to put in a AUD599 (about ¥44,414) non-refundable deposit to book.