J-Pop Summit Festival is this weekend once again. Taking place across San Francisco’s Japantown on Saturday and Sunday July 27 and 28. The festival celebrates Japanese music, culture, fashion, and film. This is their 5th year with the theme of “Making Kawaii Universal.” Good news is just about everything looks free to go enjoy as well.
Music acts appearing include Jpop singer Kylee. A rising star in both the US and Japan. She has been featured on the Today Show, has had music used in various commercials, work on themes for anime, and even sang for President Obama. This is her second year at the summit. She is performing Saturday at 2:15pm at the Pagoda Stage and will be signing autographs at the New People tent after her performance.
Former Morning Musume star Reina Tanaka’s new band LoVendoЯ, a four piece girl rock band, will be holding their first US concert during the weekend. They will be playing at Pagoda Stage at 5:15pm on Saturday. When not playing they will be at the Toyota x Studio 4℃ tent signing autographs, doing talk events, and more.
Takara Sake USA is bringing their J-POP Ambassador human beat box Daichi to the event. He will be doing a free concert on the Main Stage at Peace Plaza on Saturday at 11:30am and noon on Sunday. He is completely self taught, can create over fifty different sounds with his voice, and can play rhythm beat and sing melody at the same time. He we will also be at Takara’s booth doing some additional performances. Also check out Takara’s cocktail Can Chi-hi “JPOP”.
The other big music act to see is Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. Model from Harajuku turned singer who is Japan’s official Ambassador of Kawaii. She is mainly focused on the fashion side of things for the weekend, but will be performing with Kylee, LoVendoЯ, and Daichi as part of the “Make Kawaii Universal” concert on Sunday between 2pm-4pm in Union Square.
DJ Coco will be working the main stage for the weekend. Bringing her unique style for everyone to groove too.
Other music acts through the weekend include three girl unit of VAs Sweety who play Saturday at 5pm at Pagoda Stage and will be at the Toyota x Studio 4℃ rest of the time. CAL Raijin Taiko is a group of Taiko players from UC Berkeley’s, they play on Sunday at 2pm on Pagoda Stage. Slime Girls is a combination of chip music and rock with a performance on Sunday at 3pm on Pagoda Stage and a meet & greet afterwards at the New People tent. Akabane Vulgars on Strong Bypass incorporates bluesy rock guitar with soulful compelling vocals and make their return to the festival as well. They play Saturday 4pm with their own meet and greet at the New People tent.
They will also be holding a Jpop Idol Contest on . Everyone will be singing in Japanese, but you do not really need to know how to speak Japanese they are testing your ability to sing not pronounce words. Grand prize is a three hour karaoke party with up to twelve of your friends from Yamasho Restaurant and Karaoke. The judges are Kiyomi Ishii, a professional singer and manager of Yamasho, and Daichi. You can check it out at 3pm at the Pagoda Stage.
Another contest they are holding is their 3rd annual Vocaloid Dance Contest for both solo competition (11:45am Saturday) and group competition (12:45 Sunday). Competitors will dance to their favorite Vocaloid songs. Judges for the contest are Florence, last year’s winner, Tiffany Fujii, 2011’s winner, and Aaron Webber, Associate Brand Manager of SEGA. SEGA is showing off their new Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F game, the first console Vocaloid game in the west.
The event also has fashion designers artists, and film directors plus tons of other events both days. If you have an interests in Japanese culture and media you will find something to see here.