Sunset Live

Fukuoka's 3-day summer outdoor music and art festival

 By Tristan Scholze   Aug 16, 2014

Outdoor events have come along in recent years in Fukuoka, with the oldest and largest of them all being the three-day music and art festival, Sunset Live. Originally hosted at Sunset Beach (hence the festival name) in 1993, over the years the location has changed due to expansion. Now located at the larger Keya Beach and surrounding mountainside valley, roughly 15,000 people attend each year during the first weekend of September for summer’s spectacular sayonara jam session.

Music performances from several dozen acts on three main stages include prominent nationally known headliners each year, such as UA, Home Grown, Ego-Wrappin’, Pushim, Moomin, Ryo the Skywalker, Mongol 800, Rize, Lecca, Bird, and Rip Slyme. Bands range in genre from reggae and ska to acoustic, R&B, rock, punk, and jazz.

Advanced tickets for all three days run about ¥15,000, while day tickets go for ¥6,500. Night tickets for arrivals after 6 pm can be bought for ¥5,000. Purchase tickets at convenience stores or get advanced tickets at a discount online in English from Fukuoka Now while supplies last. Tickets are available at the entrance, but prices rise about ¥1,000 on the day of the event. Discounts are given for students and children.

Food and drink vendors line the area between the beach and the inland stages. Festival food is available, as well as booths set up by select restaurants in the Fukuoka area. The beach houses also serve meals and beverages, as do the cafés along the beach access road.

Art plays a big role at the festival. You’ll see lots of it integrated into the scenery, including live art shows.

Swimming and boating as well as large trampolines and other beach fun provide activities for all ages and a range of interests. For floats, SUP (stand up paddleboards) and other rentals, inquire at the beach houses.

The festival is eco-conscious, with active promotion of a Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle policy. Please be aware of and support efforts to keep Fukuoka clean and beautiful.

It’s possible to stay overnight at the campsite located next to the beach, with adult prices starting at ¥1,020 per person per night. Tents, bungalows, barbeque equipment, and more can be rented. An event campsite prepared by the village is a 20-minute walk away. Tent sites here run ¥3,000 yen plus ¥500 per person and have a view of the sea. In addition, you can take a short rest or spend the night starting at ¥2,500 at some of the beach houses and cafés right on the scene. Overnight stays at all of these sites are organized separately from the concert and early reservations are recommended.

Keya Beach is widely regarded as Fukuoka’s top summer resort. On the Itoshima Peninsula west of Fukuoka City, the village of Keya’s clean crescent-shaped sand beach, lined with cafés and beach houses, shines in a beautiful bay. To the west, low green mountains merge with scenic boulders at the shore. The eastern side of the inlet hosts the local harbor full of pretty fishing vessels. Visit an overview, photo story and video of Keya Beach for a visual tour of the locale.

サンセットライブ—Sansetto Raibu—Sunset Live

Written by Tristan Scholze
Japan Travel Partner

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Tristan Scholze Author 2 years ago
The 2015 festival is 9/4 to 9/6. Advance tickets are 6,500 for one day, 15,000 for a 3-day pass, 5,000 for one evening only (late arrival), and 4,000 yen cash back for junior high and high school students. Purchasing details are in Japanese on the website (pay through web or convenience stores), though it's possible to pay cash on arrival (7,500 for one day, 6,000 for late arrival). Some discounts are available. Fukuoka Now holds some tickets, available in English:
http://fukuoka-now.com/en/event/sunset-live-2015/