Earth Celebration is a superb three-day taiko and music festival on Sado Island where Kodo (legendary taiko drums troupe) holds open-air concerts, holds taiko workshops and invites other musicians to collaborate on stage.
Sado Island, located off the coast of Niigata, is renowned for its thriving arts and culture scene from kabuki to local artisanship and taiko drums. Taiko Japanese drums have been part of Japan’s summer festivals for centuries and their deep and cacophonous sound echoes the heartbeats of the local people.
Take the matsuri (festival) atmosphere but change amateur drummers for professionals, put them on stage, and what you get is Kodo, one of Japan’s most respected professional taiko ensembles.
In Japanese, kodo means "heartbeat", which is considered to be the primal source of rhythm. Read in a different way, the word also means "children of the drum". This reflects Kodo’s passion to play the drums with a kind of spiritual naivety.
In previous years Kodo performers usually travel around the globe to play large concert halls showcasing its wild drumming but they make sure to be back at its Sado base in August when audiences usually come to them. People from all over Japan, and from around the world, venture to Ogi on Sado Island to share their passion for taiko and for music at Earth Celebration.
Thousands of people usually come together on Sado Island, every year, to discuss music, create music and enjoy themselves. As this is an outdoors festival in a small seaside town, there is a close exchange with nature and with the local community. Earth Celebration is deeply rooted on Sado Island and in this particular area around Ogi, so much so that the festival has become part of the identity of Ogi and of Sado.
Earth Celebration 2020, held from August 21 - 23, will be available via live stream with the residents of the island taking Sado to the world stage. For the 33rd installment of Earth Celebration organizers have established an exclusively online event for a live, global audience with the tagline, “Connect with the World on Sado Island.” In place of its regular ticketed concerts, they will stream the main programme for free with viewers being urged to subscribe to the official EC YouTube channel.
The programme consists of Kodo performances and talk shows, a tour of Sado Island led by members of Kodo and a celebration of Earth on the final day through the majestic drumming of Kodo. Online workshops, an online market and merchandise will also be available.