June 21, 2024

From July 27 to 28, furniture retailer Yogibo will host the XD World Music Festival in Odaiba’s XD theater in Tokyo. Set to accommodate a crowd of up to 30,000 attendees, the live event will showcase top-tier artists from across Asia. It will feature dynamic live performances, exhilarating DJ sets, and captivating dance acts.

On May 8, Yogibo held a press conference in Shibuya to announce the festival. Headlining acts also participated, sharing their thoughts and expectations for the summer event. These stars included Sandaime J Soul Brothers member ELLY, up-and-coming artists DJ Shuzo and Aile the Shota, and dance act TSUBAKILL. 

XD World Music Festival logo. (Courtesy of XD World Music Festival)

A New Festival Experience

XD aims to transform the traditional Japanese festival scene, championing connectivity, collaboration, and celebration. It hopes to breathe new life into the conventional festival, aligning it with the pulse of the modern age. As a representative said, “We are on a mission to infuse this festival with an aura of innovation and exhilaration.”

Its vision transcends mere entertainment. The festival is dedicated to delivering authentic, new experiences while harnessing the latest technology to craft immersive and interactive encounters for the audience. At XD, each attendee is not just a passive observer. They are an integral part of the event’s fabric, contributing to its vibrant tapestry of creativity and community. 

To ensure everyone enjoys the XD experience and actively participates, organizers have designed an official app. This dynamic platform will keep festivalgoers updated with the latest information and supply them with interactive content throughout the event.

ELLY

Two-time Japan Record Awards winner ELLY is perhaps most well-known for choreographing Sandaime J Soul Brothers’ 2014 hit “R.Y.U.S.E.I.” There was no high school festival in Japan in 2014 that did not feature at least one rendition of the music video’s “running man” dance. 

“When I was approached to perform at this festival, the concept and everything about it immediately caught my attention,” he revealed. “While the full lineup hasn’t been announced yet, I see XD as a fusion of traditional Japanese festival vibes and global music.” He also expressed his excitement at sharing the stage with both Japanese and South Korean artists alongside some yet-to-be-revealed big names. “Just thinking about it fills me with anticipation,” he beamed. 

“It’s a thrilling opportunity to be featured as one of the main acts,” he continued. “Participating in such a large-scale event feels like a long-awaited return to the spotlight. Personally, I’m buzzing. I feel energized and ready to give it my all.”

From left: Aile the Shota, ELLY, and DJ Shuzo. (Courtesy of XD World Music Festival)

DJ Shuzo

Fashion model Shuzo Ohira will be DJing at XD. “As a DJ, the opportunity to spread Japan’s vibrant DJ culture globally fills me with joy,” he said. “I’ve been actively involved in the festival’s organization, too,” he explained. “We’ve placed the emphasis on highlighting Japanese culture.” 

Ohira elaborated on what appealed to him about XD: “While we often hear about Japanese influence spreading worldwide, I’ve always wondered what that really means.” Unlike festivals primarily centered around artists, this event seeks to draw people for the festival experience itself. 

“Prioritizing the celebration of Japanese culture is paramount to us,” Ohira emphasized. “Over the past few months, we’ve devoted extensive discussions to the festival’s branding. We want to market it in a manner that not only attracts attention but also embodies the essence of XD. “In expressing his aspirations for XD, Ohira mentioned his desire to establish a global platform. “I hope it can help artists like myself and Japanese culture reach audiences worldwide,” he concluded. 

DJ Shuzo (Courtesy of XD World Music Festival Japan)

Aile the Shota

Aile the Shota (Shota Watanabe) has grown a steady following on Spotify over the last two years and is a rising star in J-POP. “For someone like me who’s a huge fan of the Japanese and Asian music scenes, this is an incredible lineup,” he gushed. The diversity in the lineup is truly amazing.” 

The artist also touched on his feelings about representing Japanese artists, saying, “I feel a profound sense of pride.” On his expectations for the festival, Watanabe said he is looking forward to “a really high-energy live performance with all the other performers. I think this will become an inspiring festival for years to come.” 

TSUBAKILL

TSUBAKILL is the only Japanese group to appear on the popular South Korean show STREET WOMAN FIGHTER 2. In their remarks, the all-girl dance group discussed how they perceive themselves as a bridge between Japan and South Korea. “We’ve been particularly active in South Korea, appearing on TV shows and things like that,” said MIKI. “I hope that we can help connect the two countries.” 

SAYAKA spoke about the significance of the festival for her. “I think now that the pandemic has died down, we finally have a place (like XD) to let loose. For me, that means starting with how I present myself,” she smiled. “I plan to fully embrace the moment, dressing in outfits that make me feel absolutely adorable,” she laughed. “I’m looking forward to spending time with my favorite people and soaking up the beauty of the outdoors.” 

She also hinted at the kind of performance she hopes to deliver. “If our hard work translates into a captivating performance that people can enjoy, then I believe it will be an unforgettable festival experience. That’s the vibe I’m going for.”

Tickets for the XD World Music Festival go on sale on May 13 (Monday). Visit the website for more details. 

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Author: Daniel Manning


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