The Shiroyama Concerts, EC’s main concert events, take place up on the hill in Shiroyama Park’s lush green surroundings. A star-filled sky and the chirp of cicadas complete this natural outdoor arena. What better place to celebrate the earth?
This year will feature a collaboration between Kodo and shamisen player Hiromitsu Agatsuma, who met last year for the first time. Both Kodo and Agatsuma base their music on traditional Japanese instruments and share their unique sounds with audiences abroad, so this year’s high-energy collaboration is certain to resonate around the world.
Ticket Sales Begin: June 1 (Fri)
- Aug. 17 (Fri)
Open: 17:15 / Start: 18:30
- Kodo “Opening Night” (Artistic Director: Shogo Yoshii (Kodo))
The first Shiroyama Concert is titled “Opening Night,” and marks the first time for Kodo’s Shogo Yoshii to take the reigns for the artistic direction. Designed to be a performance where the audience and performers feel as one, Opening Night will warm up the festival for the 25th anniversary celebrations. Join us on the first night for opening festivities and to christen EC 2012 in style.
- Aug. 18 (Sat)
Open: 17:15 / Start: 18:30
- Kodo “Dadan” EC Special (Artistic Director: Tamasaburo Bando)
“Dadan” features rigorously trained drummers pushing themselves to their physical and mental limits. This year the performance received great acclaim during four sold-out performances at Paris’ Théâtre du Châtelet. After rocking the European performing-arts scene, the cast is more powerful than ever as they prepare to debut the performance outdoors in a special programme at EC. Come and watch the young taiko players drum non-stop, set against the stunning natural backdrop of Shiroyama Park.
- Aug. 19 (Sun)
Open: 15:45 / Start: 17:00
- “Shukusai” Kodo with Hiromitsu Agatsuma (Artistic Director: Yuichiro Funabashi (Kodo))
Kodo met shamisen player Hiromitsu Agatsuma last year during their domestic travels, and that fated encounter led to this concert, their first collaboration. Both taiko and shamisen are instruments used to “beat a rhythm,” and the bold and subtle interweaving of their sounds will meld at the celebration finale. This collaboration between artists from the same era, all of whom use traditional Japanese instruments, will mark a new step for Earth Celebration on the occasion of its 25th anniversary. The captivating sounds of Japan will be transmitted from Sado Island across the globe.
- Shiroyama Park
Kodo, Taiko Performing Arts Ensemble
Exploring the limitless possibilities of the traditional Japanese drum, the taiko, Kodo are forging new directions for a vibrant living art-form. The taiko is something you experience viscerally as the sound of the drum travels from the player and reverberates in the body of the listener. Since the group’s debut at the Berlin Festival in 1981, Kodo’s ongoing “One Earth Tour” has brought the experience of the taiko to 46 countries around the world for over 3,500 total performances. Spending about a third of the year overseas, a third touring in Japan and a third resting and preparing new material on Sado Island, Kodo strives to both preserve and reinterpret traditional Japanese performing arts as they develop new styles that transcend all genres and borders. Since 1988, Kodo has had the pleasure of inviting artists they have met in their travels back to their home of Sado Island to engage in unprecedented musical collaborations at their annual music festival “Earth Celebration.”
Hiromitsu Agatsuma was born 1973 in Ibaraki, Japan. He began studying the Tsugaru Shamisen when he was just six years old and went on to win one competition after another, earning him high praise in the traditional Japanese music world. Agatsuma continues to explore both tradition and innovation through the Tsugaru Shamisen. His unique approach to the fusion of Japanese traditional instruments with Western music always receives high acclaim, and his collaborative work with global artists include Herbie Hancock, Marcus Miller, and many others.
Hiromitsu Agatsuma Lecture & Demonstration
On the second day of EC, Hiromitsu Agatsuma will hold a lecture and demonstration. It’s a great opportunity to listen to him speak and perform up close.
Special Buses After the Shiroyama Concerts
Buses will depart from the EC Information Centre 30 minutes after the Shiroyama Concerts end each evening.
- For Sobama Beach / Fare: Standard local bus fare
- For Shukunegi, Sawasaki via Kowashimizu / Fare: Standard local bus fare
- For Akadomari and Mushiroba via Hamochi / Fare: Standard local bus fare
- For Ryotsu via Mano (on the Minami-sen Line) *Special direct bus/ reservations required / Fare: Adults 1000 yen, Children 500 yen
- For Sawada and Aikawa via Mano *Special direct bus/ reservations required / Fare: Adults 1000 yen, Children 500 yen
Information About the Shiroyama Concerts
- Shiroyama Concerts will be held rain or shine. However, if the presenter deems the concert cannot be held safely outdoors, the concert will be canceled.
- The path leading up to Shiroyama Park is extremely steep. Please wear sneakers or other comfortable shoes when making the trip up the hill. For anyone who requires physical assistance entering the venue, a special shuttle is available. Please contact the EC Committee Tel. 0259-81-4100. (Tel. reservations accepted until Aug. 15. From Aug. 16, please contact the EC Info Centre.) Please be sure to confirm the departure time of this shuttle as it is earlier than the venue opening time for the general public.
- Shiroyama Park offers only free seating directly on the park’s lawn. The lawn can get damp from dew or rain so we recommend bringing a ground cloth or plastic sheet to sit on.
- Inside Shiroyama Park, drinks (including beer) and snacks are available at the refreshment tent. Please be sure to return reusable cups to the designated collection point.
- Rest rooms are located at the top of the hill as you enter the concert venue. A wheelchair-friendly facility is also available.
- There is an EC Information tent at the rear of the concert venue. Please check here if you lose something in the Shiroyama Concert venue. Please note that we don’t handle valuables: all valuables (wallets, purses, etc.) should be taken to the police station just down the road.
- There is a first-aid tent at the rear of the concert venue. Please inform EC Staff if you or someone else in the venue requires medical attention.
- Should safety considerations warrant, concert times may change.
- There are free parking areas near the EC venue. Please do not park bicycles near the entrance to Kisaki Shrine.
- Photography and audio visual recording is strictly forbidden within the concert area. For details, please see “Rules regarding photography, video and audio recordings.”
- Please turn off your mobile phone in the concert area.
- Pets are not allowed in Shiroyama Park. Guide dogs are welcome.
- Food and drink may be brought into the concert venue, but please do not bring ANY glass containers or fragile plates into the park. This includes bottles and/or glass cups, etc.
- Please eat and drink only in the seating area, and refrain from walking around the venue with open containers or drinking in the dance area. You and your group may be asked to leave the venue if excessive drinking creates a disturbance to other audience members around you.
- Please understand that the number of trash receptacles in the Shiroyama Park concert venue and other EC events is limited. We ask that you please properly dispose of all waste, and separate burnable, non-burnable and recyclable trash.
- Entry to Shiroyama Park is only permitted at the concert times and is restricted to the designated concert area. Camping is prohibited in the park and its surrounding area.
Entrance Order Colour Cards
All seating in Shiroyama Park is general-admission, outdoor seating on the lawn. In order to make things smoother for everyone at the concert entrance, Entrance Order Colour Cards are distributed prior to each concert, and card-holders are admitted to the venue according to the colour on their card.
- Distribution Time: Aug. 17 & 18 (Fri/Sat) 9:00 – 17:00 / Aug. 19 (Sun) 9:00 – 15:30 (Distribution will end when all cards are gone.)
- Entrance Order Colour Cards can be obtained at Kisaki Shrine
- Obtaining your Entrance Order Colour Card: You must show your ticket or voucher for that day’s concert to receive a card.
- Elementary and junior high school students receive free admission and don’t require a concert ticket for admission, but they do require an Entrance Order Colour Card if they wish to enter the venue early. There are “Elementary/Junior High School Student Entrance Order Colour Cards” available for ages 6-14. Please just ask for the number you require. (Ages 5 & under do not require a ticket or colour card.)
- Only one Entrance Order Colour Card will be granted per ticket. One person may receive up to a total of 5 Colour Cards, whether for ticketed adults or free admission school children. (We may increase this number when the queue is short.)
Important Notes Regarding “Entrance Order Colour Cards”
- We will prepare 1200 Entrance Order Colour Cards, and will stop distribution when all cards are gone.
- Before the venue opens, please assemble in numerical order in the appropriate line at the time shown on your Entrance Order Colour Card.
- We will check your concert ticket as you enter the venue. Please have it ready in hand with your Colour Card. (You cannot enter the venue using only your Entrance Order Colour Card.)
- Entrance Order Colour Cards are not required for entrance, but those without cards will be admitted to the venue last. If you have time during the day to drop by Kisaki Shrine, we recommend picking one up so you are not kept waiting when the gates to the venue open.
- If you arrive at Kisaki Shrine after your assigned assembly time, please come to the Kisaki Shrine Reception Tent and you will be guided into the venue.
Shiroyama Concert Ticket Reimbursement
Shiroyama Concerts will be held in the event of rain. However, if the presenter deems the concert cannot be held safely outdoors, the concert will be canceled. The refund method differs depending on your ticket and where you purchased it, so please read the “Ticket Refund Information for Canceled Concerts” notice carefully, which will be available at the EC Information Centre, to ensure you receive your refund easily. Please understand that no reimbursements can be made for a concert once it has begun, even in the case that it cannot not be completed due to circumstances beyond our control.