Last Sunday I went to a festival called J-Pop Summit. J-pop is short for Japanese pop music.
The J-Pop summit is a festival that brings the latest in Japanese music, fashion, art, food and tech to the Bay Area. The event has been held every summer in San Francisco since 2009 and hundreds of fans look forward to attending the three-day festival.
I was only able to attend one day of the festival. Well to start the venue was nice. This year it was held in Fort Mason Center, which is a pier that has warehouse-like buildings. Usually large conventions are super crowded and the venue feels hot and stuffy, but this place was perfect. There was a main stage area with performances of popular Japanese artists like Silent Siren, an all girls singing group and World Order, an all male dance group. I was not able to see these performances but I was able to watch Silent Siren judge a singing contest called J-pop Idol 2016. It was very fun to watch and cheer on some amazing singers.
A section of the venue was dedicated to booths where you could learn more about Japan’s culture, which I really liked. There they had people that explained different things you could do in Japan and how to act when you go. These booths were mainly a way to convince you to visit Japan, which made me want to go a bit more, but it was interesting nonetheless. However on their website they advertised that there were going to be a lot of booths dedicated to anime, which is something I was really excited about, but there was nothing there. The only booth that was even slightly about anime was a booth that sold books about the manga the anime was based on. They were all mangas I have never heard about. That was pretty disappointing. Also things that were sold in booths were pretty expensive and the tickets to get in were also pricey.
Then there was the food. Outside of the center they had stations where they sold different popular Raman. If you didn’t like Raman they had different food trucks that sold Japanese style crepes, different bentos, and boba tea. I had some of the food and it was delicious. So this event is two days long, excluding the concert that happens on day one, and I did not have the time nor money to go both days. At first I was fine with that but it turns out if you don’t go one day, you will miss a lot of big performances and activities. I went on Sunday which was the more uneventful day of the three days, which I was also kinda upset about. Overall I had a somewhat fun time looking at different booths, watching performances, and eating awesome food but I was disappointed with the website’s false advertisement.
I would recommend this festival to someone who loves Japanese culture and J-pop artists. Also if you think about going you should really pay attention to the website to see at what time all the events are at and if it is really worth the money. This festival is almost like a convention like comic con, so plan ahead and save money so you can buy whatever you want.