Tokyo’s ‘Yaon’ Open-Air Concert Hall to Turn 100 in 2023 – Billboard


The iconic Hibiya (commonly shortened to “Yaon” in Japanese) open-air concert hall in Tokyo will celebrate its 100th anniversary in July 2023. To mark this milestone year, a commemorative project to reconfirm the historic role and value of the venue beloved while handing over the transmission to future generations will run from April to November next year.

Seiji Kameda will lead the executive committee overseeing the Hibiya Yaon 100th Anniversary Memorial Project. “When I aspired to become a professional musician, Yaon was my dream place,” noted music producer, bassist and chairman of the music festival’s executive committee Hibiya Ongakusai said in a statement. “When I finally turned professional and stood on the Yaon stage, I remember how my soul trembled under the power of the sound as it soared through the green forest, the towering buildings and into the skies of Tokyo. Even now, Yaon is a priceless place that reminds me of those same emotions I felt back then.

Billboard Japan is part of the committee which also includes artists, producers, music industry representatives and theater managers, and plans are underway to hold a variety of event-centric music events and exhibitions. live, archival projects and promotional efforts.

Just two months after the opening of the Hibiya Yaon in 1923, the devastating Greater Kanto earthquake struck and the open-air venue was used to provide wholesome entertainment to the public such as music concerts, balls, outdoor plays and various other events. Although it was temporarily closed due to World War II, it became a sought after venue for rock and folk music after the war.

The concert hall has become the backdrop for many legendary moments in Japanese popular music history, such as the last concert of rock legend Eikichi Yazawa’s band Carol, the iconic girl group’s breakup announcement 70s Candies and solo singer-songwriter Yutaka Ozaki’s famous scene. jumping incident in the early 80s.

It has since become a “unique and special shrine” essential to the development of popular music in the country, hosting for example the 10 yen concert launched to promote rock in Japan, and YAON no NAON, Japan’s first rock festival. with only musicians. The hall continues to be loved by many musicians today for its liberating sense of being surrounded by nature in the middle of Tokyo, the beauty of stage lights in the gradually deepening darkness after dusk and its liberal atmosphere despite being a public establishment.

“The Yaon I know might just be a small moment in its long history,” adds Kameda. “But the many exciting moments and legends born of Yaon will live on there forever and be passed on to the next generation.”


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