Share in the Music at Shibuya’s Zunchaka Music Jam Festival

By Kirsty Kawano
August 5, 2015

This Sunday, Shibuya will be filled with music, fun and good vibes for the first Shibuya Zunchaka music festival, and you are invited to be part of it—not just in the audience, but as a performer, too. Join the marching band parading through Shibuya or a huge group chorus session, or get the kids busy in one of the workshops. Either way, come be part of what the organizers hope will be a one-day music utopia filled with happiness, connection, diversity and acceptance.

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The festival’s main venue is Miyashita Park, but performances will also take place at other Shibuya sites, such as Jingudori Park, Shibuya Hikarie, and the Sakuragaoka area near Shibuya station. Events are scheduled for 11:30 a.m. through to 7 p.m. There will be a picnic area at Miyashita Park’s futsal ground B from 11:30 to 6 p.m., and a baby tent will be set up for use for diaper changing and breastfeeding. Food and drink stalls will be available, too.

Events will kick off with a marching-band parade that will start from Shibuya Infoss Tower at 11:30 a.m., pass the Hachiko intersection, swing around to Shibuya 109 and then head along Koen Dori street up to Jingudori Park in a one-hour, 1.5 kilometer route. Organizers are aiming to have 200 participants in the parade.

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Later in the day, at Miyashita Park there will be a group singalong, or “sing out” from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Songs will include Kyu Sakamoto’s “Ue wo Muite Aruko” (Sukiyaki song), “Oh Champs Elysees” and “All You Need is Love.”

From 5 p.m. to 5:45 is the swing carnival, to which you can bring your own instrument or use one of the percussion instruments that will be available for an outdoor jam session.

Shibuya Zunchaka will wrap up the day with a huge, everybody-in instrument and song jam session from 6 to 7 p.m. It will include the previous three songs and end with the popular Bon Odori traditional dance festival tune “Tokyo Ondo.”

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There are many other things to do throughout the day. There will be dance performances from 1 to 1:30 p.m. on the Miyashita Park stage and a “paint like music” event that will have 30 participants busy drawing between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Workshops include “make and play a one-string guitar” at Miyashita Park Futsal ground B from 1 to 2 p.m. and then again from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. for a cost of ¥1,000. Organizers will accept the first 50 people to arrive at the venue for each session. The same details apply for a similar workshop to make and play a handmade trumpet.

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Most workshops are free, including a lesson in rap with for 30 people at each 50-minute session starting from 1 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. at Miyashita Park skate park. “Just bring yourself” lets participants jam together on the band instruments set up at Miyashita Park’s futsal ground A between 11:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. The same details apply for a guitar-playing workshop. “Drum circle” is a 30-minute jam session using percussion instruments that will take 50 participants each time, firstly from 2 p.m. and then again from 4:30 p.m. at Miyashita Park futsal ground B.

Shibuya Zunchaka aims to make the most of Shibuya’s nature as an intersection for people of all generations, cultures and walks of life and give them an opportunity to connect and together explore their creativity and potential via music. Whether you are a good singer or musician or a bad one is beside the point.

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A trial event held in July last year at just the Miyashita Park and Jingudori Park venues drew 5,000 participants. After that, the 30-person strong Team Zunchaka organizing committee was put together mainly from volunteers from the general public. Many other volunteers are involved in different ways, including as street performers. Shibuya Zunchaka calls itself a public participatory event by the people, for the people. Rock on, democracy!

The Deets

When: Sun, Aug. 9, 11:30 a.m.-7 p.m.

Where: Miyashita Park, 6-20-10, Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

How much: Free! (Some workshops will incur a small fee.)

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