Visual artists, bands, folklore and world music and dance groups from all over the world gather in Hakodate to exchange world culture with each other and with festival-goers over the course of a week. The Festival is centered on multiple outdoor concert stages in Hakodate Motomachi Park with spectacular views in front of Hakodate Mountain.
Final Schedule and Map
Each year there are many new worlds to meet at WMDF; we work hard to improve and expand our output, with new stages and new areas, and more.
Click on the image on the right to get a pdf (A3 size) of the Motomachi Park layout with this year’s schedule (Japanese & English). Please feel free to print this out as reference.
This stage was the starting point of WMDF as an international event. We wanted to showcase the amazing backdrop of the vista and the history of the Hakodate Bay Area. The seating area in front of the stage was designed specifically for concerts by designer Kenichi Kimura. We are proud to bring life to this plan. WMDF embodies its “Big Here” theme by naming our stages after stars. This flagship main stage is the Alas Stage, which signifies the Greek legend of “supporting the world” and the concept of “enduring”.
In contrast to the Atlas Stage, the audience space in the Bunda area is open and encourages people to dance, dance , dance. This was the second stage area developed by WMDF, and provides a contrasting atmosphere for fans and performers. Both appreciate the different feel of the stage, which is also often used by roving performers such as jugglers and clowns. The naming “Bunda” comes from the Arabic signifying one of the three “luck of luck” stars.
This “at-home” stage is the result of requests from groups and from local performers. Often, large groups that perform on the WMDF main or second stage ask us if there are chances for their members to perform solo, or as smaller groups of just a few people. Until now, the answer was “no”, but the Chara stage changes this. It is flexibly-programmed, so come on the day to find out who is appearing. Local performers also welcome! “Chara” is named not after the Japanese singer, but after the celestial star, which is Greek for “joy”. We hope this stage will please many people.
This stage features the unique backdrop of the “Koukaido” historic building that was recently awarded double stars by the Michelin Green Guide Japan. There is no actual physical stage, so the performers use an intimate space in front of the building, close to the audience. The site is darker than usual, and the lit backdrop gives a unique experience for all. The star name for this stage is “Eudora”, from the Greek for “generosity”, our hope. Entry to this stage requires no pass or ticket, and the stage runs from after 19:30 every night. Please come and sample the WMDF atmosphere!
Next to the Atlas Stage is the primary area for MouguFes booths. As well as providing a space to socialise and to enjoy the WMDF atmosphere, the Atlas Area booths include some of our most popular foods, usually including Indian curries and nan breads, Turkish ice cream (pictured). From this year, we also bring you by popular request Japanese sushi. You will find a WMDF bar offering discounts for Whole Week Sponsor Pass holders, and many other delicacies.
The Bunda area features a second swathe of MoguFes booths, including WMDF’s very own cocktail bar, staffed by award-winning bartenders. It was the second area developed by WMDF, and is home to the WMDF Tree. Backstage, this is where WMDF in-house catering for artists and staff is housed. For those who feel the effects of all the revelry, there is a massage booth to take away the strain (pictured).
The area around the “shashinkan” museum is also host to many MoguFes booths and it features frequent performances by WMDF’s roving entertainers. This was the third space developed by WMDF, and is designed to provide a relatively calm location for WMDF-goers to relax while still enjoying the park’s atmosphere. We have also done projection mapping in this area, and have used the inside of the shashinkan for workshops. We hope that you can relax happily at Chara.
Climbing high above the main Atlas Stage to enjoy the full backdrop of Hakodate’s bay and mountains has long been a favourite tactic for WMDF regulars. We added decorations, benches, barrel tables and MoguFes booths. Our roving performers also stepped up to create impromptu stages. The name “Deneb” is from the Arabic for “tail” or “follower”. The star is one of the three that make up the “Summer Triangle”, which South Sea Islanders use to navigate on the open ocean in the Pacific, including reaching Hawaii. Deneb represents WMDF’s goal of guiding many followers to meet many new worlds.
WMDF keeps growing. In 2014, we teamed with Sports Hokkaido to bring you a new “Worlds Meet” experience of physical activities: the “Waku Waku Festival”. Walking on Japanese bamboo stilts is not just for the young, but also for the young-at-heart! There is a type of “flare” star that vary their brightness, shining more noticeably for several minutes (our nearest neighbour, Proxima Centauri, is a flare star, see picture). Why not try your own “flare”, and shine for a few minutes in this new WMDF area? We will be developing Flare over several yeas, so be sure to tell us your ideas. Plus, look out for circus performances and street entertainers showing their own flare in this area. Entry to this area requires no pass or ticket. Only on Sat and Sun, from 14:00.
To publicise the WMDF main event and to embody the “Long Now, Big Here” theme, we bring forward the WMDF start date with a “Worlds Meet Bar” in June. This year, we were hosted at Bar Concord 21. Over 80 people joined us for world cocktails and our signature Mojitos. Clicking on the image opposite takes you to the event announcent (J blog post), and here is the English event blog post, with pictures.