AP Bank Fes ’12

June 17, 2012

For the past 3 years I’ve had the pleasure of participating in American’s most important music festival, Farm Aid; the annual concert to benefit America’s struggling family farmers. I can’t emphasize enough the importance of buying local/organic food and supporting your local farmer’s market. Organic is the highest choice for your family’s health, the health of your environment, AND the health of your local economy as buying locally helps the farmer get the fairest and most accurate price for his labor. Believe it or not, our current food system, which is centrally managed by major factory farms, doesn’t act holistically. Meaning, human health, soil health, and economic health for the whole isn’t equally considered.


Farm Aid is an enriching and educational experience and I always return home with invaluable tips and resources to improve the quality of life in my own backyard.


This year I will not be attending Farm Aid unfortunately, but do plan to be there in spirit, keeping an ear on the progress, seeing that the 30 year old concert flourishes.


However, it gives me great pleasure to announce I WILL be playing a similar concert in Japan; the AP Bank Festival. AP Bank (which stands for Artist’s Power/Alternative Power) is not an actual Bank, but a fund created by Music Producer Takeshi Kobayashi and Sakurai Kazutoshi , a singer from the band “Mr Children”. For the past 8 years, AP Bank Fes has generated millions of dollars for farmers, food futures, and green technologies. This year, the festival is taking things a step further and creating 3 festival sites in effort to help the people in the disaster area by raising money and attention, with awards given especially to farmers, for the healthy food that will heal and sustain us.


I’ve been told I will be the first western artist to play this festival in its 8 years running, and what intrigues me almost as much as sharing music is what I’m sure to learn. At the AP Bank Fes, there is zero waste. ZERO waste! ZERO WASTE among 100,000 attendees!?

This is made possible by employing and empowering people to wash and reuse their plates and cups, to bring their own wares and act responsibly; conscious of the festival environment, which is everyone’s home for the long weekend. This I HAVE to see!


Additionally, All PET (plastic) bottles are compressed on site and prior to being recycled, are displayed as giant clear plastic cubes for all to see just how much is consumed in 3 short days. The efforts Takeshi Kobayashi and his team take are what is needed by ALL concert promoters and festival goers alike. They leave the festival sight without a trace and take accountability for everything that comes and goes from the festival grounds. Even trucks that carry-in deliveries are required to haul away recyclables so not even the petrol is misused. All merchandise is pre-organic, meaning the cotton comes from villages supported to keep pesticides out of their communities entirely. And within the festival are workshops on how to live sustainably, how to grow food, and make efficient products and crafts; ways to stay involved in the cultural revolution that I believe is now happening all over the planet.


Ironically, Japan has considered restoring their nuclear reactors soon to help combat the summer heat. The concert, powered by wind turbines, solar panels, and bio-fuel generators, hopes to raise awareness about – and stress the importance of – clean green renewable energy which is now available to all if we want it.


Could you imagine? ENERGY INDEPENDENCE! No nukes. No mountaintop removal nor burning of coal. No more oil spills. NO MORE UTILITY BILLS!


Sadly one of the driving forces opposing green tech are oil, gas, and electric utilities, which is a huge source of income for a nation. As long as people are tied into a grid, money is sure to be circulated, therefore Energy Independence looks scary to some. But imagine paying zero for electricity as myself and many people who own solar systems do. It allows me save and put my money elsewhere.


*This is something to think about for upcoming the US election. Keep in mind President OBAMA has applied more money to green technology than any other president in history. And for this he gets my vote for a second term! (See that your local Congressman and Senator are supporters of green initiatives as well, for if the majority of the Senate were eco-minded, we’d be halfway to utopia already.) With Energy Independence, we could spend less money on oil, gas and electric (fighting less wars and building less nuclear products) and put more money into healthy food futures or the ARTS!


Japanese audiences have been supportive of my music for 10 years strong and I am especially honored to be considered a friend in this revolutionary time of need.


Learn more about AP Bank Fes and its initiatives.



And if in the US, check out Farm Aid and see what’s growing on right in your backyard!

  • Avatar of funfumiyo
    funfumiyo said ...

    Thank you for coming Japan!!! Unfortunately, AP Bank Festival is a Super popular event in Japan, so I couldn’t get the ticket,
    Please let us know what happened in the festival. And ” Enjoy Japan !!

  • Avatar of Supagaijin
    Supagaijin said ...

    Konichiwa Jason, As a long time resident of Japan, I’m appalled by the waste that is part and parcel of the modern culture. Individual over-wraping and bagging of items in plastic for example, despite being an Island nation with limited natural resources and space. Recycling has gained some momentum and there is a trend towards sustainable living, but change in Japan is very, VERY slow. The events of last year have sparked many social movements and there is a chance for a paradigm shift. The AP Bank is part of that effort and will hopefully make a big impact – especially on the younger generations who are yearning for major changes on all levels. It’s reassuring to know that there are other like minded people who are working towards that change. Recently in Tokyo there was a massive anti nuke demonstration that got a lot of social and media attention, but apparently not enough to stop the Gov from approving a re-start of 2 nuclear plants. The Tohoku disaster goes far beyond the nuclear crisis in Fukushima. 250 miles of costal communities were devastated – as in totally wiped out, thousands dead and many more thousands displaced. The rebuilding is progressing and includes a fair amount of solar power (Incidentally, some of the nearby mountains have wind turbines.) The produce from the Tohoku region is the best I’ve tasted in Japan, although it’s not all as green as it could / should be. Outside of the cities, Japan is one of the most beautiful countries I’ve been blessed to experience and Tohoku is especially stunning. I spent most of last year providing PTSD relief to children and their care givers in the region – if you’ve got a chance, please check out this recent article in the Japan Times. http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/fl20120616a1.html#.T95huO1hnME Please let me know if you’d like to check the area when you are here. If so, you can drop me a line through the link in the article. It’d also be cool to turn Kobayashi-san and Sakurai Kazutoshi-san on to my relief program in the hopes that they could help me to continue to help up north. Looking forward to the concert. Best regards and keep on keepin’ on!

  • Avatar of normason
    normason said ...

    Your instagram made me laugh out loud at 5:38AM. Coincidentally, I had just woken up from a dream where I had fucked up.

  • Avatar of gamachan
    gamachan said ...

    And of course Happy Birthday!
    It’s late, I know..


  • Avatar of gamachan
    gamachan said ...

    Very nice idea you’ve had. The final part of Everything is Sound. It’s like you are playing live in my living room.

    Do you want a peach? I’ve bought them yesterday, they are quite sweet.

  • Avatar of normason
    normason said ...

    Here’s hoping your pipes are staying unclogged in the smoggy fog of Asia.


  • Avatar of costellocrew5
    costellocrew5 said ...

    Awesome post. Love the info and insights. Read it to the family. xo

  • Avatar of shorekimmy
    shorekimmy said ...

    Happy Birthday!

  • Avatar of FrolleinN
    FrolleinN said ...

    happyhappy birthday!! *<:o))

    goes like:
    "today there may be rain, storm or snow,
    you're gleaming like sunshine anyhow.
    today, this is your birthday, thus we're revelling
    - all your friends share your happiness!

    so great that you are born, we would have missed you otherwise.
    so great that we're together (revelling), we congratulate you, o birthday boy!"

  • Avatar of normason
    normason said ...

    It’s your birthday! Again! It seems like you had a birthday only yesterday!

    Sing yourself your birthday song for me, please. Thanks!


    Your really cool surrogate aunt,


  • Avatar of Rose
    Rose said ...

    Happy birthday sweet sweet friend!!!!

  • Avatar of normason
    normason said ...

    Happy Tour!

    Happiness is not defined by not experiencing difficult times. We are not “the favored ones” when we don’t have them. Happiness is defined by how we handle the difficult times when it’s our turn to have them…

    OK. I confess. This thought came from a self-centered space. I just want you to get to MY concert day in one piece!

    Love, Love

  • Avatar of pinkguavajuice

    i love japan and i want to visit the country again. i’ve visited there a couple of years back, and i’ve got some friends there. but, i find that there’s still this lack of news reports on how the radiation situation has affected the people or tourists. on the news, it’s always reported that “things are getting better”. but how bad exactly has it been, and how bad is it now?

    on fb, there has been some people who has commented that they went to japan and come back feeling unwell. and when they visited the doctor, they were told that they were overexposed to radiation and if the woman is pregnant, she has to abort the baby, and can’t get pregnant in the next 6 years or longer. but then, i’ve also heard of people who has been to japan in the past year and they seem to be strong and healthy. is it simply a stoke of luck or bad luck?

    if only some organisation could bother to investigate the truth (what’s posted on fb might be false) in greater details, i don’t think it’s fair for ill-informed tourists to visit the country.

    what you are intending to do is very meaningful, and maybe i’m just too risk averse. i wish u all the luck. :) maybe u could bring lots of anti-radiation sticker (for phones and laptops) and stick them all over your body. lol.

    enjoy your tour. :)

  • Avatar of JaneJohnson
    JaneJohnson said ...

    Zero waste at a concert of 100,000 or more people. Wow, impressive!! We could all learn from this. Have a great time Jason. Thankyou for sharing with us your community.

  • Avatar of yogagrrl
    yogagrrl said ...

    Wow, the World as you see it really is a beautiful place–and getting more beautiful through the efforts of organizations like the AP Bank Festival. Having ‘no waste’ after a festival event opens the mind to the possibilities for the future. Thank you for sharing your observations and inspiring all of us to protect Mother Earth. We are blessed to live here NOW, and it’s our responsibility to make it a better place for the future, for our children and our children’s children. You are a messenger, Jason, a voice of reason and love. Thank you, thank you, and may God bless you to continue your good work and heartfelt music.

    Light & love,

  • Avatar of normason
    normason said ...

    No four letter words? It kind of throws a bucket of cold water on your tour concept. Just sing really fast. The authorities won’t understand a single word you say…

    I KNOW you did not break the rules. I also KNOW you threw in your favorite five letter word, and maybe even a seven letter word or two.

  • Avatar of Rose
    Rose said ...

    Very cool that you wrote this on my son Deuce’s birthday…. He spends more time in our garden than any of us. We have been growing a lot of our own food for a few years now and have a whole new respect for the farmers out there. This year we added chocked for eggs…we will see how it goes…

    Thank you for caring so much!


  • Avatar of consuelo
    consuelo said ...

    I appreciate your “eco-resonance”.
    Thanks for all you do to help make the world a better place for all of us.

    “There are no passengers on Spaceship Earth. Everybody’s crew” —MARSHAL McLUHAN

  • Avatar of shorekimmy
    shorekimmy said ...

    I can’t wait to see and hear more about this AP Bank Festival. Some many issues are local and global.

    Several groups that oppose nuclear power are planning a rally for 5 p.m. Monday (6/18) before a meeting in San Juan Capistrano where federal regulators will update the public on the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station’s prolonged shutdown.
    I am very optimistic about energy independence. Not so much about government being supportive of it, tax revenue from utilities & gas could leave big holes in budgets. I wish they (politicians) would speak freely about the financial fears of change rather then saying we can’t do that for decades, or totally insulting lies like “clean coal.”

  • Avatar of normason
    normason said ...

    Every company or organization, no matter how distasteful the ultimate consequences of its behavior, is comprised of human beings who are invested in its continued existence. Why? Because it gives them a sense of belonging and community, because the wages the company pays fulfills their needs and those of their family. I appreciate that you resist demonizing these companies and organizations. There is a thin line between devotion to an idea or cause and obsession, a line activists frequently cross. Trusting the good in ourselves and acting upon that goodness in our daily interactions with all living things, I believe, will produce results that benefit human beings and mother nature alike. I don’t spend too much time worrying about whether Mother Nature can defend herself against the self-centered activities of human beings. We are woefully outmatched.


  • Avatar of mrazfan1031
    mrazfan1031 said ...

    Thank you, Jason for sharing all of this information. You help show us that there is a greener way. This concert sounds awesome. Safe travels and take care. Thanks for all that you do!!
    Love & peace.
    xo, Linda

  • Avatar of lovePEAR
    lovePEAR said ...

    Thank you for spreading good news in the world & of the world! Beautiful intentions, ideas and actions , we are the ripples of Love on Earth <3

  • Avatar of MarLuna
    MarLuna said ...

    The world can learn a great deal about the beauty and respect the Japanese have instilled in their ancestory teachings. The way they linked together after the natural disaster is a tribute to a great people. I marvel at their designs of live food vending machines and their innovations to build towers of crops rather than acres of land.

    This concert sounds amazing, I’d probably have a mouth full of bugs due to my jaw ajar with awe. I would not be surprised if urinals are piped to reclaimed vegetatio!