Hayashi Kenji

Sunset Live is a long-running concert series held every year at the end of summer on the beach in western Fukuoka. The event has everything—great music from an impressive line-up of bands, good world food and beautiful surroundings… all the fit locals in bikinis adds a pleasant touch, too. We sat down at Sunset Bar and Grill in Futamigaura—where it started—to talk to the man who started it all, Hayashi Kenji.

Why did you launch Sunset live?
I always surfed in the area and really liked the rich natural surroundings here. 1993 was at the end of the bubble—nobody was really paying attention to nature. We thought it was a waste so we threw a big party. With staff, there were about 600 people at that first one here in Futamigaura.

Why did you continue?
The first SL had lots of problems: no parking, lots of trash, bad weather. We wanted to do it better the next year. It kept getting better so we’ve kept doing it, though we’ve recently moved it down to Keya Beach.

Now SL is a three-day event with 20,000 people. Are you hoping to expand it more?
No. This is the limit. We want to focus on making the content better, improving the experience.

SL is on the beach. What do you do to protect the environment?
We are careful about proper garbage collection and reuse—volunteer staff clean plates and utensils. We also have a ride-share system. But I’d like to do more.

To date, dozens of bands have played. Who has been the most memorable to date?
That’s a tough one…I’ve personally been impressed by Jo Yamanaka (but don’t put that in the interview, please).

Do you have any particularly touching memories?
Some people I know have met their marriage partner here. There are a lot of really special encounters.

(Koe Magazine staff and friends will be at the event. You’ll be able to recognize us. Say hello!)

林 憲治









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