10 Years at Naeba

Wow, this will be the 10th year for Labyrinth to take place at Naeba. Maintaining an event for ten years at one location is quite an achievement. A huge thanks to the town for their trust and for the dancers who have kept it going. You veterans know the drill by now, but for the newcomers, please see below for all the details that help keep the machine running smoothly. Let's see what this year brings... 

Line-Up Under Wraps

One thing we're trying a little differently is keeping the line-up under wraps until the day of the event. A bit more mystery, and a bit less jamming the promotion button, feels like a healthy approach to take in these days of saturated online information. We've enjoyed the thrill of trickling out names in the past, but we think this might create a new kind of thrill: the thrill of not knowing but trusting, and the thrill of surprise. You can see our thoughts on this here.

Tickets & Gate

* There are no tickets for sale at the gate. As always, Labyrinth is a pre-sale ticket event only.

* We will not reissue lost wristbands. Do not take off your wristband. Lost wristbands will have to be repurchased. If your wristband is uncomfortable, come to the gate and we'll give you a new one.

* If you have a hotel package reservation, you will need to show your reservation number and hotel name at the gate.

* There is no ATM close to the venue or places to change money, and credit cards are not accepted on site, so prepare beforehand all the Japanese yen you will need at the event.

* Children under the age of 13 can enter for free with their guardian. There is a supervised kids area run by Smile Kids where they can safely take part in games and creative activities, like painting and drawing. Every year we see more kids come to Labyrinth, which means more friends for them to make in natural surroundings. We love seeing this.

* If the event is cancelled because of natural disaster, poor weather conditions, or other reasons beyond our control, ticket money will not be refunded.

Parking

There are ticketed and free parking areas.

* Access to Parking Lots #1 and #2: Parking ticket required and these can be purchased at Clubberia.

* There is no re-entry for Parking Lots #1 and #2. If you have a ticket but leave during the event, you will have to park in Parking Lot #3 on your return or have an additional parking ticket.

* Access to Parking Lot #3 (close to the Prince Hotel): FREE.

* From Parking Lot #3, there is a shuttle bus to the venue. During the day, the forest boardwalk path to the venue is also open. This lovely walk is under 30 minutes.

The image below is in Japanese but you can see car parking lots #1, #2, and #3 pretty easily:



Shuttle Bus

During the event (from open to close) there are free shuttle buses running from the gate area to Parking Lot #3 and then to the hotels and hot spring in town. Please be ready to wait during the most crowded times. There are no showers at the venue, but you can take the shuttle to the local hot spring in town. See the info booth at the gate for more details. If there are long lines for the shuttle bus, remember that it is possible to walk into town. A walk of 30 minutes is very doable if the weather is nice.

Music Schedule 

Tentatively, the music schedule is as follows, but things may change.

9/22 (Sat): 7:00 pm - 2:15 am
9/23 (Sun): 9:00 am - 1:30 am
9/24 (Mon): 9:00 am - 6:30 pm

The complete timetable will given at the gate, and if the timetable changes we will make announcements on the Mindgames Twitter account. It’s possible to camp at the venue Monday night after the event finishes and then leave Tuesday morning. You can easily find rooms Monday night at hotels and pensions in town if you decide to stay another night. Resting a night in the area is a nice way to come down after such an intense event.

Glass

Unlike most other festivals, the Labyrinth does not ban bringing drinks into the venue. However we do prohibit bringing glass. We will be searching bags at the gate and confiscating any glass bottles we discover.

We have to do this because glass is both dangerous and very heavy to dispose of. There is a physical limit to how much trash the town is able to process. Banning glass bottles helps us and the town handle trash at the event's conclusion. So please transfer fine liquids into fine flasks if they are going to make the voyage with you. 

Trash On The Floor

These same words from last year apply verbatim:

"A clean dancefloor is a beautiful sight to see. It is an extension of the spirit and mentality of the entire event. When I see photos of festivals where the camp ground and dance floor look like scenes of a riot, I think what kind of celebration of life is this?

I know it's easy to get carried away and leave trash on the dance floor in an excited state of mind, but what does this say about your integrity? And the integrity of the event as a whole?

The decision to clean after yourself and show respect for a communal space shared by others for spiritual enjoyment should be a simple one. It only takes a brief moment to commit to this state beforehand, and then you will act with awareness in the moment."

This is your event and ours."

And if you do see some trash left around by some revellers slightly off their tits, it would be awesome if you helped out and threw some things away for them. Little teams of volunteers during the event taking 10-minute timeouts to clean areas around them can help keep the event pristine for all.

Please Don't Do

* PLEASE NO VIDEO on the floor. It's an invasion of someone's private space to suddenly film them while dancing. One of the most special aspects of events in Japan is how most people are sensitive towards the space of others.

* PLEASE NO AUDIO OR VISUAL RECORDING of performances. People have got a little insane filming everything they see these days. One bright screen held up in the air at night to film an artist is extremely distracting for everyone around.  

* NO DOGS on the dance floor. We allow dogs into the event, but we ask that they be kept on a leash, and they must not be brought onto the dance floor. The extreme sound levels of the dance floor make a dangerous and stressful situation for canine ears. You will be asked to leave if you bring your dog onto the floor.

* NO LIGHT SOURCES on the floor. This includes pen lasers, Christmas tree-esque shamonic rods, and other light-producing devilspawn devices. The lighting at Labyrinth is designed for specific aesthetic reasons. Please keep the night dark. 

* NO DRUMS OR WHISTLES on the floor. 

* NO FIREWORKS OR OPEN FIRES anywhere at the venue.

* NO DRONES. Drones are the last thing we need...

Campground

* Two of the camping spaces from last year have been converted into artificial turf soccer fields, so unfortunately we are no longer allowed to use them. But in addition to the camping area past the BBQ area, a new field has been opened about a 5-minute walk past the old spaces, so there is still lots of room to camp. It's just a little further away.

* Please only set up your tents in the designated camping areas. If you camp elsewhere, staff will ask you to move.

* Open flames and BBQ’ing are not allowed in the camping area, but there is a covered BBQ area with sinks, so please use that for cooking.

* The river at the venue can become dangerous and flood during times of heavy rain. Swimming in the river is prohibited by the town authorities.

* Do not bring speakers or sound systems into the camping area, as they annoy the neighbors.

* After you take down your tent, please remove and take back your pegs. Please do not leave abandoned tents, tables, and chairs for the staff to dispose of. 

Weather

The weather can change quickly in the mountains and in Japan, and as we have discovered once or twice, it can rain a lot. Come prepared for cold at night and the sun during the day. Warm clothes (fleece and light jacket), sun protection, rainproof gear, and good shoes are all essential.

For checking weather conditions at the Labyrinth venue, search for “Niigata, Numata”. Here is one weekly and daily weather forecast for the area.

Natural Disasters

Typhoons hit Japan often during the summer, and in the event of a typhoon we all have to follow strict instructions from the town authorities.

The event normally carries on in the case of rain, but there is a chance of the event stopping temporarily or getting canceled because of strong typhoon winds or lightning. Significant rain can lead to landslides and flooding. We are not responsible for injuries or loss of life under any circumstances. If the event is suspended or cancelled, please closely follow staff instructions and keep up with our Twiter feed for updates. 

Driving

The mountain road from the venue to Parking Lots #1 and #2 is narrow and dangerous. Be very careful on this road, especially in the case of rain. And of course please do not drink and drive after the event finishes.

If you have been drinking on the final day, you can relax one more night camping at the venue or get a room in town (there will be many open), and then drive back home the next day. Please take care of both yourself and the lives of those travelling with you.

Also note that you cannot drive into the venue after the event finishes or the following day to collect your things. The wooden bridge onto the dancefloor cannot bear the weight of a car. It will collapse, and has. And the backroad to the venue is dangerous in the rain. One year a car slipped off that road down the hill into the trees, with almost tragic consequences.

Loophole Chemicals

In Japan, as in many parts of the world, a class of semi-legal "loophole drugs" has emerged which are very dangerous. These are inert herbs soaked in potent chemicals manufactured by Japanese organized crime. These can be fatal alone or when combined with alcohol, and police will detain if you are found with these despite their ambiguous legal state.

We will be searching bags and anyone discovered with loophole drugs or other illegal items in their possession will be immediately removed from the party without a refund. 

Other Venue Manners

* Do not bring items prohibited by law into the event. 

* Be respectful if you’re a smoker and don't throw cigarette butts on the ground. We recommend you bring a portable ashtray which are very popular in Japan. You can buy these at Tokyu Hands, for example. We cannot leave the venue until every last cigarette butt has been removed from the grounds, and this is back-breaking work for our team on Tuesday.

* Trash needs to be carefully separated. Please follow the event guide and instructions on site for separating garbage according to local regulations. 

* We do not take responsibility for any accidents or thefts that occur at the venue. Please take care of your valuables. Be aware that there are no storage areas or lockers for valuables.

* Anyone who refuses to follow the instructions of staff will be removed from the event and your ticket money will not be refunded.

Last Words

The Labyrinth is the statement of our position. It has thrived for many years, and we pray it will survive for many more.

Music is a form for decorating time, dance for celebrating its passage, and the Labyrinth our space to gather.

Please respect the ground and the people, the space and the sound, and the tall trees. 

See you on the floor.