Who doesn’t like rocking out for a good cause? Join LIFE Organization is hosting a three-day benefit concert at Kawasaki’s CLUB CITTA’ at the end of August, as a benefit to promote HIV and AIDS awareness in Japan.
The cavalcade will feature over two dozen bands and performers, among whom are many familiar faces for visual kei fans, from comparative newcomers to well-established heavyweights.
Among the numerous recognizable names and faces are LUNA SEA‘s Shinya and Ryuichi Kawamura; SIAM SHADE‘s Hideki; former Kuroyume members Hitoki and Suzuki Shin; former Ayabie frontman and solo artist Aoi-168-; former Psycho le Cému vocalist Daishi Kajinaga with his new project, 6; original L’Arc~en~Ciel drummer SAKURA and former Malice Mizer vocalist TETSU’s ZIGZO; Közi’s ZIZ; C4; LOST ASH; and so many more artists my knuckles are locking just thinking of typing them all out! The concert will also include an extraordinarily special appearance by The Spiders‘ bassist Katou Mitsuru, a legend in his own right.
(The Spiders were Japan’s answer to The Beatles, Katou Mitsuru, who has been active in the music scene since the 1960s, perhaps being the analogue to Paul McCartney. The man is 75 and still going strong; that deserves some special attention, don’t you think?)
The announcement of the concert series was sparked by Japanese drummer and former Ikebukuro Chop booking manager HAL‘s bold public announcement of his own HIV diagnosis, which he received in December of 2012. In openly speaking about his illness, he brought the stark reality of the devastating but increasingly survivable virus to the forefront of Japan’s music scene. In a remarkably honest open letter, HAL wrote of his experience discovering his diagnosis and agonizing over how to reveal it to his loved ones and how to cope with the realization that he has an incurable disease. Gathering his wits about him and accepting his diagnosis, he ventured on a campaign to spread accurate knowledge about the reality of – and, of course – prevention of HIV, to not only adults of his own generation but younger generations (and, perhaps, subsequent generations to come).
While Japan’s reported number of HIV infections has historically been low, in the last ten years, the number has doubled, possibly because there is so little attention paid to awareness and prevention efforts, even though they do exist. In the interest of public health, the Japanese Ministry of Health offers everything from anonymous testing to multilingual counseling for people affected by HIV/AIDS. People who are HIV positive can have most of the cost of their medications covered by the national health insurance system, and some may even qualify for additional benefits due to disability, should they file the necessary paperwork. But ultimately, the stigma, denial, and misinformation surrounding the disease mean that many people are not aware of infection until symptoms have already presented or simply do not seek the treatment and support they need.
This high-profile concert, featuring some huge names in music, aims to change that. Together with the Join LIFE Organization, HAL seeks to use “various forms of entertainment, from concerts to sports” and then some, with a unified theme of connection, of joining together to face a behemoth, in order to spread awareness and benefit those affected.
Until such a time that benefit concerts are no longer needed, until HIV and AIDS have been eradicated, let’s show our support for efforts like this.
Join LIFE Organization PRESENTS Hope And Live ～ HIV／AIDS Chiryou Shien Benefit Concert 2013
Aug 26 (MON) | Aug 27 (TUE) | Aug 28 (WED)
Kawasaki CLUB CITTA’
12:00 OPEN / 13:00 START
Kawamura Ryuichi / Hideki / Morohime Shin / HIKO (SPEED-iD）/ Shinya / DIE / ZIGZO / Suzuki KOZY / THE☆MAINTENANCE / ZIZ / C4 / NSDP / FOOD / Suzuki Shin / Kajinaga Daishi（6） / Hitoki / Aoi-168- / AUTO-MOD /THE SOUND BEE HD / Men’s SPIDER BAND Vijyu / tezya / HERE / DearLoving / LOST ASH / AWAKE / ONE ELEMENT / The Raid. / SPEED-iD feat RIKIJI / Katou Mitsuru with HIS FRIENDS（Special Guest）& others!
Tags: 168 -one sixty eight-, 666-SIX-, Aoi from Ayabie, Aoi-168-, Awake, C4, Daishi Kajinaga, Daishi Solo Project, Kuroyume, LOST ASH, Luna Sea, Ryuichi Kawamura, Shinya, SIAM SHADE, SPEED-iD, the Raid., The Sound Bee HD, zigzo, ZIZ