After three years of attending the institution that is Fuji Rock, we decided to take the plunge and do both of the Japanese big boys back to back: Fuji Rock in July and Summer Sonic in August. The two festivals have much in common, with both geared toward the hyper-fashionable indie music fan. While the majority of both lineups are foreign artists, the organisers do programme their share of indigenous acts as well. Both steer away from hip hop, and in its pastoral setting, Fuji leans more toward roots music. Beyond similar tastes, though, a side-by-side comparison of the two festivals draws out some marked contrasts, and a Darwinian future outlook for the survival of the modern music fest.