Robby's Lobby #171

BlogSeptember, 2021INROCK Magazine

Hey Hey In Rockers and Welcome to The Lobby for this month’s journey through life since the last time we spoke in these pages. So … what’s going on in Japan this month? … anything special? As I write this month’s column we’re awaiting the opening ceremonies for the Tokyo Olympics Games to air at 7 AM in a few days here in the US. It’s certainly been a frenzied lead up to the games as we, as an entire planet, maneuver this once in a century global health situation.

As the Coronavirus epidemic has delayed the games a year and as we speak the virus’ potential effects on the city itself and the Olympic participants are still plaguing the rescheduled games even with no spectators in attendance. We have heard here in the states that the Japanese public is largely unhappy with the Olympics taking place due to the spread of the disease at this moment in Japan. Even on a normal day The Games would be such a huge disruption to Tokyo’s daily life, but with the threat and consequences of a pandemic it makes the situation even more questionable for the people of Tokyo.

But with all of the challenges of The 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games aside it’s hard to escape the excitement and the perseverance of the athletes and the organizers that have committed themselves to saving these games that faced the challenges of this strange time. These young people have all dedicated their lives to being the best at each of their disciplines and it’s really pretty inspirational to see them complete their journeys even through these challenges and setbacks.

It’s a shame that all of these talented young athletes from all over the world won’t be able to share in the entire traditional experience of seeing the awe inspiring sights and enjoying the welcoming nature of the people of Japan. It really is breathtaking for a traveler, the wonder and awe that the Japanese culture inspires as you visit for the first time. But even under these arduous circumstances I’m sure the Japanese people will be wonderful hosts to these young athletes and their teams during these crazy times. I wish the best to all of the attendees and organizers and as the eyes of the world are focused on Japan I’m sure Tokyo will host a positively unique and wildly successful Olympic games.

Back home here in the US, Goo Goo Dolls full North American tour has been postponed until 2022, but we are readying for a short string of shows here this summer and fall as we begin to see states allowing crowds to gather for events and festivals. The vaccination rates here in the States are at about 50% and it seems as though, at the moment, the Covid variants are being kept under control by the vaccines as well. But the entire country is still all on a very tentative opening as we continue to watch the data and hope for the best.

And speaking of having the ability to hold large gatherings, we continue the planning for The 19th Annual Music is Art Festival here in Buffalo, booking local bands, dancers, artists, DJs, vendors and all of the infrastructure that makes a 21 stage, large scale event like this happen. We book over 200 bands, 150 DJs, 50 artists, circus performers, performance artists, poets and it all goes on a grid (pictured) that I sit at my computer and stare at every single day for hours! I get to hear a ton of local music every year going through all of the submissions; it’s one of my favorite annual tasks as I get a super concentrated dose of what’s out there in our creative community. We’ll be holding the festival Sept 11th this year …. A bunch of it will be live online! I’ll keep you all posted!

Have a great month my friends, and please enjoy the Tokyo Olympic Games on your televisions as we will, Japan is a truly special country, one of the few in the world that could rise to a demanding occasion such as this with such grace and efficiency.

Peace ….. Talk soon ….