The H.O.T. Islands Music Festival, an annual festival that takes place in different host cities across Taiwan and Japan, will return to Okinawa this year from June 19 through 26.
The National Taitung Living Arts Center held a press conference at Taitung's Tiehua Village on May 27 to offer more information on the outdoor festival and this year's activities.
As a collaboration among musicians from Hualien, Taitung, and Okinawa, the festival has deepened friendships between the people of Taiwan and Okinawa through live music gigs, workshops, and forums, as well as other forms of cultural exchange since 2014.
Running eight days in different parts of Okinawa this year, the festival will host three live concerts, two workshops, two local cultural events, one forum, and two film screenings.
The series of events will feature musicians such as indigenous singer Long-Ger (郭明龍), who was recently nominated for Best Aboriginal Album and Best Aboriginal Vocalist at the upcoming Golden Melody Awards, Amis musician Suming (舒米恩), Truku singer-songwriter Dondon Houmwm (東冬侯溫), and Beinan singer Nawan (阿修).
Driftwood artist Siki Sufin (希巨蘇飛) and the film crew of "Panay (太陽的孩子)” - including director Cheng Yu-chieh (鄭有傑), co-director Lekal Sumi Cilangasan (勒嘎．舒米), and female lead Ado Kaliting Pacidal (阿洛) - will also join the festival.
They will be performing and exchanging ideas with seven notable Okinawan musicians, including Kachimba 4, The Sakishima meeting, Chibana Tatsumi (知花竜海), and Takafumi Toyama (當山貴史).
Director Yoshinaga Ryota (吉永亮太) of the Okinawa Convention & Visitors Bureau's Taipei Office affirmed his belief in connecting musicians from the two regions through music and cultural events.
The press conference also invited Long-Ger, Kachimba 4, and Yui Matayoshi (又吉佑衣) to perform several songs as a sample of what's to come next month.
Previous editions of the H.O.T. Islands Music Festival have introduced original music to a wider range of audiences and prompted several music collaborations, successfully strengthening ties and enriching the cultures of Taiwan and Japan.