Idol Expo allows fans to worship their favorite idols in one convenient location.
This is really the golden age of Japanese idol singers. Yes, Japan’s appreciation for perky vocalists in frilly skirts stretches back to at least the 1970s. The current otaku culture boom, though, mixed with the opportunities modern Internet technology offers for promoting brand-new performers who’re still in the earliest phases of building a fanbase means that never before have there been so many listening options for fans of idol music.
Of course, the whole idol singer industry is built on the understanding that fans aren’t buying CDs just because they like how the music sounds. An equally important part of the performers’ appeal is their projected personality and public image, which prompt the most passionate supporters to buy multiple copies of the same releases for the chance at special prizes like seeing their favorite idols in-person at fan appreciation events.
But even if your love for idols is limitless, your time isn’t. So to maximize the amount of idols fans can see in a single day, next month the Budokan Idol Expo 2017 will be held at Tokyo’s Budokan arena.
Originally built for martial arts competitions at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, the Budokan has since become one of Japan’s most prestigious music venues, and during next month’s Golden Week vacation period some 200 idol singer groups will gather for the Idol Expo. Billed by organizers as “Comiket for idol fans,” roughly 130 participating idol units have already been announced, with the total turnout promised to exceed 1,000 idols.
▼ A small, small portion of the current guest list (which can be viewed in its entirety here)
It’s unclear exactly what sort of activities the event will include. With so many idols all in one place, large-scale musical performances seem like a logistic improbability, but face-to-face fan greetings are likely to be a major part of the festivities.
Budokan Idol Expo 2017 takes place on May 6. The gates open at 10 a.m., but ticket sales start an hour earlier. Tickets can be purchased for a single three-hour block (either 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., or 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.) for 1,500 yen (US$13.50), while tossing down 3,000 yen gets you admission for all three time blocks. Considering that 3,000 yen is also the standard price of a CD album in Japan, odds are most fans will be opting for the all-day pass.
Budokan Idol Expo 2017 / 武道館アイドル博2017
(at Nippon Budokan / 日本武道館)
Address: Tokyo-to, Chiyoda-ku, Kita no Maru Koen 2-3
Follow Casey on Twitter, where he wishes the idol group Mission would have stuck around a little bit longer.