A-Nation The Biggest

The biggest summer festival in Japan in terms of sheer tickets sold is Avex Records’ a-nation tour, which visits many cities during the month of August with differing lineups of the label’s artists.

In the major cities like Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya, the venues are as big as they get and the rosters tend to be made up of Avex’s top artists.

Smaller contingents of less-famous artists play more out-of-the-way locations, and this summer Avex tried something new. When the tour came to the city of Matsuyama on the island of Shikoku in the Inland Sea, Avex struck a deal with the municipal government, who co-sponsored the two-day festival and opened the doors for everyone, meaning that the concerts on Aug. 6 and 7 were free.

Each festival day lasted from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., capped by a fireworks display.

The city’s local merchants reportedly did very well for the weekend thanks to the influx of out-of-town visitors, and Avex was able to promote some of its lesser-known artists and sell lots of merchandise.