Government Subsidy Withheld For Japanese Festival After Bad Press

Namimonogatari 21
– Namimonogatari 21
Festival promo

In the wake of bad publicity for the Namimonogatari 2021 hip-hop festival, which took place Aug. 29 in the central Japan city of Tokoname, the local prefectural government decided to cancel ¥30 million ($272,000) in subsidies it has promised to the festival’s organizers. 

Aichi Prefecture authorities became concerned when videos of the festival were uploaded on to social media showing audience members ignoring social distancing measures that the prefecture had mandated as well as other people shouting and not wearing face masks. Also, reports were widespread that alcohol was being freely sold in the venue despite prefectural prohibitions. A week or so after the event concluded, at least 14 cases of coronavirus infections of participants were confirmed. 
The organizer of the festival had applied for and received funds from the Japan Content Localization and Distribution Live Entertainment Subsidy Project, a system to support businesses that produce video clips of live performances that take place in Japan and which will be used to promote Japanese music overseas. In the case of Namimonogatari, the organizers had pledged in writing to follow all prefectural measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in order to receive the subsidy. 
In related news, the organizers of the Supersonic festival, which is taking place the weekend of September18-19 in the city of Chiba, east of Tokyo, have said they will go ahead with the event as planned despite requests from the city’s mayor to either postpone it or reduce the number of admissions. As a result of the decision to go ahead with the festival as planned, the mayor said that the city would pull its sponsorship support for Supersonic. 
The organizer, Creativeman Productions, had said that it would be impossible to postpone the event owing to the fact that foreign DJs would be headlining; and reducing the number of attendees would be almost as difficult owing to the complications of making refunds for tickets already sold. It is estimated that about 13,000 people will attend the outdoor festival, which will mainly take place in a baseball stadium, each day. However, the mayor said the city will patrol the grounds of the stadium during the festival in order to prevent “dense crowds.” Supersonic will also be livestreamed on the Internet for free.