One of the biggest events on the annual idol calendar is Tokyo Idol Festival, by far the largest and most prestigious idol festival in the world. While it leans heavily to mainstream and traditional idol, it has, historically, offered space on it’s storied stages to indie and even underground idol units that have reached a certain level of prominence or popularity.
This year is no different. The line up is spectacular as always, with the highly anticipated TIF debuts of blossoming Homicidols’ favorites like INUWASI, POPiNG EMO, Title Mitei, C;on, Schroedinger’s Dog, fishbowl and, the most intriguing unit in idol, situasion.
We were also excited for the return appearances of TIF veterans like You’ll Melt More, Ringwanderung, ASP, NEO JAPONISM, WAGAMAMA RAKIA, QUEENS, CROSSNOESIS, CYNHN, UNDER BEASTIE, BLACK NAZARENE, BiS, GANG PARADE, Malcolm Mask McLaren and that annual exercise in punk surrealism, WACK Dreamlights in TIF. Above all, we were looking forward to witnessing the final TIF appearance of BiSH. BiSH and the Tokyo Idol festival have a long and turbulent history that is the stuff of genre legends, and we had great expectations for the final chapter in their tumultuous relationship.
If you are curious as to why I have transitioned to using the past tense to discuss the opportunity to witness a festival that is occurring this weekend, it is this: for whatever unfortunate reason, sales of livestreaming tickets to Tokyo Idol Festival 2022 have been region-blocked.
When I first encountered the “Not available in you area” error message a couple of weeks ago, I assumed it was an issue with the store setup that would be resolved in due time. As the date of the festival approached and the issue persisted, I dug into the fine print where I found that the Japan-only restriction to live viewing is deliberate. The online viewing ticket description explicitly states: “Ticket purchases and online viewing are limited to domestic use, so if you are using a VPN, etc., please turn it off before using.”
Unfortunately, for 2022, the broadcast of the “Largest Idol Festival in the World” is being restricted to just one of the 193 countries on the planet. For those of us who have not been able to set foot in Japan for years and whose only access to idol performances has been livestreaming, the whole development is a pretty big disappointment. PLANK STARS got rejected by TIF this year as well, so at least overseas otaku are in good company.
Since none of us will be able to actually watch the festival this year, instead of Homicidols’ annual guide to the Tokyo Idol Festival, we offer the below consolation gallery.