Attending the Tokyo Idol Festival has always been on my bucket list. The primary barrier for me had been, having grown up in the Sonoran desert, a complete lack of tolerance for the humidity levels of Odaiba during Japan’s late summer. Hope was kindled in my desert rat heart when it was announced that TIF 2020 would be held in October when the heat and humidity is much less gruesome. This hope was, of course, dashed completely by the COVID crisis. TIF organizer’s decision to deliver the festival entirely online for 2020 has generated a new kind of hope. This livestream format gives many of us foreigners the opportunity to check “Attended Tokyo Idol Festival” off our bucket lists, even if the accomplishment will have a COVID-shaped asterisk next to it.
Whether you have already invested in tickets to Tokyo Idol Festival Online or are considering the reasonably hefty purchase, we have prepared the following resources for you.
First off, we have converted the official TIF timetable into a Google Sheet that you can use to easily convert start times to your time zone, as well as sort and filter the acts to build you own schedule. You will need to make a copy of the Google Sheet (File/Make a Copy) to enable the timezone formula and filters, but after that, go nuts. Filter on the “Homicidols” column to generate an alt-idol-only schedule of TIF acts.
Download it here: Tokyo Idol Festival Online 2020 – Timezone Adjustable Timetable
Secondly, we have generated the following overview of acts and events that team Homicidols are most looking forward to.
While Tokyo Idol Festival didn’t invite any units from the hardcore side of the spectrum this year, Day One does includes several artists from the chika idol circuit that know how to rock pretty hard including SHINGEKI, Pimm’s, CYNHN, Chula and (ex-BiS) Yufu Terashima. Before the legendary Dempagumi.inc close out the opening day from the Hot Stage, here’s some other notable performances worth checking out:
The THUG x kawaii idols mark their third appearance at TIF by helping kick things off over at the Sky Stage and a midday Loft Stage appearance.
Just in time to support their multiple recent album drops, the always-excellent NEO JAPONISM mark their first return to TIF since their debut in appearance in 2018.
Around midday, NEO JAPONISM’s Sayaka and Miyu are also taking part in the “IDOL ONLINE JAMBOREE” over on the Hot Stage along with KAREN and MISAKI (PiXMiX), Mayu and Nagisa (Pimm’s), and Nanako and Yurina (a pure white canvas).
Occasionally referred to as “Dempagumi Jr.”, meme tokyo. makes for a perfect warm up before the Day One headliner takes the main stage.
In their final TIF before Budokan and disbandment, CY8ER will be performing on two stages including one last appearance in the Smile Garden.
— CY8ER (@CY8ERinfo) September 18, 2020
Around mid-day on Day Two, the Smile Garden will host what may prove to be the most memorable event of Tokyo Idol Festival 2020: “IDOL ONLINE JAMBOREE ACOUSTIC”. The session’s all-star line-up is a veritable who’s-who of premiere chika idol vocal talent including:
- Chiaki Mayumura
- Nadeshiko (Yanakoto Sotto Mute)
- MAINA (Osaka☆Syunkasyuto)
- NANAMI (QUEENS)
- Akane (predia)
- Azusa (Up Up Girls)
- Mariri (Philosophy no Dance)
While those 35 minutes alone should prove well worth the day’s price of admission, Day Two also includes appearances by our hip hop friends, lyrical school and pop-rock stand outs, Devil ANTHEM. The lineup also shifts from the hard rock of day one to some of our favorite prog and alt-rock units including predia, linQ and:
While the two slots they’ve been awarded are on the smaller stages, QUEENS put on an awesome live and it would be worth your while to support their debut appearance at TIF.
Remember earlier this year when everyone was sad because tipToe. was basically over? Well, someone forgot to tell them because this friend of our beloved (and well-missed) ・・・・・・・・・ is still actively releasing shoegazey alt-rock and performing at TIF this weekend.
We may have been robbed of the opportunity to welcome this supremely talented weirdo to the West earlier this year, but you can catch her solo performance on the TIF Hot Stage.
Yanakoto Sotto Mute
In addition to Nade-chan’s participation in the acoustic jamboree, the Perfect Modern Idols scored appearances on three stages in their first performance at TIF as major label artists.
Other Artists to Watch for Day 1 and 2
Task have Fun
Remember the innocent days of 2017 when we were wowed by “Wonder Woman” in the theaters (remember movie theaters?) and Task have Fun stole everyone’s hearts at Tokyo Idol Festival? Task have Fun won TIF 2017 hands down and have been back every year since. For 2020, they will be delivering their infectious brand of funk pop in appearances across days one and two.
It was TIF 2015 when Osaka☆Syunkasyuto grabbed everyone’s attention as a hard rock dance unit centered around a stunning vocal talent that showed signs of being on par with Su-Metal herself. While there was palpable disappointment from alt-idol quarters when the unit shifted their sound to R&B-based pop, MAINA’s vocal ability remains undeniable and has captured our undying respect.
DAY 3 (WACK Day)
If you are a fan of any WACK units, then you will probably want to snag a ticket to TIF Day Three because Junnoske Watanabe is closing the WACK offices and transferring all operations to Odaiba for the day. EMPiRE, CARRY LOOSE, GO TO THE BEDS, PARADISES, BiS, BiSH, MAMESHiBA NO TAiGUN and even WAgg are all booked for individual performances on various stages throughout the day. The BiG event, however, comes at midday when all of the aforementioned units unite on the Hot Stage for WACK presents DREAMLIGHTS in TIF.
Yes, some genius gave Watanabe control of the Tokyo Idol Festival main stage for a full 45 minutes. If the performance is anything other than “Nerve” and/or “Hoshi ga matataku yoru ni” 15 times in a row, I will be disappointed.
Oomori Seiko’s unit will help mark their return from hiatus with a single performance on the Smile Stage. We can only assume that the Godmother of chika idol could have commanded more slots on the timetable if she wished, so her focus on a single appearance makes this a can’t-miss event (which is probably the point).
You’ll Melt More
The venerable chika idol Hall of Famers grace the Smile and Loft stages in time slots that miraculously (other than a five minute overlap) thread the needle between WACK unit performances.
After initially announcing that they would end activities in May, amiinA have stuck around to release a final single and one last appearance at Tokyo Idol Festival before disbanding (for real this time, or so we are told) in October.
— amiinA (@amiina_official) September 19, 2020
Unfortunately, they’ve been put in timeslots competing against ZOC, BiSH and superstar festival closer, Momoiro Clover Z.
So that’s who we’ll be looking forward to the most at this year’s Tokyo Idol Festival. Please let us know who you will be watching most closely this TIF and who you think might be the breakout group that captures everyone’s attention in 2020. I’ve got my eye on Lily of the Valley. We shall see.