Last November, Japanese idol group Arashi announced that they would be holding a concert at Tokyo’s new National Stadium in May this year, prior to their hiatus at the end of 2020. However, the coronavirus thwarted their plans and Arashi had to postpone the concert.
However, management agency Johnny’s announced on Tuesday (15 September, which happens to be the anniversary of Arashi’s debut when they were formed in 1999 in Hawaii)) that Arashi will be live-streaming their concert from the National Stadium with no live audience.
At the time of writing, there are no details yet on the date of the concert and how to purchase tickets.
In an Arashi fan club video, Jun Matsumoto, who is in charge of planning and oversees Arashi’s concerts, explained, “In order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, and more importantly to ensure the safety of our fans and the staff, we have decided to proceed with a no-audience live streaming of the concert.”
Matsumoto went on to elaborate that it was a pity that they could not meet their fans directly, but on the bright side, fans would be able to view the concert under the same conditions (as compared to having different seats at the stadium with varying viewing angles). Apparently, Arashi is rehearsing for the concert now, and while keeping safety in mind, they hope to create fun memories for everyone.
The concert, titled Arafes 2020 at National Stadium, is Arashi’s way of thanking their fans for their undying support. Arafes, which is Arashi Festival for short, was previously held in 2012 and 2013. As in previous years, the concert this year will feature the top songs voted by their fans, which means the set list is largely dependent on the fans — there is no way of knowing the ranking results until the day of the concert! You can get a “feel” of Arafes in their 2012 concert in the YouTube video below:
Despite the fact that Arafes 2020 will be held online, original concert goods will still be sold as at their usual concerts in order to deliver a complete experience. The goods consist of standard items like penlights, T-shirts and uchiwa (traditional Japanese fan) and can be purchased online at their dedicated website (Japanese only).
Furthermore, the idol group also announced that they will be releasing their 17th original album, three years since their last physical album. The new album titled This Is Arashi will be going on sale on their CD debut anniversary 3 November 2020, and is likely to be the final album before their hiatus. Arashi’s leader Satoshi Ohno said, “Along with the rehearsal for Arafes, we are also progressing with the production of the album. Please look forward to it.”