Yeah, yeah, yeah. Another Arashi post.
Just read on tumblr that membership of their official fan club has passed the 1.5 million mark. In May last year, it breached 1 million; it took just less than a year to gain another 500,000. And counting.
All good. As an Arashi fan girl, I’m proud of the boys especially considering those years they were not popular and the attendance to their concerts was poor.
It seems to me that the increase has been largely thanks to fanboys. Arashi members themselves have noticed more and more guys trooping to their concerts to watch, and these are guys who are not accompanying girlfriends, but on their own or in groups.
The increase in FC membership does pose a basic logistics problem. With 1.5 million fangirls AND fanboys competing for the lottery of the concert tickets, what are the chances that all of them would be able to go watch?
I’m a journalist so I’m not good in math but I’ll try anyway.
Let’s say, a Kokuritsu concert.
The capacity of Tokyo’s National Olympic Stadium is 48,000 (seated) and 57,363 otherwise. Let’s go with the latter. With 1.5 million fans jockeying for a ticket to a Kokuritsu concert that can accommodate 57,363, it means Arashi will have to perform 26 nights in Kokuritsu alone in order to accommodate everyone. But that is on the basis that one fan = one ticket. However, as FC rules go, a fan can ballot for a maximum of four tickets and a choice of up to three venues. And of course, that’s the reason why they do a tour around Japan, to accommodate everyone.
(@ailamarie tweeted that Kokuritsu capacity is 75,000; with this ballpark figure, Arashi will still have to perform 20 nights there to make sure all 1.5 million FC members are happy.)
Now, why is FC membership important? Ahhh. There goes the million-dollar question. The FC members (membership fee is 5,000 yen or $62) get first dibs on the tickets. Johnny’s will only do an open sale if there are still available tickets after the FC balloting is done. IF.
Now there are enterprising people who sell their tickets online. A ticket costs 7,000 yen (around $86) for FC members. But when these are sold online, the price can be ridiculous. I have heard of people paying up to $1,000 for a single, bloody ticket. I love Arashi but I am not that crazy. C’est la vie.
More practical information on Arashi FC here.
I haven’t watched a real Arashi concert. I have watched them at the Asia Song Festival in 2006 in Gwangju, South Korea. I have been in Yokohama before when they had a concert but I never attempted to even inquire for a ticket just seeing all the fangirls lined up along the road holding posters that said: “Want to buy Arashi ticket”. They could have very well said “will work for Arashi ticket” or “will exchange body for Arashi ticket”. I sensed the desperation. I come across those panicky posts online when it’s Arashi concert season.
Fangirls have told me that watching Arashi during a live is an entirely different experience. I’m sure it is. But I wonder–with 1.5 million in the official fan club and hundreds of thousands more overseas– will it just remain a dream?
Of course every Arashi fangirl knows this by heart: ♫ Arashi… Arashi… for dream… ♫
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