On November 29, 2020, the Tokyo Festival Executive Committee brought to a close Tokyo Festival 2020, following the festival’s 61-day run from September 30. This year’s program featured a total of 39 performing arts events held with thorough measures taken to prevent transmission of COVID-19. In addition to performances held in person, events were broadcast online and conducted with assistance from VR technology. Inspired by the current societal challenge of meeting others while minimizing risk, “To Meet or Not To Meet?” was chosen for this year’s theme. Through a wide range of event formats, the festival explored new approaches to performing arts with an eye to ensuring the future survival of the art form. With measures taken to ensure safety and peace of mind for visitors, events were held both in theaters and via digital platforms. The festival attracted a large number (*1) of participants, with in-person events drawing in a total of about 29,000 visitors and spectators, while online performances achieved a reach of about 13,000 (*2).
In the face of unprecedented circumstances that gave rise to serious questions about the festival’s feasibility, the members of the Planning Team leveraged their respective areas of expertise to come together in a true show of unity. With the support of artists and staff, the festival served as a platform for exploring the possibilities and pushing the boundaries of performing arts, as well as a venue for a variety of new connections between both attendees and everyone otherwise involved with the festival. The organizers are deeply grateful for this opportunity to bring the festival a step forward into the future.
In addition to extending its gratitude to all this year’s visitors, the Tokyo Festival Executive Committee reaffirms its commitment to continuing to be a part of Tokyo’s appeal as a place open to people from all walks of life.
*1: Figures in this release are preliminary estimates valid as of 11:59 p.m. on November 29, 2020.
*2: The reach figure for online performances is the cumulative number of viewers, playbacks, and accesses to the site.
Full press release (PDF) is available here.
Tokyo Festival 2020 comes to a close – Realizing the digital shift without creating a society that stifles or silences is key to adapting performing arts to life alongside COVID-19