I am, for those in the know, talking about the state of a cappella in Japan. Yes, it currently serves as the home of many high school, university and even a few groups that have made it in the professional sphere (RAG FAIR, TRY-TONE, SmellMan, etc), but I'm still reeling from the news that MASA FESTA was canceled yesterday.
And what was MASAFESTA, you ask? Only supposed to be a monumental occasion for a cappella all over the world: a 5-day musical event including a domestic a cappella contest judged by famed international a cappella professionals, workshops and lectures led by pro groups and individuals--all culminating in a themed concert each of the latter four nights. Groups on the docket included members of The Real Group, RAJATON, Take 6, The House Jacks, MOSAIC and many, many more: all professional, all coming together in a truly ichigo-ichie (once in a lifetime) event.
Again, that's what it was supposed to be, until the performers and students (such as myself) were notified yesterday that the event--set to take place a week from now--was canceled. Poor ticket sales, we were told.
I was shocked and depressed, but since then I've been surprised at just how much I was hoping MASA FESTA would be the ultimate jumping-off point for a great surge in a cappella interest and activity in Japan. Now, it's just the opposite: though I'm sure Masahiro's intentions were all for the best, I feel he has irreparably damaged the national reputation of his home country in the eyes of the a cappella community, most notably in regards to the numerous well-known performers who he turned away at the last minute after months of arduous planning without so much as a hint as to what was going to happen. And for my last embittered statement:
Need a new synonym for "flaking out"? Try "MASA FESTA."