HomeBlogskarifrancis's blogThe End of an Era That Never Was

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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."


Wow.  Considering how much

Wow.  Considering how much Japan did for Rockapella (and others), I'm sad to hear of a last minute pull like that.

Chad Bergeron The Acapodcast http://www.acapodcast.com


I still haven't heard anything but compassion for Masa from the performers involved in this festival. More or less all groups very well knows the risks involved in arranging something like this. As you say, the intentions were the best and I (as an organizer of The Real Acappella Festival) can only imagine how the organizers feels right now. Horrible.


As a very satisfied participant at the Real Festival in 2008 I am feeling so sorry that the MASA FESTA had to be cancelled at such short notice. Perhaps it was trying to reach too high too soon. Start small and let it grow organically may be the best way of proceeding. Jean Digby UK Ambassador to CASA.

UK Ambassador

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