Avex Group Holdings, one of Japan's top pop music production companies, this week officially announced its summer music festival, with popular all-girl group AKB48 taking part.
Each year since 2002, Avex has hosted a summer concert tour around Japan, called A-Nation, featuring the company's most successful acts. Top Avex acts like Ayumi Hamasaki, Kumi Koda, AAA, Ai Otsuka, BoA, Hitomi, TRF, Every Little Thing and TVXQ have performed to major crowds each year.
This year's festival is set to kick off in Ehime on July 30 after which seven concerts will take place in five different locations around Japan, including Fukuoka on Aug 6, Aichi on Aug 13, Osaka on Aug 20-21 and Tokyo on Aug 27-28. More than 280,000 fans are expected to attend the festival.
This year, as well as Avex regulars, AKB48 are also booked to make their first appearance. Although AKB48 is not signed under Avex, their recently formed sub-unit DiVA is making its debut under Avex next week.
Other artists this year include TRF, Every Little Thing, Ayumi Hamasaki, Do As Infinity, Kumi Koda, Ami Suzuki, AAA, Maki Goto, GIRL NEXT DOOR, ICONIQ, mihimaru GT, SEAMO and 3rd Generation J Soul Brothers.
To support victims of Japan's recent earthquake and tsunami, the festival's theme will be "For Life." Tickets cost 7,900 yen, with 200 yen of the price being donated to charity. Avex officials said they hope to raise around 50 million yen.
Because of likely power shortages, Avex will have power supply trucks at the venues. The company also plans to provide “free public viewings” of the festival at Ito Yokado shops in tsunami-stricken areas.
In addition, Avex will sell goods bearing the logo “For Life,” and auction off items like the artists’ stage outfits. Part of the proceeds will be donated to charity.© Compiled from news reports