The Japanese slang word for a last minute cancellation, "dotakyan," came into common use to refer to weddings where either the bride or groom got cold feet at the last minute.
The word has been getting lots of play in the media this week, as former Beatle Paul McCartney was forced to cancel all his concerts in Japan due to was reported to be a virus infection.
As Nikkan Gendai (May 22) reports, the 71-year-old McCartney was due to appear on May 17 and 18 at the National Stadium and then on May 21 at the Nihon Budokan, and finally on May 24 at Yanmar Stadium in Osaka -- and assuming ticket sellouts for these venues, they would have brought a gate of 170,000 people. Tickets at the Budokan, for 100,000 yen each, were completely sold out; at the 54,000-seat National Stadium, the promoters had laid out 41 million yen for each performance.
"To secure the venues alone came to just under 300 million yen," an unnamed organizer is quoted as saying. "Then there were personnel costs, including the security guards, and money paid out for rights to the video images, which came to another 300 million yen. Add the estimated 1.8 billion yen for ticket sales, and we're talking about losses here in excess of 4 billion yen."
Promotion company Kyodo Tokyo, which posted an apology on its website (in Japanese) stating "We apologize deeply for disappointing everyone." The company is now saddled with the task of refunding the money to ticket holders. It told the media it was "not able to come up with a monetary figure for losses caused by the cancellation."
Nikkan Gendai notes that promoters are able to reduce their risks to some degree by taking out insurance against cancellation of events; but even then it is rare for the insurers to cover all the losses.
"Probably, the 13 companies including Kyodo Tokyo that were involved in the concert will have to split the losses," said the aforementioned organizer. "If they come to 2 billion yen, for example, that might mean average losses of around 150 million per company. These kinds of losses might not mean a huge blow to networks like TV Asahi, but for outfits such as radio stations, which don't have deep pockets, it could even precipitate a fiscal crisis."
One place where the losses will apparently not fall is on Mr McCartney himself, who appears to be covered by his own insurance.
In a series of concerts last year -- the first after a hiatus of 11 years -- McCartney performed before 260,000 fans. Unfortunately his attempt to pull off another profitable tour so soon was destined to fail.
Tokyo Sports (May 22), meanwhile, speculated that the "real" ailment that caused the cancellation was not a "viral infection" that caused him to lose his voice, but something else. The ubiquitous "kankeisha" (unnamed source) tells the newspaper, "It was an exaggeration to say he'd lost his voice. What happened appeared to be a stomach ailment that caused constant diarrhea. It may have been due to something he ate. He's also in a poor mental state."
McCartney reportedly failed to show at a scheduled rehearsal on May 16.
A veteran music critic was said to have posted on twitter that the ex-Beatle, a vegetarian, was in a despondent mood due to his wife Nancy's delayed arrival. It suggested he engaged in drinking until late into the night, after which he complained of discomforts.
McCartney owes it to its fans, says Tokyo Sports, to explain what really ails him and what caused it to happen.© Japan Today