Comic Market Confirms Entry Wristbands to Manage Crowds in Smaller Venues in August
posted on by Crystalyn Hodgkins
The organizers of Comic Market (Comiket), Japan's largest event for selling self-published dōjinshi works, revealed on June 18 that they will implement a policy for Comiket 96 this summer where attendees must purchase a wristband for 500 yen (about US$4.60) to be able to attend the event each day. The wristband color will change daily.
The organizers urged attendees to purchase the wristbands in advance at participating bookstores before the event. Attendees can also purchase a print catalog as a guide to the event, which will include wristbands for all four days (digital catalogs will not bundle the wristbands).
The organizers had first stated last November that they were considering an enterance fee for the summer 2019 (Comiket 96) and winter 2019 (Comiket 97) events, due to the temporary change in venue. The organizers also stated in December they were considering having hours with free admission, but the new policy announcement on June 18 did not outline any free hours, but it did state that it is possible the organizers will ease the wristband restrictions during the event itself.
Comiket ordinarily has no entry fee for general attendees. The organizers previously stated it is implementing the measures due to the increase in the cost of running the event for four days across two venues, and also due to the smaller floor space available, which the organizers predict will lead to fewer dōjinshi circles, fewer commercial booths, and less advertising. The charge will also be a safety measure to prevent congestion in the smaller area.
Due to renovations for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, the event will have less space at its normal venue of Tokyo Big Sight in 2019. Comiket will still place the regular dōjinshi circles in Tokyo Big Sight's existing West Exhibition Hall and two areas in the South Exhibition Hall, but the booths for commercial companies will be about 1.5 kilometers (about one mile) away, in the Aomi Exhibition Hall near the Rinkai train line's Tokyo Teleport Station.
Comiket 96 will expand to a record four days, from August 9 to August 12, 2019, and Comiket 97 will run from December 28 to December 31, 2019. Comiket 98 will be held during Golden Week on May 2-5 of that year instead of the usual August. The event's usual Tokyo Big Sight venue will serve as the main press center and international broadcasting center for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics from July 24 to August 9, 2020.