Arashi take on touts with mandatory face-scanning
Facial recognition software will be used to prevent the touting of tickets for an upcoming tour by Japanese boyband Arashi.
Arashi, a popular ‘idol’ band who have released 14 studio albums since their formation by talent agency Johnny & Associates in 1999, will embark on the Japonism Show arena tour later this month. Primary tickets to the band’s shows are only released via a lottery system to members of their fan club, priced at less than ¥10,000 ($92), although they regularly fetch hundreds of thousands of yen (US$900+) on the secondary market, especially on Japanese resale site Ticket Camp.
Applicants for tickets for the Japonism Show will be required to submit a headshot with their application form, and their faces will then scanned as they enter the gig.
The move has elicited a mixed reaction from fans of the band. One fan in her 40s expressed regret that it will deprive non-fan club members of a chance to see Arashi, even at a cost of hundreds of dollars
The move by Johnny & Associates has elicited a mixed reaction from fans of the band, reports The Asahi Shimbun. While one 16-year-old told the paper she is “happy because the new rule will discourage ghost fan club members who use other people’s identities from entering the ticket lottery” – some fans game the system by using names of friends and family to gain multiple fan-club memberships – another fan in her 40s expressed regret that it will deprive non-fan club members of a chance to see Arashi (pictured), even at a cost of hundreds of dollars.
Face-scanning software is already used at concerts by other popular Japanese artists, including pop-rock four-piece Mr Children, female idol group Momoiro Clover Z and totally-not-a-Green Lantern rock duo B’z.