Ok, so you want to see BABYMETAL in Japan, this is how it usually works:
What to expect?
Small (1000-3000 capacity) shows: similar to their overseas shows, in that they don’t go crazy with lighting and effects. These are charming in their own way, more intimate and a great view of the band from anywhere in the venue, but are also the most difficult to get into. They only sell floor tickets in most cases for these (though there are exceptions).
Large arena/stadium shows: they generally go all out with lights, smoke, pyrotechnics, and more. For these, they generally sell 3 ticket types, SUPER mosh’sh pit (floor “VIP”), mosh’sh pit (regular floor) and mosh’sh seat. Note that SUPER mosh’sh pit tickets are ONLY for THE ONE members, and they are not resell-able. [THE ONE is the official membership for the band – How to become a The One member guide]
LEGEND’s or other special shows will have even more creative stage designs and generally tell a story throughout the show.
Festivals: Like festivals overseas, but even bigger!
Live Viewings: Basically, you watch one or multiple shows on a large screen in a small venue. There are seats, and also floor. Most people just move their hands and may jump around a bit, but there are chances a circle pit or Wall of Death may form.
Other special shows: for example, Music Station Live (TV Music show).
We will have to wait and see as they haven’t done something like this since April 2016, and ticket systems have changed considerably since then. Once it happens again, this will be edited.
Cost of tickets?
The price for live show tickets in 2019/2020 is generally ¥11,000 ($100~ USD) for regular pit and seats, ¥13,200 ($120~ USD) for SUPER pit, and sometimes there are seats at the back for ¥8,800 ($80~ USD) – ¥11,000 ($100~ USD). For Live Viewing’s, the price is ¥4,500 ($40~ USD). Festival tickets vary.
For comparison, these were the prices in 2018: around ¥9,720~ ($90~ USD) for regular pit and seats, ¥12,960 ($115~ USD) for SUPER pit, and ¥8,640 ($80~ USD) for seats at the back. For Live Viewing’s, it’s generally about half, around ¥4400~.
Before that, ¥8,800 ($80~ USD) was the regular price for regular tickets.
How early do they announce a show?
It varies a lot, but they generally announce around 4~ months ahead of time.
Though less or more time is possible, Tokyo Dome was announced 9 months before, while LEGEND S was 1.5 months before.
They will announce when the THE ONE [How to become a The One member guide] lottery/ies will take place. After those take place, there will be open lotteries for non-members, and then a general sale. Note that most open lotteries don’t allow foreigners to enter.
Take into account that the bigger the venue, the more tickets available, and the easier to get them. Also depends by city (a Tokyo show will have more demand for tickets than one in any other city), among other things.
There are several ways of getting tickets, they vary by show type/size. I list them all below.
Also take into account things change from show to show or tour to tour. Remember that this is a general guide on how it usually works.
1. THE ONE lottery
- You must be a THE ONE member. Here is a guide.
- Every BABYMETAL solo show in Japan will have a THE ONE lottery.
- These are done before any other sale of tickets
- Since 2016 there has always been at least 1 foreigner lottery for members per show.
- Since it’s a lottery, that means there is a chance you can fail to get tickets (you do not pay in that case).
- Winning the ticket means you must pay it (or you may be blacklisted).
- There may be one or several rounds of lotteries.
- This is the only way you can get a SUPER mosh ticket.
- Be aware that they may happen months before (for example, the last sale for the July and August 2017 shows was at the end of May).
How it works is they announce the dates for the lotteries, where you will have a few days to enter (you must be a THE ONE member to do that), you choose which type of ticket you would like and how many, and you will know if you won the tickets a few weeks later.
To enter a lottery:
THE ONE website is in Japanese, but the foreign lottery page is in English. Once in there, choose the type of ticket/s you want, fill in your information, and apply. You can enter once (with multiple ticket options, if you wish) for each show you want to attend. If you made a mistake or wish to change ticket type, you can reapply, so don’t worry.
Note on Japanese vs. Foreign lottery: This is not official, but I have taken into account personal experiences and from every single person I could find out the results from and it is clear to me that the foreign lottery is inherently worse than the Japanese one.
1. The winning rate for the Japanese lottery is better for any ticket type. I have seen that foreigners tend to win around 50% of the time, while for Japanese it is 90%.
2. Specifically for SUPER mosh pit tickets, since they came out in 2018, I can name with one hand the amount of foreigners I know that won. I saw that it was 1 per show in 2018, but in 2019 I know not a single person that has won one. Meanwhile I’d say half of the Japanese people I know have won them for every show, let alone for 1 show. As I write this, I have entered the Japanese lottery once for myself, and that single time… I won SUPER mosh pit tickets.
3. Even if you win tickets, foreigner lottery tickets always have had very high entry numbers, so they always enter last. This does not mean they will be at the back (sometimes they get sent to blocks closer to the stage). But, in comparison to Japanese fans, it’s very very low odds. Foreigners generally get sent to the back.
2. General lottery
- Available for anyone.
- These are generally done after all THE ONE lotteries end.
- Not always available for foreigners.
3. General sale
- Available for anyone.
- This is to sell all remaining tickets after the lotteries have ended.
- This is not really a viable option. It’s too tough to enter for foreigners (you must have a Japanese phone number to confirm your account), and they tend to sell out instantly.
Some people may also be selling them to other fans, so ask around on BABYMETAL social media groups.
For #2, #3, and #4, a Proxy service will be the easiest way. If they get them for you, you pay the ticket price and a fee, and they send it to wherever you want. Remember that for #2 and #3 you have to ask for the tickets before the sale happens, so they can enter for you. Good services I have seen people use are
japanconcerttickets.com (closed down – Opened up a new one here), govoyagin.com, and Bridge.jp. Send them an email and ask about the shows, and they will answer back with what they can get. They have stopped receiving requests before, as BM is very requested, so ask early on.
Can I buy a SUPER mosh ticket off a friend/resale and enter if I am a THE ONE member?
No. Tickets are tied to the specific THE ONE ID that won them.
Can I purchase non-Super mosh tickets on resell?
Generally, yes, as they tend to not check THE ONE ID at the venue for those tickets.
If you want merch, you should arrive early as it tends to sell out (arriving around 3~ hours earlier than sale time will assure you pretty much any merch you might want).
If you won a THE ONE ticket, you have to pick it up with your passport at the venue on the day of the show. If you have a Super mosh floor ticket, remember to print out your The One ID (or have it on your phone), as it will be verified on entry to the venue.
For the floor: There is no real reason to line up early, as floor entry is numbered and divided in sections. Super mosh tickets enter first, then the rest in order by the number on their ticket.
For seats: just arrive whenever you want.
Rules: the rules for any BM show is that you do not take pictures or video inside the venue. Don’t take any large objects (such as flags or large hats) that may obstruct the views of other people. Also don’t be aggressive inside the pit, and follow any other directions the staff may give and you will be fine.
More general Japan travel tips (very useful)
I will always recommend you try and attend after-parties with other fans, as well as come early to mingle with other fans. There are lots of interesting people, do not feel afraid to approach fans to talk, you are all there for the same reason. You will also likely leave with some nice fan-merch. Creating some of your own is a great way to make the BM community better 🙂
I’d highly recommend you do not book anything before they have announced a show. There is never a guarantee. I would also recommend getting tickets before booking, though knowing how difficult it is, as long as you know resale is an option, go for it.
Remember this is how it generally works. Things can differ (like LEGEND S in 2017 or Dark Night Carnival in 2018, which had some key differences).