Have you ever been to a concert and found yourself wishing all the creepy guys would vanish into thin air? Or that all the girls stomping on your feet in ill-advised heels would get lost? Or maybe that someone would enforce a dress code so you wouldn’t end up being the only one who decided to wear a hoop skirt and platforms instead of cut-offs and flip flops? If so, you may want to reconsider your summer plans and book a flight to Tokyo, stat. Idol-metal group BABYMETAL has caused quite the stir by announcing several appearances in Japan this summer with an interesting twist—each show date has specific requirements attendees must meet to gain access.
What sort of conditions you ask? Gender, age, and attire all factor in to who can gain access to the group’s Five Fox Festival show dates, which span from July to late August across several venues. Show specifications range from “FEMALES ONLY” and “TEENAGERS ONLY” to “DRESS CODE: CORPSE PAINT.” BABYMETAL’s official website outlines the policy and forewarns prospective guests about the imposed restrictions.
“Each show has its own specific conditions which purchasers must abide by…Please make sure that all of the conditions are met before you make the purchase.” (via Babymetal.com)
It’s certainly a novel idea, and one that will almost definitely be subject to scrutiny by dedicated fans who may be unable to attend their preferred show, due to their gender or lack of face paint. It also seems ill-advised in that the restrictions may be difficult or impossible to enforce without infringing on some basic human rights. For example, what exactly is the functioning age range for “teenagers?” And how does security plan on verifying gender? I suppose you could go off of the designation on each guest’s ID, but that model could also prove to be problematic. What about transgender individuals? Are they welcome on show dates hosting their biological or their preferred gender? All in all, it seems like the policy might prove to be more of a headache than anything else, even if it does lead to more uniform Instagram pics.
This precedent set by the wildly popular Japanese group opens a whole Pandora’s box of subsequent problems should the idea of curating a concert audience catch on in other markets. Frankly, I’m not sure if the practice would hold up in the U.S. or if someone would cry lawsuit and watch the whole thing dissolve faster than corpse paint under hot water.