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Mikupa Hong Kong and Taiwan, Part One

Hatsune Miku and friends recently held two sets of concerts, with one set in Hong Kong on October 2 and one set in Taiwan on October 6. Each venue featured both afternoon and evening concerts, and the concerts blasted through 23 songs and one encore song in Hong Kong, with Taiwan getting an additional encore song. The full set list is now available on MIKUBOOK. Furthermore, there were many meetups held, especially in Taiwan, where there was an unofficial pre-party as well as both official and unofficial after parties. Part one of this report will detail the happenings during the Hong Kong concert.
Day Two Report (Taiwan Pre-Party)
Day Three Report (Taiwan)

Hong Kong’s Mikupa concerts were held in the Star Hall at KITEC (Kowloonbay International Trade and Exhibition Centre). There were two separate showings, one at 3PM and one at 8PM. Each showing had three sections, with two sections being standing only and one section in the balcony having assigned seats. People for the standing sections were to line up on the 3rd or 4th floors, depending on whether they were up front or further back, and lines for the evening showing opened once everyone from the afternoon showing were ushered into the concert hall.
Not only was there a line for the concert itself, there was also a line for official merchandise that started getting more hefty as the day went on. Merchandise were open to ticket holders only until 5PM or so. In addition to official merchandise, there were several opportunistic merchants who plowed the concert lines selling leek plushies and rather large electronic glowsticks. The longest ones only had the ability to strobe at varying speeds and couldn’t simply be turned on, although the merchants went through the trouble of decorating the longest green ones with Miku’s name.

The evening line started at around three, with maybe a few dozen people in line and eventually built up to a rather big pile of people that snaked back and forth across the hallway. Friends came and went to meet each other, and the occasional cosplayer could be spotted here and there. One of the Japanese fans got mistaken for staff due to his rather exquisite Mikupa-related getup. A big group at the front of the line was watching footage from previous concerts and practicing their cheering while waving glowsticks around. Many others passed their time by playing Project DIVA f or Project mirai. For those without the game and console, there was a packed DIVA f demo station downstairs that had the game. Finally, at a little past seven, people were herded into the concert area, with a mad dash for the front of the arena in the beginning moments. In the front standing area, fans were densely packed in a cluster near the center front, with a bit more breathing room towards the sides and back.

Finally, around 8PM, the constant cheering of the audience was broken by the onset of loud music, as the band members were introduced, culminating with Hatsune Miku’s name on the screen. The music quieted to a lull and then blasted full on with the intro to Miku Miku ni Shiteageru. Throughout the concert, the audience chanted rhythmically during the instrumental sections and sang along with Miku for many of the chorus sections. In fact, Uta ni Katachi wa Nai Keredo ended up being a big sing-a-long as audience members waved their green glowsticks back and forth, generating the effect of a large field of leeks. During the concert, Miku had various talking sections, when she attempted her best to speak to the audience in (Mandarin) Chinese. The concert “ended” with Tell Your World, as confetti cannons sprayed silver strands everywhere when the last refrain hit. However, after some encore cheering, Miku came back to close out the concert with Melt as the audience la-la-la-ed along.

Of the over 5000 people who attended the concerts, many of the audience members knew the lyrics to the songs and the proper calls to do, and the atmosphere rivaled concerts from Japan. However, one unfortunate downside to the concert was that there were many people who started simply taking videos of the concert without permission. In fact, there were many complaints about this on the official Facebook page for the concert, and complaints gradually gave way to apologetic posts about not knowing that filming wasn’t allowed. The flashing super-long glowsticks being sold by roving merchants also made it hard for many people to see over them and formed some of the complaints.

The following video, via news site Game Over, captured Miku performing her first song in the afternoon session as well as her first time talking in Chinese at the concert.

  • mrquadrant4

    Great writeup.

  • Samuel Leuenberger

    Thanks for this great report. Did you attend both concerts ?
    Also, if I can understand how annoying could be too luminous glowstick and why they should be banned, I hardly see how people filming the concert are a downside on the concert.

    • hightrancesea

      Not sure if I’m parsing your broken English correctly, but as for the filming, well: 1) it’s rude to the organizers when the organizers have specifically banned it and 2) it’s rude to the other participants because they are being respectful and not filming and 3) it’s rude to the other participants because if you’re filming, you’re essentially standing there, holding a camera up and blocking everyone’s view with a static obstacle. Can you imagine if everyone was filming? It would no longer feel like a live concert and more like a traffic accident.

      • Samuel Leuenberger

        Well sorry for my English, I should have proofread myself before posting but anyway you got my point.
        And it’s interesting that you used the word “rude” to describe the attitude of some attendee when IMO the rude people are the organizers precisely because of their narrow-minded attitude with filming. It would be about time they realize we’re in the XXIs century and that people are more and more keeping track of their experience using the camera they have in their phone. Practically speaking these people are doing the same thing you are with this article, they just choose to remember and share this event with a film and not a narration. And if people are disappointed because some are filming and they are not, then they should do the same.
        As for your last arguments I hope you’re joking, how a guy filming could obstruct the view when everyone is standing up and waving a glowing leek ?

        BTW, Google will release Project Glasses in a few years, are we going to continue with this stupidity of forbidding filming in any events ?

        • hightrancesea

          Regardless of whether the organizers were “rude” in not allowing filming (see footnote 1), it is rude to ignore the rules on your own, because you are essentially placing yourself above others, saying that you deserve more. If it is not rude, then it is at least spoiled and/or selfish.

          As for the comparison to article writing, yes, the ends are somewhat the same, but the means are totally different. So yes, someone filming could achieve a similar effect, but the method by which they do it isn’t necessarily kosher.

          Lastly, I wonder if you really did try to imagine what it would be like at a concert with a person taking footage in front of you, or everyone taking footage in front of you. It is pretty much impossible with today’s technology to film *and* move/react to the music. Thus, anyone filming would be trying to stay as still as possible. Furthermore, in order to get the best shot, people filming would try to stick their hands as high as possible to grab a shot. So in essence, every person filming is trying to stand still and reach up high, becoming a immobile pillar.

          Now, compare this to someone who’s waving a glow stick. Such a person isn’t standing still, and the glow stick moves back and forth. Such a person isn’t going to stick the glow stick as high as possible all the time because most people won’t have the stamina for that. Thus, persistence of vision is going to kick in and that person isn’t going to be a solid object in your field of view blocking you. Now, there are issues if the glow stick is too bright or too long, and the latter did bother a lot of people in Hong Kong.

          Lastly, if you think about your recommendation on filming to the logical conclusion, you’d have a concert hall where the majority of people are simply standing there and filming. That would totally make a live concert dreary in my opinion, because you’d no longer really get any feedback from the audience, and you might as well be watching a video recording yourself; half the fun at a live event is the audience.

          Oh, and Project Glass is an AR device, not primarily a recording device. Thus, I’m not sure if it would really make much of a difference, except for perhaps making it harder to catch people filming. (I.e. A cellphone is a communication device that can also record, so we are already here) Furthermore, unless sensor technology becomes orders of magnitudes better, it’s going to be pretty hard to film a concert well with glasses… (you’d get blocked by people in front of you and it would be all blurry due to body movement)

          Footnote 1: (which I find is kind of a preposterous statement in my opinion because it’s their
          prerogative to decide what is and what is not allowed at events they put
          time, effort and money into. If you really find fault with that,
          please feel free to boycott those concerts and attend concerts which do
          let you film, like some of Momoi’s concerts and the LiSA concert from
          Anime Expo 2012. No one is forcing people to attend these concerts, and
          thus no one should force the organizers to hold these concerts a
          certain way. By picking concerts which agree with your ideals, then you
          are at least sending a message, whereas filming at concerts that don’t
          allow filming just makes everyone look bad because it looks like they’re
          simply being disrespectful and incapable of following directions. I think a better compromise would be to let attendees have access to the official footage of events they have attended.)

          • Samuel Leuenberger

            Why are you using completely unrealistic scenarios to make your point ?

            Most people just want a few shots of the concert and also of the crowd. Because of course that’s precisely this experience they are coming for, otherwise they would be content with original PV. Filming at a concert is something like this[1] (look at 01:30), not standing up in the middle of the crowd with one’s camera other its head like you describe…

            If the organizers were serious about the experience of their public their rule would forbid camera flashes, too bright or too huge glowsticks, and postures blocking the view of others (this would include your hypothetical jerk standing with his camera, but definitely not most of the people filming). It is not difficult to state such a rule.

            But you know very well that this “filming is forbidden” rule as nothing to do with the experience of the public and all with some idiotic intellectual property fear that the people filming would “steal” the show.

            As for sending a message, we’re speaking of sold-out concert… I think I’m sending a better one by not respecting said rule[2] and stating explicitly here why I would do so.

            [1] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NSlJAt14EeM
            [2] Ironically I would not film because I would be satisfied with the official footage and would rather enjoy the concert than bothering with my smartphone. But I do understand that some would want to film and think it’s fine as long as they don’t disrupt my own experience.

          • hightrancesea

            Judging by your lack of response regarding the difference between article writing and filming, are you agreeing with me that there is a difference, or are you finding discussion regarding that point to be irrelevant now?

            Anyway, I am not sure what you refer to when you say completely unrealistic scenarios. If you’re referring to people standing still with hands up high while filming, I invite you to watch the video that’s been part of the article from the beginning. It should be pretty easy to spot the people taking video. In fact, there’s one person right at the beginning with his camera held up high. If you’re referring to the possibility of pretty much everyone filming, then that is the logical conclusion if everyone followed your advice, isn’t it? Furthermore, excess filming has dulled events before; I can’t seem to find the article anymore, but the AKB48 concert in Paris ended up being like that — a camera fest instead of a concert.

            Yes, if the organizers were serious, they’d also clamp down on too bright or too huge glowsticks — apparently those weren’t part of the rules for the recent two Mikupa, but they were part of the rules for Daikanshasai. And obviously camera flashes would be automatically banned because of the ban on photography.

            Sure, it’s true that it’s possible that the only reason for the filming ban is due to intellectual property issues, but unless you can read the minds of the organizers (or at least know them well enough to know how they think) I think we really can’t say it has “nothing” to do with the experience of the public.

            Lastly, if you really want to send that kind of message, you should probably be writing a lengthy email to the organizers instead of posting here, and hoping that they bother to read it. Still doesn’t prevent an initial impression of “oh these guys are just unruly and don’t like acting in a civilized fashion”, though… (followed by “probably not worth doing business here again”)

          • Samuel Leuenberger

            Hello Hightrance sorry for late reply I forgot to activate notification.

            About difference regarding reporting yes I agree as you said, especially the “kosher” part: you can eat or not kosher, it’s a matter of personal choice that one is not supposed to dictate to others.

            Now about the annoying factor and the video guy, it’s really interesting you mention it because I had to view concert footage again to notice these guys with their cam. Are they obstructing the view of those behind ? I agree that it’s very likely, but again the point is not that they are filming but obstructing, like the guy I hated so much with his HUGE negi right in front of the scene during the 2010 concert :D So agreed a huge crowd holding their camera would be detrimental to the overall concert experience event if I think this case is far fetched (though if you can find out the article about the AKB48 concert I’m interested). But again, there’s a difference with 1) asking people to behave and respect over attendees (like one would remove his hat in a theatre) and 2) forbidding filming or taking pictures when many people (me included) are not accepting this request if doing it with respect for the other attendee. Also as you suggested telling attendee that you’ll give concert extracts to all of them would drastically reduce the need for people to take a souvenir of their concert by filming/taking pictures.

            Regarding the message, well I’m not fluent in Japanese enough to do that and I did not had the luck yet to attend a concert. I was mostly reacting to your endorsement of this rule and finger pointing at the guys who were filming instead of the guys who were obstructing (but maybe your intention was to complain about view obstruction, I just took it for an agreement that filming is bad per se).

            Lastly I don’t get your “civilized manner” and “won’t do business” belief about companies: Companies do business for *profit* not “civilized manners”. I’m even more surprised that this myth is still going on: We had exactly this whole drama about the sharing of the HD theatre stream of the Daikanshai concerts with some people (you included ?) saying that SEGA would not release a DVD because of these filthy and unruly westerners torrenting and uploading on YT. And what happened at the end ? Of course not only they released the DVD/BR but sold more than 20k BR the first week, topping the Oricon charts for BR sales*. So, what’s the point of all this ? Can’t we just agree that companies like SEGA have an atavistic behavior when it comes to filming/copying and should change their stance, instead focusing on their consumers expectations rather than trying to enforce obsolete rules born long before the Internet generation ?

            *Interesting fact BTW: around half of my peers on the Torrent were coming from Japan

          • hightrancesea

            I guess you do agree with me that just standing there filming is rude to the other audience members (the effect is more drastic than the video shows, because the camera is situated higher up than any attendee, with the exception of the people on the balcony in the back). However, I guess we have to agree to disagree on it being rude to think you are on higher moral ground by ignoring the wishes of the organizers, no matter how much you think they are in the wrong.

            The reason why I am more for the “choose other events” option rather than the “civil disobedience” option is that: 1) there *are* other events available and 2) it’s my experience that for these types of things, it’s easier to change the system by promoting disruptive new actors instead of trying to directly steer old momentum-bound legacy corporations, who will tend to view such actions as simply “riff-raff” and not a real protest. Good examples are iTunes, Steam, and all the various online services now available. For instance, it was pretty much impossible to convince the industry to offer easy-to-use digital downloads for DRM-free music by themselves; you needed iTunes and other music stores to guide the way, giving a proper alternative. Sure, we’d all love for companies to change and there sure are good compromises that would in the end make everyone happy, but huge ships don’t turn on a dime and throwing up an iceberg in front of them won’t make them turn any faster.

            As for civilized manners, while companies do do business for “profit”, traditional Japanese business culture is meshed with civility. If you infringe upon the spirit of a contract even while keeping to the letter of the contract, it’s likely your Japanese business partner will never want to do business with you again, no matter how profitable it might be.

            As for the YouTube uploads, _SEGA_’s statement (not mine) was that uploads would hamper the ability to put out the concert in disc format. Of course, the YouTube uploads were promptly dealt with, correct? My thoughts are that if they miss a video here and there, it’s not going to be as annoying for them as having the entire concert uploaded and easily available for people to access. So, are you saying that there was a full upload of the entire concert on YouTube easily available for people to watch indefinitely? Otherwise, there’s no logical connection between that and the sales numbers (and even then, you’d have to consider other factors and compare with sales of previous concert footage).

            Lastly, I see this fallacious reasoning used in a lot of places: “Hey, Japanese people are pirates just like us because on this torrent of Japanese material, a huge number of these IPs were from Japan.” If you consider the actual potential audience for the material and the fact that piracy always exists to some degree, even in Japan, then it shouldn’t be surprising that there are a lot of Japanese IPs participating at times. If you want to do comparisons on the severity of piracy, you’d have to use percentage of potential audience as opposed to the raw number of participants.

  • FormX

    I just found this out. Why weren’t any of SeeU’s live performances reported here???
    http://www.crecrew.net/board/notice/42
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nbAagOhXbJ0
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sb8ZaXx0qQM

    • hightrancesea

      It’s probably because 1) none of us are enough in the know about SeeU related events and 2) none of us can really read Korean. You’re welcome to donate your time and services if you’d like, though. ;)

      • FormX

        Haha, I can’t read Korean either. I remember seeing (and linking) a mostly Japanese Vocaloid news blog that updates daily… can’t find it anymore.