Crowded central Japan music festival criticized

An outdoor music festival held on Sunday in central Japan has come under fire for failing to take anti-coronavirus measures, including serving alcoholic drinks to the crowds packing the venue.

The "NAMIMONOGATARI2021" event was held at an open-air facility on an island in Tokoname City in Aichi Prefecture.

Guidelines posted on the organizer's homepage required participants to wear face masks, maintain social distancing and refrain from screaming.

But videos shared on social networks by the performing artists and attendees at the event showed many young people packed closely together and yelling without masks.

The venue is managed by Aichi Prefecture. Governor Ohmura Hideaki said on Monday that prefectural officials had called on the organizer to take thorough anti-infection measures, such as refraining from serving alcohol.

The governor said it is extremely regrettable that the requests were not complied with, and indicated that the organizer will be banned from using facilities belonging to the prefecture.

Tokoname City officials also expressed strong criticism of the organizer, saying that the incident took place at a time when they are asking residents to adhere to various antivirus measures.