A translation of the “How to Livehouse” video, which illustrates some rules and advice to follow when you go to a Japanese live (mainly those in livehouses).
1. Hand baggage
If you bring a large bag or purse to the live venue, it tends to get in your way, so leave it in a coin locker near the station. There may be coin lockers in the venue, but there will be limits on number and size, so you should not expect too much.
Fundamentally, clothes are free to choose. It might get hot during the live, so choose breathable clothing that is easy to move in.
Also, since there are lot of people, do not bring unsafe clothes. Unsafe clothes are high heels, sharp things, being nude, etc..
3. Before entering
In the case of tickets with a reference number, you will enter according to the order of the reference numbers. The staff will easily form rows on that day, so don’t worry.
If you do not know where to put yourself, it would be good to ask the staff.
Hanging out in large numbers near the venue will cause inconvenience to the neighborhood, so avoid arriving there more than 30 minutes early.
4. The sales of goods before the live
Staffer: “if you are looking for the goods sales, please line up here”
Similarly, the staff will form a row also for goods sales. Here you will be lined up in the order in which you came, but since it will cause inconvenience in the neighborhood, avoid arriving there more than 30 minutes before the start of the live.
There is the ticket collector staff, so give them the ticket to cut. At this time, you must pay a drink fee (500 yen) to receive a drink ticket. Please take the drink ticket with you after you leave your baggage in the locker.
Paprika: “I left my money in the locker…”
6. The drink ticket
The drink ticket can be exchanged for 1 drink by giving it at the drink counter in the venue. This ticket can be used until the drink counter is closed, so you do not have to hurry there right after the opening.
7. From opening until start
Comp: “Is this a livehouse~?”
Paprika: “I’m getting excited”
You are free. Avoid putting your baggage on the floor.
It would be nice to go to the toilet in advance.
Paprika: “What should I do with this gift?”
Staffer: “Well, then hand it over here”
For food gifts, presents and such, put them in the present box if there is one; otherwise, ask the nearby staff. They will kindly answer you.
8. During the live
You are free to enjoy it however you prefer. It’s also possible to enter even if you weren’t on time for the opening. There is no problem at all if you leave during the live.
You can enjoy the live in high spirits.
You can enjoy the live quietly. In the case of a standing venue, it’s easier for people who get very excited to gather in the front rows, while it’s easier for people who prefer to quietly appreciate the music to gather in the back.
Avoid violent and annoying acts that would cause trouble to the others.
The clientele is diverse, so enjoy the live with consideration.
9. After the live
You are free. You can immediately go back at home, or have fun buying stuff at the sales stands after the live, if there is.
Comp: “I want this one, please”
Ranko: “Thank you very much”
Staffer: “The lobby will be closed, so please leave.”
However, when the venue announcer or the staff calls for leaving, promptly leave the venue.
You will probably be excited, but be careful as you return home.
Some additional notes courtesy of Scott:
– Usually, if people try to gather around the front of the venue before the live, the staff tell them to go away. That’s until the staff start the lines: they organize it by the ticket number and they start calling out the numbers like “people with numbers 20 and below please enter” then “people with numbers 30 and below please enter” and so forth.
– The drink ticket is obligatory and that’s how the venues make extra money.
– PEOPLE MOSH AT BUTAOTOME LIVES. Jokes aside, it happened that during Touhou ABC in Tokyo last year, there were 3 people trying to mosh pit during Gensou no Satellite. It happened again with 6-8 people during Furubokkoru tour in Nagoya. (I just wanted to end this post with a somewhat funny anecdote.)