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Performers' FAQ

This FAQ addresses some of the most common queries we receive from artists considering attending our event.

Since our office is busy, we are sorry that we may not be able to respond to questions answered by this FAQ or elsewhere on this site. A number of the questions on this FAQ relate to finances: we regret that the monetary muscle of our Festival is not yet so mighty. Please know that we are working hard to improve every year.

Q1 About the WMDF event


Q: Can WMDF pay for our flights or peformances?
A: We are sorry, but at the moment we cannot. Please 
   understand our position. We are priviliged to provide
   a platform for overseas performers. But, we rely on 
   collaboration with groups that have some source for 
   supporting their own travel. We understand that there 
   are many professional groups that would like to perform
   in Japan, and that performance opportunites are limited.
   In the long term, we expect to be able to offer competitive
   reimbursements, but our current finances simply do 
   not allow more than what we state in our terms and conditions.
   We are very happy to establish connections with groups around
   the world. But please do not ask us for special permission
   to cover costs. The answer will always be the same: yes, we would
   love to, but at the moment we cannot.


Q: Is WMDF a competition?
A: No, we are not a competition. We award no prizes,
   we just thank each group for representing their
   country. Each group receives a certificate
   acknowledging our gratitude for their participation.


Q: Can we get information on previous groups?
A: Yes, you can see the previous groups listed
   on the web. At the moment, the relevant pages are:

   2011: http://wmdf.org/en/artists/
   2010: http://wmdf.org/en/artists/2010
   2009: http://wmdf.org/en/lineup/2009//
   2008: http://wmdf.org/2008/en/lineup/

Q: Do you give only one performance in the festival 
   to each group or multiple performances?
A: Groups definitely have multiple performances. We have multiple stages
   and venues and each has a different character. Our aim is to afford
   each group a chance to experience many different performing conditions.
   Groups should expect to perform somewhere on most days of the festival.
   Wherever possible, we try to insert a day of rest, or a day where 
   the performance has relaxed contions on costume.

Q2 About staying in Japan and logistics

Q: What kind of accommodations will groups be staying in?
A: WMDF has so far used a variety of shared accommodations 
   ranging from city-owned facilities designed as training 
   bases for group-based outbound education to renovated
   hotels. Please expect to be staying in shared rooms.
   Depending on the accommodations, the bathing facilities
   may be Japanese hot-spring communal baths.

   Most likely current accommodations:
   Kokusai Hotel 
   Aqua Garden Hotel
   Fururu


Q: What are the catering arrangements?
A: WMDF provides three meals each day for all party members.
   For breakfast, all of the accommodation facilities that we 
   use prepare food in-house, and have some Western options in
   addition to the standard Japanese breakfast. For lunch, 
   we generally distribute Japanese bento boxes. Evening
   meals are either in the form of catering at receptions
   or parties, or the communal catering for staff and artists
   at the main festival site. WMDF can cope with dietary 
   special requests, and there is a clear space on the WMDF
   application form to describe these.


Q: Can groups stay in Hakodate longer?
A: In general, we request groups to stay within the
   dates stated on the WMDF pages. Over-running has
   multiple consequences on staff schedules, bus
   rental, and insurance, that make it difficult
   for us to accommodate.


Q: Can groups leave before the end of the Festival?
A: We strongly hope not. Since one of our goals is
   to create a diverse atmosphere of international 
   friendship, each group is an integral part of our plans 
   for the entire festival.
   

Q: Can groups tour Japan or Asia before or after WMDF?
A: WMDF is happy for groups to visit other locations
   for tourism or performances, outside the dates of
   our own Festival.


Q: Can WMDF help us with our travel arrangements in Japan?
A: We basically require groups to make their own travel
   arrangements. In the case that your group wants to
   do some tourism in Japan, we can introduce you to
   some very knowledgeable representatives of the 
   company "HIS" in Tokyo. WMDF is not affiliated 
   with HIS, they have just been very helpful with
   past events.
  

Q: What about trains? Can you advise us on other ways 
   to travel than plane?
A: In general, we advise arriving by plane, since it is the
   most cost-effective and fastest method, if you book ahead.
   By train from Tokyo to Hakodate is about 6 hours, 
   but groups will have to leave from Tokyo station, which
   is maybe 90 mins from Narita airport. Trains are also
   busy in August, so please be aware that without seat 
   reservations, it is likely that you may have to stand
   (although our experience of JR trains is that they will 
   allow groups to travel with large amounts of luggage).
   You can find the schedule by clicking on the "Tokyo-Sapporo"
   link at the bottom of this JR Hokkaido Rail Company page. 
   In the event that you do decide to travel by train, of
   course WMDF staff will greet your group on your arrival, 
   as we do for all groups.


Q: How about arriving at Sapporo instead of Hakodate? Is it far?
A: Although we don't recommend arriving in Sapporo, it is possible 
   for us to arrange to pick groups up there. Some things to note:
   The airport typically called "Sapporo airport" is officially
   "New Chitose Airport". It is around 40 mins away from Sapporo by train.
   Since connections to Hakodate are not particularly convenient for
   large groups, we strongly recommend any group that is contemplating
   arriving in Sapporo to charter a bus, which will take around
   5 or 6 hours to Hakodate. It may be possible for one or two
   Festival staff to accompany this vehicle. Chartered bus is the cheapest
   way for groups to move from Sapporo to Hakodate, and will cost
   the group 120,000 JPY for a round trip (that is, 60,000 JPY
   on arrival, and 60,000 JPY when leaving). This charge can be 
   paid in advance, or upon arrival to the WMDF Committee.

Q: How do we transfer planes in Tokyo?
A: Changing from international to domestic flights in Tokyo
   usually involves moving from Narita to Haneda.
   But because the route is very common, it is also quite straightforward:
   there is a bus that leaves from outside the doors of the terminal 
   building in Narita and goes directly to the terminal doors at Haneda.
   It leaves every 20 mins, takes 60-90 minutes, and costs 3000Yen.
   Sometimes it is possible for us to find volunteers in Tokyo to meet
   a group and help them with the change.

Q: Can you quote us train fares or pane fares for 
   within-Japan travel.
A: Buying tickets in Japan for trains and planes is fairly expensive;
   we recommend you to use a travel agent outside Japan, which
   will have access to prices much cheaper than we pay ourselves
   (eg, an internal flight connection for international arrivals
   can be as little as 5,000Yen). 


Q: We want to come with more than 25 members. Can we?
A: Effectively, this is a question about finances.
   It costs WMDF around 5000JPY/person/night to
   accommodate group members, so if groups
   groups cannot meet the limits we stipulate, this charge
   may be passed on to them.  However, we have in the past 
   granted exemptions for free accomodation of extra group 
   members, so we encourage you to contact WMDF early to 
   discuss your situation. Please tell us how many extra 
   people you need to bring, your reasons, and your budget. 
   We wish to be fair to all groups, so please be aware that 
   it may only be possible to make the final decision on 
   excess charges once WMDF has decided on its final list 
   of participants.


Q: Can we be accompanied by journalists and/or TV crews?
A: Yes, but the group size will be counted as the total
   number of people including the reporters. If the
   total number increases over 25, then you will need
   to discuss extra charges with WMDF. Common sense rules 
   on the fair use of only brief portions of the performances
   of other artists apply. Also, there is a tendency for camera
   crews to get in each others' way (and sometimes in the way of
   audience, or even artists). To minimise the chance of 
   problems, camera crews are requested to attend a daily 
   meeting with the Festival Director and/or his 
   representative(s). We also need to know well in advance any
   requests for access to WMDF infrastructure such as pickup
   from stage microphones.

   The minimum requirement for filming is that WMDF is 
   provided with a one-minute overview clip with permission
   to use on its web pages. For accompanying print 
   journalists we would also very much appreciate being 
   forwarded electronic or hardcopy articles that we can
   place on our web site.

Q3 About Finances

Q: Can WMDF arrange for us to cover costs by performing
   at other events in Japan?
A: WMDF features a "fringe" where our artists perform
   around the local area, and sometimes this includes
   events organised by other bodies. However, these
   are not performances that offer fees. We are sorry, but
   it is difficult for the WMDF committee to find other 
   performance sites to cover fees for groups when they 
   are in Japan.


Q: Will WMDF pay performance fees for professional groups?
A: In the past, we have given some participants
   financial remuneration, but it is at such a level that is
   basically clear that the groups are doing us a favour by
   performing.  Also, since we are not (yet) a rich festival,
   we simply do not have the funds to cover travel fees. On the
   other hand, we can guarantee to accomodate all groups that 
   come to our site with traditional Eastern hospitality.


Q: Can WMDF work with us to gain sponsorship, eg from Japan Foundation?
A: In general, foundations require applications to be made in the
   home country of the group. So, WMDF can support groups applying to
   bodies in their own country, but we cannot apply on their behalf
   to organisations in Japan. If you have a specific funding
   body to which you would like WMDF to support your group's 
   application for funds, we hope that you will contact us, sending
   materials and videos of your group in good time.


Q: Are there any special conditions under which you would pay
   for us to attend?
A: Our Festival has been attracting attention even from individuals
   and groups with a worldwide profile. We wish that we were 
   in the financial position of being able to take advantage 
   of our popularity as a destination, but at the moment our 
   terms and conditions list all that we can practically do. 

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