Strange change to fireworks display ... Citizens support and disagree with the big decision to survive August 8 at 4:15

Summer is all about fireworks.

However, there have been cases where the event has been canceled due to high prices and labor shortages.

We interviewed the site where a big decision was made to keep the "summer tradition" alive.

(Matsue Broadcasting Station Reporter Takato Horiba)

Something unusual has changed in Matsue's "summer tradition" ...

The Matsue Water Festival is one of the largest fireworks festivals on the lake in the western Japan.

With a history of nearly 100 years, the event launches more than 1,<> fireworks from Lake Shinji in the center of Matsue City.

According to the organizers, about 40,8 people visited last year, and this year it will be held for two days on August 5 and 6.

This is the first time the new coronavirus has been held since its position under the Infectious Diseases Act shifted to "Class 2".

For the first time in four years, the ban on eating and drinking has been lifted, and food stalls have also opened, and many local residents and the tourism industry are expecting a long-awaited revival of the summer tradition.

However, when we interview the organizers, it is not always such a bright story.

Mamoru Sasaki, General Manager
of the Matsue Chamber of Commerce and Industry's Town Development Promotion Department, secretariat of the organizing organization: "We are struggling to raise funds due to the expansion of the cost of holding the event.

High prices × labor shortage, holding costs increased by 3000 million!

Hosting costs have skyrocketed as organizers complain that they are reaching their limits.

According to the estimates of the organizers, assuming that the event will be held on the same scale as in 2019 before the corona disaster, the total cost of holding the event will increase by 3000 million yen.

What is increasing so much?

As we continued our interview, we began to see that the prices of items indispensable for fireworks displays were rising.

First of all, fireworks, which can be said to be the star of the tournament.

According to the organizers, prices of raw materials such as gunpowder and wrapping paper, as well as transportation costs by barges, have risen across the board.

Assuming that the event will be held on the same scale as in previous years, the cost of launching fireworks is expected to be about 1.5 times higher.

In addition, the cost of installing portable toilets and garbage disposal, which are indispensable for the venue, will also increase by about 1.8 times.

And what is driving down is the soaring cost of security.

The increase rate is about 2.6 times that of last year.

When I asked the local security company in charge of security for the Games, Matsue City, about the situation, the background was a serious shortage of manpower.

In the first place, the labor shortage in the security industry has been an issue for several years, and now, even if you work several hours like a fireworks display, you have to pay a daily allowance for one day to attract manpower.

Moreover, it is now the summer holiday season with many events occurring in various places.

The necessary personnel cannot be covered only in Shimane Prefecture, but since they are dispatched from other prefectures, transportation and accommodation costs are also incurred.

These costs will also be added to the cost of security.

Amid calls for further strengthening of safety measures, the company plans to secure 1 security guards, about 80 more than last year, which is expected to increase costs.

High prices and labor shortages.

The total cost of this year's event is expected to reach at least 400 million yen, the largest ever.

How do we finance this?

5500~5,<> yen paid seats

In order to somehow secure financial resources and continue the tournament next year and beyond, the organizers have made a big decision.

That is the significant increase in paid bleachers, which was previously limited to a part.

Last year, there were 1,2600 paid seats in one area.

This year, the three areas facing the launch site will have a total of 3,2 seats, which is planned to increase tenfold at once.

When it comes to ticket prices, what you are worried about is the ticket price.

Prices are widely set to meet the various needs of visitors.

For example, the cheapest is the "block seat" for 1,5500 yen per person.

It is a seat laid out on the bank and there are no chairs.

And the most expensive ones are table seats where you can enjoy all-you-can-drink drinks for a capacity of 4 people.

The price is a whopping 5,6000 yen.

According to the budget proposal for the expenses of this year's event, sponsorship from companies is about 1700 million yen, and subsidies from Matsue City are about 1 million yen.

The organizers want to cover almost all of the remaining 3300 million yen, minus sponsorship money and subsidies, through the sales of paid seats.

In particular, sales of "block seats" are expected to be about 9300 million yen.

Voices of approval and disapproval from the local community

On the other hand, the area where you can see for free will be installed behind the paid area, and it seems that you will not be able to enjoy it at all without paying.

However, until now, "free viewing was the norm" fireworks festival.

When I asked local Matsue citizens, their reactions were mixed, both pros and cons.

"It would be nice if everyone was convinced to buy tickets, but I think the price is a little high,"

"I don't want to pay to see it because I can't afford it because I'm living on a pension. Personally, standing room is enough" "

I think there are some parts that cannot be done without money, and if there is a clear reason to continue the tournament, I think there is no problem."

Paid seats are selling well.

According to the organizers, tickets for the 2,6000 paid seats are sold through convenience stores.

Sales were about 8% as of August 2.

Photographers' seats and pair seats are almost sold out, but "block seats" that sit on banks are sluggish.

As the organizer, in exchange for significantly increasing the number of paid seats, the organizers will also enhance the content.

The number of fireworks launched was increased by 6500,2 from last year, reaching a record high of 4,<>.

The number of barges that launch fireworks has doubled to four, and they will take on the challenge of creating new productions that have never been seen before.

After the Games, we plan to conduct a questionnaire survey of citizens, receive the results, and seek out the ideal way to hold the Games from next year onwards while gaining the understanding of local residents.

Mamoru Sasaki, General Manager
of the Matsue Chamber of Commerce and Industry's Town Development Promotion Department, secretariat of the organizer organization: "Although there are headwinds of high costs, we would like to revitalize the region by delivering a tournament that is worth watching even if you pay money to citizens and tourists by enhancing the entertainment value. I want to continue to take on various challenges."

How to protect the fireworks display

I want to enjoy the fireworks display at least without thinking about money.

Many people may think that way.

A summer tradition that I thought would continue forever.

I would like to continue to cover how the event will be held while changing its form with the flow of the times.

Matsue Bureau Reporter
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