Perform at WMDF: Detailed Application Information

3E6_4335WMDF runs every year from August 5 to August 11, with groups arriving on Aug 3-4 and leaving after the final day.

The welcome reception is held on the evening of Aug 4. Groups should travel on a schedule that allows them to comfortably attend this first event. Groups travelling long distances on long-haul flights with no stopovers should probably plan to arrive in Hakodate on Aug 3. Those travelling from nearby, or coming to Hakodate after spending some time elsewhere in Japan or similar timezone may choose to arrive by the afternoon of Aug 4, no later than 14:00.

For departure, we prefer our international groups to stay for the length of the festival: this means leaving on Aug 12 or Aug 13. Our festival is repeatedly evaluated highly by groups, so we hope that overseas participants can maximise their enjoyment of our event by staying as long as possible.

Important Documents

You will need to read and understand both of the following:

We realise that the volume of the Participation Form is large. Please understand that it is to ensure the smooth running of our event, and especially to guarantee your enjoyable time with us. If your application is accepted, there will be a deadline of March 1 for completing the entire form. We recommend already completing the Form as much as possible at the time you first register.

How Early Can We Apply?

The most recent WMDF Participation Form and Terms & Conditions are always available above. We try to make the Terms & Conditions available around April before the following year’s festival (that is, around 16 months in advance), but please understand that sometimes there will be delays. There are usually no major changes to the Terms & Conditions each year. If you would like to make an Online Registration early, based on the Terms & Conditions of a previous year’s event, you are welcome to do so.

Self-funding Groups

In general, overseas groups fund their own travel to Hakodate, and WMDF then takes care of everything else (including accommodation, food, and transport around town). But we have gradually found that our funding cannot support the number of groups who apply (the typical number of groups we correspond with each year is 50-80). Groups with sufficient finances can indicate the ability to consider a “self-funding” option for their stay in Hakodate by paying 5,000Yen per day per member. This consideration has no impact on our evaluation of groups. We will always approach artists in our order of preference until our funds are exhausted, and then look for any groups that would attend as “self-funding”. We apologise that our financial situation does not yet match the huge interest that we receive each year.


Application is based on Online Registration and the completion of the WMDF Participation Form. We recommend attaching a Participation Form that is as complete as possible, for example with at least Section 1 and the Checklist completed. You can send us updated versions of the Participation Form at any time via email. The Online Registration is once-only. Changes to submitted Online Registration data can only be made by contacting us via email.

Increasing Your Chances of Selection

  • Choose a great link for your Representative Performance Video. It is the first thing our team will look at.
  • Upload high quality PR photos. We will see these every day, as we go about our festival administration.
  • Have a good answer for the “Why do you want to work with us?” question.
  • Fill in as much of the WMDF Participation Form as possible.
  • Send us a physical package, too. We like to receive CDs/DVDs and printed publicity.
  • Review past WMDF artists (see the Archive tab) and suggest how your participation would bring something new to our event.
  • Can you contribute to our “100 Project” target? (See our list of participating countries).
  • Strategise. WMDF typically invites one style of performance from any country per year. We like to keep our audiences entertained by variety. If you see that WMDF has recently featured dance groups from your country, suggest a band, or vice-versa. Help us to mix up the genres.
  • Read the “Participation FAQ”, by clicking on the big button at the top of this page.

Yearly Schedule

20 Oct Online Registration deadline for all groups approaching WMDF with an interest in following August’s WMDF, 9am JST.
20 Nov Registration deadline for contacts made by WMDF through our presence at the International Tourism Expo. Invitation only, 9am JST.
7 Dec Special extension deadline, 9am JST (to make a diverse program, WMDF may use November to solicit extra applications from countries/continents not represented among initial applications).
3rd Sat of December Latest date in December for WMDF to make final selections of groups and waiting list. Full or Self-funding invitations are issued via email.
1 Mar Deadline for submission of wholly completed WMDF Participation forms, including namelists. Please send us the electronic file over email.
1 Apr Main Deadline. All groups should ensure that all paperwork, concrete travel reservations, and funding are settled by this date. Since the WMDF waiting list typically contains groups with guaranteed funding, we will ask invited groups whose plans are not finalised to consider holding over their participation to another year. We will then minimise potential disruption by recruiting guaranteed replacements from the waiting list.
5 Apr 2021 only. The final date by which we will announce the decision on whether the worldwide coronavirus situation is safe enough for us to run our international event.
10 May Final Deadline. Final date by which all groups (including groups approached from the waiting list) should finalise all details. For groups from countries that require visas to visit Japan, WMDF requires a visa application number from an application successfully submitted to an Embassy by this date.
10 Jun Public announcement of participating groups, at opening event, and online, on WMDF web site.
Late Jul Public announcement of detailed final WMDF schedule.
May – Nov “Early Bird” invitations. These invitations are designed give groups the maximum time to secure funding. EB invitations may be offered to groups that send us their form and other materials by the October deadline, or WMDF may approach groups that we have previously corresponded with, or groups that have been specially introduced to us. These invitations are at the instigation of the WMDF Committee and cannot be applied for. All non-EB invitations are decided by WMDF in December, with the latest deadline of the 3rd Saturday, as stated above.

Please note that failure to meet deadlines may result in withdrawal of invitation letter, as stated on the letter itself.

A Request From Us

To reach the final stage of successful collaboration will require much communication
and much exchange of information. There will be many logistics that we discuss together.
The themes of WMDF can be a little abstract. And, our text is not always the easiest to understand.
We know that some artists have been to our event without so much understanding.
Especially for larger groups, we ask that as much information as possible reaches group members before they arrive.
Thanks. We have spent many years as volunteers. We hope you may understand our heart.

Non-electronic Contact
Address: Worlds Meet Japan
9-9 Suehiro-cho, Hakodate-shi, Hokkaido 040-0053 JAPAN
Phone: +81-138-27-7081 (apologies, but Japanese only)
Fax: +81-138-86-6706

  • Please confirm by e-mail when you send us a package by post.
  • Our office is typically only staffed on weekdays, from 9 to 5, Japanese time.
  • Should your application be accepted, supplied information and materials will be used by WMDF for posters, fliers, TV broadcast, and other promotion.
  • Participation in WMDF implies the acceptance of the rights of WMDF to place representative short videos of group performances online.