Perform at WMDF: Full Application Information

3E6_4335WMDF runs from August 5, with groups arriving on Aug 3-4. Check the Terms & Conditions for the length we are planning for upcoming festivals. (The 3-day and 5-day events of 2022 & 2023 were shortened by the pandemic from the regular full week schedule of August 5-11).

There’s a welcome reception on the evening of Aug 4: travel on a schedule that allows you to comfortably attend. If you have long-haul flights with no stopovers, probably plan to arrive in Hakodate on Aug 3. From closer by, or if coming to Hakodate after spending some time in Japan, arrive by the early afternoon of Aug 4.

For departure, our festival is repeatedly evaluated highly by artists, so we hope international groups stay for the length of the festival: when we run for a full week, this means leaving on Aug 12.  Depending on the year and our hotel collaborators, it may be possible for us to accommodate artists wishing to leave on Aug 13, but it requires prior discussion, and may involve changing lodging location.

Important Documents

We have developed an “Artist@WMDF” online portal for working with artists on applications. Please refer to the two pdfs linked below:

  • WMDF Terms & Conditions (most recent version for WMDF 017 in August 2024)
  • Online Portal Guide. Quickly grasp all the information you need to prepare. We recommend starting to collect the information as early as possible. (The portal is new from 2023, so there can be times when the Guide contents don’t quite match the system itself. Thanks for your understanding!).

We have found that information exchange is an important part of the smooth running of our event, and of ensuring that artists have an enjoyable time with us. We hope to work with you efficiently and to have a great time together!

How Early Can We Apply?

The most recent Terms & Conditions are always available above. We try to make the file available about 16 months in advance, around April. If you would like to make an Online Registration early, based on the Terms & Conditions of an earlier 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 7,000Yen 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 fully online.

  1. Submit the Online Registration form below. The submit is once-only, so please double-check before hitting the button.
  2. If you pass “Pre-Selection”, we will send you a login to the Artist@WWMDF online portal, for easy entry and confirmation of the remaining data.

In December, we make the final decisions and send out official festival invitations. Recipients will then have a “Data Deadline” of March 10 for supplying all information needed to secure their participation (see the Yearly Schedule below).

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.
  • Include impressive Supporting Materials.
  • Maybe 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.
5 Apr Health Safety Measure. The final date by which we will announce the decision on whether the worldwide health situation and the Japan local conditions make it feasible for us to run as an international event.
10 Apr Main Deadline. All data needed for logistics and planning to be supplied by this date, including name rosters. The main collection tool will be the “Artist@WMDF” web portal (login-based). Groups should ensure that all paperwork, concrete travel reservations, and funding are settled. 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.
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. Especially for larger groups, we ask all group leaders to share with group members as much information about our event as possible. 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.