The upcoming AKB48 general election was planned to get a change of scenery as the pop idol group moved the event to the sunny beaches of Okinawa this year, but weather developments have deemed the event unfit to be held.
Every year, fans make their voices heard by voting for their favorite members from AKB48, SKE48, NMB48, HKT48, NGT48, BNK48, and now this year STU48, at the Senbatsu elections. This year’s event was heating up as NGT48 member Yuka Ogino soared in the preliminary rankings and snatched the #1 spot.
Over 10,000 fans were expected to gather and fill the venue at Toyosaki Villa SUN Beach on the main island of Okinawa to see the finals results for the 322 participating candidates, as well as witness AKB48’s 5th sister group STU48 make their concert debut.
Thinking of the safety of the members, staff, and crowd, an 80% chance of rain with thunder warnings in the evening has prompted a quick cancellation of the outdoor event.
Upon cancellation, AKB48 management have made preparations for the ranking announcement to be held elsewhere (a community center in Tomigusuku), and it will be televised on June 17th on Fuji TV as it has in previous years.
Free viewings for ticket holders will be available at Tokyo’s AKB48 theater, Aichi’s SKE48 theater, Osaka’s NMB48 theater, Fukuoka’s Nishitetsu Hall (HKT48’s temporary theater), or Niigata’s NGT48 theater.
The official AKB48 blog assures that those who have bought tickets or travel packages will be refunded in full.