BTS’ world tour delayed as K-pop industry reels from axed concerts

BTS are due to promote their fourth Korean-language album, Map of the Soul: 7, later this year. Photo: EPA-EFE
  • The boy band is among a host of popular artists that have cancelled events in South Korea and overseas, leaving entertainment firms bracing themselves for sharp losses
  • Meanwhile, Daegu-born stars, including Oscar winner Bong Joon-ho and BTS member Suga, have each donated US$83,000 to the virus-stricken city’s relief efforts

South Korea’s massive entertainment industry is bracing itself for a sharp drop in earnings as performances by the country’s most popular artists, including K-pop sensation BTS, are being cancelled or postponed amid the coronavirus outbreak.Days after the boy band performed their new single, On, in a special episode of Jimmy Fallon’s The Tonight Show in New York, they axed three concerts in Seoul meant to kick off their new world tour on April 11.

BTS’ last global tour, Love Yourself: Speak Yourself, sold about 49,000 tickets per show and earned an average of US$5.8 million in profits, according to Billboard. The tour concluded with a three-night show in Seoul last October that raked in US$832 million and drew a total audience of 130,000, a research team at Korea University’s School of Business estimated.

The band’s Map of the Soul Tour is now scheduled to start on April 25 in Santa Clara, California – but that also seems to be in doubt, as the state is among many others in the United States that have declared a state of emergency over the pandemic.

On Tuesday, Coachella – one of the biggest music festivals in America – was postponed from April to October. Many K-pop fans worldwide were anticipating the reunion of megastars Big Bang at Coachella after controversies, including a prostitution scandal, stopped the group from being active since 2018.

Read more : SCMP


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