The biggest K-pop band in the world, BTS, is canceling its North America tours over coronavirus concerns.
The band was scheduled to perform in cities across the U.S. as well as Canada for its “BTS MAP OF THE SOUL TOUR” from April 25 to June 6, expected to kick off its first performance of the tour at Santa Clara’s Levi’s Stadium. Big Hit Entertainment, the group’s agency, made the announcement in a single tweet, that connected users to an app called Weverse, in which BTS is launching Korean classes for its international fans.
The decision was made “in order to make sure that we put the safety of everyone involved first and foremost,” the agency said in the statement, without elaborating when the rescheduled date would be announced.
The U.S. overtook China as the country with the most confirmed cases of coronavirus globally, as the COVID-19 outbreak in the world’s number one economy shows little signs of abating. States from New York to California have told residents to stay home, while the U.S. officials earlier this month recommended organizers push back events of more than 50 people in the country. BTS’s live performances have sold out professional sports stadiums, drawing more than 40,000 fans at Citi Field in New York in 2018.
Several other K-pop groups have canceled their Asia concerts, including JYP Entertainment’s Twice, SM Entertainment’s Red Velvet and NCT Dream.
Within minutes of the post, tweets regarding the BTS announcement were trending on Korea twitter, including criticism of the group’s announcement being made in English only.
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