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BTS fans spend €3.5m on livestreaming historic Wembley shows

Over 140,000 K-pop fans streamed BTS's Wembley Stadium dates, the venue's first-ever headline shows by a Korean act, in addition to the 120,000 in attendance

By Jon Chapple on 03 Jun 2019

BTS on stage at Wembley Stadium on 1 June

BTS on stage at Wembley Stadium on 1 June


image © Big Hit Entertainment

Following two record-breaking shows at the O2 in October, BTS-mania hit London for a second time last weekend, with the Korean pop superstars making history by playing to 120,000 people over two nights at Wembley Stadium – and another 140,000 fans across the world via live stream.

The sold-out, Live Nation-promoted shows, on Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 June, were each attended by 60,000, mostly young, K-pop fans, as the seven-piece band became the first Korean act to headline the iconic London stadium.

According to BBC music reporter Mark Savage, who attended the first concert, the band were swept along on a “tidal wave of fans’ enthusiasm”, blasting through 24 songs “assisted by quirky props, glitter cannons, jet sprays… and 60,000 fans screaming their approval.” He continues:

The septet, who said they “grew up watching videos of Live Aid,” even paid tribute to Freddie Mercury. During the encore, lavender-haired singer Jin led the crowd in a version of the Queen frontman’s ay-oh” chant.

“You guys always had the greatest artists, historically, in the music industry: the Beatles, Coldplay, Ed Sheeran, Adele. We don’t even have to make a list,” added his bandmate Kim Nam-joon, who’s known to fans as RM. “So the UK was like the big, big wall to me.

“But tonight we, and you guys, just broke the wall.”

Over 140,000 people paid the equivalent of ₩33,000 (€25) to watch the gig on V Live

The shows, part of BTS’s Love Yourself: Speak Yourself world stadium tour, follow the release of the boy band’s latest EP, Map of the Soul: Persona, which debuted at no1 on the UK chart – also a first for a South Korean group.

In addition to the 60,000 fans in attendance, the first night was also broadcast to cinemas across Japan and streamed live online globally.

BTS fans across the world, known as the ‘Army’, streamed the show via V Live, an online video streaming service operated by Korean web portal Naver. Over 140,000 people paid the equivalent of ₩33,000 (€25) to watch the gig on the V Live platform, where BTS have nearly 15 million followers.

According to Korean daily the Chosun Ilbo, the majority of streamers were in the US, followed by Japan, then Taiwan and China. “We were able to see the potential for V Live as a live technology platform,” says Naver’s Jang Joon-ki.

 


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