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BTS to visit three new European stadia on 2020 tour

Following a short hiatus from touring, K-pop superstars BTS are heading back out on the road in 2020, visiting stadia in South Korea, Japan, the United States, Canada, and Europe.

The tour is the band’s first outing since their Love Yourself: Speak Yourself world tour, which was the sixth highest-grossing tour of last year, generating US$170.3 million and selling over 1.3m tickets.

Beginning on 11 April with four dates at Seoul’s 69,950-capacity Olympic Stadium, the 2020 Map of the Soul tour sees BTS head to Europe in July, after 15 North American dates and two shows in Fukuoka, Japan. The band are playing two nights each at London’s 82,000-capacity Twickenham Stadium, Berlin’s 74,475-capacity Olympiastadion and the 55,926-capacity Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys in Barcelona.

BTS will return to the UK on 3 July after two record-breaking shows at the 20,000-capacity O2 Arena and two sold-out nights at Wembley Stadium last year. The Wembley gig, which saw the band play to 120,000 fans over live shows and to 140,000 more across the world via live stream, marked the first time a Korean act headlined the iconic London stadium.

The K-pop group will play at stadia in Germany and Spain for the first time

The K-pop group will also visit Germany and Spain, playing at stadia in the two countries for the first time. The Stade de France, along with London’s Wembley Stadium, were the only two European stadium dates appearing on the Love Yourself: Speak Yourself tour.

Following the European leg, BTS will return to Japan, playing a six-night run at the Kyocera Dome (55,000) in Osaka and two shows a piece at Saitama’s MetLife Dome (34,000) and the Tokyo Dome (55,000).

The 2020 tour is the boyband’s biggest North American outing yet, seeing them perform a run of stadium shows at Santa Clara’s Levi’s Stadium (68,5000-cap.), Los Angeles’ Rose Bowl Stadium (90,888), Dallas’ Cotton Bowl Stadium (92,100), Orlando’s Camping World Stadium (65,000), Atlanta’s Bobby Dodd Stadium (55,000), East Rutherford’s MetLife Stadium (82,500), Washington’s FedExField (82,000), Toronto’s Rogers Centre (53,506) and Chicago’s Soldier Field (61,500).

Tickets for the Map of the Soul tour go on sale on Friday 7 February at 3 p.m. local time here. A verified fan presale begins on 5 February at 3 p.m. local time, with presale for non fan club members opening at the same time the following day. Fans can register for the verified fan presale now here.

A full list of tour dates can be found on the BTS website.


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Widest-ever event cinema release for BTS’s Bring the Soul

Bring the Soul: The Movie, the third BTS feature film, has had the widest-ever release for an ‘event cinema’ film, as management company Big Hit Entertainment and film distributor Trafalgar Releasing bet on another record-breaking release for the K-pop phenoms.

The film, which opened in cinemas on Wednesday (7 August) and finds the boy band at the end of their Love Yourself tour of Europe, will open in a record 112 countries through Sunday 11 August.

It follows debut film Burn the Stage: The Movie, based on the 2017 Wings tour, which sold more than 1.4m tickets – a record for an event cinema (ie music, sport, comedy, etc.) release – and follow-up Love Yourself in Seoul, released in January.

Tickets to see the film, which is showing at most local cinemas, is available from Bring the Soul’s website,


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BTS Saudi Arabia concert prompts mixed reaction

K-pop stars BTS have added a date at Saudi Arabia’s 70,000-capacity King Fahd stadium to their 2019 world tour.

BTS are the latest high-profile act to announce dates in Saudi Arabia, as the kingdom continues its bid to put itself on the touring map. The boy band would be the first international group to play a solo stadium concert in the country. The concert is scheduled to take place on 11 October 2019 as part of the band’s Love Yourself: Speak Yourself tour.

However, some fans have taken to social media to criticise the decision, questioning the Saudi government’s human rights record.

Nicki Minaj recently cancelled her appearance at the country’s largest-ever music festival, Jeddah World Fest, citing support for women’s rights, the LGBTQ community and freedom of expression.

Human Rights Foundation (HRF), the organisation that lobbied for Minaj’s cancellation, is also urging fellow headliner Liam Payne to withdraw from the festival.

“Saudi Arabia is attempting to change the country’s image in part by developing an entertainment industry”

In a statement to Middle East Eye, Human Rights Watch researcher Adam Coogle said that Saudi Arabia was “attempting to change the country’s image in part by developing an entertainment industry and hosting concerts by well-known artists”, and encouraged artists to speak out against abuses.

Others believe the opening up of the live entertainment market is a sign of Saudi Arabia’s growing liberalisation.

Saudi Arabia hosted its first-ever gender-integrated concert series last December. The following month, Mariah Carey became the first international female to perform a solo concert at the King Abdullah stadium.

Jeddah World Fest takes place later this week (Thursday 18 July) at the 63,241-capacity King Abdullah Sports Stadium. All tickets for the event have sold-out.

Tickets for the King Fahd stadium tour date will become available soon.


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BTS manager Big Hit Entertainment grows profit 100%

Big Hit Entertainment, the multi-faceted South Korean music company which manages K-pop colossi BTS, recorded nearly 100% profit growth in 2018, boosted by the meteoric rise of its most famous export.

Big Hit, headquartered in Seoul, generated ₩64.1 billion (€49.8 million) operating profit last year – up 97% year-on-year – while turnover grew 132%, reaching ₩214bn (€166.4m), according to its 2018 financial report (Korean).

The 2018 results represent the biggest-ever annual profit for the diversified music company, founded in 2005 by songwriter and producer Bang Si-hyuk.

“2018 was the year that showed the best record in both rate of return and size of the business, due to BTS’s record-breaking path…”

“Following 2017, 2018 was the year that showed best record in both rate of return and the size of business, due to BTS’s record-breaking path and expansion in business areas [sic],” Big Hit – whose other acts include solo artist Lee Hyun (formerly of 8Eight) and newly formed boy band TXT – says in a statement to the Korea Herald. “We continuously improved our management system to innovate business model in music industry, while discovered new areas of business.”

According to the Herald, BTS (pictured) sold nearly 5.2m records in 2018, while their Love Yourself world tour has sold more than 800,000 tickets globally.

BTS in February announced eight dates for a new stadium tour, Love Yourself: Speak Yourself, in the US, the UK, France, Japan and Brazil.


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BTS to make history with New York stadium show

K-pop stars BTS will make history this autumn as the first Korean artists to play a stadium show in the US. The highly anticipated stop on their Love Yourself world tour will see them play at the 40,000-capacity Citi Field in New York, home of the New York Mets baseball team, on 6 October.

The announcement of an American stadium show is the latest piece of history made by Korean seven-piece. In May, BTS became the first K-pop act to top the US album charts – Love Yourself, the fifth release from the band, sold a total of 135,000 copies in the US in its first week.

Top tier tickets are expected to fetch $250.00 each.

The Love Yourself world tour, which kicks off on 25 August in Seoul’s Olympic stadium, will see the boy-band make 33 stops across 16 cities in Asia, Europe and North America. All of the currently-released stops on the tour are sold out, including a four-night stint at Los Angeles’ Staples Center and two shows at the O2 in London.

BTS’s RM, Jin, SUGA, j-hope, Jimin, V and Jung Kook are not the only Korean performers enjoying success outside of their native South Korea. For some years now, K-pop has enjoyed a seemingly exponential growth in fans from all over Europe, Australasia and the Americas. Acts such as Big Bang, Girls’ Generation and Exo have been the driving force behind the ‘Korean wave’.

Tickets for the historic New York stadium show will go on sale on 17 August at 16.00 EDT (21.00 BST). Top tier tickets are expected to fetch US$250 each.


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K-pop superstars BTS announce world tour

Korean pop megastars BTS have announced Love Yourself, a seven-country (so far) world tour set to be their biggest yet.

BTS (Bangtan Sonyeondan, or Bulletproof Boy Scouts), arguably the world’s biggest boy band, are one of the first K-pop acts to achieve lasting success outside Korea, last year collaborating with Steve Aoki and the Chainsmokers’ Andrew Taggart and performing on US TV institutions such as the American Music Awards and Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve. At home, the seven-piece also topped Forbes’s Korea Power Celebrity list in 2017.

A remix of their song ‘Mic Drop’, released in February, peaked at no28 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming the first chart entry by a K-pop group.

The band’s last tour, Trilogy Episode III: The Wings Tour, was seen by more than half a million people in Asia, Australasia and North and South America. The tour was particularly well received in the arenas of Latin America: according to the New York Times Magazine, the band’s March shows at Movistar Arena in Santiago reached an “earsplitting 127 decibels” – the loudest ever recorded at the venue – while their online popularity had become so entrenched in Chile that tour promoters didn’t even bother with a traditional media push”.

“BTS will launch a brand-new tour this year, entitled Love Yourself, following last year’s success of the Trilogy Episode

The Love Yourself tour will will kick off with two hometown shows in Seoul in August and wrap up at Paris’s Accorhotels Arena in October. It will also visit the O2 Arena in London, Mercedes-Benz Arena in Berlin and Amsterdam’s Ziggo Dome.

“BTS will launch a brand-new tour this year, [en]titled Love Yourself, following last year’s success of the Trilogy Episode begun in 2014,” according a statement from tour promoter Big Hit Entertainment. “We have only released the concert schedule whose dates and venues have been confirmed, and will announce further schedules as they are confirmed later on.”

Other acts part of the ‘Korean Wave’ of pop groups making headway outside Asia include Exo, Big Bang, Girls’ Generation and Super Junior.

Boom in K-pop shows as Korean Wave hits the west [updated]

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