Coronavirus fears prompt BTS to cancel tour dates in South Korea
BTS have canceled a series of tour dates in South Korea in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
Big Hit Entertainment, which manages the boy band phenomenon, released a statement Thursday announcing the cancellation of four April tour dates in Seoul. The Map of the Soul tour shows on April 11, 12, 18, and 19 at Olympic Stadium have been scrapped.
"Plans for 'Map of the Soul Tour — Seoul' included the involvement of a number of global production companies and a large group of expert international crew, with over 200,000 concertgoers expected to attend," the statement said. "However, the current global coronavirus (COVID-19) has made it impossible at this time to predict the scale of the outbreak during the dates of the concert in April, alongside increasing uncertainty about the cross-border movement of concert staff and equipment."
The statement added that the preventative measure is being taken in consideration of the health of both concert guests and the artists: "While we hope that the situation will improve, we must take into consideration the health and safety of hundreds of thousands of guests, as well as our artists and the dire impact a last-minute cancellation may have on guests from overseas, production companies and staff. We have thus determined that with approximately one month left before the Seoul concert is set to begin, it is unavoidable that the concert must be cancelled without further delay."
The statement concluded, "Please understand that this decision was made after extensive and careful consideration in order to cooperate with the government's measures on restricting public events as well as municipal advisories on the use of cultural and sports facilities." It also noted that ticket purchases will be refunded.
The BTS cancellation is the latest in a string of entertainment-related responses to the coronavirus outbreak. Earlier this week, Mission: Impossible 7 halted production on its three-week shoot in Venice, Italy, when the city became the epicenter for the virus outside of Asia. The latest James Bond release, April's No Time to Die, has scratched its planned China premiere and tour.
Other recent films like Dolittle, Little Women, 1917, and Jojo Rabbit have also lost out on China releases due to quarantine measures. IOC officials are reportedly discussing canceling this summer's Olympics in Tokyo as well.