Will BTS Postpone 'Map Of The Soul Tour' Due To COVID-19?
It's news the ARMY does not want to get – but it is looking like BTS will have no choice but to postpone its upcoming North American tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Multiple sources have told iHeartRadio.ca an announcement could come as early as next week from Big Hit Entertainment, the company behind the Korean pop group.
So far, Big Hit Entertainment has said only that it is monitoring the COVID-19 situation and acknowledges that a short-notice cancellation could inconvenience fans who have made travel arrangements to attend concerts.
Reps for promoters Live Nation and Live Nation Canada as well as Universal Music Canada did not respond to requests for comment.
Jimin, J-Hope, Jin, Jungkook, RM, Suga and V are scheduled to kick off the Map of the Soul Tour on April 25 in Santa Clara, California. As of March 12, Santa Clara County had 66 confirmed cases of COVID-19, one of which resulted in death. Levi’s Stadium, which is hosting the BTS concerts, is closed “until further notice.”
The only Canadian city on the BTS tour is Toronto, where the group is scheduled to perform on May 30 and 31 in front of an estimated 96,000 fans. As of March 12, there are 59 reported cases of COVID-19 in Ontario.
The Public Health Agency of Canada has warned of the risk for COVID-19 at “large gatherings in enclosed spaces.”
Other cities where BTS is scheduled to play have confirmed cases of COVID-19, including Pasadena, Chicago and Dallas. In New Jersey, where BTS is scheduled to perform on May 23 and 24, there are currently 29 cases of COVID-19.
Late last month, the group scrapped four concerts that were to take place at Jamsil Olympic Stadium in Seoul on April 11, 12, 18 and 19.
“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,” Big Hit Entertainment explained, in a release.
During a livestream on March 10, RM talked about how disappointed he was about the cancellation of BTS shows in Seoul. “It really saddens me but there's not much we can do realistically,” he said, according to The Korea Times. “But the time, practice and performances we have invested in this album will not vanish.”
Pearl Jam announced earlier this week it postponed the North American leg of its tour, which was to kick off on March 18 in Toronto followed by shows in Ottawa on March 20, Quebec City on March 22, and Hamilton on March 24. On Thursday, the Juno Awards, set to take place March 15 in Saskatoon, were cancelled.
BTS is scheduled to take the Map of the Soul Tour to Japan for 11 shows later this summer, as well as a pair of shows in London and five in three European cities.
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