K-Pop sensation BTS had to cancel a string of shows in Seoul, South Korea due to the coronavirus outbreak in the country. While fans received refunds for their tickets, many have opted to donate the funds to coronavirus relief.
Last week, BTS’ company Big Hit Entertainment announced that the band would be unable to perform Seoul shows on their Map of the Soul Tour as the coronavirus has begun to spread globally. South Korea has seen the second highest number of coronavirus outbreaks in the world, aside from China.
“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.”
Fans who originally purchased tickets to the Seoul shows have been refunded, but many have begun donating that money to help the country’s coronavirus relief efforts. The association said that donations are “pouring in” after BTS member Suga suggested the idea last month and donated 100 million SKW ($83,000 USD) himself to support his hometown of Daegu.
The Korea Herald and Korea Times reported that the BTS Army has helped raise 400 million SKW – or $333,000 USD – to the Korea Disaster Relief Association. The funds will go towards providing relief kits, face masks, and other goods to low-income communities, medical staff, volunteers, and quarantined individuals.
Due to the overwhelming number of donations, the association said that its site crashed on Friday for about 10 minutes. While a high influx of fan donations have been coming in, the association said that many donations did not mention BTS and were not counted in statistics, since they were unsure how many were attached to BTS – meaning that fan number could be even higher.
“We feel grateful about their donations and believe their contribution will bring a positive ripple effect across the globe,” the association told the Herald.
The Seoul shows were slated to take place on April 11, 12, 18, and 19. BTS is the latest band to cancel shows over the ongoing spread of coronavirus, following suit of Green Day, Stormzy, and Seventeen.